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  1. #1

    Default Is this seller flaky or not?

    I am posting this asking advice for a friend. She has not listened to much of my advice regarding this but she has come to me now for help after some of her mistakes nipped her in the butt.

    She goes to purchase young horse. Things are going well but the seller disappears for awhile and is acting flakey. I tell her to move on from the sale because I don't trust this seller. Seller comes back, talks of a family emergency that had happened and everything seems fine again. Friend goes with trainer to see the horse, horse seems great. PPE goes well too.

    Then the contract comes up. While a clause was added giving her the right to take her horse and the right to the papers as soon as the check clears, she didn't put in a trial period. The contract very blatantly favors the seller, and not her. I had warned her about negotiating but it is what it is now.

    If more details are necessary I'll add em, but I'll keep this short and sweet for now:

    * Friend uses my shipper, who I trust with my life.
    * There is a problem, the seller and shipper are unable to get in contact an without the seller confirming the date the shipper won't ship.
    * Friend uses different, less experienced shipper against my advice, shipper has difficulty loading horses.
    * Friend goes back to original shipper and is now working on one final attempt at delivery.

    When the seller did not return the shippers calls until it was too late, she promised that next time she would be on top of it. With the next shipper, she was, but the horse had loading difficulties. The shipper who I trust is telling the friend to be wary of this seller because the excuses weren't adding up (claimed that because it was dark and rainy, that's why the horse wouldn't load, and wanted to reschedule the shipment day because of it might "rain").

    Friend wants to file this as a case in small claims court if the shipment fails again, though I'm not sure she has a case. I think this is very suspicious, but getting more opinions is important.



  2. #2
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    Maybe I'm confused. First no trial period in the contract. Well of all the horses I've bought I had no trial period in contracts. So idk. Once I did the vet checks and paid and signed the papers horse was mine and that was that. On the right to take the horse back. Is it first right of refusal or is it she can take the horse anytime if she feels its not properly cared for etc. First right of refusal can be common. If she just has she can take the horse back when she feels then no way would I sign that contract. I've heard of people keeping papers until the check clears just to make sure but most sellers I know unless they know the person doesn't release the horse until cash is in hand. So until the check clears etc. Sounds as if person could be flaky for sure and the shipper thing is a little weird. But she just may have bought a horse that's a stinker to load. Did she ask before or see him load before she bought him?
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  3. #3
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    Yes, seller sounds flaky, or sucks at communicating at the very least, but seems like it's too late now. Lack of a trial period is not unusual though, I know many people who would not let a horse go on trial. If your friend paid for a horse and ultimately does not receive the horse, then sure she has a court case.

    Also, I would make sure the papers ship with the horse. I'm assuming the check has certainly cleared after all that time. If the papers don't come with the horse, I doubt she will ever see them.


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  4. #4
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    First of all, many sellers do not offer trial periods. There's nothing flaky or one sided about that.

    Otherwise, I'm not sure there are enough details to make a judgement. Sounds like the horse doesn't load well, that's certainly not a good thing.

    Is the seller trying to refuse to allow the new owner to take possession? Or are they trying to make sure that the next attempt to load and transport the horse is under ideal circumstances since there were issues the first two times? Honestly, unless they are trying to take the buyer's money and keep the horse, there's no benefit for a seller to keep and care for a horse that is already sold any longer than they have to.

    If the horse is bad enough about loading, I could see the buyer considering wanting to back out of the deal even if it meant losing a deposit and the money they spent on the PPE. In that case, unless the seller lied about how the horse loaded and trailered at the time of the sale, I'm not sure the buyer would be entitled to get that money back.



  5. #5
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    I agree that the lack of trial is not unusual. In fact there are so many horror stories about horses going on trial that it's amazing they still happen.

    As for the shipping? I'd be annoyed if the seller was unable to connect with my shipper but just because they are flakey, I wouldn't see it as a huge issue.

    Hard to know if the horse not loading was caused by the second shipper or that the horse just isn't good at loading.

    I can't imagine why the buyer would think they had a case for small claims court! There was no "guarantee" in the contract that the horse would get on the trailer and if it was rainy and dark and the horse hasn't been loaded much it could be an issue.

    Heck, I've seen horses that took more than an hour to load -- and these are horses that you KNOW have gotten on trailers before. Experienced shippers generally have a lot of tricks up their sleeves when it comes to loading problem horses, but an animal can assert itself and decide it doesn't want to load.

