My favoritest thing to do in Fort Worth, Texas, is turn cattle in a sale for horses under saddle. Candy and Jeremy Barwick are gracious enough to humor me in this adventure. I work cheap.
It’s very educational – a viewing platform like no other. I like learning. I plan on going to my grave still learning. I forget a lot too, so it keeps my tank topped off. If you don’t know, I was a car dealer. I know retail. Combining this leads to me telling what I think I have learned in the auction ring. It is intense. It is real. The truest form of a free market, take it or leave it. When the gavel falls, it is a done deal. The animal is yours. If God struck him dead two seconds later, it’s on you. The price is what the buyer was willing to pay at that time on that day. It is what the seller was willing to take at that time on that day. Later may be different, but not at that instant. I like this.
Demonstrating horses on cattle is not showing. Far from it. It is a different skill set. Retail is the art of creating a desirable image in a buyer’s mind. Like walking into the steakhouse, you taste that steak long before you sit down. Like the can of “New Car Smell” we used to use…who can resist the smells in a saddle shop? A seller must get a buyer to feel himself going to the herd on that horse. To see Jim Bret shaking her hand and handing her a buckle.
I have some dislikes, which really make me wonder. Do people really not know their pony is gapping his mouth wide open with every touch of the reins? None of the help has told them? They haven’t filmed the horse? How does this get missed? The best solution is don’t ever use bits or hands that roughly. Or use a cavesson if necessary. It is preventable. It gives an impression of hard to train, a slow learner, not malleable. All in all, it looks terrible. Is that what you want a buyer to imagine they will look like showing that horse later?