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View Full Version : What would you do/say? & a pricing question...



Brigit
Mar. 26, 2011, 11:48 AM
An opportunity came up to me a few weeks ago. A friend told me about a horse that a friend of her's had. This friend needed to find a home for said horse. My friend said it was an opportunity not to be passed up, saying I would likely be able to get a very nice horse for a very reasonable amount (say $4-5K). Trusting her eye for horses, I went and had a look.

The horse was very very nice, had gorgeous movement etc. I only walked & trotted on him because he hadn't been ridden in over 2 years. Horse is 12 and a gelding and very very fat. He has apparently done some dressage but never shown, when I rode him, he felt like riding a greenie.

After discussion with the owner, she tells me she wants him to go somewhere that he'll be a good fit and get used, so in order to ensure that, she wants to do a longer term lease with the potential to buy out at the end. Sounds just fine to me.

I drew up a lease agreement that had a buyout clause, ie "At the end of the term, the Lessee will have the option to purchase the horse for $_________". I wanted it written down in stone before I take him for 6mo's to a year's lease and put all kinds of time & $ into him, because we all know what he's worth right this moment as a pasture puff and what he'll be worth in a year after I put tons of riding into him, will be much different.
The owner read over the lease and she said she wasn't comfortable with that clause because she paid a lot of $ for him and she's not sure that he's in my price range. Okaaaay that's fine, maybe he's not, but you should perhaps let me know so I can say yes or no. I'm in this to end up with another nice horse as a replacement for my current one, not to lease for a year. I get the feeling that she's having second thoughts about selling the horse, which again, is totally ok, I just need to know.

Anyways, I talked to the owner this morning and told her I was a little uncomfortable not having a clause in there about the buyout. I asked her if her intent was to sell him at the end of this. She said yes. Then I said I thought we needed to discuss the $ amount at the end of the lease because I figured it would be easier to discuss now vs. at the end of a year. She said ok, what's your thinking. I told her I paid $6K for my mare, she was 11, had been sitting in a pasture and not doing much, same kind of situation. She said "Oh no, I couldn't do that." so I said "My range is somewhere between $5-8K" and she said "No there's no way I could sell him for that. So I'm pretty disappointed this morning. I told her that I still might like to take him to ride for the summer (cause he's a neat horse) but that I needed another day or so to think about it. It started off sounding like a great deal but now it's a great deal for everybody but me.

Two questions, a) What would you do in this situation? and b) What do you think a horse like this would be worth in his current state?

meupatdoes
Mar. 26, 2011, 12:02 PM
I would walk away.

Probably muttering something along the lines of, "Lady, when you let your horse sit for two of its prime competitive years that is really your tough titties."

No way would I proceed without the buyout clause and the buyout price -reasonable for what it is worth NOW, not after six months of your work- in the contract.

Lady wants you to train her horse up for her, not only for free but at your expense, with no guarantees.
No way jose.

Brigit
Mar. 26, 2011, 12:10 PM
That's kind of the feeling I'm having as well.

I don't *need* another horse and wasn't looking but this was one of those "too good to pass up" deals, or so it started out. Now it's way out of my price range and benefits everybody but me. Frustrating but I'm glad I know now instead of a couple months down the road.

findeight
Mar. 26, 2011, 12:20 PM
...It started off sounding like a great deal but now it's a great deal for everybody but me.

Two questions, a) What would you do in this situation? and b) What do you think a horse like this would be worth in his current state?

OK, you got a 12 y/old year old gelding (or more if she did not breed him and/or does not have any papers).

It has never shown (or has and whoever showed it would rather forget).

It has been sitting for 2 years in the prime of it's life (at least). One wonders why? No money or time (as most sellers claim)? Or nuts? Unsound?

You can't canter it yet, it's too out of shape (if it was ever in shape).

What's it worth? Nothing.

What should you do?? Ummmm, take it for 6 months and charge the owner for your time and training?

If this thing is as represented, she bought when the market was hot and overpaid for an old, unshown horse then. For some reason, she let sit for years.

Don't pay her to train her horse up so she can recoup her "investement" in a dead cold market for this kind of horse.

Walk...no run...away.

