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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2005
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    Default 2nd chance or no? Horse sale gone awry

    I will be deliberately vague but I'd like some opinions as I am pretty upset.

    Sold horse in the spring. New owner very VERY excited, we cut price slightly as new owner asked, since such a good home would be provided. Trailer horse to new home, decent facility, not sure how knowledgeable people running it are, but new owner is paying & doing partial care so what could happen?

    Haven't heard a peep since, until this week. Horse is having soundness "issues" that prevent riding. Arrange to pick horse up so that our vet/farrier/people who've known the horse can figure it out and fix it.

    Go to pick horse up. New owner comments on the walk to the field that there were days when horse refused even to walk under saddle. Here comes a dull-coated, listless, slightly ribby horse walking as though it had foundered. Upon closer inspection, hooves are in horrid shape, heels dropped, chipped, cracked, splayed.... Previous owner (not me) comments on the poor condition the horse is in. New owner replies "Oh, do you think so?"

    Bring horse home. Determine that horse has not foundered. Previous owner (not me) agrees to board horse at same rate new owner has been paying while horse heals, & allow new owner access to other ridable horses in the interim.

    Is this a WTF or not? How would you resolve a situation like this? Photos & video exist of the horse, happy & healthy prior to leaving our care; I took "after" photos this morning to document. When I looked at them made me want to cry. This was a happy-go-lucky horse who'd been eager to do anything, anytime.
    It isn't awful or unfixable, but had it gone on, it would've been. I don't get how someone could even try to ride a horse walking like that, IGNORE routine hoof care, and NOT notice (or maybe not care?) that the horse's condition had deteriorated.

    Is there a possible good outcome to this? I wish previous owner would just take the horse back and forget it, but obviously there are financial concerns if that were to happen.

    (If the new owner by any chance is a COTH member and figures out this thread, I won't say anything to your face, but I am so very disappointed and the horse comes first in my mind. I don't care about hurt feelings. You are a nice person, but if you were half as smart as you think you are, you'd be a genius.)
    It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2007
    Posts
    127

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    Um, I'm really hoping that previous owner isn't offering these 'rideable' horses for free, is she?

    I'm so, so, so sorry this happened. If it were me though, there is no way in HELL she'd be so much as TOUCHING (much less RIDING) my 'rideable' horses. Not after what she did to the first one she had in her care.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    Why are you going to pick up the horse, take it places, and see to its care? Didn't you sell it? Why is the former owner paying for care that the current owner is responsible for? And providing other horses for the current owner to ride? Doesn't sound like it's your situation to "resolve" any longer?

    Not being snarky, just genuinely confused as to the animal's ownership status and the actual questions being asked.

    As to a possible good outcome--ignorance is 100% curable, but the cure (education and knowledge) has to be actively sought and that requires the learner to acknowledge their ignorance.
    Click here before you buy.



  4. #4
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    Oct. 20, 2005
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    Horse is still owned by the new owner. Previous owner, to keep it short, is a friend of mine & I board my horses at the previous owner's farm and have worked with previous owner's horses (including this one) for most/all of their lives. If I were a rider or had the funds for a pasture pet, I'd have bought this one. We had another party interested who wanted the horse as a kids' horse, but went with this person instead as we figured the horse would have it a little easier.

    I am happy that new owner contacted us for help. We make it a point to be there for all former horses if needed. I don't know who'll pay for shoer or hauling but I sure as hell hope it's the new owner. Previous owner has been in the horse business a long, long time & genuinely likes the current owner & trying to do a favor, and is chalking it up to feeding poor quality hay at a substandard facility which doesn't typically care for horses of this breed. I can buy that, but not the feet. I am the first person to say that my own horses have gone too long at times between trims, but I am not riding them every day!
    It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 10, 2009
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    NC piedmont
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    Unfortunately, unless the current owner wants to sell the horse to someone more knowledgeable, there isn't anything you can do, unless the neglect is so extreme that the horse would be seized by animal control, in which case you still have no control over its future. As carppy an owner as she sounds like, the bottom line is, she owns the horse, and its future is entirely up to her at this point.

