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  1. #1

    Default sale trial-what should/could I do here?

    I currently have a sale horse on a trial. A few days before end of trial, buyer called and asked to extend trial due to weather that had them miss some days of riding. I agreed, and thought not more of it. They also asked if they could take horse to a local show to do a pleasure division-no jumping. I agreed, reluctantly, but as long as horse was only doing pleasure I saw no problem with it, as horse is not in total show shape and did not want horse over faced with new rider jumping in unfamiliar territory...

    Now I see facebook photos of horse at horse show-jumping with their child. In show clothes, with a number. so it was not schooling, it was showing.

    Sale seems pretty much a done deal, pending some vet assesment (horse is aged). But I am somewhat irked by finding these photos. After being overly accomodating with the extended duration of the trial, and admittedly by my fault allowing them to violate portions of the signed trial contract regarding trailering of said horse, I am disturbed to find these photographs.

    What would you do? Nothing? Keep mouth shut until sale is final? If they decide not to purchase, what would be the appropriate way to bring this up?

    TIA


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  2. #2
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    It has been a buyer's market for so long, I think people are not learning to recognize a good deal when they see one. I would set a time limit for trial (short), no more extensions. I would be disturbed too. If sale does not go through, just get horse, do nothing except tell next buyer how good horse is at shows with new person and new place.
    friend of bar.ka


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  3. #3
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    No more extensions for sure of the trial. They are lucky that you even gave them a trial, most people will not. I went to local schooling shows at saddle clubs and we still had numbers and had to wear show attire so it could have been a schooling show. And these classes maybe had 5 English people in them lol at my age. The kids had a few more usually. Mostly western people. Yet, I would be a little aggravated if I were clear not to jump him and they understood but did anyways. If they don't purchase the horse idk what I would do truthfully. I would probably have to say something but i may take it as a lesson learned and not to be so trusting next time.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter_archie View Post
    They also asked if they could take horse to a local show to do a pleasure division-no jumping.

    Now I see facebook photos of horse at horse show-jumping with their child. In show clothes, with a number. so it was not schooling, it was showing.

    admittedly by my fault allowing them to violate portions of the signed trial contract regarding trailering of said horse, I am disturbed to find these photographs.
    Say nothing until sale is finalized assuming that you still want to sell horse into this home.

    Before you allow a horse on trial always vet prior - now if horse comes up sore, which may happen as he was jumped when not in condition, it will be a "He Said She Said" situation: if that does happen, at this point I'd bring up the show etc & indicate disappointment that they were un-trusty caretakers of a horse not their own

    Schooling shows in my area tend to run just like regular shows, so I'd not assume it was not a schooling show.

    When there is any alteration to a trial agreement, use email/fax etc to ensure that everything is still in writing.

    If there is any price negotiation, again that is the point at which I'd raise the issue of jumping against contract - hopefully they will be embarrassed enough to just pay his full price


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  5. #5
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    First, I think that stinks if they did do that. Second, I would definitely tell them you are on your way to pick the horse up on "X" date (end of trial). Don't extend the trial. Either they want the horse, or they do not. Maybe if you show up with a trailer they will open their checkbook. I personally think after a few rides they should know by now if they want to buy the horse or not. Feels like they're getting away with as much as they can. You could probably call the show and see if they were entered into a jumping class if you really wanted to know. Then if you didn't want to sell to that party, they certainly breached any contract. Sorry this happened (if it did!).
    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
    ¯ Oscar Wilde


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  6. #6
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    I think you are in a tough situation here. Sometimes the more accommodating you are as a seller the colder a buyer's feet get about closing the deal. It's strange but it often doesn't pay to be so patient and accommodating, it seems to encourage indecision in wishy-washy buyers.

    If they actually follow through with buying the horse promptly, I wouldn't be too upset about the situation and there would be no advantage to making a big deal out of it. You probably erred in being so generous with your trial terms. Unfortunately, I think there is a good chance that someone willing to take such advantage of a trial situation may not be a "straight shooter" so to say, and may be less interested in the horse than they have indicated.

