“For sale” (To the right home)
When we sell our horses, we’re often asked why we insist on potential new owners coming to meet our horses in person before they commit to them, especially given the number of horses that are sold “unseen” over the internet via videos and pictures. There’s nothing wrong with buying “unseen”, providing you know exactly what you are doing and indeed, to be fair we’ve done it a number of times ourselves.
But as a small stud that has invested huge amounts of time and emotional energy in getting our foals to the point where they are ready to go to their new homes, we can afford to be (and often are) very picky about where we place our horses. When you’ve stayed up all night with pregnant mares in labour, watched their foals take their first breath and first wobbly footsteps, then seen those foals grow and develop, it’s only natural to want the best home for them.
Oddly enough, often that “Right Home” is not your “10-star, competitive, competition home” (to quote one potential purchaser who contacted us about a foal). Don’t get me wrong, we want our foals to reach their full potential and we have and do sell foals into very competitive homes, where they compete at the very highest level possible, but we only do that if it is right for that particular horse, and only after they have been properly assessed and we feel they are capable of achieving what is wanted from them.
We don’t care that you might have come back to riding after a break, or are a bit stiff so might only hack about a bit, or even if you’re the top western supremo who has won 1000’s of ribbons at world championships. What we want for our horses is someone who values the horses for themselves and who understands that they have “off” days, as well as “on” days. They understand that our horses are young, so they are happy to take the time to teach them and help them learn how to do something willingly, rather than bully them and make them do something through fear.
We want our horses to be in long term homes, not shunted from pillar to post because they’re “a problem horse”. It’s also why we get them started professionally at weaning by a specialist western trainer who does it day in and day out for a living – so we can legitimately say that they’ve been properly assessed and that “yes, they will do X and Y”. (Yes, we’ve also been asked why we “waste our money” on “professionally starting” foals too!).
In short, we care about our horses. We want to stay in touch with their new homes and every time we get an update on how they’re doing, or a new achievement they’ve managed, it genuinely makes us happy. That’s why we want to meet the people who want to buy them. We don’t take the approach “is our horse good enough for you?”, we take the approach “Are you good enough for our horse?”.