    If your friend is really concerned, she should be there to supervise the process.
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  6. #6
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    As others have said, trial periods are not a necessity. A buyer could ask for one, but is not entitled to receive one. You do typically only receive the horse and papers once the cheque has cleared, that's not uncommon. Beyond the weird incident with the shippers and problems loading, I am failing to see what is so problematic about this arrangement. If your friend doesn't receive the horse though she's paid for it (I'm assuming there's a bill of sale involved), then she could take this person to court. Otherwise, this all seems pretty standard and she just happens to be dealing with someone who's a bit more flaky than one may expect or desire.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabicon View Post
    Maybe I'm confused. First no trial period in the contract. Well of all the horses I've bought I had no trial period in contracts. So idk. Once I did the vet checks and paid and signed the papers horse was mine and that was that. On the right to take the horse back. Is it first right of refusal or is it she can take the horse anytime if she feels its not properly cared for etc. First right of refusal can be common. If she just has she can take the horse back when she feels then no way would I sign that contract. I've heard of people keeping papers until the check clears just to make sure but most sellers I know unless they know the person doesn't release the horse until cash is in hand. So until the check clears etc. Sounds as if person could be flaky for sure and the shipper thing is a little weird. But she just may have bought a horse that's a stinker to load. Did she ask before or see him load before she bought him?

    I meant that my friend has the right to take the horse off the property at any time of her choosing as soon as the check cleared, not the seller. She did not ask to see the horse load as she didn't think it would be an issue.

    Other people asked similar so I'll clarify below

    Quote Originally Posted by furlong47 View Post
    Yes, seller sounds flaky, or sucks at communicating at the very least, but seems like it's too late now. Lack of a trial period is not unusual though, I know many people who would not let a horse go on trial. If your friend paid for a horse and ultimately does not receive the horse, then sure she has a court case.

    Also, I would make sure the papers ship with the horse. I'm assuming the check has certainly cleared after all that time. If the papers don't come with the horse, I doubt she will ever see them.
    I agree. She said the seller was going to ship her the papers, I told her to have the papers handed over with the horse.

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeHoney View Post
    First of all, many sellers do not offer trial periods. There's nothing flaky or one sided about that.

    Otherwise, I'm not sure there are enough details to make a judgement. Sounds like the horse doesn't load well, that's certainly not a good thing.

    Is the seller trying to refuse to allow the new owner to take possession? Or are they trying to make sure that the next attempt to load and transport the horse is under ideal circumstances since there were issues the first two times? Honestly, unless they are trying to take the buyer's money and keep the horse, there's no benefit for a seller to keep and care for a horse that is already sold any longer than they have to.

    If the horse is bad enough about loading, I could see the buyer considering wanting to back out of the deal even if it meant losing a deposit and the money they spent on the PPE. In that case, unless the seller lied about how the horse loaded and trailered at the time of the sale, I'm not sure the buyer would be entitled to get that money back.
    The horse only had trouble with loading once.

    The first time around, when the friend used my shipper (who years back shipped my horse, who was a 17H problem loader that was terrified of trailers without much issue and this is a smaller horse) there were communication problems. The shipper called the seller several times a day for 3 days prior to the expected pick-up date trying to confirm. The seller never called him back, claimed to not receive his calls (this shipper is diligent with calls--so I believe him over her). So the horse didn't get delivered. The second time my friend used a less experienced shipper who couldn't get the horse to load.

    The seller said that the horse wasn't loading because it was dark and rainy. The first time around she was hesitant of the expected pick-up date because it might be "muddy". She also tried to complain about the horse shipping alone (it wasn't). If anything, this shipper is being very neurotic about the horse. These are things the shipper has called out to be suspicious.

    I totally want to give the seller the benefit of the doubt here. Maybe she's a genuinely flaky person who's bad at communication. I haven't met her, I've only heard from my friend.

    Edit: I've been using this shipper for nearly ten years. I have never once had a problem with him or known someone who has. That is why I trust him so much.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinydragon View Post
    As others have said, trial periods are not a necessity. A buyer could ask for one, but is not entitled to receive one. You do typically only receive the horse and papers once the cheque has cleared, that's not uncommon. Beyond the weird incident with the shippers and problems loading, I am failing to see what is so problematic about this arrangement. If your friend doesn't receive the horse though she's paid for it (I'm assuming there's a bill of sale involved), then she could take this person to court. Otherwise, this all seems pretty standard and she just happens to be dealing with someone who's a bit more flaky than one may expect or desire.
    The check cleared 3 weeks ago.



  9. #9
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    Does it matter if she's flakey? If I really liked the horse and it vetted clean, assuming I could get it to my place sound after buying it (and maybe there is something wrong with the horse and the seller is stalling), I wouldn't really care if the seller was flakey. Maybe I won't do business with them in the future, but after putting in the time and money to get this horse I'd just deal with it.


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eventer13 View Post
    Does it matter if she's flakey? If I really liked the horse and it vetted clean, assuming I could get it to my place sound after buying it (and maybe there is something wrong with the horse and the seller is stalling), I wouldn't really care if the seller was flakey. Maybe I won't do business with them in the future, but after putting in the time and money to get this horse I'd just deal with it.
    Being flakey alone isn't an issue to me. It's more or less than my friend cashed a five figure check almost a month ago and the seller appears to be stalling. That's what I suspect is going on, at least. I agree with you though. It would be a lot more complicated to get a refund than it would to just go with the horse.

    The horse is good from what I've seen. Trainer says the horse has really great temperament, learns fast, and is in good health. I don't get what the problem is. Horse is young so naturally there are problems loading, but as long as the seller communicates, shipping should go just fine.