Lucassb
Mar. 26, 2011, 12:22 PM
You were more restrained than I would have been. I don't think I would have been able to stop myself from saying something like, "Let me get this straight. You would like me to lease this horse, pay all of his expenses, put all the time and effort into getting him back into competitive condition, and then you would like for me to pay YOU for the increase in value that I have created, entirely at my own expense...?"

Mmmmkay... NO.

SnicklefritzG
Mar. 26, 2011, 12:25 PM
"Walk...no run...away."

To OP: or better yet, I'll loan you my key to the transporter...

alliekat
Mar. 26, 2011, 12:35 PM
"too good to pass up" .

or too good to be true. I am with the others. I would walk away, but I would also explain to her why. She might go back and actually "think" about it with eyes that have been opened. If she doesn't then you are no worse off but if she does, it could really be "too good to pass up".
BTW Kudos to you for thinking about this ahead of time and including it in your contract. There are others who would of ended up on this BB asking WWYD Now??? After they put all this free time, training and money into someone else's horse. Good luck :) He sounds like the kind of horse I would take a chance on.

Brigit
Mar. 26, 2011, 12:37 PM
OK, you got a 12 y/old year old gelding (or more if she did not breed him and/or does not have any papers).
It has never shown (or has and whoever showed it would rather forget).
It has been sitting for 2 years in the prime of it's life (at least). One wonders why? No money or time (as most sellers claim)? Or nuts? Unsound?
You can't canter it yet, it's too out of shape (if it was ever in shape).

What should you do?? Ummmm, take it for 6 months and charge the owner for your time and training?

If this thing is as represented, she bought when the market was hot and overpaid for an old, unshown horse then. For some reason, she let sit for years.

Don't pay her to train her horse up so she can recoup her "investement" in a dead cold market for this kind of horse.

Walk...no run...away.

This sounds about right. I do know the horse is papered, she bought him when he was 6 and did ride him. I don't really know why he hasn't been ridden for a couple of years, that is definitely one thing I was a little iffy about.
Just to clarify, I'm sure he could have cantered, I just didn't opt to. I was riding in a saddle that I really didn't feel comfortable in and he was doing some head shaking at the trot. Figured I probably would wait to canter him till I got him home & got some of that energy worked off of him.

But yeah, that's how I feel. I mean, if I didn't have another horse, I might be all over the opportunity but my goal was to end up with a horse to be a replacement for my current one. I do feel like I'd be doing all the work and paying all the bills only to end up with no horse, and someone else ending up with a pile of $ in their pocket.

Brigit
Mar. 26, 2011, 12:40 PM
or too good to be true. I am with the others. I would walk away, but I would also explain to her why. She might go back and actually "think" about it with eyes that have been opened. If she doesn't then you are no worse off but if she does, it could really be "too good to pass up".
BTW Kudos to you for thinking about this ahead of time and including it in your contract. There are others who would of ended up on this BB asking WWYD Now??? After they put all this free time, training and money into someone else's horse. Good luck :) He sounds like the kind of horse I would take a chance on.

I might do that. I'm not sure though, she thinks very highly of the horse and we have a mutual friend. I don't want it to end ugly. Although I 100% think you guys are all totally right on the value of the horse and the fact that I'd be paying to increase the horse's value with no benefit to me.
haha and yes! COTH has taught me well, being proactive is sooooo much better than trying to fix the situation AFTER the fact. I could just imagine the hard feelings that would occur if this discussion had happened after I had the horse for a year and then was told I couldn't afford it.

joiedevie99
Mar. 26, 2011, 12:55 PM
Tell her you don't believe the horse is worth any more than your budget, and to contact you if she has a change of heart. Walk away and don't think about it again.

December
Mar. 26, 2011, 01:21 PM
I wouldn't even get into an agreement to buy the horse at the end of the one year lease! Sounds like the owner is clueless about what creates value in a horse and I would be worried she would not uphold the agreement even if she did come down to earth and agreed to a realistic price.

Could you offer to buy the horse now, for the $5K its probably worth?

Also, what type of head shaking? The "I'm feelin good" type, or the obnoxious, never stops, rider decides to retire the horse type... Just one more thing to think about. Good luck!

SnicklefritzG
Mar. 26, 2011, 01:29 PM
With the economy being what it is, you're in a buyer's market. Take the time to continue looking. I wouldn't take a chance on a 12 year old that has huge gaps in his history and no show record, particularly since he needs some remedial work to get back in shape.

