Best Practices for Selling Lusitano Youngstock
Getting the Lusitanos I breed into good homes is a responsibility I don’t take lightly.
I turned down a buyer for our colt Pendragon yesterday, someone involved in the dancing horse industry in California. Not surprising, they pretended that they wanted him for dressage but the photos of their Facebook page told a different story. Just the fact that I was lied to - well, that was enough to stop me from selling a horse to anyone.
This is why Facebook and social media is such a powerful tool for selling horses. Someone's history on the internet speaks much louder than words...
How do I screen buyers? I use google satellite images to check out their facilities and where they live. Linked-in to check out their work status and I look at their photos and posts on Facebook, as well as Instagram - to learn about their best practices and beliefs about animals. I view who their "friends” are. I also ask the hard questions about their equine discipline, number of horses, amount of time they have had horses etc. and I just talk to them. In the end, intuition plays a big role in our decision not to sell. Which, only happens rarely.
But recently, the uptick in the dancing horse market has me vigilant.
We have had bad experiences with buyers. Most common is flipping or not realizing the financial burden that horse ownership is. But also people with no common sense, no ability to train or are harsh trainers, which can happen in any discipline. Once, we had a horse that we bred and then sold - get resold. Then he was starved by the second owner. It was a horrific learning experience and one I don’t care to repeat. When I sell a horse that I have bred and raised, that is an animal i LOVE. Sometimes, I don’t think people realize how much heart and soul goes into those little foals.
These experiences have taught me that being a bit proactive in finding good buyers in important. I would rather undervalue a foal, that I have invested resources, time, and love into -and find a perfect home, than get top dollar. That said due to the wonderful type of person that is drawn to the Lusitano, most times it is apparent immediately that due diligence isn’t necessary, that the person is legit, as well as a good horse owner.
But it is uncomfortable for me to screen like this. It does feel like I am poking my nose where it doesn't belong sometimes. Uncomfortable to turn someone down. And painful - I try to do it lightly or dissuade them but in the end, sometimes you have to just say no.
Just to write it, I am sure that not all Charro Horse Dancing trainers abuse their horses. But enough do, that for me, selling into that market is a non starter. For a good discussion on dancing horses, click on the button below, which will take you away from this page.