Weird dilemma: contacting owners of a horse I didn't buy
Ok so this sounds weird but I truly with all my heart don't mean for it to sound so dorky and stalkerish.
I'm not privileged enough to have a lot of horses in my life and so when I do have one, I only have one. A few years ago I fell head over heels in love with a horse and was supposed to buy him. Unfortunately, my truck broke down and I had to make the heartbreaking decision to back out of the deal. The owners weren't happy, which I really understood and when I tried to work it out with them, it didn't end well.
Ever since then I have not been able to get this horse out of my head. He was THE horse for me and now every time I go to look at new horses, I don't get the connection or excitement that I felt with that one horse.
I know for some people this sounds ridiculous but I know some people know what I mean by having this kind of a bond.
I recently found the owners email address and sent them an email to see whatever happened to him, thinking I could at least follow his career. I asked for a picture of him to remember him by as well. I apologized for what happened and explained that I had regretted it ever since as I have not been able to find a horse that compares to him. They have not responded.
I was thinking that since I also still have their home address I could send them a note through snail mail. Their email address is through aol and I sometimes have problems sending/receiving aol emails so I thought it wouldn't hurt to try to send a nice note to their home.
I don't want to come off as crazy and make these really nice women lock their barn doors. I really do want to know what happened to him and if he did get sold, perhaps contact the owners to see how he is doing, express an offer if he ever needs a home, and maybe follow his career.
I really don't want to be offensive. I know competition horses have fans and I would think that in this economy if someone contacted me about a horse I had, I would be happy to hear that after all this time there was still interest in the horse.
The owners apparently really liked me but were every unhappy with how things turned out. I really don't blame them but I don't have the money they do so I couldn't go forward with the sale at the time.
Does this sound crazy? What can I do? I have been watching the usual horse sale sites to see if he turns up but I really want to make more of an attempt without coming off as stalkerish, ya know?
I'm sure you will get lots of different thoughts on this one as it is an odd situation.
If the horse were mine and you contacted me I would probably reply to let you know horse had gone or whatever. I would NOT give you new owners contact details though. That would be the end of it as far as I was concerned and would not expect you to contact me again.
If I was you and I had contacted previous owner and they did not respond to my email then I would drop it and I certainly wouldn't go to their home or send a snail mail letter.
Each to their own though but yes I think it might be verging on obsession and you'd be better trying to look at other horses with fresh eyes and not compare them to this one which, by all accounts is never going to happen.
You have a completely romanticized notion of 'the one that got away'. You didn't even really know the horse, so how could you have bonded so completely and forever? I'm with Clover; let it go. You said that the negotiation ended badly and the owners weren't happy with you, so I doubt they have fond memories of their dealings with you. In short, this horse wasn't MEANT to be yours but you're pining because of the 'what ifs'. Let it go. You're doing nothing but making yourself look like a nutcase if you hound the original owners about where he went and who has him now. There's no way you should get that information anyway, because it's an invasion of privacy.
(especially since they chose not to respond to your email. Continuing past that to sending snail mail to their home is just going to make you look like a crazy person. Sorry. And yes, maybe your email wasn't delivered, but IMO the likelier scenario is that the people didn't want to respond. Remember "He's Not That Into You"? Maybe we need a horse-related version of that book, heh).
Plenty of other horses out there.
"smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"
I would let it go, too. These things, like the truck taking a dump, do happen for a reason. I think that if you decide to quit dwelling in the what-could-have-beens, you will be able to find yourself a horse. Good luck!
In case they did get your email and chose not to respond, then I think they would think stalker if they got a snail mail. Sad but true these days.
It's too bad, it's not wrong to want to follow a horse (there are a few I follow just to see how they are doing in their adult life) but if they don't want to cooperate, you can't force them to give you info. So let it go, you may stumble upon him again one day but in the meantime I'm sure there is one out there that would love to have your devotion.
Sometimes I just think funny things - Dudley Moore in Arthur Come join us at - TheMuckBucket
I'd send the letter. Maybe they didn't get your email, or the spam folder sucked it up.
If they did get your email and didn't respond, they deserve harassment. (My pet peeve - can you tell? How hard is it to make a brief response? Apparently harder for some than taking the chicken's way out and ignoring someone's communication, if the recipient thinks her answer is not one the sender will be happy to receive.)
Seriously, they know you have their address, so I don't see why sending a letter would be perceived as stalking. In fact, that's where I'd have started, rather than with an email.
Assuming, that is, that you are now in a position to buy him. If not, then I don't see the point in contacting them. But if you are, then I'd just send a note saying you're now in a position to purchase a horse and would like to try Whathisname and see if you're still a good match. Ask if they still have him or, if not, could they put you in touch with Whathisname's current owners in case he's presently on the market.
If they still ignore you, then I think you have to leave them to their bad manners.
Analytical thinking is the first casualty when opposing sides polarize, and that shows lack of common sense on both sides.
All things being equal, I'd ask "how thick is your skin?" You could send them a snail-mail letter and risk having them think you're a wacko. Do you care? I wouldn't care since I'm sure I'm not nuts!
But you must ask yourself what you want from the owner. I can't tell. Do you want to be part of the horse's life or just receive a "heads up" if they ever decide to sell, or do you wish to offer to buy him now? If you can't be clear about what you want, that makes it tough for the other people to respond.
I would find it flattering if a member of my horse's (considerable!) fan base e-mailed me a quick "How's he doing?" note. It would be useful if a trusted fan said "He'll always have a great home with me if not with you." But if I didn't know you except via an aborted deal, I don't know which group you'd fall into.