I've seen prices slashed on some very nice horses who are sound, have nice show records and don't need remedial work. Take the time to look around, save some additional $$$ and buy something that doesn't have so much uncertainty associated with it.

Good for you though for suggesting a very detailed contract. I think what happens during this phase of the buying process can tell you a lot. If a deal begins to get difficult then walk away.

Kryswyn
Mar. 26, 2011, 01:33 PM
Only because you have a mutual friend I would be polite when I asked her to look at it from your point of view. Which is that the current fair market value of the horse is now $5K, and that it makes no financial sense for you to lease the horse, get it in shape and working well, paying all costs, and THEN pay the new FMV at the end of the lease. If she wants to/needs to sell the horse, then she should take the $5K now. If she wants more than that, then SHE needs to get back in the saddle and start WORKING to earn the money she hopes to make at the end of six months. And she must remember that no matter what SHE thinks the horse should be worth, in the end it's only worth what someone wants to pay for it.

I suspect that this horse somehow shook his owners confidence and that's why she's not been riding. She should count her blessings that you came along and sell the horse NOW because there's no guarantee that the horse will even be saleable in six months or a year due to an unexpected lameness or injury.

fordtraktor
Mar. 26, 2011, 02:10 PM
Personally I think 12 is kind of old to be the "up and coming replacement horse." that's when most horses are hitting the "starting to slow down and maybe hit some maintenance" part of their careers. I'd pass and look for a 5 or 6 year old to replace your old man, otherwise you'll be doing the same thing again in another couple years. JMO, but I'd be reluctant to put myself in a position where I'm going to have two seniors and nothing to ride.

TheJenners
Mar. 26, 2011, 02:30 PM
Disagree :). I have a peppy 14 year old I got two years ago as a replacement for a five year old that I didn't click with, and you'd never guess she's 14. Yes, she's on Cosequin, but otherwise she has no issues and acts like a six year old. Sometimes, too much, as *I* wanted to slow down and she's a little hot and can be a handful from time to time.

Come Shine
Mar. 26, 2011, 02:52 PM
If you like the horse and aren't in a hurry to buy, give her a bit to think it over.

It doesn't sound like she had really meant to get rid of the horse; The horse wasn't advertised, she had no firm concept of what she wanted to get for him, and you drew up a lease agreement for her.

As well, while there are many reasons the horse is worth X in this market at this time in his life for these reasons, it may be hard for someone who obviously values him highly to accept that, especially if you are the first person who has come along. (On a related note, my friend put an offer in on a house several months ago. The owners turned the offer down because they were not willing to come down $3000. Even though they HAD to sell and the house needed LOTS of work. That house is still for sale, 6 months later, now at a lower price than my partner offered.)

Ask her to keep your number and to give you a shout if she decides to sell at $X amount.

I agree with others that doing a 'lease' with a buyout is probably just delaying the inevitable "I really don't want to sell him".

BeeHoney
Mar. 26, 2011, 03:48 PM
Walk away. There are so many sellers out there who say they really want/need to sell a particular horse, but then they have it completely overpriced and as soon as anyone shows any serious interest then they raise the price or attach ridiculous conditions to the sale. Some people are just completely out of touch with the current market, especially if they bought the horse in question back when the economy was a whole lot better.

Sadly for this particular seller, much of a horse's actual cash value is based in what it is doing NOW. Not what it could have done if it had been in work the past two years, or what it could do if you put a year of intensive training in it. I don't care how nice a horse is, a 12 yo horse that has been sitting in a field for a year or so has lost a LOT if not MOST or ALL of its value.

Do NOT do a lease agreement without a specified exact sale value at the end of the lease term. You would be foolish to subsidize the horse's "comeback" so the current owner can turn around and sell it to someone else for a lot more money.

Personally, if I were in this situation, I would think up what the horse were worth to me, and make a counter offer with that price that included a much shorter term lease (maybe 1-3 months). I would do this in an extremely polite way, but IMO this seller is a bit out of line. If she wants to sell the horse based on it's value after 6mos of work, she needs to fork out the $$$$$$ to send it to a trainer for 6mos, not try and make a potential buyer pay for the "privilege".

