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  1. #1
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    Jan. 29, 2003
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    Default Rant - Education regarding buyer beware

    So I ran into a lady at the barn today that had taken lessons for a bit but had been gone for a while due to having to take some time off. She's a very nice individual and we were chatting away and she tells me that she had bought a horse but had to sell it right away again.

    The seller had misrepresented him and she came off the first time she ever rode him at home. She went on to say that the seller gave her some lessons and that the horse would be fine when the guy was there but as soon as he left, the horse would act up Oh yeah, and the seller ended up taking the horse back and refunding her the whole purchase price...yet she was ticked that he had sold the horse to her, a first time buyer, in the first place (though he had told her that it wouldn't be like riding a school horse...the only type of horse she had ever ridden). And he had purposely taken pictures of the horse being ridden with his head down so he looked more controllable (her words, not mine).

    The first red flag was when she said she fell in love with him right away b/c he was so beautiful

    Come on people!! Sure, a seller *should* have some moral obligation not to sell someone a completely unsuitable horse but it's a buyer beware market - I personally felt the seller in this case went beyond what was required of him.

    Is it just ignorance or are people trying to avoid paying a commission?

    I have nothing against people buying horses on their own if they have the experience but it was just interesting to hear someone accusing a seller of misrepresentation when in reality, it was completely the buyer's fault that they ended up in that situation.

    Thoughts?

    (This lady also said she looked at a "lovely 3 1/2 year old mare that was perfectly broke" but that seller backed out....I didn't want to preach but I so badly wanted to tell her that she was looking at the completely wrong type of horse).
    \"Don\'t go throwing effort after foolishness\" >>>Spur, Man From Snowy River



  2. #2
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    Jun. 2, 2000
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    Sussex, NJ
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    Default

    I would have said, "Wow, your lucky he took him back!" And then when she mentioned the 3 1/2 yr old, "Wow so young? Many young horses are VERY unpredictable" Maybe then she'd think twice. Sounds like the second seller realized that it wouldn't work out.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2006
    Location
    VA / NJ
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    A very good example of why many professionals don't want to sell to riders without trainers. Yes she is lucky the seller took the horse back. In many cases that would be impossible even if the seller had wanted to do that. It is often not the seller/trainer/agent that is the bad guy. Sometimes it is plain and simple buyer stupidity that causes the problems in a sale.
    www.midatlanticeq.com
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2009
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    South Central: Zone 7
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    Default

    I very much hate it when people come to try out horses but don't bring a trainer. I am fine with them coming and looking on their own but I wish they would bring out their trainer when riding. I had one girl come out and try one of my semi-green 6 year old (pretty solid but not auto). She hopped on him and started pulling on his mouth and leaning. My horse obliged her and started floating all over the place. Luckily this gelding had such a laid back attitude he just took all of it. I finally had to stop her and basically start giving her a lesson. It wasn't anything complicated, it was basic stuff like "okay if he starts floating inward, use your inside leg and push him out". It is actually quite amazing how many times a novice rider will come out and try a horse without a trainer.


    On that same note, I had one of my students buy a horse without me while I was on vacation. I had no idea they were interested in buying a horse and although they were new clients (they had been with me for maybe a month or two) I would have thought they would have asked me for my help. So when I got home I got a phone call saying they bought an experienced warmblood that had been jumped up to 4' and was an eventing champion. Well it actually was a draft/QH cross (probably 75% draft) that had been the eventing champion for the 2' division at some schooling shows. It plowed through all the jumps and was a freight train to stop. Needless to say the rider could not jump it and it became a pasture ornament.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2010
    Location
    Near the track
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    11

    Default

    Some people are determined to buy the wrong horse. I have been helping a kid shop for a quiet, beginner hunter type for the last few weeks. This young girl 'falls in love' with every horse instantly on sight, before riding. She cannot handle any of the young, green, hot horses she chooses to try (without a coach). After she planned to take a cute grey ottb, that hadnt been ridden in ages, on trial I gave up. Once that ended badly she decided to slow down on the 'falling in love' and start by getting along and getting a coach. She is now trying a seasoned older horse. These people need to learn the hard way that buying a horse is not like The Black Stallion where the pretty horse will understand you love them and want to be friends.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
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    16,445

    Default

    Since the noob badmouthed the owner to you, you might take a moment to set her straight.

    It sounds like the guy bent over backward to bail her out of her mistake. That shouldn't go unnoticed.

    It sounds like thie woman has gotten very lucky so far, and therefore has not idea that owners are bailing her out right and left. Sooner or later, her luck will run out. If you can stop a horse from ending up in the wrong hands, and this chick really learning to despise sellers as "horse traders." you'd be doing everyone a great service.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2010
    Posts
    107

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    No...you guys are all wrong. Don't you KNOW that when you buy a horse, you love it and give it treats and kisses and it will do everything for you. IF you happen to have problems, you get a carrot stick and swing it around and VOILA it is all magically fixed! You just are saying all that stuff because you nasty trainers want to make MONEY and keep all the promising green horses to yourselves. EvERYONE should be able run out and buy a green horse... there nothing to it.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Since the noob badmouthed the owner to you, you might take a moment to set her straight.

