Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Selling Horses..................Part 2

Part 1

I should mention right up front that what the client was looking for were foals. We're not talking about adult Arabian horses or even yearlings. We're talking about 2, 3 and 4 month old foals. The client had agents combing the country looking for Marwan El Shaqab fillies of 2008 wanting to purchase the best possible filly available.

Right off the bat that should tell you that we're talking about money here.....lots of money. Some of the fillies that have been looked at had six figure price tags.

Because the stallion, Marwan Al Shaqab, has now left the country, every breeder under the sun who bred to the horse in 2007 believes that their filly is that one. Price tags weren't going to say much more than bloodlines at this point. Not until the stallion has been gone a while and the market settled down will the price tags make any kind of sense. The really good ones will still cost an arm and a leg but the mediocre ones will have sorted themselves out and their prices will fall.

To my way of thinking it wasn't about the price tag at all in this situation It was about the quality of the foals. I doubt the client was only looking at fillies with huge price tages. I believed this client was looking for "the" super star filly that Marwan must have produced in 2008. This client was clearly looking for quality.

I've been careful over the years to keep my eyes and ears open around those people at the top that might be able to teach me something. Wanting to learn how not to be barn blind and see what my horses really are, these lessons learned by observation have been most helpful to me. I've learned in that process to depict what type of foal grows into what type of horse and also what those big halter boys are looking for.

I've also learned what to expect from those big boys. I know how they operate and how to read between the lines. I know how to tell when they really like a horse and when they are placating a stallion owner because of the money it puts in their pockets.

It's that information that made me think that either of the two foals I knew about just might be what this client was looking to outstanding individual, a cut above the rest. I had reason to believe that either of these horses might just fit that bill.

So I told my agent friend, Richard, what I knew about these foals. You know me, I told him pretty much everything I knew about these foals. I built the case for why these horses were quality and worth his time to look.

I had first hand experience with this colt. I had seen him shortly after his birth. He had that "spidery" look the big boys seek. Not only that but he had great balance. Despite his folded up appearance and angular, gangly looking limbs (part of the spidery thing), there was definitely a look about him. I suspected that this colt was one the big halter boys would droll over. I couldn't wait to see what was said when the BNT came to visit.

Then, when the big name halter boy came during the Region 5 Championships, I knew what his reaction had been to this horse. Despite the fact he was escorted all over the countryside to see multiple foals by this nationally known Marwan son, the trainer had been smitten with this particular colt.

The trainer kept asking my friends what they wanted for this colt. Her response was "Make me a offer. He's a colt. I just want him out of here." She gave him that response over and over as he continued to tell her how much he liked this colt and how much he liked the mare.

The trainer made a point to take the owners aside (out of ear shot of the stallion owner) to tell them how special this colt was. He made a point to tell them what a great job they'd done of presenting this colt. He wanted them to know they'd done everything right.

I know from experience what it means when you've made that kind of impression on one of those big names. The fact this big name trainer told my friends (again out of ear shot of the stallion owner) that they should start at $100,000. They could come down from there if necessary.

Although I had never seen the filly, I did know what the assessment made by a big name trainer was. He had liked her very much. He had liked her almost as much as that colt. Even though she didn't look like she had as much neck as the colt, he believed that it was "in there," just a stage of her growth. His only complaint about the filly was that she was too much an "in your pocket" kind of horse. To show halter he likes them to be "showier" and, of course, blowier than that.

Sure sounded to me like this colt was just as special as I had thought and that the filly was definitely worth a look. The agent agreed that both the colt and the filly sounded like they would be worth looking at for this client.

I set-up the appointments on the same day. One was right after the other. Richard took lots of pictures and video of both horses. He wanted to send his client as much info as possible on both horses.

Each of my friends had their own way of showing their foals. The friend with the filly just left her horses out in the field until we arrived. Then she caught the mare up and took both the mare and the foal right out of the field off to the round pen to show.

The filly was a butterball with all of that milk fat. I could see what the big name halter boy had meant about her neck. It didn't look like much but it was definitely "in there." That three month stage is killer on the length of a foal's neck.