    I think that at this point it should be obvious to them whether or not they want the horse and you'd be fair to push the issue by asking to close the deal or end the trial fairly soon. They have already shown that they aren't abiding by the trial terms, I'd be wondering what else they are doing with the horse. If they still seem to have cold feet I'd probably cut my losses, end the trial now and simply go get the horse back. If they aren't buying the horse I also might give them a piece of my mind, in a professional manner, of course. I also would consider retaining some (?all) of the deposit money for breach of contract and show use of the horse, assuming that the terms of the trial were put in writing. Typically trials are a "you break it-you buy it" deal, and hopefully your contract reflects this and you don't get a lame or sore horse back.


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  7. #7
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    If they buy the horse, and don't try to run the price lower, then I wouldn't say anything. However, if they try to really drop the price, or don't buy then I would pick the horse up, and view it as a lesson in 'no good deed goes unpunished', and move ahead. There's not much you can do now, except research to see if it was actually a schooling show, and if the horse was indeed in a jumping class.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


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  8. #8
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    At this point, I would say no harm no foul since you did approve the extension and the show, let the jumping slide for now.

    BUT, you need to give them no more then 10 days to close the deal, put that in writing and have them sign which means paying them a visit. Be clear you will be there with the trailer the evening of the 10th day. Then do it.

    After so many years in this, I don't think you need to worry about about blowing the sale. They either want it or they don't and the longer they get free use of it when they know they can't afford it or don't intend to buy it? The more they will continue to come up with excuses for not closing the deal.

    Have to add, if they do buy it? Do NOT take payments- thet already have proven they are not going to abide buy any terms you set.

    Don't worry your actions trying to close the deal when they have free use of your horse will change anything at all as far as them buying it or not.

    I mean, if you are selling a car would you let them drive it for weeks? It's business.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


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  9. #9
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    I would take screen shots of the photos to keep in case you need them.

    However, what's done is done. The only thing you can do now is be firm going forward.

    Make sure you have a date when they must either by the horse or return it. I'd probably go retrieve the horse now until the vetting just because they have shown such poor judgment but I don't know how far away the horse is from you. I

    If they paid any up front fee to have the horse on trial and it does not "pass" the vet the photos may enable you to keep that fee as they used the horse in a way that you had forbid.

    I agree that you should not take payments on the horse if they do decide to buy.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter_archie View Post
    I currently have a sale horse on a trial. A few days before end of trial, buyer called and asked to extend trial due to weather that had them miss some days of riding. I agreed, and thought not more of it. They also asked if they could take horse to a local show to do a pleasure division-no jumping. I agreed, reluctantly, but as long as horse was only doing pleasure I saw no problem with it, as horse is not in total show shape and did not want horse over faced with new rider jumping in unfamiliar territory...

    Now I see facebook photos of horse at horse show-jumping with their child. In show clothes, with a number. so it was not schooling, it was showing.

    Sale seems pretty much a done deal, pending some vet assesment (horse is aged). But I am somewhat irked by finding these photos. After being overly accomodating with the extended duration of the trial, and admittedly by my fault allowing them to violate portions of the signed trial contract regarding trailering of said horse, I am disturbed to find these photographs.

    What would you do? Nothing? Keep mouth shut until sale is final? If they decide not to purchase, what would be the appropriate way to bring this up?

    TIA
    Yes, to answer your question, you've been overly accommodating. Just allowing a trial these days is pretty darn generous (but a nice investment in your horse's future wellbeing, I suppose.) I personally would never let one of my horses out on trial and most certainly not without a vet check in advance. But in this market, where sales are difficult, that may not have been such a bad decision.

    The people weren't honest with you, that much is clear. However, at this point, you can't undo the jumps and if they were happy enough to post the proud photos, well... your horse did a good job and most likely demonstrated his suitability to them.

