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WWYD, if sold a horse with undisclosed dangerous behavior?

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  • #61
    Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
    This is the problem with the American system. In GB and other countries, the winning party gets attorney fees and costs as part of the damages.
    Yes and no. Take the emotion out of this and the OP does not have a clear win. They could lose. They signed an "as is" contract. That really makes winning from a legal perspective much tougher. I'm not saying it is a totally loser of a case (I don't really know enough) but just pointing out that the legal case can be very very different from the emotional case (and often is).

    Bottom line, there were red flags when they tried the horse. They bought the talk (and is really sucks that the person "talked" them into such a situation). If kid safe was critical...they could have demanded a trial, or built something more into the contract to cover themselves (had the seller make some reps etc). They signed a legal contract probably without a lawyer review...and in this context...an "as is" contract was not advisable (greatly in favor of the seller--as a buyer, you can say nope, and propose a different contract). It sucks but the law doesn't always protect us from our decisions. It is a mistake that many of us have made at some point....and learned from. And I do hate that someone did this to the OP....and yup....I would be MAD at them and at myself for trusting them.
    Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Apr. 29, 2013, 08:55 PM.
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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    • #62
      For me it would depend on how much I paid for the horse. If we're talking $$$, then I would get all the documentation I possibly could, including signed statements from the trainer, and run the Seller's name and business into the ground, drive the horse to the vet school and not look back.

      However, if horse was $$$$$, then you can bet your @ss I'd be seeing them in court. OP and OP's Attorney are the only ones who know if they have a solid case or not. I assume if they go to court they will also seek to have their fees paid as well.

      This isn't a "shame on me for trusting them" case. This is a dirty, rotten, lying seller who thought they could get away with selling a dangerous horse. Most of us would have seen the fussiness with the bridle as a baby/bitting issue, not a red flag for dangerous rearing.

      Whatever you decide to do OP, I wouldn't let the horse go back unless directed by law. I'd donate the horse to ensure nobody would be hurt in the future.
      runnjump86 Instagram

      Horse Junkies United guest blogger

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      • #63
        If it were me, I'd take the horse back to the seller, unload, stick her in a stall and tell the seller to go *&^*&^ herself. Then I'd let everyone know about the "family horse" rearer she sold you. Internet is a powerful tool.

        Dangerous horses can and do kill people. Selling them via lying is wrong, wrong, wrong.

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        • #64
          FWIW...I saw an Ad for a horse I knew had a long documented history of rearing..many respected trainers and owners $$ spent trying to resolve. Clear line from foaling to breaking of responsible quality horsemanship and even Vet diagnostics..The Horse had a vice it "reared". Owner sends horse to a well known Sports Horse auction to be sold w/ an Agent as a "Broodmare" Only!! not to be ridden well written on Papers...a few years later mare shows up in a well now dealer barn..I let dealer know this horse has a documented history...you guessed it...they sold the horse on....made no effort and didn't ask to have contact from orginal owner.

          BFNE is correct in as much as I know from a "Sellers" perspective.
          We protect ourselves with "AS IS" clauses that state "With all Faults" giving every buyer an opportunity to do a PPE and Tox Screen prior to signing the sale agreement and paying..why because there are buyers who think if you say the horse has good feet and normally doesn't loose shoes...That they don't have to have horses feet done for 4-6 months and when a shoe falls off..you lied to them...Once a living breathing being w/ a working brain leaves your barn and is subject to a change of life style,farrier care, sadle fit, excercise regime,food quality/quantity, mental and physical stresses...you the seller should no longer be required or responsible for the horse.
          The horse should perform as expected and as represented for what it is/was at time of purchase especially when its a well trained experianced horse, in the job it was doing at time of purchase. This excludes very green just started horses who are ever evolving.
          No this does not excuse the OP's seller because that person "Knew" what they had and were marketing and should be taken to task. But there are ways to impose sanctions/caution other prospectives on her business practises not involving law suits.
          Also you may want to look into disclosure involving "Vices" I know at Public Auctions like Fasig-Tipton Bloodstock, the only vice legally required to be disclosed is "Cribbing" it has to be in the catalogue and announced....
          Best of luck and a profound "So Sorry" from a Seller
          Last edited by judybigredpony; Apr. 30, 2013, 08:15 AM. Reason: addition ....spelling

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          • Original Poster

            #65
            I have a documented conversation with the seller (and so does my attorney) where she says, "(horse) has never had any training issues or vices." as well as "safe for any age child". And I also have documented statements from a trainer from before the sale says she has a healthy history of various panic behaviors including rearing under saddle. When I approached her she confirmed it. There are lies almost every time she opens her mouth, some big some small and I have most of them documented, in her writting. She would have been smart to say nothing, but she dug herself into a pretty deep hole.

            Her 'as-is' clause is out the window with these statements. Had she said nothing, it would be different. Making false claims is not protected under 'as-is'. On top of it, she's knowingly putting lives in danger.