Other than that, this filly was a nice balanced horse with pretty movement. She seemed really sensible and smart. Both are great assets in my book.

Once Richard had everything he needed on the filly, we thanked my friend for her time and headed on down the road to visit the next foal. I called our next destination to give them a heads up that we were on our way.

This time, the mare and foal were locked up in the barn waiting for our arrival. Both had been show clipped and bathed, as well as kept cooped up for a couple of days for a more showy presentation. Then the colt was shown by himself so he couldn't hide behind his mother and so he'd be a bit excited.

As that colt was shooed out of the barn away from his mother, it was definitely clear that this was a show horse. His tail was curled up over his back as he snorted and blew his displeasure at being separated from his mother.

Richard's camera was busy clicking away as I moved the colt around the pen. When it looked like Richard had what he needed, my friend went into the barn and brought the mare out to join the colt. The show started all over again as Richard took more and more footage.

I don't even know for sure how many other places Richard had looked at horses before he came to look at the foals of my friends. However, I got the distinct impression that these two young horses were the best that he had seen.

All he had to do know was put together a video of each of these horses and send them off with those on the other horses to send to his client. From here we would wait.

To be continued.............

Pictures are the filly first, followed by the colt.

Part 3

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  1. I can understand the manner in which the colt was shown: keep him cooped up and then separate him from his mom, make sure he's show clipped...this will give you a shiny, sleek, snorting, fireball of a horse.

    I don't really understand why the filly was shown in that relaxed manner. What was the advantage of showing her the way they did?

  2. Katee, this was just a matter of different styles by the owners. The more relaxed one was definitely easier for the owner.

    However, I can tell you when the big name trainer came to see both of these horses, his comment to the colt's owner was that she sure knew how to present a horse that was a "show horse" prospect.

    A horse shown like a show horse is much more likely to be sold than one that is show in the more relaxed manner. Leaving the "final picture" up to one's imagination isn't always good. Some people can't see potential.

    lulu, yes, he is definitely a nice colt. Looking through the pictures I have, I didn't really have anything that did either horse justice. I really do like this filly as well. I think they are both outstanding individuals.

  3. I go back and forth on the whole presentation thing as well. I usually will let the mare decide on whether the foal stays with her or leaves for a bit.

    Sure, bath, keep clean, clip if needed. But I don't see a reason to upset the mare if she can't handle her little one being away from her for even a few minutes. So, maybe that was the case with the filly.

    And I do know that some horses won't tolerate a stall at all. I have a mare here that foaled out in my round pen. She would have tore the barn down if I had tried to stall her.

    There are reasons for presenting horses in different ways. I do the best I can and keep the horses as stress free as possible in the process.

    Some people really like those blowy, snorty ones though. :)

  4. This all sounds very encouraging MiKael, I am hoping that there is no BUT in this down the road.

    Waiting for the next episode. (((Hugs)))


  5. Before reading, I looked at the pictures, and I had thought these were foals you had! because I didn't think you had pictures of the foals in the story you are telling. Wow, they are very nice. I can tell that, even though these pics don't do them justice, and the filly has a bit of a goiter neck lol.. definitely a butterball! But I can tell they are going to grow up to be NICE horses. I would want that colt and that filly for myself :). The filly reminds me A LOT of that photo of Scandalous on your website. Put both pics side by side and compare them. The have a resemblance, maybe it's their positioning but they look like dam and foal. I think they'd look even more alike if they had made the filly look show ready, because Scandalous looks show ready. And the only other thing that would have made them look more alike, is if the filly had a star on her forehead. But seriously, I would want those foals too! and seriously, that filly reminds me of Scandalous.

  6. Thanks for the explanation, MiKael!

  7. Is the stallion in this story, Marwan El Shaqab, or Marwan Al Shaqab?

  8. Kim, sorry about the typo, it is Marwan Al Shagab he is by Gazal and out of Little Liza Fame. BTW Little Liza Fame is one of my all time favorite mares. She was a beautiful western horse.