I think a substantial background in horses has everything to do with it.. most valued opinions in the horse industry come those backed by a successful career in breeding, selling, training, showing, judging. Backed by a foundation of success is proof of their skill at what they know. Horses.
If I were to say have a QH... And had a choice between the judge from congress the year prior to me selling the horse who has been breeding a successful program for twenty years and the guy running an auction? Congress Judge please. A judge can tell you the good and bad. I feel like an auction or sales handler would promote positive attributes without mentioning, but not lying about, flaws.
*not saying all sales/auction people are shady but they have a job. Just a personal preference or opinion for me.. :)
Bingo! ;) I am a professional Equine Appraiser, so can answer some of the questions on here. While there are are some instances in which equine appraisals are not needed, there are many instances in which they are required. In answering the OPs question in regards to becoming an equine appraiser, I'm going to be honest and not sugar coat it like the American Society of Equine Appraisers does. ;)
At one time, there used to be a ton of ads out there for becoming an equine appraiser. People seemed to come out of the woodwork, with no solid equine background or credentials, and started hanging up their shingles and then not understanding why they were not getting any business. ;) Unfortunately, equine appraisal certification courses/society's do a real disservice to the industry by making people think they will make a ton of money doing this...but then do not prepare them for the job. For example, if hiring an equine expert witness for a court case, who wants to hire a nobody and hope to win? ;) I don't mean to be harsh, just being honest. ;) I have been a trainer, competitor and breeder for 25+ years, clinician, Senior judge with both Equine Canada and USEF, etc., etc...and what clients tend to look for is credentials. Do I get work? Yes. But I've also spent a lifetime in the horse industry and built up my credentials and reputation to the point that I'm "useable" in court cases and can be presented as a credible witness, etc.
For the most part, and in my personal experience, the largest part of equine appraisals is often doing court cases - disputes, lawsuits, etc. But again, those don't happen every day. Many of them just tear your heart out and make you feel sorry for the horse. You have to have confidence and knowledge to argue your values in mediation, people skills and confidence in the court room and need to have a thick skin for many of the heartbreaking cases that walk through the door.
Due to my credentials and experience, the largest volume of work I get is getting hired to argue against inexperienced equine appraisers who haven't done enough research, really haven't understood what they were doing or have handed in a poorly done appraisal. As long as the appraisal organizations keep handing out certificates like tic tacs, I keep getting more work. ;)
I do get used by the insurance companies...but for the most part, a horse has to pass away in order for my services to be used. Again, that doesn't happen very often...and most insurance companies already have an equine appraiser on retainer, so can be almost impossible to get your foot in that door if it isn't already.
Would I ever count on making a decent income? For me personally, yes. But with my background and expertise, it's a good fit to have as part of our program. But for "Sally Joe" living out on an acreage and having only done trail riding or open showing for the last 10 years, I would expect no profit to be made whatsoever. I'm absolutely not meaning to trivialize or put those people down at all, but you just can't expect the general equine public to be satisfied with someone with a lack of credentials in a job that favors good credentials, as it can mean the difference between winning or losing money. ;) The fees to become an equine appraiser through the various organizations can get expensive in a hurry. Unless that person has an extensive and knowledgeable background in the equine industry, I think the only one making any money is the organization handing out the certificates. ;)