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Rachel Kosmal McCart is a lifelong horsewoman and the founder of Equine Legal Solutions, PC, an equine law firm based in the Portland, Oregon area. Rachel is a member of the New York, California, Oregon and Washington State bars and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon and the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Rachel currently competes in three-day eventing.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ten Reasons Why Your Trainer Can Sell Your Horse Faster and for More Money Than You Can

Having your trainer sell your horse for you often means selling your horse faster, and for more money. Here's why:

(1) Connections and Eyeballs. Your trainer knows a lot of people in the horse industry, and it's your trainer's business to get out there and maintain those connections. Many of your trainer's connections are other professionals. Some of those other professionals may have clients looking to buy a horse just like yours. Your trainer also has people walking through his barn every day. Some of those folks are actively looking to buy a horse. Others might buy a horse if they see one they like. Many of them might have friends who are looking for horses. If your horse is in your trainer's barn, all of those people will see him and hear that he is for sale.

(2) Financial Motivation. Depending upon the arrangement you have with your trainer, your trainer will earn a 10-20% commission when your horse sells. The quicker your horse sells, the quicker your trainer gets paid.

(3) Lack of Emotional Attachment. Your trainer may like your horse, but they aren't emotionally attached to him. So, they won't be advertising him for sale and half-hoping no one calls!

(4) Knowledge and Candor. Your trainer knows your horse, both his strengths and his flaws. So, your trainer can set a price for your horse that reflects your horse's real market value, not his sentimental value. Your trainer will know how to highlight your horse's finer points, and downplay his weaknesses. Your trainer will know where and when your horse is the most marketable, and what sort of buyer will be most interested in him.

(5) Moving Up. Your trainer wants to see you move up, and usually, selling your current horse means you have the opportunity to progress. While your trainer may like you personally and want to see you grow as a horseman, they want to see you move up for other reasons, too. The quality of horse you ride and how well you do reflects upon your trainer's professional reputation, so selling your current horse and buying a better one is good for your trainer's business.

(6) Marketing Expertise. Most trainers make their "real money" selling horses. So, most of them sell quite a few. That means they know what works, and what doesn't. They know where to advertise, what to say in the ads, what the videos should show and what photos to include.

(7) Brand. You may not think of your trainer this way, but he or she is a brand, just like Tide or Crest. If your trainer's brand has value, it can add value to your horse. Put another way, horse value is very subjective, and your horse could be worth a lot more in your trainer's barn than in your own.

(8) Facilities. Your trainer has the right facilities to show a horse. They have an arena with good footing, and the jumps or other equipment required to show what your horse can do. To make your horse look his best, they have a wash rack, clippers, and other grooming necessities ready at hand. And, the training barn ambience can enhance your horse's value - buyers feel like they have to pay more money for horses kept at nice barns.

(9) Time for Appointments. Trainers are usually at the barn all day, every day. So, they can meet prospective buyers nearly any time, not just after work or on weekends.

(10) Negotiation Skills. Because they sell a lot of horses, experienced trainers can easily separate the tire-kickers from the serious buyers. When a buyer is interested, trainers know what to do to tip them over the edge into buying the horse. In negotiations, experienced trainers know how far to push different types of horse buyers on price or terms without losing the sale, and they know what is reasonable for the market. In short, trainers know how to close a horse sale deal.

1 comment:

Auld Macdonald Farm said...

This is the way it SHOULD work, but I have yet to have any of the trainers we've been with sell anything -- not a horse, not even a breeding to a our champion stallion! I find trainers are good at training and, frankly, even with the commission, why should they do anything to sell a horse out of their barn when they can do the job they were hired for and collect that income every month? What trainers are good at along this line is finding a horse for a client to bring to their barn. Sure, they talk a good game about what they can do for me as a customer in their barn, but when it comes down to it, they're trainers and that's their expertise. In my humble opinion, to expect more will lead to frustration. I find that too many trainers fit into their own section of the 'all hat and no cattle' category you last wrote about.