    It sounds like the guy bent over backward to bail her out of her mistake. That shouldn't go unnoticed.

    It sounds like thie woman has gotten very lucky so far, and therefore has not idea that owners are bailing her out right and left. Sooner or later, her luck will run out. If you can stop a horse from ending up in the wrong hands, and this chick really learning to despise sellers as "horse traders." you'd be doing everyone a great service.
    What MVP said!
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hntrjmprpro45 View Post
    I very much hate it when people come to try out horses but don't bring a trainer.
    It has gotten to the point where I am very unwilling to schedule an appointment unless a trainer is coming along.

    The amateur ladies as described by the OP generally have NO IDEA what they are looking at. They wouldn't know a suitable horse for them from an unsuitable horse from the neighbor's cat but then in some effort to prove they have read a book and are Educated and Discerning Consumers they astutely observe that because the horse has a little mark from the rasp on his hoof he must have foundered. Oooh, you got me there... :rollseyes:



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    Sounds like the seller acted in good faith if he gave her a few lessons during her trial rides and then refunded her money. That was a PITA to do and only the ethical ones will even entertain doing that when there is nothing wrong with the horse, only the buyer lacks the skill to ride it.

    Not his fault she over represented her skills and we really have NO IDEA what she told him her situation was. I bet he'd have gotten dissed just as bad if he let her ride it, gave her a couple of lesssons on it and then said no? She'd be bending your ear for that one just as much as this.

    Just mean sprited barn gossip with a buyer who refuses to admit she was as much at fault as the seller for the mismatch and had every opportunity to fully evaluate that horse. Or realize she lacked experience and brought somebody capable of so doing.

    90% of sellers would not have taken that horse back, she needs to realize that.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 4, 2003
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    Clinton, BC
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    Default

    I think you should tell her how lucky she is to have dealt with an honest horse seller/dealer. If she hasn't pissed him off too much, perhaps she should go back to him and ask him if he has anything more suitable for her after fully and truthfully explaining the sort of horse that she is looking for.



  12. #12
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    Jun. 7, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by NancyM View Post
    I think you should tell her how lucky she is to have dealt with an honest horse seller/dealer. If she hasn't pissed him off too much, perhaps she should go back to him and ask him if he has anything more suitable for her after fully and truthfully explaining the sort of horse that she is looking for.
    I'm not sure "honest" is the word. "Unbelievably gracious" is more like it.

    I certainly would not call him "dishonest" if he had refused to take the horse back.



  13. #13
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    Feb. 5, 2006
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    Kansas
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    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    90% of sellers would not have taken that horse back, she needs to realize that.

    90%? Findeight, you're a cockeyed optimist. More like 95 - 98%. Unless the seller is the breeder, they usually CAN'T take the horse back; most often it was on a commission sale for a third-party owner.

    OP, if the buyer is back in lessons with a trainer at your barn, it might be a kindness to suggest to both of them that she do her future shopping with the trainer in tow. After all, it's not going to make the trainer's life any easier, either, the next time she shows up with a luuuuv horse she can't handle.
    Incredible Invisible



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Lucama, NC
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    Default

    I am facing this issue with two of my students right now. The first is a 9 yr old kid that took lessons for a few months from me about a year and a half ago. Then didn't hear from them and suddenly about a week ago they asked me to help them find a replacement for their VERY small pony. hey wanted to also start back riding with me. heir budget was VERY low, well under $5K which makes it harder BUT all they need is something to do local showing. So I told them I would help. Two nights ago got an email that the mother bought the kid a horse, a BARREL RACER to do hutners on! Sent me a video and from the video I wasn't impresses at all, although, yes the girl DID jump him over a jump in the video. So now I have to see what sort of a mess we may have here, with ANY luck it is a sensible horse! Second is an adult NOVICE rider who started with me a couple years ago. Bought an older ex-schoolie for first horse. Unfortunately past year has done VERY little riding due to her father being ill and subsequently dying. Now wants something to go further with but she basically has to kind of "restart" riding, as she had never ever ridden prior to riding with me. She can do a cross rail that is about all right now. She is sending me ads of either horses that are WAY too much (read JUMPERS) for her to handle or 2, 3 and 4 yr olds! I have two right here in the barn that may suit her and am trying to convince her to slow down and take time and WE will find the right one! I am scared she will run out and buy some young horse that she has no business with and then, once again I will be cleaning up the mess! Hard sometimes for the trainer to CONVINCE the student we have their best interest in mind!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2007
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    285

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    Although there are plenty of times where a horse is misrepresented, sometimes a horse is fine when it's where it is tried out, but isn't when put into new circumstances. There is no way for a seller to be able to predict everything.

    One of my students had a great 5yo gelding - on the green side, but very steady and willing for his age and amount of u/s time. She bought him when he was 2 1/2yo and had him at our farm since (he hadn't gone to any shows yet). She started him herself with my supervision. He was a really good boy. Then came college/job/boyfriends/cars/life and she realized that he was sitting around in the pasture doing nothing, so she decided to sell him.

