Facebook Freebies

I get amused at some of the posts on Facebook classified ads. I am part of about four of those groups from surrounding communities. Every day I see someone asking about hours of operation for a business. Or if anyone’s hiring. Or if someone can work on their car.

Seriously? Have these people gotten so dependent on social media that they can’t pick up the phone and call those businesses (or check their websites)? Or fill out job applications? Or make an appointment with a mechanic?

Probably the part that amazes me most is how those posting ISO ads are begging for freebies. There’s always a sad story – out of work, single mom, just had a bunch of bills. I can’t pay anything but I want something really nice.

Then comes the list of criteria. I’ve seen several about ISO horses. They have a list of incredible ‘musts’ for these horses. They want a completely broke horse, no older than ten, fifteen hands, buckskin with flaxen mane, pedigree to one of the top roping sires of all time. No quirks. Must be a push button, anybody-can-ride horse. But their budget is $3000.

I’d love to call those people up and ask them just what they ride currently. Because they aren’t going to find those horses for that kind of money.

I really don’t care about their hardships. We all have them. I don’t care if their best horse just died of colic. I don’t care if they’re looking to replace a horse they rode since they were three. They are unrealistic and rude to expect that kind of a horse for nothing.

I rarely sell horses. Once I have them, they are usually with me for life. But occasionally, I will sell one. Currently, I have a mare for sale because we just aren’t using her. She needs a home with girls that will run her on barrels and poles and make her into an all-around horse. She’s definitely worth more than $3000.

I know what she’s worth. Even if she goes to a good home, whoever buys her is still going to pay me what she’s worth. If they can’t, then they need to lower their standards. Why should I sell my best horses for a fraction of what they’re worth?

Short answer is, I shouldn’t. And neither should anyone else who sells quality horses.

If you can’t afford the horse you want, then maybe you shouldn’t be trying to compete in the discipline you’re competing in. Maybe that seems harsh, but it’s reality. Horses are expensive. Broke horses are even more expensive. Competitive horses are beyond expensive. That’s just how things are. If what you can afford is $3000, then you’re going to get a $3000 horse. Don’t expect more than that.

You’re going to get a horse that is started but not finished. You’re going to get either a very young or very old horse. You’re going to get a horse that has quirks and habits that you will have to either deal with or solve. You’re going to deal with some blemishes and warts in that price range.

A buyer can’t expect a seller to part with a highly trained horse for pennies of what it’s worth. Would the buyer do the same with their own horse if the situation was reversed? I doubt it.

Are some of those horses for sale overpriced? Sure. In fact, I have a deliberately high price on my mare, simply to make sure I find the most serious buyers. But most of the good ones are going to bring big money for their sellers. And most sellers, myself included, will consider reasonable offers. But the key there is reasonable.

Someone offered me less than half of my asking price for my mare. Because it was for her daughter. And her daughter really wanted a better horse.

And that matters to me why? I didn’t even respond to her.

I’ve had people ask me if I’d consider trades for other horses. Um, no.

I’ve even had people criticize me for putting such a price on her. Of course, those people aren’t horse people and think all animals should be ‘free’ to roam the earth without constraints.

Social media is a wonderful tool for keeping in touch with a lot of people at one time. It can be a blessing. But based on what I see in these classified groups, the dependence on social media is making this generation of teens and tweens (and older) lazier and dumber in terms of common sense. They think every answer is online. Or that someone owes them something. Or if they beg, they’ll find a screaming deal on just about anything, including an awesome new horse.

Let’s hope common sense re-emerges soon. Or at least some horse sense.

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