I know that it is human nature to want as much money for anything we sell as is possible. I also believe, I never want to get the very last dollar that a horse is worth. In this way, I leave some for the next guy and everybody is happy that way. I am in the horse business and I hope you either get your champion or make money. This way, just maybe, you will come back and buy another one.

There are certain things you can do to prepare your horse for sale. Training is the biggest one. If you want to ensure that your horse has a great future, goes to a good home and is never mistreated; invest in his training. Either do it yourself or hire a trainer. But please don’t raise a horse, because foals are cute, and forget about the training after he is grown. And do the ground basics young and start the under saddle portion of his training by three years – two years is even better. Horses are wonderful animals, but they are not big dogs. Don’t treat them as such and they will be a joy to be around and own. There is always a home for a well mannered horse that is good at his job, even if that job is just the occasional trail horse.

If you are selling a young horse of riding age, he should have his basics down and stopping nice in order to get the most money for him. He should also have good muscle tone and be in good flesh, no matter the age.

If you are selling a weanling or a yearling, they should be halter broke. You should be able to handle and brush them. It is to your benefit if they are broke to go in the trailer also.

A calm well mannered horse is the easiest to sell. So don’t push your horse beyond his limits when someone comes to see him.

All the training or accomplishments in the world won’t help to sell a skinny horse with a rough coat that is dirty. If you have your horse up for sale in the summer and you have a place to keep him out of the sun, do so. A horse looks much better that is not sun bleached. If there are flies out, have a fly mask for your horse. Goopy eyes don’t look or feel good. In the winter, if you can keep a blanket on your horse, he will have a nicer hair coat and be easier to keep clean. If you can clip your horse to make him look nice, do so also. If your horse looks like you don’t want him or don’t like him, no one else will either. The easiest horses to sell are the ones you don’t really care if you sell or not.

Please don’t try to sell a barrel horse, or any competition horse for that matter, that is so out of shape they cannot really be tried out. Farrier work is also important. If he is barefoot or shod, please have your horse current so that he can be ridden to his ability and he looks cared for. Is he current on his de-worming and vaccination schedule? I know that sometimes when a person is ready to sell a horse they do not want to put any more money into them, but this is the only way to get the most for one. No one wants a horse that no one cares about.

When selling or buying, a horse’s current health and soundness status is another important consideration. I recommend a pre-purchase exam by a veterinarian – at least a basic one. Most any equine veterinarian can do these. I believe the basic one will cost the buyer around $200 not including radiographs or any blood tests. This is important for both the buyer and the seller. As we know, a horse is a living thing and anything can happen or occur. As a seller, I am not a vet and do not pretend to be. Yes, I have been around horses most of my life and think I know a few things, BUT I am not a vet. If I, or almost any seller for that matter, say I know of nothing physically wrong with the horse, that is the truth, but again not a veterinarian. If there is no vet check and something comes up later with the horse, there is always this cloud of doubt that the seller knew, when in fact she may not have. This is why a vet check is important for the seller. For the buyer, a pre-purchase exam is a picture of how the horse is today and if any special maintenance is necessary to keep this horse winning and healthy. Or possibly that this horse has more to deal with than the buyer wants. A horse’s current health status is an important consideration when buying or selling a horse.

Here’s a big one, PRICE. Remember, accomplishments are a plus, training is a plus, bad habits are a minus, age can be either a plus or a minus, and pedigree can all factor into the price of the horse.

Pedigree or bloodlines are most important on a mare or a young horse. Pedigree is the family tree. Has the sire or dam been a winner in your chosen event? Have they produced winners in your chosen event?  If the momma has and the daddy has, the baby probably will. These are the kinds of things that make a young horse worth more money.

Good luck selling your barrel horse. If I can be of help, let me know.

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