Spring has sprung in the Midwest. Horses are shedding their heavy winter coats and I’m about to shed some serious cash. In order to start the season off right, I need to replenish my stock of tack, supplies and supplements.
Hoof health and word-of-mouth
I’ve had all winter to read and prepare for spring. But I also look to others for help. Studies show that word-of-mouth, brand reputation and associated brand loyalty are hugely important among horse enthusiasts. I’m no exception: if I don’t buy the same brands my grandfather did, I’m probably going to listen to my best friend. My grandfather had horses that pulled, horses that raced, horses with cow sense and saddle horses that covered miles of terrain with ease. My best friend is an early adopter who consistently tries the newest stuff out there. She’s ridden in every discipline and accepts only the best. And where does all this thinking get me?
Just say whoa
Well, I can tell you that I already know exactly which brands of saddle soap and leather preservative I’ll buy this year, along with half my deworming choices – the latter decisions are based on experience and rotation schedules . But when it comes to supplements, I’ll chat with friends about their choices and find out how their horses’ hooves look, before I make my decision. My vet may get tired of my questions, but I think this is the year I learn enough to make a qualified decision about using joint supplements to keep my horse’s knees and hocks in good working order.
Will I make another saddle purchase this year? Likely not. My Pessoa is broken in and rides perfectly. New leathers, irons, bridle and bit? I’m good there, too. But I’ll definitely re-stock with new curry combs and brushes and once I find my faves, I won’t be quiet about what I like.
While the act of purchasing has evolved with Internet use, my local tack shops have responded with competitive pricing. Personally, I’ll split my purchases between a catalog supplier and the local tack shop, where individualized service reigns supreme.
Back in the saddle, sooner
I don’t see this as a complicated or onerous process. I want marketers to be interested in my needs and likes. But timing is everything for horse enthusiasts. Because making good use of my precious time means I’ll be quicker to get back in the saddle each year.
Do you or your clients have this kind of insight into audiences? Do you see how it could be valuable?
Tracy is a horsewoman by birth, profession, hobby and certification. At AdFarm she puts her horse sense to work on animal health and nutrition accounts. You can follow her on Twitter @farmgirl76