    Hopefully the new owner will realize what good care the horse is getting now and will emulate that in the future. People can learn. If she was inexperienced, she may not have known about proper foot care, and if she saw the horse daily, its decline would not have been as striking as it was to you. These are not excuses; if she doesn't learn from her mistakes, she doesn't deserve this horse or any other, but the fact is right now she owns this one, and unless you are prepared to make an offer on the horse and assume its full care, the decisions aren't yours to make.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2006
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    1,540

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    Maybe the new owner just doesn't know better and needs someone to educate them. My first TB was my second horse ever, the first being a 24yo arab cross. I was well versed in foot and health care by then, but had NO idea how to feed a TB. Six months after buying her I took her to her first show where her previous owner said in front of several people THAT HORSE LOOKS LIKE $HIT. My 12yo self was devestated, I'm sure she was skinny with a dull coat, I just had no idea how to feed her and I didn't know enough to realize how bad she looked. I learned fast and to this day am thankful for the wake up call. If the previous owner was still alive I'm sure he would be making fun of me for how "fluffy" she is now 22 years later.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2006
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    Frederick, MD. Canada originally!
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    2,498

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    Why are you going to pick up the horse, take it places, and see to its care? Didn't you sell it? ...
    Amen. Horse has been sold. If new owner called old owner for advice, advice should be given. Old owner isn't financial responsible for ANY of this. This is very bizarre. Unless new owner is willing to relinquish horse free of charge to old owner, the old owner is stepping outside the conventional borders and is most likely going to get very burned in doing so.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 4, 2009
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    MD
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    4,350

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    Horse has been sold. If new owner called old owner for advice, advice should be given. Old owner isn't financial responsible for ANY of this. This is very bizarre. Unless new owner is willing to relinquish horse free of charge to old owner, the old owner is stepping outside the conventional borders and is most likely going to get very burned in doing so.
    SABOVEE


    There could be some legal ramifications unless the previous owner right now gets a BOARDING agreement signed from CURRENT owner. Her good will has just opened a huge can of worms. Also if providing a riding horse any horse for CURRENT owner to ride there better be either a lesson agreement or a lease signed. The implications this creates in "some" minds will not be good.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2010
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    2,739

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    So essentially this woman bought a horse, didn't take proper care of it, and is now allowing the old owner to take care of the expenses and heartache of fixing her horse for her but she gets the horse back in the end......big big big mistake.

    Unless the new owner is genuinely invested in every single step and is absorbing information like a sponge then I bet we are going to see this same post in a few months or worse, she won't be able to get the new owner to leave her property.


    I don't mean to sound heartless and I can really relate to the old owner. Back in 2008 I sold my mare (in my sig) to a young rider for a deep discount because the rider seemed incredibly invested, rode 5 days a week, and lived across the street from her barn. Fast forward 18 months, I start getting vague messages about my mare being hard to handle, bucking under saddle, stopping at fences, etc but I could never find out any details. This mare was/is a hard ride but nothing remotely dangerous or even naughty.

    My gut told me something was off and I started regularly searching sale sites. Thanksgiving day my mare turns up on the giveaway section of equine.com, no picture, just a 3 line description.

    I drove 3 hours to find my mare with overgrown feet that we self-trimming, no blanket in November (TBx), underweight, wormy, dull coat, and no life in her eyes. I loaded her up along with her "dressage tack" (a pelham, $150 kit ebay saddle, and spurs). I am still racked with guilt about letting her end up in this situation but it really seemed like the perfect home at the time (great references, nice trainer, stable family, etc).


    The ONLY reason this didn't come back to bite me is that the new owner was doing payments on the mare. When she stopped paying and then listed my mare, we were able to take her back as their final "payment".



    The old owner either needs to buy back the horse for a small amount or walk away. I know that's easier said than done because I couldn't have just walked away from my mare but this situation isn't going to end well.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2009
    Posts
    573

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    I did something similar and it worked out ok-in the end. I sold a horse to 1st time owners who had built a nice facility at home. Since they had never cared for a horse on their own before, I required them to board with me for 6 months before taking the horse home (part of the sale agreement). They were very diligent. Showed up at feeding time, helped feed often, saw how much hay it actually takes, helped with water buckets, checking feet, etc. After the 6 months was up, I felt they were very able to take the horse home. We talked a few times over the next year. They told me of this trainer and that and what they were doing. Everything sounded great. I saw them at a show and almost had a heart attack. Horse was 200-300 pounds underweight, dull, and her feet were awful. I called them a few days later and we met for lunch. I brought pics of what she had looked like so they could see the difference. It had happened so slowly (in their eyes) they really hadn't seen the change and since they had changed trainers a few times, they had also changed farriers and vets, so no-one saw the progression.
    I never picked the horse up, but I did work with them and talk to the trainer, etc. They were very open to my help once they were able to see what had happened. They bought her in 1999, they still have her and she's in great condition/care. They really just didn't get it.
    Do not toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    Default

    I want to clarify that I don't think it's wrong to help out a buyer if there is a genuine need (whether it be situational or level of knowledge) but providing more horses for her to ride seems a little over the top. The new owner needs horsemanship lessons, not riding lessons.
    Click here before you buy.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
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    If the Old Owner (OO) is boarding the horse for a fee, and the New Owner (NO) is also paying farrier and vet bills, I see nothing wrong with that arrangement. If the OO is eating some costs, then that's her perogative.

