Note to Horse Sellers: We Are Not Idiots. We Are Polite.
Dear Horse Seller:
Have you been getting weak excuses when people aren’t interested in a horse you have just shown?
Let’s say I’m looking at a young, green horse. He’s a little goofy and little unfinished. Not a problem. If his natural talent makes my jaw drop, I’m not going to care if his three gaits are walk, jig, and buck. If he is six months away from making a cute but unexceptional kid’s horse, I am unimpressed by how well-behaved he is today. My boat is not floated.
Let’s say I’m looking at a schoolmaster. He’s expensive. He’s got two years of active competing left, then he will have to be stepped down with a loss of most or all of the purchase price. If this means I will be able to reach a level that I had never expected to achieve – for example, Third Level dressage to get the final scores for my USDF Bronze – and I’m fortunate enough to have the money, hell yeah. If it means two years of packing around Training Level eventing and I’m riding Prelim, not so much.
It’s all about exit strategy.
The horse is too small. The horse is special but not special enough. His talent is average. Our ideas on his value are so far apart that it would be insulting to make an offer based on what I think he’s worth. Do you have any IDEA how lame your horse is?
I’m not going to say any of this to you. Back in the mists of time, we once told a seller what we really thought of his horse. That’s a mistake we won’t make again. At this point, I’ve decided I don’t want your horse. Now, I’m just trying to find a way to leave with everyone’s ego intact. So yeah, I’m going to pick an inoffensive attribute that you already know. Your young horse is too young. Your project horse is too much of a project. Your investment horse is too much of an investment.
Watch the checkbook. If it comes out, I like the horse; if it doesn’t, I don’t. The words are just noise.
A Prospective Buyer
Which is a long way of saying we went to look at a horse last weekend. Lucky 13 was not.
At least I got a blog post out of it.