April 23, 2012
Horses have played a key role in various facets of human history. Having been used in situations and scenarios as varied as world wars, travel and exploration, agriculture and industrialization, horses have been a part of many important developments in the history of the human race as humans have relied upon them for servitude for centuries. While horses are one of the strongest and most resilient species of animal life on earth, they still needed a bit of human ingenuity in order to be able to handle the immense amount of physical labor they were often used for; it became apparent very early on that a horse would have more longevity if it’s hooves could be protected from wearing down prematurely – thus the creation of the horse shoe, born of necessity.
Some of the earliest known civilizations on earth had developed methods of preserving a horse’s hoof. Through various archaeological findings over the years, historians have been able to ascertain some rather crude methodology for hoof protection dating back to first century A.D. – animal hides and plants were woven together to form a type of crude boot that could be tied around a horse’s lower leg and protect their hooves in the process. It is believed these ‘horse boots’ were employed only when the terrain dictated the need for them and they were not permanently affixed. The Romans used a saddle shoe that was quite similar to the sandals worn by most people of the era, right down to the crisscrossing straps used to hold them in place.
Although the exact date of when metal shoes were employed is unknown, it is fairly certain that the practice began in the sixth century. Metal shoes – usually iron – were initially affixed to the hooves of horses to preserve their hooves from damage and premature wear from the great distances they walked while in the service of humans; they were also used to prevent slipping and erosion as horses were often pulling their load or carrying their rider across soft, damp ground. By the 12th century iron was a precious metal in short supply and was used to mint coins as well as to make horse shoes, for this reason it was permissible to pay taxes using horses when necessary.
The first farriers – horse shoe makers – appeared in Europe during the early 13th century, likely brought to Europe by William the Conqueror. Not long after, horse shoes became a large production item and an industry unto themselves. It was also during this time that the main use of horse shoes switched from being used primarily by royalty or cavalry to mainly being used by farmers and other trades. Pre-made horse shoes that were relatively easy to apply were now the norm.
Horse shoe makers became organized in the early 14th century. They became publicly and commonly known as ‘farriers’, a term first used to describe horse shoe makers in a trade manual titled “No foot, No horse”, that was published in 1751. Horse shoeing techniques and materials continued to evolve and eventually led to a technique in which the shoes were heated before application, or “hot shoeing” as it was known.
While horses are primarily a hobby and no longer a relied upon method of transportation or labor in most parts of the world, farriers still exist and horse shoeing is still a usable trade. There are schools that offer farrier courses and it is possible to become a professional in the field. Techniques continue to be improved and materials experimented with – for example, lightweight aluminum shoes were discovered to vastly improve the speed of racehorses; dense rubber was found to be more useful for the more sensitive hooves of trail horses, etc.
Posted by admin @ 8:18 pm
April 19, 2012
Selling your horse isn’t always a simple transaction, often it can be very difficult to find a good home – the right home – once you’ve decided to sell it. Taking the time to prepare your horse for sale entails washing and grooming; transportation to a sale barn, consigning it, and then hoping to catch the eye of an interested buyer. All of that requires a lot of time and preparation for an event which carries no guarantee for the seller. It can often be a palpable blow to the owner of the horse when there is no interest or only lower than expected prices are offered. An alternative to the barn sales approach is to use online sellers. Horses for sale on the internet is a relatively new outlet for selling, but it can be effective. Perhaps more effective even than the conventional methods since potential buyers from just about anywhere in the world are able to view your horse, unlike in-person sales which will likely only have buyers from the local vicinity.
Online horse sales clearly offer a lot of positive aspects – the biggest positive is also its most convenient aspect; you don’t have to physically go anywhere – you can sell at the price you want, easily turn away buyers who try to barter or offer lower than desired money and you can communicate with multiple buyers at the same time. Those aren’t the only differences however, not being face to face with a potential buyer requires a different protocol; while less grooming and show preparation is required, you will have to get some pictures prepared for your ad and the actual ad must be enticing enough to generate interest in conjunction with some quality photos. Many of these requirements aren’t necessarily skills that horse breeders may imbue or be familiar with, so there is always the possibility of having to bring in outside help to assist you in your online preparation. Below are some tips for making your transaction and your transition to internet selling a smooth one.
The content in your online ad is vital. While it can be argued that ultimately it is the pictures that will sell your horse, the ad content needs to be top notch. Describe everything about your horse as accurately as possible and try not to skip any details; a potential buyer is more likely to read your ad and follow up with you when interesting details are provided, even if it does look like a massive wall of text. While humor may work as a part of advertising in many arenas, horse sales isn’t one of them – keep the ad factual and state what buyers want to know: pedigree, disposition, previous owners, etc.
The next most important thing after ad content? Photos. Buyers will look at the photo first; if it makes an impression they will likely take the time to read your entire description and possibly contact you if they’re interested. You can enlist a professional photographer if you’d like; if you choose to do it yourself, take photos of anything important (“detail shots” – up close), however the main photo in your ad should be a nice large photo of your horse from the side. Make sure its entire body is visible, nothing should be cropped out. Avoid using post production filters or anything else that will artificially enhance the picture – if your photo is well-lit, you won’t need anything else.
Make sure all of your contact info including email, mobile, etc., is accurate and up to date. If you get a new phone or email account after you’ve posted the ad, update the information as soon as possible to keep your ad current and correct. Always strive to respond to interested buyers as soon as possible and answer inquiries honestly. If you’ve determined the buyer is serious, you can proceed with setting up an appointment for a viewing.
If you’re moving on to a legitimate transaction, make sure any terms and conditions are agreed upon by both parties; you can both take signed copies when you meet in person. You’ll have to schedule when the buyer is going to transfer registration (when required) and you may also want to include a first-rights-to-buy-back option also. Just make sure everything regarding the transaction is laid out in detail, that both you and the seller agree to the terms and that both parties have signed the bill of sale, each receiving a copy for your records.
Posted by admin @ 3:01 pm
Filed under: horse photos, sell a horse
Tags: advertise a horse for sale, horse advice, how to list a horse for sale, how to present a horse you are selling, how to sell a horse, selling a horse, selling a horse online, writing a horse classified ad —