    Buyer comes to try him and we tell her everything about him that we know. She tries him and loves him, and he behaves as he usually does. She was a trainer, so we thought even better, she should be able to finish this greener horse who had a good foundation. She vetted him and bought him, brought him home to her big fancy facility. We hear that he is doing great, they are jumping him and even using him for some lessons. 2 months later, my student gets an email that says buy him back for 1/2 price in 3 days or he's going to the auction. No explanation - what?? My student tried to get her to tell us what was going on, but got a lot of strange, conflicting and evasive stories. None of this sounded right or like him at all, but my student didn't want to leave him in such a weird situation so agreed to buy him back. We took him to the vet hospital on the way home for a full evaluation, to see if he had been hurt, and if so, what was going on. He was fine.

    My student gets him home (to a new barn with an indoor) and rides him the next day. All bucks. Her next ride was all spooks, then the next ride was all rears! We'd never had him do any of this, ever. I came out and rode him next. He was better with me, felt like he was acting out because he was hyper, not from any injury. I told her to make sure he had plenty of turnout. What do you know, he's been perfect for her ever since. Just needed more playtime. Before he sold, he had always been in our pasture 24/7 and he had always been perfect. New owner had brought him home and just kept him in a stall with a run, with no big pasture turnout. If we had known this about him, we certainly would have told the new owner - but we had never had him in that circumstance. You'd think that as a trainer, the buyer could have figured that one out, but that's another story... : )

    Anyway, sounds like this seller wasn't trying to pull one over on her, especially if they bought the horse back. Sometimes things are different when the horse is in a new place, being fed differently, etc. and they can react to that differently than you expect.
    Work - feed - ride - shovel poop - repeat.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 29, 2003
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    Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Live2Jump View Post
    Sometimes things are different when the horse is in a new place, being fed differently, etc. and they can react to that differently than you expect.
    And this is why I am always a little cautious about jumping on the bandwagon when someone accuses a seller of misrepresentation.

    This should be standard knowledge when buying a horse - even an older, experienced horse can find new life when moved to a different situation (our one-foot-in-the-grave school pony acted like a 2 yr old a few years back when we changed locations). Sometimes that "he's never done that before" response is genuine
    \"Don\'t go throwing effort after foolishness\" >>>Spur, Man From Snowy River



  17. #17
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    Aug. 28, 2004
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    I find that buyers just have no clue a lot more often than sellers misrepresent a horse.



  18. #18
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    Apr. 23, 2008
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    I work at a little QH barn and we get people ALL THE TIME that come in "looking to buy a horse." And usually it goes something like this:

    Buyer: "So I am looking for a first horse for my daughter. Do you have one that would work?"

    Seller (Us): "Well Mrs. SoandSo, how long has your daughter been riding and what experience level is she?"

    Buyer: "She's been riding her whole life. Shes a very experienced rider. In fact, her grandpa is a professional cowboy, so the horse gene kind of runs in the family."

    Seller (us): We proceed to show them several likely candidates for their "experienced" daughter...

    Buyer: "Ummm.....actually, we would prefer a brown horse."

    Seller:

    Buyer: "Oh and by the way, what do they eat?"



    Im not kidding either. It would make you sick to see the kind of people that think they are ready for horse ownership..
    "To do something that you feel in your heart that's great, you need to make a lot of mistakes. Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes." -B.J. Armstrong



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 1, 2008
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    New Salisbury, IN
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    19

    Default

    Here is another aspect of the problem. TRY actually TELLING the potential buyer that they should not buy the horse when their heart is set on it. I have had that happen, and it can get dicey. If you tell them the horse is not suitable, they think you are saying they dont have good riding skills. I've had parents fuss with me on the phone when they called about horses I advertised as hunters, wanting event horses for their kids. The parents have argued with me that they wanted to come see the horse, even though I said I would only sell the horse as a hunter. I've had parents tell me that my hunters can event just fine (and these horses were wonderful at their job in the hunter ring but I know beyond a doubt they would not have done well as eventers). It was clear they were offended when I told them I would not show them the horse. I think they felt that I, a) was implying their kid could not ride, or b) did not like event riders. I have no problem selling a horse for eventing, if I feel the horse is suitable for it.
    And I have a dear friend whose daughter I help in a "lessons" (I'm any older amateur rider) they show up about once every two or three months. When they shop they assure people that they "work with a trainer" (I'm it - they have no money for a trainer), like they will get training for whatever they bring home. I've had to help them resell the past two unsuitable ponies they bought (so I guess I AM their trainer of sorts).

    So there is room for ranting here. People often dont know their limits, and dont understand that buying horses are not like buying cars. For the most part, the car you buy on January 1st will be pretty much the same car on June 1st, and then again the following year. Horses, not quite so. Experienced riders know that. Not so experienced riders, well without a trainer to guide them, they learn the hard way.



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