If you meant to say "Keep my contact info in case you should ever want to sell him," I think that's fine. Then let them do what they will.
I rescued a mare a few years ago, went through a lot with her. I sold her with the proviso I got first refusal. They sold her a couple of months later to someone else (before asking me if I'd buy her back). I saw her on craigslist a few months after that, and tried to buy her. Unfortunately they wanted five times as much as I'd sold her for (she was an exceptional horse when healthy and had amazing AQHA bloodlines) and I couldn't negotiate them any lower.
At any rate - it ended up the newest owner wasn't able to get the price she wanted so gave her to a niece. I did email her recently (over a year after she was for sale) to find out if she was still doing well, and if she was for sale I'd gladly buy her. She wrote back and said she had found her forever home with her niece, all was well.
After that - I let it go. Course... if I ever see her for sale again I'll snap her up LOL!
I vote for sending the snail mail. Many of my contacts have "moved on" from their original aol.com email address, and as you said they can be finicky when it comes to delivery.
I would say (a watered-down version of) what you said here, perhaps even including a "please don't think I'm a nut" or some other placating phrase. I would keep it light and say this is the last communication you will send, but you know how emails can be iffy. I would NOT ask a thing about the horse's current owners, beyond asking them to let you know if they no longer have him. I'm not sure I'd even do that. But where he is now is none of your business if he's not with them -- arguably none of your business even if he IS with them, so I'd tread lightly.
I would also caution against making ANY promises about what you'll do if and when he is available for sale. Someone else above said it very nicely -- you'd like the opportunity to try him again to see if the "chemistry" still exists. It might not. You MIGHT be romanticizing. And you absolutely do not want to jerk them around.
And THEN let it go.
Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf
Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?
I don't want to know what 'it didn't end well' means.
You cannot justify your position sufficiently to make it make sense or to make me, IMO, say heck yeah. It Just Does Not Matter.
from my seat, Some fruitbat contacts me yrs after they flaked out on buying a horse for whatever reason and 'it didn't end well.' Now they are still mooning over him and wanting pictures. No flipping way I'm opening that door. It's just creepy.
I think you need to close that door.
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. (Steven Wright)
I worked a horse when I was in college, I really liked him but did have the $ to buy him. I moved away and a few years later moved back. I was very excited to go ride him again and thought about buying him. When I got there he was not as I remembered. It was a huge dissapointment.
I have to agree with the poster who said things happen for a reason. Find another horse to love and move on. There is not just one horse for everyone.
As a seller, if somebody crapped out on a horse deal for what seemed like a valid reason (after all, fate s**ts on everybody now and then) and contacted me later with a "where's he at in case my circumstances permit me to go shopping in the future", I would at least thank them for their interest and offer to pass their contact info along to the most recent owner I had any info about.
If I still had the horse (and he was still for sale), however, they'd have to have cash in hand before I'd consider such an inquirer as a serious prospective buyer -- but I wouldn't hold a grudge on account of the previous fallout. At least not unless they'd previously proved themselves unworthy on other grounds.
I'm with those that say, let it go. While I don't think contacting them was out of place, asking for a picture and wanting to know about his career might have been enough to make them think otherwise. Having a picture and knowing what he is doing will only add to the grief you have about not buying him. It's time to let him go and move on. There are many wonderful horses out there, the one that got away, was just one of them, there are many more still waiting.
Back when I was horse shopping, for like two years, I went through many situations which were almost like dating. I'd read the Dreamhorse ad, call and the horse would sound perfect, then by the time was able to go see the horse it would be sold and I'd be kicking myself. I did romanticize horses that seemed to be right for me, or that I had declined to buy but then after seeing a bunch of crap horses, suddenly would seem perfect for me but I was too late.
I did get to follow one such romanticized horse to a conclusion. This was a mare, and the first time I tried her was the day after a rainy week, and she clearly was high, I was nervous, it's didn't go well. So I called and arranged to ride her again. This time she was perfect, and I made an offer based on that she had no papers and no show record. The seller said no way.
A few months and many horses later, I tried another horse in the same county, and that did not go well. I left there in tears. thinking about the other mare. Even though I had lost the phone number, I knew where they lived so I drove down there. In the meantime, I was talking to my friend on the phone and joking about what they would think when an insane woman wearing clown make up showed up at their ranch.
I eventually got in touch with the people and tried her again. This time, the mare's mouth was bloody because they had ridden her the day before in a harsh bit. It was clear that they did not ride her regularly, so this time I declined to pursue it any further because an iron clad rule for me was not to consider a horse not already doing the work I would be asking it to do.
A year later, I was still out trying horses, and I ran into the owner. Yes he still had her, no they hadn't been riding her, but what the heck. I rode her again and still had reservations, but made an offer, which they never responded to. I cried.
Then one day I tried a horse in the same general area, and asked who the farrier was for the horse. It was the seller of that mare. We talked about her, and the woman told me she too had tried riding her, and the mare reared and tried to get her off, and when that didn't work, she went over backwards! She still hadn't completely recovered from the mare falling on her.
So that explained why the harsh bit, why such a fantastic horse was left standing, and I could finally let it go.
Sorry for the novel, but my point is that the horse I fell in love with was not the horse they were selling, it was my idea of her. The horse gods were looking out for me, but I didn't know it at the time. Take it on faith that this is probably not the horse for you or it would have worked out.