            She did make an offer a few days ago, that she would give a partial refund in exchange for my signature on a contract stating I would not share any information about my experience with her, the horse, or the trainer. I refused. The more I think about it, the more I want to drop legal action so I can post all documents here, load up and go to the vet school. I'm really not the type whose silence can be bought anyway, no matter the amount.

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            • #66
              I sure hope this seller is not allowed to walk away with this thinking they did nothing wrong. Wow. So scary that someone would go to the extent of saying a horse is good for any kid when it has that many issues.

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Win1 View Post
                I have a documented conversation with the seller (and so does my attorney) where she says, "(horse) has never had any training issues or vices." as well as "safe for any age child". And I also have documented statements from a trainer from before the sale says she has a healthy history of various panic behaviors including rearing under saddle. When I approached her she confirmed it. There are lies almost every time she opens her mouth, some big some small and I have most of them documented, in her writting. She would have been smart to say nothing, but she dug herself into a pretty deep hole.

                Her 'as-is' clause is out the window with these statements. Had she said nothing, it would be different. Making false claims is not protected under 'as-is'. On top of it, she's knowingly putting lives in danger.

                She did make an offer a few days ago, that she would give a partial refund in exchange for my signature on a contract stating I would not share any information about my experience with her, the horse, or the trainer. I refused. The more I think about it, the more I want to drop legal action so I can post all documents here, load up and go to the vet school. I'm really not the type whose silence can be bought anyway, no matter the amount.
                There is so much about this that is messed up. But when someone will go so far as to claim the horse SAFE FOR A KID when it has known, documented, severe behavioral/training issues.... that is F-d up. There's a special place in hell for someone that would *knowingly* sell a kid a horse like that. :/

                I cannot believe she said she would give you a partial refund if you promised to stay quiet.
                We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

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                • #68
                  OP - I took a guy to court some years ago who defaulted on a $20k debt to my father- long story but this guy was my fathers LAWYER..). We got a judgment, but sadly it wasn't worth the paper it came on, as the guy had no money.
                  So: if you can reasonably assess whether the seller has the financial wherewithall to make you whole, then I would pursue, especially if the person is 1/2 way there....otherwise quit.
                  If it were me, I would think about taking the 1/2 refund and donating the mare to a vet school, but NOT sending her back to seller.
                  We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

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                  • #69
                    I know of 2 similar cases.
                    Case # 1, the woman who sold me a beginner horse for my youngest daughter then proceeded to take the money and buy her move up horse from a local BNT. I used to take lessons from this trainer when I was a kid and did the hunters, and knew even as a kid that she drugged. I told her "to be careful."
                    One month later, she contacted me that the horse was rearing, bucking and was dangerous. He was also now lame. The behaviour started about 3 weeks after purchase. She hired an attorney and incredibly, all it took was a letter threatening a lawsuit, and the BNT returned her money. She did have a PPE done, but being inexperienced (she started riding as an adult and this was her 2nd horse purchase), she used the seller's vet, who convinced her the horse was sound, mentally and physically.
                    Case #2, the woman I leased my barn from used to buy and sell ponies. The reason I was able to lease her barn was that about a year prior, a sale pony she had purchased for resale to a kid, was standing in the cross-ties when it suddenly kicked her in the face. She literally had to crawl to a neighbor's house for help. She had to have several surgeries. While in the hospital, she had the vet come and put the pony down. She could not live with herself if the pony kicked a kid. I am not sure if she went after the seller, who was also a BNT. I hope she did.

                    If and when you decide to out the person, I suggest you contact RateMyHorsePro!
                    Lori T
                    www.calypsofarmeventers.blogspot.com
                    www.facebook.com/LoriTankelPhotography
                    www.facebook.com/LTEquine for product updates on the lines I rep

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by magnolia73 View Post
                      If it were me, I'd take the horse back to the seller, unload, stick her in a stall and tell the seller to go *&^*&^ herself. Then I'd let everyone know about the "family horse" rearer she sold you. Internet is a powerful tool.

                      Dangerous horses can and do kill people. Selling them via lying is wrong, wrong, wrong.
                      I did exactly this for a neighbor who bought 'her kid' a horse. Once our farrier, then I, saw the purchase it went straight back! A 5 yr old, recently gelded, fine boned, wild eyed, high headed thing and strung like a tension wire. Both of us stood there and said what were you thinking (they were clueless). I hauled the horse back and put it in a stall. They went to court and won the judgment and did end up getting their money back. It helped that the woman's brother is well-respected and owns the local hardware store in that town and he also has a big mouth! in a small tight knit community.

                      Good luck to the OP and write your own contract in the future.
                      Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.

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                      • #71
                        The more I think about it, the more I want to drop legal action so I can post all documents here, load up and go to the vet school. I'm really not the type whose silence can be bought anyway, no matter the amount.
                        Every bad seller makes any honest seller have to work harder to remove the stigma associated with selling horses. I wish you all the best and hope you are able to get past this and find your child a nice safe horse who is honestly represented....

