1. Deciding to sell
-Why are you selling? As a buyer, I want to know! Did you buy as a kid safe horse, but it's not best suited for kids? Or maybe you show western, but the horse is better typed for huntseat? This will help buyers in their process.
-Are you serious about selling, or just putting your horse up to see what comes along? Does this horse need to sell ASAP due to x (finances, escrow,etc), or are you prepared to sit on it? Please be serious when listing your horse. There is nothing worse for people to trial, prepurchase, etc only to find out once they show up with a trailer that the seller just isn't ready to let it go quite yet!
-emotional value does not equate money value.
-research what other horses in your area are going for.
-just because there's 20 other horses of equal quality listed at x price doesn't mean they are selling.
-decide what the absolute least you're willing to sell for is, and be prepared to negotiate.
-are you willing to negotiate extra deals for an excellent home (ex: proven show horse going to show home where it will be in full time training continuing its career)?
-what adds or decreases value. Adds could include training time, show records, breed points, kid safe (would dish out my life savings for a horse I would be comfortable putting a 3 year old with a brain tumor on). Decreases could be unregistered, unbroke horse of riding age, lack of show record etc.. Just to name a few for each.
-are you willing to take payments?
3. Writing a for sale ad.
-Horses name, age sex, breed. If registered: which registry, name, and number.
-if applicable: is the horse in a payback system. Ex: APHA breeders trust
-what is the horse suited for? Ie: hunter prospect, or proven wp show horse etc. is this something a kid could go show in short stirrup? Or is an advanced rider needed constantly?
-if horse is not proven, how far along is it in training? Could it go show in a couple months, or is it greener than grass?
-if horse is proven: it's accomplishments. Money won, awards won, etc.
-if horse has long list of accomplishments- touch on the majors. Ex- world show top 5, multiple circuit champion in x classes.
-Any vices horse may have. Is it squirrelly in traffic, bad to clip? Won't stand tied? Hates bath time? Spooky? Rears? Cribber? A kicker? Etc you get it.
-any major illnesses/soundness issues?
-does the horse require a special feed, supplements or light maintenance (ie: gets hocks injected 2x yearly). Many people don't mind these things- so long as they know!
-who trained the horse while you've owned it? Is it in full time training, or do you do all the work? If horse is with a trainer- who?
-if a mare.. Ever been bred and foals show record if applicable.
-why are you selling?
-are you willing to make exceptions on price for the right situation?
-willing to accept payments for right situation?
-are you willing to accept reasonable offers, or is your price firm?
Your ad should be detailed, but to the point. I'd suggest if applicable, making these extras for serious buyers:
-thorough vet/maintenence records. Include everything! Farm calls for vaccines, workings, farrier work, any changes in medications, changes in shoing, dates of injury with time off and recovery process. No such thing as too much.
-thorough show record by year. Doesn't need to include every class of every show, but any major class wins, money won, futurity classes, high points, year end awards etc.
-use good pictures. Make sure they're clear, good lighting, and at good angles. Use a nice side confo, and if possible a quality action shot. If you don't have good ones, you may be able to get reasonably priced ones from an amateur photographer in your area.
-a good video. If the horse is broke, w/t/c both ways and a back for initial video. Show ready not necessary but clean is! If the horse is a hunter horse- over fences. If its a stock breed horsemanship/trail horse, brief pattern videos. Etc. I don't want to sort through a crappy video or a 20 minute long one. If its of a show class- make sure it's where the horse is well spaced and not buried to the point you can't see it!
-consider a broker or trainer that may provide sales services to maximize marketing potential
-market online on reputable sources and locally at barns, shows, tack stores etc
-call trainers/horsey friends you know and let them know what you have in case they hear anyone looking for something similar.
-forums are great, be sure to market on ones to your horses use too!
-be prepared to spend a little on marketing.
-buyers may be coming in from further than you think.
-Make sure you currently have time to accommodate showing your horse.
-if you already have a viewing scheduled, tell others that contact you someone's coming to look at horse on x date. That way when first group shows up w trailer and cash and takes horse home, you haven't burnt a potential contact down the road.
-if you board, be sure you're compliant with BOs outside rider rules.. Ex: do they need to sign waivers?
-lying by omission is still considered failure to disclose in many areas. If you don't tell buyer about x problem because they don't ask- you are still potentially liable.