    However, I would MOST definitely take this opportunity to educate the NO as to what was wrong with the horse when he came to the OO's barn, and why what's being done to bring him back is the better care, the standard of care, the LEAST amount of care a horse should have.

    It's truly amazing what some people think is acceptable in terms of animal care and health You CAN fix ignorance, if the person is open to it.

    In the end, the horse still belongs to NO and there's nothing you can do about it if the NO wishes to keep it that way. You could "stalk" her and keep tabs on this horse/other horses where she boards and call AC if things are that bad, or you can hope that your combined education has her re-evaluating her choice of boarding barns.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2007
    Posts
    500

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    I agree with JB. I have a neighbor who has some horses. One of their horses each winter drops weight. I have, in the past, taken the horse on at my house and rehabbed it back to good health. I had the farrier fix the feet, vet do bloodwork, wormed it, etc. Next winter, the same thing happened. I was so tempted to go back and take the horse on again but I had no room at the time. I called my neighbors and educated them about grain, worming, etc. The farrier does their horses feet when my horses need to be done so at least that is off the list of worries.

    You can take back 'control' of the horse, get it sound and healthy and there is a HUGE chance that the horse will be in the same condition in 6 months. Some people do not look at their horses at many of us do.

    I would have an honest discussion with the New Owner and find out what they ultimately want to do. You need to be honest to the NO (new owner) about your concerns but unless you buy the horse back, you need to let go. Some people you can educate til the cows come home and they will still take care of the animal the same way they did before.
    Keep in mind...normal is just a dryer setting.~anonymous



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2008
    Location
    Middle USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    If the Old Owner (OO) is boarding the horse for a fee, and the New Owner (NO) is also paying farrier and vet bills, I see nothing wrong with that arrangement. If the OO is eating some costs, then that's her perogative.

    However, I would MOST definitely take this opportunity to educate the NO as to what was wrong with the horse when he came to the OO's barn, and why what's being done to bring him back is the better care, the standard of care, the LEAST amount of care a horse should have.

    It's truly amazing what some people think is acceptable in terms of animal care and health You CAN fix ignorance, if the person is open to it.

    In the end, the horse still belongs to NO and there's nothing you can do about it if the NO wishes to keep it that way. You could "stalk" her and keep tabs on this horse/other horses where she boards and call AC if things are that bad, or you can hope that your combined education has her re-evaluating her choice of boarding barns.



    This is exactly what I was going to say ( but you said it Much better)!!

    Just because this has started out a bit badly I wouldn't say the new owner is hopeless. My first horse was kept at my home when I was 14. I loved him to death, but was very ignorant on horse care. He was ribby at times( looking back at pictures years later) probably due to not enough feed when I started riding him, and hoof care was probably not too routine either. At 17 I moved and I had to board him, for the first time. That was an eye opening , educating and life changing part of my life with horses. With education I learned and this lady can too.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2006
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    Albany NY
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    I understand why OO and you did what you did. I would too.

    This, you cant tell the new owner, is your opportunity to continue owning this horse. You need to be educated about his care, and the neglect you served him almost put him in founder.

    Help the new owner find the best farrier. Tell the new owner his feet have to be looked after every 5 or 6 weeks without fail- 7 weeks is not an option. Tell her that you will be in touch with Farrier to see how his feet are progressing (say that, instead of "to see if you are being competent").

    Re-itterate with the new owner many many basic levels of horse care, including feed. Put him on the correct feed, and tell owner if she thinks anythign should change aobout his feed to call you and you will consult with her about any changes and tell her what is her next step.

    Outline the basic care and things to watch for - dull coat, changes in how the animal stands, etc. Sores and how to treat them, and that sores around tack areas are unacceptable.

    Really be specific, write it out.

    Tell her that if the horse is found neglected in any of these areas again, that she can sign him over to you; that he is your charge until he is in a safe place.

    See if it works. Don't neglect to read her the riot act. She needs it.
    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.



  16. #16
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    Dec. 21, 2008
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    Middle USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnotherRound View Post
    I understand why OO and you did what you did. I would too.

    This, you cant tell the new owner, is your opportunity to continue owning this horse. You need to be educated about his care, and the neglect you served him almost put him in founder.

    Help the new owner find the best farrier. Tell the new owner his feet have to be looked after every 5 or 6 weeks without fail- 7 weeks is not an option. Tell her that you will be in touch with Farrier to see how his feet are progressing (say that, instead of "to see if you are being competent").

    Re-itterate with the new owner many many basic levels of horse care, including feed. Put him on the correct feed, and tell owner if she thinks anythign should change aobout his feed to call you and you will consult with her about any changes and tell her what is her next step.

