Ethics & Dollars
In Buying & Selling

by Rita Greslin

One of the most frequently asked questions by owners of American AztecaSM horses is "What is my horse worth?" Or " What price should I ask if I want to sell my horse?

This is a very good question and an important one. How much the horse is worth is of great importance and influences decisions made about breeding, owning, buying and selling.
It is of great importance to the future of the breed and the breeders that a consistent value is established.

The merit of the horse to it's owner is obviously immeasurable, as we all know what a treasure they are to own and ride, but how much is it really worth if you want to buy one or sell one. If I produce a foal what can I expect to sell it for ?
The actual amount a horse is "worth" and what you can sell it for can vary greatly for many reasons. The amount you can sell it for is not only based on the "worth" of the animal but your ability to sell or market it.

A horse for sale from a known breeder or a broker can often sell for more than a horse for sale by a private individual. Why, because the known breeder or broker has built a reputation, has contacts, knows where to advertise, where to find people interested in his breed and has the ability to advertise efficiently and knows how to best represent the horse in order to sell it.

The individual does not always have the experience, opportunities or advertising dollars available that a breeder does. What you can sell a horse for depends mostly on you and what you can put into the sale, not the value of the horse.

A breeder or a person with the ability to market horses will probably have an easier time but you can sell yours too with the right attitude.

So how do we determine a value that YOU can live with, sell for and not devalue the horse or the breed or other breeders at the same time?

First, establish a base value. Set a price for your horse that is comparable to most other horses of the same type. That is what your horse is "worth", his "value". That is what horses of this breed average in price.
Remember of course, you will have to take into consideration, quality, training, age, bloodlines, flaws and other factors and your own horse may be more or less valuable according to those considerations. Be realistic as to how your horse compares.
Go shopping yourself, do your home work to see what other horses like yours are priced at. Once you have determined an approximate value for your horse according to other comparable animals, use that. Put it in your advertising. Let buyers know that is what the horse is "worth" even though you may be selling it for less.

When it come to selling it, if you feel you can't attain the actual value of the horse or if you are able to sell yours for less for what ever reason, for instance, not as much invested, right home, show home, must sell or whatever, that is perfectly all right.
Remember you can sell it for what ever you want to and there is nothing wrong with that, but it's value or worth is still there if you have established that up front.
So sell to the "right home" for a steal or sell because of divorce or moving etc... for whatever price it takes to sell your horse but always let the buyers and the others looking at your ads know, that they are getting a bargain not an inexpensive horse.

If I buy a $10,000 horse for $5,000.00 I always consider it a bargain not a $5000 horse. I look at that horse as a $10,000 horse, that I got for a better price. That is good for me the horse, it¹s future and the breed.

A friend of mine who was getting divorced was forced to sell her horses. She sold a very nice colt for very little just because she had a deadline. Because the seller didn't set a value and the buyer got a steal, the buyer chose to name that horse "Dirt Cheap". Now what kind of image did that buyer get of the breed, the seller? the sire and dam, the horse itself? What image would that horse carry for it's life?
Can you see how that can be damaging to all involved and especially the horse.

Establishing the value up front is good for you, your horse, the breed, and very important for the other people like you who are also trying to do the same.
Consistency is important, be consistent with other breeders and all will benefit.
It is hard to sell an animal for it's worth when a neighbor is selling the same breed for a fraction of the the price.
That will eventually cause the breed in general loose it's value.

Be considerate of your fellow breeders and owners. When you have to sell, or are able to sell horses for less, let the readers of your ads know what they are worth so the other breeders don't look like they are asking too much.
Here is another thing to consider. If a buyer has been looking at ads and knows that most of the horses are running about $7500.00 and he comes across one of the same type for $4000. the first thing he thinks is... What is wrong with that one? Why is this horse so cheap to comparable others? He will often not consider it because he “perceives” it to be of lesser quality.

On the other hand if he sees most horses around $7500 and one that says "Normal price $7500 but moving must sell, will take $4000.00. Then he will consider that one as a valuable animal, at a bargain price.

The American AztecaSM is a rare and sought after breed. Their value lies not only in their heritage but the fact that they have so much going for them. They are beautiful, talented, athletic, versatile horses with a stamina, a great disposition and superior intelligence. When it comes to owning a horse, it doesn't get any better than that, you have everything you could want in one horse. That is worth a lot, it is of great "value".

It is important that we keep a consistent image and "value" for them if we want them to build a reputation as a desired animal.
Be thoughtful of the breed, your horse and others selling when you choose your price by establishing “value” first.

You as breeder or owner, your horse and the breed all deserve to be valued as precious and given the rightful opportunity for a promising future.     


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