Adventures in Horse Shopping: The Changing Face of Buying Horses

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, 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, then dreamhorse, then and, and eventually ended up on facebook.

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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.


Smitty’s Sales Ad

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!




7 thoughts on “Adventures in Horse Shopping: The Changing Face of Buying Horses

  1. After my experience of selling my horse on social media (though in the end a good ol fashion flyer was what actually sold him) I am sort of looking forward to, sorta dreading looking for a horse using social media.

  2. My BFF is on the horse hunt, and it’s interesting to see how much she’s using social media. I used the internet and social media to find some prospects, but more to educate myself on the market. In the end, it was word of mouth that found my boy!

  3. It’s actually pretty cool now where you can literally post as a potential BUYER what you are looking for, and all the sellers flock to you. Makes it super easy and convenient.

  4. I used to also always take a look at boards at local tack shops, but as the local tack shop need has started flagging, the types of ads you see seem to have gone with them. Facebook really seems to be the biggest way people move horses. That still seems crazy to me!

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