    At this point though, I'd be asking for a very prompt PPE and a check, or I'd be stopping by to pick the horse up. They've had a longer-than-agreed-upon trial, they've taken the horse off the property and learned he's not a twit in new environments, now they either need to pull the trigger or you need to find a new set of buyers.

    If that were my horse I'd be thinking another couple of days at the MOST; just enough time to arrange a time for the vetting with their preferred professional. And I wouldn't be offering any discounts or payment plans.

    If they decide not to buy - I'd personally consider it a lesson and just move on.

    Good luck.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post
    The people weren't honest with you, that much is clear. However, at this point, you can't undo the jumps and if they were happy enough to post the proud photos, well... your horse did a good job and most likely demonstrated his suitability to them.
    I agree! Their attitude kind of sucks, but hopefully this will be a done deal soon.
    Facebook is a tricky world... OP, you can ignore the pictures or post a comment on one of them, just so they know you're no fool and you have seen them. If they were really trying to take advantage, they wouldn't have posted the pictures or they would have blocked you from seeing them, it's very easy to do...



  12. #12
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    Boy, I'd be ticked.... This is why I would never send a horse on trial to someone without a trainer that I had a good relationship with. If there is a trainer involved, I would read them the riot act. Close the deal immediately or send the horse home.

    If there isn't a trainer involved, I would probably contact the people and tell them that I needed the horse back by (X- like a day or two) because I had someone coming to see him if they weren't ready to write the check. A little white lie, but preferable to cussing them out and killing the deal. If they stalled by saying that they wanted to vet the horse, I'd just let them know that you would be happy to accomodate the vetting at your place.


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  13. #13
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    They've had the horse long enough - now it's time to make up their mind.
    Tell them you have someone else interested in the horse if they are not and they need to decide (and pay up) before the end of the week.
    That's what I did with my horse after 5 weeks of trial - I did have several people in line for my horse if it did not work out with the first potential buyers. THEIR trainer is the one that encourage me to go ahead and let them know I needed a decision from them. She loved my horse and thought they were a perfect match.

    Say nothing about the photos, but do keep copies of them.
    A friend told me I was delusional. I almost fell off my unicorn.



  14. #14
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    I wouldn't even bother to tell them someone else is interested in the horse. I'd tell them that they had ample time to try the horse and that you need the horse back in your barn under your care.

    It's your horse and you can legitimately tell them that you do not want to put your horse at any more risk unless they are willing to buy him. Right now, unless they have him insured with you as the beneficiary, you are putting yourself at financial risk by having him out of your barn and not under your control.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


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  15. #15
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    If they've had time to show the horse they must know by now whether or not they want it. Tell them that the PPE must be arranged by the end of this week; or you are coming to pick up your horse. Take a screenshot of the photos but personally I wouldn't say anything about them - you wont gain anything from it, what is done is done. Like someone said, do not accept payments on horse now you know what their true colours are. As JSalem said, if there is a trainer involved I would let him or her know you are not happy with the situation. Breaking a contract is never ok but is especially unacceptable behavior from a professional.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


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  16. #16
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    I'd be annoyed, but would do what findeight said. Give them X days (7 days, 10 days, 5 days - whatever) to arrange a PPE and/or payment and inform them you will be there at 5:00PM on the evening of X day to pick up your horse if the sale has not been finalized. Supposing they move forward with the purchase of the horse, I wouldn't say a word about the horse show. As much as they weren't the most ethical, it's wise to remember that it is a buyer's market out there, and there are ten horses they can go look at tomorrow. It would be quite another thing if they weren't feeding the horse or jumping him into the ground or what have you, but a few o/f classes at a horse show isn't a killer. Should they have asked? Of course. But what's done is done.