    Outline the basic care and things to watch for - dull coat, changes in how the animal stands, etc. Sores and how to treat them, and that sores around tack areas are unacceptable.

    Really be specific, write it out.

    Tell her that if the horse is found neglected in any of these areas again, that she can sign him over to you; that he is your charge until he is in a safe place.

    See if it works. Don't neglect to read her the riot act. She needs it.



    No offense but, the old owner does not have the authority to do any of the above as the horse was sold and paid for ( in full I suspect) by the new owner. I would take the kinder approach and teach her how to properly care for the horse while it is in the care of the old owner. Reading the riot act will just pi-- her off and she might take her horse and go. I would imagine the horses at the place she boarded all looked pretty bad and she just didn't see it happening.



  17. #17
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Greensboro, NC
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    Agreed - neither the OP nor the OO have any authority to lay out how the horse has to be cared for or else. Not only is there no authority, it's very dictatorial and shuts the door on actual communication which could be beneficial to everyone involved.

    Treat this as an opportunity, not something to slap a label on and shake a finger at.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by candyappy View Post
    No offense but, the old owner does not have the authority to do any of the above as the horse was sold and paid for ( in full I suspect) by the new owner. I would take the kinder approach and teach her how to properly care for the horse while it is in the care of the old owner. Reading the riot act will just pi-- her off and she might take her horse and go. I would imagine the horses at the place she boarded all looked pretty bad and she just didn't see it happening.
    This. Sorry, OP, and I mean no offense, but you and your friend the previous owner have absolutely no power over this situation. All you can do is offer your help and hope the owner takes it, or if things get bad enough call the relevant authorities. So yes, the current owner gets a second chance by default, since she/he/they are the current owners and the horse has not been seized by law enforcement. Of course disregard this if it was some sort of payment plan or something than wasn't met, in which case I say screw them.

    I've been in a similar situation (I think most folks who have sold lots of horses have sold to someone who wasn't what they seemed at least once) and honestly I think your current owner has earned a "second chance" by virtue of apparently wanting to learn. Freaking out or shutting down will only scare them away. From your OP, it sounds to me like they are open to learning, so if you can, teach them!

    I make pretty much all of my living from the horse industry, and I see potentially great owners led astray by bad "experts" all the time. Honestly, that's human nature. We all want the easy way out, and we're all able to be seduced by the right smooth talker. Seriously, studies have shown that people who join cults (and we're talking Jonestown or Waco-style cults) are of above average intelligence, but they're lacking fulfillment or some other nebulous thing that the charismatic cult leader promises. I see the same principle in horse training, only worse because if you don't grow up with them, you don't know what is "normal" in the first place.

    I think whether the person deserves a "second chance" is irrelevant, since as I said, they've got one since it is their horse. Instead, the question should be, "Am I willing/can I afford to educate this person about proper horse care?" That's something you and your friend can only answer for yourselves. Personally, I do try to help anyone I sell a horse to within reason, but you may or may not be able to. If you can't, that's fine. If you can, and are worried about the horse, it will probably be worth it to educate the owners.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
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    When I sell a horse, I try to keep track of the horse for the horse's lifetime. 15 years ago, we sold my daughter's medium pony. The first new owner took great care of her. The next new owner intended to take good care of her. They are decent but disorganized people, and often run short of money. When I found her with a frozen water bucket, I brought them an electric water bucket. They had no idea that electric buckets existed. For the next 10 years, she never had frozen water, as they knew to replace the water bucket when it broke.

    When the pony got old and thin, I brought them a bag of Senior feed and some alfalfa Dengie. For the next 8 years, they bought Senior feed and alfalfa Dengie. Every year, I ordered vaccines for them when I ordered my own vaccines, and they dutifully gave the vaccines and reimbursed me for the cost. If I had not bought the vaccines, I'm sure the pony would not have received vaccines regularly.

    The pony died this year at age 36. She had a decent life, and was well loved. Her care was not always perfect, but I think she was comfortable and happy. I think that my interventions made a long term difference in her quality of life. Some people want to do things the right way, but just need a little help in getting it done.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slewdledo View Post
    Is there a possible good outcome to this?
    From your many fun posts you are incredibly devoted to the horses in your care and make sure they have good homes and new careers. I am so sorry that this has happened to one of "yours." It is so very hard to see.

    There is lots of great advice here...so it will be a matter of deciding, with your friend and maybe the current owner, what is the best course. Education and assistance for a time sound like an option that might enable you to monitor the horse and really help a new horse owner. One concern that crops up so often is whether a new horse owner has the finances to properly care for their animal. Could that be a problem with the current owner?

    Best wishes.



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