I was going to post actual examples of ads from Craigslist and then pick on them but (a) I'm a chicken that the posters of said ads will end up seeing my snark and being offended and (b) it all boils down to a few points anyway.
As you might have deduced, I've spent a TON of time browsing horse ads on Craigslist an other places. I've come to conclude that people, especially on Craigslist, need a lesson on how to place an ad for a horse.
Include, at a MINIMUM, the following information on your ad with a horse for sale:
- Photo - preferably at least one photo from the side, no tack, horse on level ground, etc., and so on, to show conformation; photos showing front, back, and under saddle for bonus points; video under saddle for extra-super-bonus points
- Age of horse - some of us don't want to have to train a baby, others don't want to have a horse that will need to retire within six months
- Height of horse - some of us are quite tall and would drag our heels on the ground riding a short horse, others are of shorter stature and wouldn't be able to mount a 17 hand horse without a stepladder
- Sex of horse - some people don't care, but many, many people do.
- Training level, discipline(s), and vices - I lumped these all together, but basically just tell us what the horse has done, what it can do, and what it does but shouldn't do. And don't use the word "prospect" without an actual discipline in front of it and the knowledge that the horse has both the conformation and temperament for that discipline. There is no such thing as a "quarter horse prospect," a "filly prospect," or a "palomino prospect." Those are dumb phrases.
- Price - I don't want to "make an offer" unless there's already a starting point. You must have some idea of what you think your horse is worth, and what is the absolute lowest you would accept. Plunk a number somewhere between those two (or at one end or the other) into your ad, and indicate whether it's negotiable or not.
- Breed - I put this last, because some people put too much emphasis on breed stereotypes, in my opinion, but plenty of people DO care, so it should be included in the ad.
Also, palomino isn't a breed (though there is a registry) and not all pintos are Paints (as in the breed, though there is also a registry for pintos regardless whether they are also Paints). Not all dark brown horses are black, and nor are they bay, not that it really matters when it comes right down to it.
What you should not include:
- The word "prospect" just because it's a discipline you wish you'd done, or barrels because the horse is a speed demon, or western pleasure because you can't make the horse go. A horse isn't a "prospect" unless it truly has the ability; it's not just some word you can throw around to make it sound like your horse knows stuff it doesn't.
- That your 28-year-old horse has "a lot of years left." No, it most likely doesn't. You can't guarantee that, and if it did, you wouldn't be selling it. Nothing ticks me off more than people selling their old horses. You ride it till it can't anymore, then want someone else to pay the feed bills and be there for its last days?
- Breeding potential of random horses. It's a mare, and you can't figure out how to train her to ride, so sell her as a broodmare. Or it's still a stallion because you can't afford the vet bill to geld him, so sell breedings to him, or sell him as a breeding stallion. Uh, no.
- Blurry, dark, or far-away photos. Photos that only show the horse's body with a saddle on. Photos only of the horse's face, however cute it may be.
- Tri-color paint. No. Unless it is extremely rare, your horse is a bay (or possibly buckskin) paint. While they are different colors to your eye (brown on body, black on mane/tail), that color of horse is a bay. Add splashes of white, and it's a bay paint.
- Terrible spelling. Your castrated horse is neither a gilding or guilding, it doesn't neck reign, it doesn't have smooth gates (unless you've been sanding the gates to its paddock), you don't work it in the round pin.
- Crooked pictures - I'm sorry your camera doesn't have a tilt sensor, but they make software for that, I promise. Meanwhile, my neck is getting sore and/or my arms are getting a workout from tilting my laptop.
- "No scammers or spammers." Because if I'm out to scam people on Craigslist, and am trolling the horse ads to see who I can work over, and see this warning in someone's ad, I'm really going to tell myself, "Oh, they said no scammers. Better be moving along, then." No one wants scammers, save yourself the keystrokes and just use your brain when dealing with random strangers from the internet.
Okay, I lied. Here are some actual Craigslist ads, because I just can't stand it:
WTB: begginer horse - $500
1 year old Black Lab - $75
A new landlord took over and now we can't have cats anymore, I can't afford to move so I need to rehome him.
Cozmo is a very loveable kitty, great with kids, smart.
His favorite things to do - Cuddle, he LOVES the bath tub after its been used and does ok while taking baths, Lay in the sun next to the sliding glass door (I live on the 3rd floor of an apt so he does great on the deck as well) idk how he would do out side other then a deck he can't get down from.. No he's not fixed I just recently lost my job and get it done any time soon. He's free so the $25+ u would spend on any other re homing fee, You could go get him fixed at the humane society for $25.
He'll come with the rest of his food & litter
call or txt
I can send pics upon request.
Major needs a forever homeMajor is a 23 year old gelding that needs a forever home. He has done a great job as a trail horse for us, but now he needs to retire. If you can help him out please call. Thank you.
AMAZING DEAL FOR THE HARD 2 STOP HORSE - $20I am selling my 2 bits cause I sold the horse and don't need them any longer,
***10 inch shank twisted mouth combination type bit [$20]
***8 inch shank bicycle chain nose-copper twisted mouth [$75]
SPECIAL DEAL!!! Both bits together for $65!
Both bits are in excellent shape! I used them on my barrel horse that had no breaks and they worked miracles!