Wednesday, April 29, 2009

People do the funniest things in front of a camera!


"Rico has shown halter, hunter, 1st level dressage, and games. He is now jumping and has free jumped up to 4'. He is ready to start show jumping. He is very fast on his feet, brave over fences and fancy in the dressage ring. In his First dressage show doing 1st level he got 65% in both test 1 and 2. He is a hot horse so he is only for an experienced rider.He has also done pleasure driving and Hunter under saddle."

As evidenced by reality shows everywhere, when you turn a camera on, people do stupid things in front of it. We see this time and again in sale videos. This horse is being marketed as a dressage horse and jumper, so you'd think the video would include, you know, dressage and jumping. People who buy horses in these disciplines want to see the horse performing - ideally with a neatly dressed rider (or show ring video). That's what gets them out to look at a horse.

But no. Turn on a camera and suddenly we have Jackass: The Horse Sale Video. We have to show the horse being ponied off a quad, lying down on command (well, I don't think the rolling part that followed was part of the command), being led around with a tiny helmetless infant on his back, and being bombed around bareback in a halter by a helmetless girl with her heels up. None of these things are turn-ons to a buyer in the sport horse world. In fact, they are turn OFFS.

We don't see any dressage. We see a little bit of a low jump toward the end. We see no evidence that the horse can jump a course, even a course of low jumps. We don't see a lead change.

Look, this is just not the way to sell your horse - particularly in this tough economy. You need to know your market. When you are out there trying to get $5000 for a plain looking QH-Saddlebred cross gelding that is a whopping 15.2 hands and is self-described as a hot horse who needs an experienced rider, you need to be showing talents more substantial than ponying off a quad. I can get a horse who will do that, do tricks, and ride bareback for $500 at any auction - what is it about Rico that makes him worth ten times that?
You're not making a video to send to Grandma to show her your horsey - you're making a sales presentation. And if you don't think of it that way, don't blame the "bad economy" when you can't sell your horse.

So what's the weirdest, most inappropriate and irrelevant-to-purpose thing you've seen in a horse sale video lately? I can never believe how many horses are jumped into the beds of pickups or ridden into a horse trailer (can we say "Darwin Awards?") , but I am guessing there's something sillier out there. What have you seen?

P.S. Small follow up: I understand Randy Byers is now telling people that I am a vengeful ex-girlfriend who is out to get him. I have never met the guy!