And P.S., always be highly, highly suspicious for soundness problems or undiagnosed problems of the NQR variety in a supposedly nice horse that has been off of work for that kind of time period.

Stoney447
Mar. 26, 2011, 05:21 PM
Frankly, from what you have described I am quite suprised that you even thought he would be worth $6k (granted I havnt seen him, but that seems pretty high for a Gelding who isnt doing much). Like it had been mentioned above, this is a buyer's market and if you really don't mind buying at age 12-14 you can get a really nice horse with tons of show miles for that price. If you prefer young, you could use your time to bring along something with decent breeding and movement that has just been backed with w/t/c for that price if you look in the right places, plus if your circumstances ever change the resale will be much easier in this case. I mean, my aunt's dressage horse just went FEI this year and she bought him 5 years ago as a 5 year old for $6,500 in Canada.

I don't like to buy horses from friends or even friends of friends, because people get attached to their horses (rightfully so) and emotions get involved ALL the time. It is just too much of a risk for our friendship because I feel like telling them what I think the horse is really worth would offend them, and they think I am crazy for not seeing "Superstar" the way they do, with all of their hopes and dreams for this horse over years of ownership coloring their view of his worth.

I would look elsewhere for your summer project honestly. You don't need the lady looking over your shoulder all summer while you are on a lease anyway.

jenm
Mar. 26, 2011, 05:34 PM
I would walk away.

Probably muttering something along the lines of, "Lady, when you let your horse sit for two of its prime competitive years that is really your tough titties."

No way would I proceed without the buyout clause and the buyout price -reasonable for what it is worth NOW, not after six months of your work- in the contract.

Lady wants you to train her horse up for her, not only for free but at your expense, with no guarantees.
No way jose.

I totally agree with this. It sounds to me like the owner would like to "use" you and then after you have put a lot of time into this horse, she wants to be able to sell it at a better price than she can currently get.

A 12 year old green horse should be free, based on today's market. If you are looking for an inexpensive project, go get a Canter Cutie!

Brigit
Mar. 26, 2011, 06:11 PM
Could you offer to buy the horse now, for the $5K its probably worth?

Also, what type of head shaking? The "I'm feelin good" type, or the obnoxious, never stops, rider decides to retire the horse type... Just one more thing to think about. Good luck!

Yes I could offer her that amount now but from what she said this morning, there's no chance she'd take it. Perhaps she'll reconsider but it's doubtful. From what I understood, she had sold her place and needed to have him gone by the 30th. Personally I have a feeling the horse will get thrown back out in the pasture at someone else's place and continue to have nothing done with him. Shame.

It was a kind of "I don't like your contact on my mouth" type head shaking. Not constantly through the ride, just when he decided to be a little silly and I increased contact to put an end to it. She said she always rode him on a very very light contact, which I wasn't about to do as he was being a bit on the silly side. My plan was to have his teeth done right away as I suspect that's a big player in the head shaking.

A friend and I went for some therapeutic tack shopping (got some great deals!) and had a good visit about the horse and the market. We picked up one of the free horse magazines and parused what I could get for $5-10K and what $10-15K would get me so we could do some comparison. I can get a horse successfully eventing or showing 3'3-3'6 for about $8-12K+ that's much younger than 12. Which is exactly what I would be spending my $$ on if I was about to spend that kind of $$ on a new horse. Why wouldn't I buy something proven instead of having to do all the hard work?
I think you guys are all totally correct and I'm glad that what you're saying, is what my gut is saying. ie It's way too much, don't do it. Walk away. There are a lot of questions that have come up and I don't think it's worth going down that road. If I wanted a project, there are lots of horses out there for cheap, if not free. It's still disappointing but I'm glad I'm finding it out now.

alto
Mar. 26, 2011, 06:48 PM
If the horse is really that fat, I'd be concerned about founder - he sounds as if he may be on the verge of it so I'm glad you decided not to canter him
.
If she reconsiders & offers him to you for $4-5K, I'd want a PPE. I wouldn't offer more than that for him as it's a longer road back to fitness with a 12yr old than a 6yr old, plus you need to give him time to start losing some weight before you get serious about re-building condition.

