Monday, September 15, 2008

Presentation Part I: Poor

I'm going to skip the stage of the ad that's Very Poor, i.e. a Craigslist ad that says "Horse for sale, $600" with no picture. There's not much point in me doing that!

So -- I'll be demonstrating the next step up.

Remember, all three of these steps will feature McKinna, so it will be pretty obvious how different presentations can make a horse look bad or good.

McKinna is a 12 year old QH/Arab mare she is good at Jumping and trails. A great ridding horse and good for a broodmare maybe. Shes a lil quick at the walk but real good for everything else and woud be Awesome for OHSET or 4H or your new pleasur horse. Shes a very pretty white color. $1500.

(Gratuitous capitalization, run-on and fragmented sentences, slang, misspellings, an endorsement of her purdy color? Check. However, there is some useful information [age, breed].)

(Strange-angle picture that tells you nothing about the horse, but illustrates the creativity of construction 'round here? Check.)

(Very, *very* tiny picture of me standing next to her in a field of jumps, suggesting that it's possible she can jump but also raising the question of why I'm on the ground? Check.)

([Small] Pasture picture of questionable conformational integrity? Check.)

Upon you emailing me to ask further questions, I will wait six and a half days to reply. With the bare minimum of syllables per sentence, I will answer about 70% of the questions you ask, simply forgetting to answer the rest. I will not volunteer any information that you did not ask for. I will then either end the email, or write several long paragraphs detailing why times are hard and I need to sell my horse, how my friend's sister's uncle's dentist's cousin is a great trainer and real good with the unbroke ones, and give you a detailed analysis of my health and financial situations.

This does not paint a very attractive picture. If I saw a sale ad with these photos, I would do one of two things. If nothing caught my attention about the ad, nothing that I thought could make this horse a steal for the price, I'd just drop it. If I saw something I liked, I'd probably ask for more, or just go look at the horse -- the first picture shows me that she might actually be a decent looking horse. Maybe.

But the point is, if you put up an ad like this, you are not going to attract the kind of people you want.

That being said, if you're looking for a diamond-in-the-rough (and I mean rough), these kinds of ads can often be a place to look. For example, the ad for Pandora said something like "Appendix mare, 6 y/o, has been on trails and evented. $600. Email for more info." The pictures she sent us were pasture shots at strange angles, with one small head-on jumping photo that didn't tell us much. Pretty bare-bones. I spoke to a trainer to ask her if she could come test-ride her for me, since I was obviously still broken-ankled. Trainer told me that a horse that cheap has red flags a mile wide (well, it's true, she does have a supposed backstory of rearing) and that she wouldn't even go look at her.

Well, that was pretty sound advice. But I also went and looked at her, bought her, and so far she's been nothing but 100% pleasant to work with, willing to please, and intelligent. No nasty behaviors. No resistance (other than wanting to tuck behind the bit -- an anxiety thing). She doesn't get rude on the ground, she's wonderful for tacking up and grooming, she offers no funny business under saddle.

So -- here you go. If you're looking for a bargain, poor presentation like this can be your friend, because you may find a truly nice horse that other people passed over because of price, advertisement, whatever. If you are selling your horse, put the extra couple hours in to take some good pictures, please!

After this, Presentation Part II: Average.


Stacey said...

This should be published in some kind of "How To" on Craigslist.

autumnblaze said...

No, it needs to be published as a what NOT to do! The follow ups with good ads she mentions should go in the 'How to' section.

I HATE when people put up no pictures or horrid pictures of animals when trying to sell them or better yet find an adoptable animal a good home. It really doesn't take that much more effort to do it right!

manymisadventures said...

Bad ads AND bad buyers are a pet peeve of mine. We've done enough looking for horses, as well as trying to sell Bailey last fall, that I just don't have much patience for bad advertisement.

Sadly, it's just a part of the horse life.

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