Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Have you tried Rate My Horse Pro?

 Rate my horse PRO went live (soft launch) on November 1. If you haven't heard about it, the site is much like the "Rate my [fill in the blank professional]" sites that have become popular of late. There are rating sites for doctors, dentists, workplaces, teachers, you name it -- so why not the horse industry?

I went to the site to try it. They charge a $5 registration fee, which I initially hesitated on as the site is not 100% live yet. I decided to find out more about the site before going any further, and I sent an email  with general questions. The Rate my Horse PRO folks were communicative and happy to respond. I really liked the sound of the site, so since I wrote this up I went ahead and joined. I'll share my impressions in another blog article. For now, I'm sharing the questions and answers here, with their permission.

 What is the range of professionals within the horse industry that will be rated your site?
Rate My Horse PRO is currently set up for verified users to add and rate 

  • horse trainers
  • boarding stables
  • farriers
  • horse shows. 
The site caters to US and Canadian horse lovers of all breeds and disciplines, so there is something for everyone. 

Any other categories planned?
When users register they have the opportunity to choose what they believe the next three professional rating categories should be. The categories with the most votes will be added next. Some of the choices included are veterinarians, horse transporters, horse breeders, therapeutic riding centers, horse rescues, or they have the option of writing in their own idea.

What do viewers get for the $5 membership fee? Is it a one-time fee? Is it intended for consumers and professionals?
A one-time identity verification fee of $5 applies to anyone wanting to utilize Rate My Horse PRO. The fee pays the third-party companies that provide the identity verification services utilized by our company to ensure the ratings are accurate and reliable.

Why do you have a verification process?
The verification process is just one of the mechanisms used to assure that the ratings being viewed are free of inappropriate influence. All-access rating sites are often susceptible to manipulation by those entities being rated through a process of falsifying names and ratings. Our verification process confirms that everyone entering ratings are who they claim to be, and ensures that each person has only one voice. 

Are there any safeguards against badmouthing or “ballot stuffing” from people with either an axe to grind against a trainer, or trainers getting their clients to positive things about them? 

Rate My Horse PRO has many safe-guards in place, the first and most important is the identity verification process. Although users are identity verified they are anonymous when rating professionals on the site. 

I'm wondering how trainers will react to this site....

Rate My Horse PRO encourages professionals to get involved by filling out a profile and inviting their customers to rate them. Once the ratings go live (Grand Launch date to be announced soon) the site will allow professionals to track their customers’ satisfaction levels in real time. Users have the ability to re-rate professionals, and the last rating is tossed out, allowing professionals the opportunity to improve their rating score if necessary. 
There is a flagging feature for comments that do not meet the site’s guidelines. Anyone can flag comments for the site’s administrator’s to take a look at. Professionals are not able to respond to comments placed by raters.

Rate My Horse PRO is built on a unique system of rating statements, which are scored by consumers for accuracy related to the PRO entity. This system minimizes the subjectivity of ratings, and centers on the objectively focused thought. 

What other services are offered?
We are introducing a proprietary new tool called “PRO Match”. PRO Match will link consumer priorities with professionals rated the highest in those categories, of course keeping the overall score in consideration. 

This tool is built around the philosophy that one size does not fit all.  Each consumer has their own set of priorities, and each PRO has their own set of strengths.  We believe everyone has a place in the horse industry; it is simply about matching the consumer to the most appropriate PRO’s.

Do you accept advertising? What is the role of advertising on your site?
We are  excited about our highly evolved advertising platform. Our advertising program brings affordability in advertising to everyone from a national account down to a trainer in a small town. Rate My Horse PRO is built around a very defined audience both in interest, and geography. Advertisers have the ability to target geographies as small as 200 miles in diameter with a single audience in mind (i.e. stable managers in Santa Fe NM). This great flexibility offers a wealth of ad opportunity by eliminating ad overcrowding and gaining affordability by only purchasing the audience the advertiser truly needs to reach.

What is your vision for Site?
Rate My Horse PRO is educating consumers, while facilitating the promotion of horse professionals who conduct business with integrity. Customer experience scores allow professionals to define and differentiate their value in a competitive marketplace. By improving the horse industry, Rate My Horse PRO believes the welfare of many our horses will also improve.

The company encourages consumers and professionals to populate the site with professional data and ratings. In the future, Rate My Horse PRO plans to work closely with companies that have similar beliefs regarding quality and integrity in business. The company also plans to offer sponsorship opportunities to professionals.


  1. This is a really neat idea. I'd never hard about it till I read this post, but I think it could really catch on. I think that the only thing that will stop people is the fee. While its not much, I know lots of people who refuse to do any form of money interactions over the internet.

  2. Very nice. I was able to access the list of farriers near me and my farrier is there. Seeing the list is free.

    Don't know if I'd ever need the site, however, as I am pretty well set with all my pros around here...have been for a long time.

    But were I moving somewhere else, I could certainly see how this could be useful.

  3. As a teacher, my opinion is that these types of sites are not very reliable. When I first started teaching, I checked out a teacher version for students to complete. Most students will give favorable reviews if the teacher is funny, fun, nice, tells stories, and gives out good grades relatively easily. There are a few gem reviews where a student, wise beyond their years, will write something about challenge and learning even if the teacher is strict and requires hard work. Of course, that could have been a parent...

    Will reviews by adults be more reliable? Maybe, but the greater factor is the type of personality that likes to submit a review. I did myself a favor and decided to never read the professional rating sites.


Hi Guys, Your comments are valued and appreciated -- until recently I never rejected a post. Please note that I reserve the right to reject an anonymous post.