You might do some sleuthing to find out why he's been pastured & fattened for the last 2 years - even if she wasn't able to ride for personal reasons, why would she allow her horse to get so out of condition? have his feet, teeth & vaccines been kept up?

mvp
Mar. 26, 2011, 08:17 PM
Basically walk.

But be nice about it and leave your number.

It sounds like your friend guessed at the price and quoted you the wrong one. Or the owner changed her mind. It's no one's fault, but don't change your mind. I wouldn't ride him even casually unless I thought the owner was going to bring him back to the $4-5K range that got you excited about this particular middle aged gelding in the first place.

FlashGordon
Mar. 26, 2011, 08:36 PM
What's it worth? Nothing.


Exactly.

People are delusional!

kayteedee
Mar. 26, 2011, 09:29 PM
OP: "If I wanted a project, there are lots of horses out there for cheap, if not free. "

Exactly.

A similar post was on this board not too long ago- but it was from someone who HAD taken the horse, with the supposed agreement of the owner to give her the right of first refusal; but once the horse was schooled again, sold the horse out from under the leaser with no warning. Then the poster was in heartache over the horse she had gotten attached to and thought of as soon-to-be-hers!

Not nice at all. I would run. I don't believe the woman thinks that in this market she can get more than a couple thousand for a horse who is sitting around doing nothing for 2 years. Sheesh!

threehearts
Mar. 26, 2011, 09:54 PM
had similiar story only a crazy ass mare!! walk away like everyone has said, way too many horses out there for free or alot cheaper and in better shape..Good Luck

Monica67
Mar. 27, 2011, 07:42 AM
Definitely walk away. You saw for yourself in the horse classifieds that there are much better horses available that are ready to go for much less money.

findeight
Mar. 27, 2011, 10:32 AM
It was a kind of "I don't like your contact on my mouth" type head shaking. Not constantly through the ride, just when he decided to be a little silly and I increased contact to put an end to it. She said she always rode him on a very very light contact, which I wasn't about to do as he was being a bit on the silly side. My plan was to have his teeth done right away as I suspect that's a big player in the head shaking.


I know you have decided to walk away here but, in case anybody is still reading this, the head shaking and refusal to take contact is a huge yellow light and clue to why she never did anything with this one for all the years she has had him.

Along with the statement she only used very, very light contact it indicates he does not want to accept contact and probably never has learned it's not optional. Teeth may not be helping but....sounds like he intimidated her and that's hard to erase in a 12 year old.

Not seeing 5k in this one when so many are out there under 10k with much better backgrounds.

Brigit
Mar. 28, 2011, 12:00 PM
Well I called the lady and left her a message saying that I really appreciated the opportunity and enjoyed meeting her and her horse but I wasn't going to take him as he was just a bit too far out of my price range. I wished her well and hopefully that leaves it on good terms.

To be honest, the big chicken side of me was glad I got her voicemail and could just leave a nice message lol.

BeeHoney
Mar. 28, 2011, 12:17 PM
You did the right thing, it's too bad but I see this type of scenario a lot. It doesn't even matter what the market is like, it is never a "privilege" to train someone else's horse for them at your own expense.

Given your further info on the head shaking/contact issue, I'd guess this could be a career limiting issue, and possibly part of the reason the horse hasn't been ridden. I'm going to guess she doesn't want to invest her own money in putting the horse in training because she knows there could be a problem and she probably won't be able to get the money back in the sale price.

Brigit
Mar. 28, 2011, 01:14 PM
If I didn't already have a nice horse to ride, for sure I'd be interested in a leasing situation. But the fact is, I don't *need* another horse and more importantly, don't want to spend my $$ on a horse that isn't mine, as you said, it's not really a priveledge. Now if it was a well schooled, high level dressage or jumper or something of that sort....well that might be different.

It was really hard to pass judgement on the horse during that ride, he hadn't been ridden in over 2 years and we didn't even lunge him before I got on. Could have been extra energy, or as you and a few other people said, could have been other issues. It definitely made me go "Hmm... I don't like this" though. With him being so out of shape and me not feeling comfortable in the saddle that was on him, I wasn't riding well, so it was really hard to make a call on the headshaking. My plan was to take him on trial to see if that went away or not. Guess it's a non-issue to me now! lol
I'm not too disappointed, as they say, everything happens for a reason.