In the olden days of horse shopping, if I was in the market for a horse, I had a few different go-to tactics. I’d go pick up my local Stablemates magazine, check out the classified section of the Chronicle, or consider going to an auction. The only online source I checked religiously was dreamhorse.com, which I would check out even if I wasn’t looking in order to stay aware of the market.
Now, buying horses is a whole other ball game. Thanks to social media and the addition of several new search-based horse sales sites, horse shopping has become accessible in a way it never was before. My daily routine for the search started by checking the new ads on warmblood-sales.com, then dreamhorse, then equinenow.com and equine.com, and eventually ended up on facebook.
Horse shopping on facebook is at once overwhelming and amazing. Amazing, thanks to friends being able to tag and suggest horses in a heartbeat, and thanks to sellers being able to respond directly to search ads. Even more amazing was the response to my tongue-in-check ISO ad, culminating in an article by the Chronicle. The overwhelming aspect of searching on social media is the sheer quantity of responses and horses available. Keeping up with sellers, their horses, the back and forth conversations and the scheduling and rescheduling of appointments kept me mentally hopping, and while exhilarating, was also exhausting.
The other fun side of social media has been sharing some of the horses I’ve looked at with you all, albeit it becomes a tricky balance of sharing and still respecting the seller’s privacy and goals. But getting to sit on nice horses, and so many different types of rides, is an exciting adventure that warrants sharing and social media is the obvious enabler of that.
In the end of course it was also facebook that led me to Smitty. A dressage prospect hiding in a Hunter Jumper group that an eventing DQ just had to snap up. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to see that ad marked with a big fat SOLD tag, and how much I enjoyed cancelling all my ISO ads thereafter.
Social media has changed a lot when it comes to horse shopping, and now, I get to use it to bombard you all with new pony updates!