  11. #11
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    Small claims court for what? Unless it says otherwise in the contract it is the buyer's responsibility to get the horse.

    Honestly, I think both of you are making a mountain out of a molehill. Trial periods are uncommon (and I never advise them - too many things can go wrong). As far as whether or not the seller got the shipper's calls - the shipper may have made the calls and left the messages, but that doesn't mean the seller got the messages. I recently had an issue with my phone and didn't get any messages for almost a week. It happens.

    Why your friend has allowed the horse to stay with the seller for this amount of time is beyond me. If I were the seller I would not be happy (I wonder if the seller will start a "is this buyer flaky or not" thread?).
    Most people don't need a $35,000 horse. They need a $1,000 horse and $34,000 in lessons.

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  12. #12
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    How far away is the horse?



  13. #13
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    I'm not as suspicious about the seller's behavior, but regardless given the mis-cues so far, a five-figure horse seems worth a car trip or plane ticket to be there when the horse loads, and to make sure the papers are handed over.
    Try to break down crushing defeats into smaller, more manageable failures. It’s also helpful every now and then to stop, take stock of your situation, and really beat yourself up about it.The Onion


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HungarianHippo View Post
    I'm not as suspicious about the seller's behavior, but regardless given the mis-cues so far, a five-figure horse seems worth a car trip or plane ticket to be there when the horse loads, and to make sure the papers are handed over.
    My thinking exactly. Go. and be there with the shipper, and get the horse. It's not that difficult.


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  15. #15
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    I don't offer an off-the-farm trial with my horses. This would be doubly true in the case of a young, green horse.

    As a seller, I would not want to keep a sold horse on my property for any longer than necessary given the care, custody and control issues. I am surprised that the seller didn't work with the horse on loading, like feeding it on the trailer in a non-stressful situation.

    As for shippers, they can be problematic. Some of them work on crazy schedules so they want to pick-up at 3 a.m. Or they lack the person-power to deal with a difficult loader. I can understand the seller being concerned about conditions like rain or mud.

    Personally, I would go get the horse myself. Bring lunge lines, lunge whips. chain shanks, blindfolds, food, and plenty of extra people. Have a vet on hand if you need to drug the horse. Then take the horse home and teach it to load when there is no pressure.

    The shipping is the buyer's problem and the buyer seems flakey to me. Why on earth would you leave a horse for nearly a month over a shipping issue?
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  16. #16
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    1) Make sure horse is insured with friend listed as owner etc

    2) Make new arrangement with Shipper & either travel with to collect horse or meet Shipper at seller's farm to ensure there are no more delays. An experienced shipper WILL get the horse on the trailer.

    3) Make sure that papers are delivered/present with horse or shipped certified mail & received before collecting horse.

    If there really is suspicion of the seller, then ensure that new owner/trainer is there when correct horse is loaded.

    Mud & rain are absurd excuses to not ship: closed roads, blizzards - those are reasons to delay shipping.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tempotempo View Post
    The check cleared 3 weeks ago.
    If the buyer is concerned then she or her agent needs to be there and make sure the horse gets on the trailer. If there have been issues, arrange for a vet to be there with an appropriate sedative.

    Unless the seller is refusing to ship the horse (and that doesn't seem to be the case), there's nothing to sue over.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tempotempo View Post
    Being flakey alone isn't an issue to me. It's more or less than my friend cashed a five figure check almost a month ago and the seller appears to be stalling. That's what I suspect is going on, at least. I agree with you though. It would be a lot more complicated to get a refund than it would to just go with the horse.
    Weirdness all the way around.

    What "check to clear" and papers held hostage? If this is a 5-figure horse, y'all aren't doing a wire transfer or cashier's check. And I'd always want to see a photocopy of the papers even if we had some deal about those being held or arriving with the horse. You'd be surprised how many sets of papers "get lost" between the signed bill of sale and delivery....

    OP, who is feeding the horse while the seller is screwing around?

    If the buyer has the right to take possession of the horse at any time, then she can use whatever means she likes to get that done.

    Personally, I'd try to just finish this deal as opposed to blowing it up with a "small claims court" brouhaha.... which won't work anyway because the horse's value is too high.
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  19. #19
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    Yeah. Now it's a five figure horse. Weird that they wrote a check. And no small claims court is not going to get you anywhere near five figures back you'll usually top out at 10k there but usually around 5k is the max for small claims. And when you nswered me above do you mean the seller can only say when horse leaves property or buyer? Still confused this all just sounds weird to me. If I paid five figures for a horse and it's been 3 weeks my butt would be going to wherever the horse is to get him shipped not thinking of small claims court that will do me no good.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tempotempo View Post
    The check cleared 3 weeks ago.
    If it's been three weeks, then your friend needs to become proactive. This is now your friends horse and her responsibility. She needs to make a day that she can be there, or in the very least, her trainer, and either the seller or someone on the seller's behalf can be present to see the horse off and tie up any loose ends. Placing some phone calls and depending on other people to get things done is clearly not working out to anyones advantage here.


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