About Me

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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.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Trainers Earning Sale Commissions for "Nothing"? Think Again!

After a lot of soul-searching, I decided to switch over from showing on the APHA circuit to doing 3-day eventing. As a result, I decided to sell my APHA Western Pleasure horse, Big Time Ben ("Benny"). Though today's market seems to be steadily improving, it's still vitally important to do a good job of presenting your horse for sale. I have a renewed respect for what it takes to start marketing a show horse! Here's the rough timeline of my Sunday.

10:45 - 11:00 a.m.:  Round up show saddle, show pad and show bridle, put in wheelbarrow, trundle from house to barn.
11:00 - 11:30 a.m.: Put Benny in cross-ties, clip his muzzle, ears, and bridle path.  Thank my lucky stars he is easy to clip.
11:30 a.m.- 12:15 p.m.: Bathe Benny (who is a loud chestnut tobiano - lots of white).  Finish off tiny amount left in bottle of purple shampoo, trudge up to house for second bottle.
12:15 - 12:30 p.m.: Comb out Benny's enormous (but gorgeous) tail.  Trim tail so it doesn't drag on ground.
12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.: Band Benny's (thick) mane. 
1:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.: Tack Benny up.
1:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.: Belatedly remember it's impossible to hold horse and take photos at same time.  Flag down DH (dear husband) on tractor, solicit DH's help to take photos.  Feel distinct relief that he is willing to help.  Try to find flat and attractive part of pasture for photo location, settle for reasonably flat and not too unattractive. Pose Benny.  Pose Benny again. Hand Benny over to DH, Benny immediately steps off with me, not realizing he has been handed off to DH.  Tell Benny whoa.  Hand camera over to DH, re-pose Benny, ask DH to shoot a bunch of photos, which he does (like the good sport he is).
1:30 p.m. - 1:35 p.m.: Review photos, and every single one has a cocked ear, tail in mid-swish, mouth in mid-yawn, resting leg, or other defect. Re-pose Benny. DH obligingly takes more photos. Review photos and decide there are a few that are good enough.
1:35 p.m. - 1:40 p.m.: Return to barn with Benny in tow for spurs, video camera and tripod. Put on spurs.
1:40 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.: Holding Benny, set up tripod. Stop Benny from chewing on tripod. Attach video camera to tripod. Stop Benny from knocking over video camera and tripod.
1:45 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.: Push "record" on video camera, walk Benny down to arena.  Tighten very loose cinch, mount up.  Ride, trying to consider what prospective buyers will want to see.  Halfway through ride, realize equitation is appalling, remember (mostly) to sit up straight and keep eyes and chin up. Walk back to video camera and stop recording.
2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.: Untack Benny, rinse him off, braid his tail back up, and put him out in the pasture with his buddies. Watch him immediately roll in a nice patch of red dirt. Consider that I will have to bathe him before every prospective buyer comes to see him. Resolve to schedule prospective buyers after working hours whenever possible.
3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m: Put show saddle, show pad and show bridle in wheelbarrow, trundle back up to house so they won't sit in barn and get dirty.
3:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.: Find firewire cable, plug video camera into laptop. Realize video camera has to be plugged into outlet to upload video to laptop, plug in video camera.  Upload video.
3:30 p.m. - 3:40 p.m.: Connect USB cable to camera, wonder why still photos are not uploading to laptop. Remember that laptop has memory card slot, take memory card out of camera and plug into slot. Upload still photos.
3:40 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.: Review raw video footage, scarf down leftover Thai food (spoiling nice dinner that DH makes). Cringe at own equitation in first half of video footage. Figure out which video editing software that came with laptop seems like best option to produce horse sale video. 30 minutes later, realize selected video editing software is not best choice, change mind, start over. Bumble through learning new software. Continue bumbling through learning new software. Edit video down to bare essentials. Find suitable song to put with video (considering that video audio mostly consists of video camera lens cap clacking against tripod - v. annoying!). Tweak video until satisfied (or relatively so). Create ad on Dreamhorse.com, pay the $30 fee, and upload photos.
9:00 p.m. - 9:20 p.m.: Try to recall which email address I used to sign up for You Tube account. Guess wrong.  Succeed on second try. Upload video. Log back into Dreamhorse, add video link to ad.
9:20 - 9:40 p.m.: Post photos and video of Benny to Facebook, announce that I'm selling him. Watch friends' comments come in, feel sad.  

Moral of the story:  If you think your trainer has done "nothing" more than create an ad for your horse and make a video, they still deserve their commission if those tools (which take longer than you might think to produce) help your horse sell!

Here is Benny's Dreamhorse.com ad (with a link to the video).

1 comment:

Tara said...

THANK YOU! Clients never seem to undersand why it takes us a week to get photos and video. Sometimes it takes more than one try, not to mention there ae more things in a day to do than video/photo one horse. Good luck with your sell, I know it's hard. We will keep our ears open for you.