Allie has written an awesome article about the sudden popularity of the ottb’s and about her great marketing idea for CANTER Mid Atlantic. You can read the article here- http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/track-thoroughbreds-are-stepping-spotlight
CANTER’s website has a huge following with people buying horses from tracks all across the country. There are many branches of CANTER located in different states. While some branches of CANTER have a retraining program, not all do. It seems like in the past year or two our retraining program has really taken off just by word of mouth and also by people reading the blogs that those of us from CANTER MA write. I never would have thought that this blog would have such a huge following. I have sold so many horses to people who have gotten to know them through the blog and decided they just had to come and see them for themselves. While this is great marketing we can take it even further.
Allie’s idea is that no matter what name you use for your horse you add the CMA to the front of the name. Those of you who may be eventers know that there are tons and tons of Fernhill horses which basically means those horses were sold through that program. We would like to have CMA horses taking over 🙂 Get people talking about the program and what we do. Let our buyers do the marketing for us with the lovely horses that you have bought from the resale program.
I do think our program is unique when compared to other organizations. We are committed to giving the horses a minimum of 2+ months of R&R just to be a horse. We truly believe this makes a difference in the future of the horse. We start with a clean slate when we do start the retraining. We listen to the horse and only start the retraining/sales process when they are ready. We put at least a month of retraining (but often it is way longer!) on the horse where we spend time both inside and outside of the ring. Those of us who are doing the retraining are riders who have spent years working with ottb’s so the foundation that is put on the horses is excellent. If a problem arises during the retraining we know how to fix it so that you don’t have to later. The flatwork and jumping training is done slowly and correctly. We listen to the horses and treat them all as individuals. If they need more time, more confidence or whatever it may be then that is what they get. We hack them out, take them xc schooling, go on off the farm trips and may even get them to some shows if they haven’t sold before then. When the horses are put up for sale we know that horse inside and out. We know how the react in various situations and what they want to do with their second careers. We have evaluated them for soundness and ridden them enough to know if there are any hidden issues. They have had their teeth done, feet worked on and chiropractic adjustments to make sure they happy in their bodies as well as their minds. We know what kind of rider they will be best suited for and how that horse prefers to be ridden.
We are an organization that is committed to finding the right home the first time. We stand behind our horses 100%, there are no surprises. We tell anything and everything we may know about the horses. I find that sometimes people are a bit shocked by the honesty. It almost takes them back when I tell them that I don’t think the horse will match based on the criteria they give me. I once read something on the internet that said somebody didn’t want to shop from us because I tell people I won’t sell them horses even if they want to buy them. It made me chuckle because I think that I did write that in one of my blog posts. Somebody had come out to try a horse and while the showing went okay I knew that if they took that horse home it would all unravel. We don’t do this for the money. We don’t HAVE to sell horses just to get them sold. It’s all about making the right match. If you sell a horse to the right person than that person is going to go around telling everybody how awesome their horse is and what a good experience they had shopping with CANTER MA. That is how good marketing works! If you sell a horse just to get it sold even if you know that it’s not the right match than the horse is going to come back and the person is not going to be happy. I do my best to avoid that happening. We all know the horse world is a very small world 🙂
I have worked with CANTER MA for so long that I feel like it’s a huge part of my life. The reason that I love working with CANTER MA so much is that I get complete freedom to put the horse first. When I did resale privately it often came down to the need to make money. I’m not saying we don’t try to make money at CANTER MA because of course we do. It’s what helps more horses and ensures that we are successful. Any good business tries to have a business model that returns profit back to the business. It’s just refreshing not to stress about how long it takes or how much money we have spent in the process of getting a horse from the track into a second career. I stress because I want CANTER to be successful but whenever I start to panic that we didn’t make money or it took FOREVER to get a particular horse a home, Allie is there to remind me that it is okay. Not every horse is going to be easy, some will never pass a vet check, some need a particular rider, some only want to do dressage, some just need time to grow and the list goes on. We do the work so that so you don’t have to 🙂
Our horses are priced to reflect the time and effort that we have put into them. We believe that retraining adds value and ensures a future for the horse. We do allow resale and there are no crazy stipulations in our contract. We keep our program small enough that the horses do get the personalized care and attention during the retraining . Each horse is treated as if it was one of our own. That makes it extra special when we see them off to their new homes with people who love them every bit as much as we did. We all take pride in seeing our horses succeed with their new owners. I still feel like they are all “my” horses. All of us at CANTER MA have a personal interest in seeing every horse find the right home.
I am biased but we really do have an amazing program here at CANTER MA. I’m proud of the work that we do. I love that ottb’s are getting so much good press. It’s a great time for CANTER MA to show off what we do.
I’m very excited to compete CMA’S Letterman’s Humor this season! It is about time I bought one from our program 🙂 Even if you don’t compete, you can still tell people where you got your horse from and send them our way. I think adding CMA in front of the name will be a great way to get people talking about our organization and to give owners a great chance to brag about their ottb’s.