Better to sell unbroken or backed? 5 year old

foxy1

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I've got a smart Irish Sports Horse (TIH) mare that came from Ireland last year as an immature 4 year old. She was very underweight, so I've had her teeth done, wormed, feet trimmed and turned her away to grow in to herself for the winter.

I've had health issues in the interim and it's prompted me to have a think about making some life changes, and I've decided to sell her as a result.

Would you try to sell her unbacked, baring in mind she's now 5 so will people expect her to be in work really, and find that off putting? Or do I send her away to be started with a good pro to be started?

She has a lovely calm temperament, really moves beautifully and has a natural huge jump- I know this because she will jump over the field gate or fence if she's on her own in the field, I've seen her jump 1.25m from 2 strides out and calmly walk in to her stable!

Best way to sell?
 

Rowreach

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Like others, definitely backed, mostly because she has changed hands a few times which, however honest your situation may be, just leads to too many questions.

I've bought older unbacked horses from breeders who have 30 horses in a field and simply never have time to do anything with them, but their history is known.

You wouldn't need to have more than the basics done, but if you can show her to be straightforward and ready to be ridden away, it will take away a lot of the suspicions.
 

rara007

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Maybe put her up for what you would accept as is and go from there? And if no interest then get her backed. I’ve just sold one that age, backed and ridden a little but not fully ‘ridden away’, sold from field, just showed basic lunging and videos of in work. Probably could have got plenty more for her back up and in work but for me the reduced stress of just selling as is was worth it. Takes that slight bit of gamble out, which is of course reflected in the price, but I’m not a dealer! The market has gone wild, I covered my costs in buying her and part of the training I’ve put in, and she sold within a week.
 
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LEC

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This is the type of horse I like - a blank canvas which is mature enough to start work and will be cheaper as needs backing. But I would expect it to be a lot cheaper because you have left it in a field.

so really my answer is it depends on price. If you only paid £2k for instance then I wouldn’t bother getting backed as it will cost you £180- £200 a week for someone decent to do it and though you would be able to furnish that price, the majority of the riding public are unable to cope/want such a green horse. I have numerous pro friends moaning all the time about it.
If you paid £8k then yes it will need to be backed as you won’t recoup your money otherwise.
 
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LEC

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My concern is also having people come and try a relatively newly backed horse when I don't know how well they ride.
I paid 4.5k for her, I wouldn't mind losing a bit to a good home.
I would test the water and write a really good advert and get some decent photos in hand and being trotted up. Also write a paragraph about why you are selling and that she is a blank canvas ready to go on. List attributes like good to lead/handle/farrier etc I would test it at that price and if decent breeding add that to the advert.

If after 2 weeks you have no interest then you can consider other options. I will say that this time of year is a crappy time to sell, so if you can hold on for a bit longer. I am off to Ireland in March looking for project horses in the sales but couldn’t take one on now as my fields are flooded and I don’t want to start backing horses in this weather. Everything is just hard work.
 

Jango

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I'd snap your hand off for a horse like this if I knew you in real life, I'd happily buy an unbacked 5yo from someone I knew so knew the history was true. However you'd be mad to buy an unbacked 5yo off a stranger, as when people have difficult to back horses they just say they haven't tried and sell from the field.

Personally I'd try and do some word of mouth advertising locally, then if you don't have any luck get her backed (just very basics) and if she's quality you should get more than you paid for her.
 

little_critter

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I would test the water and write a really good advert and get some decent photos in hand and being trotted up. Also write a paragraph about why you are selling and that she is a blank canvas ready to go on. List attributes like good to lead/handle/farrier etc I would test it at that price and if decent breeding add that to the advert.

If after 2 weeks you have no interest then you can consider other options. I will say that this time of year is a crappy time to sell, so if you can hold on for a bit longer. I am off to Ireland in March looking for project horses in the sales but couldn’t take one on now as my fields are flooded and I don’t want to start backing horses in this weather. Everything is just hard work.
I was thinking this, advertise her as unbacked and see if you get interest. In the meantime speak to your pro and arrange to send her for backing in say 2-3 weeks if she’s not bought in the meantime. You’ll know within 1-2 weeks whether your advert gets any interest.
 

ycbm

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I would also suggest before you spend probably over a thousand on getting her backed that you have a 2 stage vetting done to be as sure as you can that she will pass a vet.

This might also change your mind about how to sell her. Because if you do vet her and she fails, you'll have an unsaleable horse on your hands. So if you are looking for least stress and money is not the issue, it might be best to sell her from the field.
.
 

foxy1

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I can wait until March/April as she's turned away with a friend's yearling so really not causing me extra work, apart from daily feeding.
I would test the water and write a really good advert and get some decent photos in hand and being trotted up. Also write a paragraph about why you are selling and that she is a blank canvas ready to go on. List attributes like good to lead/handle/farrier etc I would test it at that price and if decent breeding add that to the advert.

If after 2 weeks you have no interest then you can consider other options. I will say that this time of year is a crappy time to sell, so if you can hold on for a bit longer. I am off to Ireland in March looking for project horses in the sales but couldn’t take one on now as my fields are flooded and I don’t want to start backing horses in this weather. Everything is just hard work.
I would also suggest before you spend probably over a thousand on getting her backed that you have a 2 stage vetting done to be as sure as you can that she will pass a vet.

This might also change your mind about how to sell her. Because if you do vet her and she fails, you'll have an unsaleable horse on your hands. So if you are looking for least stress and money is not the issue, it might be best to sell her from the field.
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That's a good idea re. vetting, the pro I have in mind will probably cost nearer 2k for 8 weeks, but she will be well ridden, hacking alone/ in traffic etc
 
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Assuming horse would be started correctly then I would defo prefer to buy something backed even if just small education such as basic walk-trot-halt and so on so forth
 
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