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                        • #72
                          Yeah, (&*(^ people who sell dangeorus horses to amateurs and kids. For a kid... ouch, they fall in love with a horse that is dangerous. All hell breaks loose.

                          Obviously the seller knows she is an ass, otherwise why offer you hush money?

                          I realize things go awry in sales, but if you have a horse that rehabbed from rearing and a buyer comes to you wanting a safe, fun, easy family horse, you mention the damn thing used to rear and may or may not be a match.

                          This is exactly the type of shit that is going to push more and more people away from horseownership and riding in general. It sickens me to see the games played with selling horses to novices- and it sounds like the OP is not exactly a novice.

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                          • #73
                            This is a little along the lines of "guerrilla warfare":
                            It is pretty easy to make a free website. You could make one detailing your experiences with the seller (run this by your Lawer first!). send her a link to the pre-published site. Point out that When ever some one googles her it would pop up. Possible this would persuade her to come around. If not, publish it!

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                            • #74
                              It sounds as though a good google search could have saved you from dealing with sellers. It is a shame that bad sellers give the rest of us a bad name.

                              One of the first things that I do when shopping for a horse is to google the seller and the horses name. You would be amazed at the things that it turns up. I am not saying that it is at all your fault, simply that doing homework can save you in the long run. I won't even look at horses that don't have current pictures or video because I have encountered too many people who lie.

                              I am not sure how she got the horse to behave well enough that you were completely fooled? Was it drugged?
                              http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/

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                              • Original Poster

                                #75
                                The drug screen is still pending. Based on her past, she was improved somewhat the first time she came back from the trainer. It didn't last long because she was sent back again in 4-5 months for another 6 month visit. She was trying to sell her from there with no luck and brought her home when I showed interest. Being told she needed her teeth done and the bit was too small, I rode her on a loose rein and didn't ask for much, just sort of settled in and let her roll as we got to know eachother. The minor issues I saw could have been many youngsters.

                                My vet said her teeth actually looked good so we looked for other causes of fussyness and could find nothing. The prepurchase was also good, although I'm not sure he was able to get a good look at her mouth, hence the dental recommendation.

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                                • #76
                                  Originally posted by Win1 View Post
                                  My vet said her teeth actually looked good so we looked for other causes of fussyness and could find nothing. The prepurchase was also good, although I'm not sure he was able to get a good look at her mouth, hence the dental recommendation.

                                  Fussyness in mouths when ridden can also be back, neck or hind end issues. Rearing badly is often a pain reaction (not always) but pretty darn often. If it is back...like KS....it can get better in work as their back gets stronger. I've also known a few who had tumors in weird spots....things that wouldn't turn up in a PPE.
                                  ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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                                  • #77
                                    Originally posted by Win1 View Post
                                    She did make an offer a few days ago, that she would give a partial refund in exchange for my signature on a contract stating I would not share any information about my experience with her, the horse, or the trainer.
                                    THIS is the part that bothers me and tells me the behavior goes beyond simply physical. (Good for you to refuse, btw!!) Yes, there's probably something physical that started the behavior, but the seller offering hush money AND a contract stating as much? No, she knows the horse is dangerous and always will be. She knows she's a lying manipulator and refuses to ever do the right thing by euthanizing or donating an animal with dangerous tendencies.

                                    Based on that statement alone, I'd go after her. I'd also be sure to expose her for all she is and make sure nobody can be injured or killed by her. ESPECIALLY since this mare was listed as kid safe!

                                    Oh, this makes me angry...
                                    "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique

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                                    • #78
                                      How? did she make that offer? verbal or written in an email?

                                      You have some clout with that one. What a dirty bird she is!

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                                      • #79
                                        Rearing badly is often a pain reaction (not always) but pretty darn often.
                                        I agree that rearing can be a pain issue etc., but a horse that deals with pain or being overfaced or being scared by rearing or reacting in a dangerous manner should never be listed as "kid safe". Kid safe is the horse that doesn't swap behind when the hocks hurt. Or limps. Or is hard to get forward. Or pins ears.

                                        If I was selling my horse, who has indeed had issues with both rearing and bolting, she would NEVER just be called kid safe. I'd tell the buyer "she has reared and bolted. We sent her to a cowboy and gave her a course of adequan and have not had an issue since". Would I put a kid on her today? Yes, absolutely. But I sure as hell would tell people how she reacts to what was either unaddressed pain or bad riding.

                                        It really doesn't matter if the horse reacts dangerously to pain or simple bad riding or because it is a bad horse. What matters is that at times, the horse has historically acted in a dangerous manner, in fact, in a way that is typically a deal breaker for most amateur and child riders.

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                                        • #80
                                          Originally posted by Win1 View Post
                                          She did make an offer a few days ago, that she would give a partial refund in exchange for my signature on a contract stating I would not share any information about my experience with her, the horse, or the trainer.
                                          Ooooh noooo she didn't!!!
                                          Barn rat for life

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