Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth
Well I no longer have a horse.
For those of you who don't remember, I was given a horse as a gift for my birthday from my mother's friend. Her and I agreed that that I could keep him there in exchange for me working, riding her horses and helping out around the farm.
I found given my timeline for my goals - not being able to show competitively until I have graduated (another 3-5 years depending) - that this horse would be ready to retire or go into an easier career within a couple years of me graduating. So I decided to find him a nice home with lower level aspirations and purchase myself a weanling or yearling.
I had been told that I was allowed to sell or move this horse, he was a gift after all and in my name.
However, a few weeks a ago (before I had decided to sell) I was told that I would owe the gifter/donor $1,500 and then this weekend, when I had someone scheduled to view him I was told I would owe her $3,000...
Not only was I told that but I was also informed that this horse had started to display dangerous and possibly fatal (to rider and others in the area) behavior when in the ring with other horses that a professional trainer had not been able to fix. He would spin and bolt with no prior warning (if you didn't know what to look for). She also let me know this morning that she did not believe he would hold up mentally to a competitive career.
I had originally been planning on showing him at unrecognized shows and possibly using him competitively when I graduated, before I decided he would be better off with someone else.
She refuses to let him leave her property without me paying the $3,000 and knows that I do not own a trailer and that I do not have a lot of horse contacts in the area. Also, she knows I don't have the money to hire a lawyer (because she would lose if I took this to court - papers and bill of sale were all made out to me).
So I am out a horse, vet bills, time for services provided in return for board and all the time I put into retraining this horse.
The point of this post? Get a contract with EVERYTHING, especially an expensive gift.
Also agreements with family and friends...AVOID.