A few years back, I was given a horse by a BO who wanted to downsize. I'd been leasing him and had intended to purchase him when/if I could scrape together a fair purchase price. When I started leasing him, he had largely been a pasture ornament for years. By the time he was gifted, he was showing (local/non-rated) and on his way to being a solid good citizen thanks to $$$ in training costs borne solely by me.
Fast forward, and I'm now in a position where I need to move him to his next home. Am I ethically obligated to offer the former BO first right of refusal? This was never discussed to the best of my memory.
I realize there is minimal detail here. I'm not sure what is pertinent or not, but I'm sure y'all can help with that.
I was a bit confused initially on how ethics would play into having a gifted horse. Was I the only one to think this was about a horse that was gifted in a brilliant way?
No, you were not...it is possible that curiousity caused me to open the thread.
If you prefer to not involve the former owner, then you can place ads and deal with the potential hurt feelings when former owner sees ad. You can offer horse back for price you are looking to get for horse and see what happens. You can also offer horse back for a high price, to ensure former owner does not purchase. If you do the third, then place ad at more reasonable price, you havae to deal with former owner asking why. You are not obligated to offer horse back at all and not obligated to offer horse back for free.
What I would do all depends on how much I want the former owner to get the horse back and what I want to deal with. If I did not want the former owner involved at all, I would go with the first option.
Personally I think the only one to which something is owed the horse and the ethical thing to do is what is in his best interest.
I wasn't gifted my horse but I bought him with a first right of refusal agreement... It's not an issue because I will never sell my guy (he's 20 now and a heart horse) but I would be very unlikely to honor the first right of refusal were I to sell. I know that the previous owner can't give him the time/care he deserves and I don't feel I could trust them to do right by him in his twilight years. I would have no ethical qualms about breaking that agreement and that is much more clear-cut than what you're dealing with... I may be mistaken but from your posts it sounds like you don't think the former owner can offer the kind of home you want for him. If that's the case I don't think you have any ethical obligation to offer him to them.
I wasn't gifted my horse, but when I was considering selling her to move onto something a bit more appropriate at the time, I did contact the original owner and ask if there was any interest in them buying her back. I think it might be a nice gesture, but if there were other issues (which it sounds like there might be) then you're under no obligation to contact them.
“Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion.” ~Emerson