    Secondly, those who are saying they would never let a horse out on trial without a PPE first, I would never even consider the purchase of a horse from you. There is no way I'm dropping $2k on a PPE for a horse that I'm not even sure I'll get along with.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caravale View Post
    (snip)

    Secondly, those who are saying they would never let a horse out on trial without a PPE first, I would never even consider the purchase of a horse from you. There is no way I'm dropping $2k on a PPE for a horse that I'm not even sure I'll get along with.
    I see your point, but I guess I view the situation a bit differently. I don't view a trial as an extended test ride so much as an opportunity to see if the horse - that you tried at my barn, possibly more than once, and fell in love with - can live in your program and be the same horse he was at my place. In other words, the buyer has to want the horse they try at my place enough to buy him, as long as they can make sure he is what they think he is (ie, not drugged or LTD or whatever) and he'll stay that way when they get him home.

    I will allow people to try a horse at home as much as they like, within reason. I understand if they want to show up unannounced ... as long as they understand they might have to go pull horse in from the field, deal with the mud, etc. They aren't kept stalled and immaculate at all times, although I will always present them that way if someone is coming and has an appointment. I am also open to shipping a horse to some off-farm location (show, clinic, etc) so the buyer can see how it is away from home. I've got nothing to hide.

    Now, I'll admit I generally don't do trials. Too much risk of someone making a mistake or flat out taking advantage of my nice horse and damaging or even ruining it, and then I not only don't get a sale, but I have to clean up the mess or possibly be stuck with a horse that has an injury or training issue that might be a big deal.

    For sure I would not offer a trial to someone who is not willing to vet the horse before it leaves my barn; those trials are structured as leases and basically, the policy is if you break it, you've bought it.

    That PPE documents the condition the horse was in when it leaves my care, and it allows us to have a discussion about any issues of concern BEFORE the horse leaves. I've seen too many situations where a seller lets a horse go somewhere, they ride it into the ground, jump it past its scope "to see what it can do," or turn it out with the rest of the herd, "cause we want to know if it will get along with others," <who beat the sh*t out of it since it got chucked out there with no introductions>.... and then the prospective buyers call and say, "well, the vet says he's not sound, we'll offer you half the asking..."
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post
    For sure I would not offer a trial to someone who is not willing to vet the horse before it leaves my barn; those trials are structured as leases and basically, the policy is if you break it, you've bought it.

    That PPE documents the condition the horse was in when it leaves my care, and it allows us to have a discussion about any issues of concern BEFORE the horse leaves. I've seen too many situations where a seller lets a horse go somewhere, they ride it into the ground, jump it past its scope "to see what it can do," or turn it out with the rest of the herd, "cause we want to know if it will get along with others," <who beat the sh*t out of it since it got chucked out there with no introductions>.... and then the prospective buyers call and say, "well, the vet says he's not sound, we'll offer you half the asking..."
    I agree. Everyone needs to have the same understanding of the soundness of the horse before it leaves the owners barn.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


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  19. #19
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    Lucassb really hits the nail on the head. A trial should only be used when a buyer is pretty well committed to buying, and the soundness/physical condition of a sale horse should be documented by a veterinarian prior to sending the horse off into someone else's care.

    I also have seen it happen too many times where buyers take advantage of trials to overuse or misuse a horse to the point of mental or physical harm. I don't understand the psychology of why a person would want to mess up a horse they are supposed to be interested in buying. Yet people misuse trials all the time to push a horse to its limits.



  20. #20
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    I don't usually do trials either. They only time I did, I got full payment up front first. I would have refunded it IF I got my horse back in good condition in the agreed upon time. I certainly wouldn't do out of state. Last buyer from out of state almost called us liars that were trying to hide something when we refused an out-of-state trial. I told him he can try him here all he wants. Told him to get a hotel room and stay the weekend. He came out and rode, then we took him to the vet, and he rode the horse around the vet's field. He passed the vet PPE. Buyer was STILL thinking we were hiding something. Sheesh. But after about 8 hours here, he did buy the horse.
    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
    ¯ Oscar Wilde



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