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Horse Injured Pre-Shipping to New Owner - What To Do?

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  • Horse Injured Pre-Shipping to New Owner - What To Do?

    Hi All,

    I purchased a lovely little Paint mare in Florida (I live in Colorado) on the 1st after a thorough PPE. All of her paperwork/vaccinations were in order, and I had her booked to be on a truck to head to Colorado on Friday the 8th.

    I awoke this morning to a text message and a video showing her visibly lame on her LH, visibly swollen around the pastern and just above. The barn manager, who lives onsite, thinks she got cast last night, as there was commotion around 1am - when she came downstairs everyone was standing up and looking OK so she went back to bed, but that's the only thing she can think of.

    Horse was ridden on Saturday and was fine. Kept in on Sunday due to rain, and it was the barn manager's day off so she wasn't there. Nothing abnormal was reported to her.

    Vet is coming out later and I'll be on that call. I just am at a loss as to what to do. She was not an expensive horse, but I am not a rich person and this was my "last chance" at horse ownership.

    Should I just beg for my money back and see if they will comply? There's no obligation on their end to give it to me. Should I wait it out and maybe it's nothing?

    She is insured for mortality and medical.

  • #2
    Well, I'd see what the actual diagnosis is. Technically it is your horse now if money was exchanged and a bill of sale was signed. Maybe the diagnosis is not so bad, but a vet needs to come out and then you can proceed from there when you know what you have to work with.


    Did you just insure her? Does your insurance let you "cash in" that quickly? Insurance here, you must wait 4-6 months before you can actually use it in case you are committing fraud. Even if it is an accident in some cases

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    • #3
      What does the sale contract say about when ownership transfers? You say you purchased her on the 1st, so I assume that means she is paid for and contracts are signed, thus I would also assume ownership transferred to you on that date. If so, that means from that point on, any vet bills are yours to pay. It's unfortunate this happened before she actually arrived to you, but these things happen with horses. It could have happened on the trailer, it could have happened the day she arrived at your farm. If it were me, I'd just get the vet exam, rehab accordingly, and have shipped to me when she is able to ride a trailer for that long (and I would expect to pay board fees to the seller in the meantime). I wouldn't expect to cancel a completed sale unless an injury was explicitly due to actions of the seller. Sorry this happened to you! Hopefully it's nothing serious.
      Last edited by mmeqcenter; Feb. 4, 2019, 02:12 PM.
      Custom tack racks!
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      • #4
        If you have paid for the horse, she is yours unless your sale contract/bill of sale says that ownership doesn't transfer until delivery (which almost no seller would agree to, because they don't want to have the horse off the market while assuming the risk of whatever happens). Look at it this way, if the seller called you and said we've decided to show her this weekend (or keep her, or whatever), I'm guessing your reaction would have been "no way, I've paid for her, that's my horse!" It's horrible luck, but it is hard to see any reason the seller should have to unwind the sale unless there was something in your sales contract that gives you an out. Hopefully whatever it is will be minor and will resolve quickly!!

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        • #5
          Yikes! So sorry that happened to you. But I have to concur with the others who have posted. You paid for the horse and she is yours. Doesn't matter that she hadn't shipped to you yet. And it sucks big time, but shit happens, and this is one of those times.

          But also, I wouldn't worry too much about it before you get a diagnosis from a vet. Could be nothing. Could be that she got a minor cut/scratch around her pastern and the swelling is from that and she's a bit of a drama queen. Could be as simple as an abscess. Or it could be something worse. But you don't know yet. Sounds like she's insured and that's a good thing.

          But at the end of the day you own her and I wouldn't expect the people in FL to take her back unless you made it financially enticing to do so. Even then they may be willing to and they may not.
          __________________________________
          Flying F Sport Horses
          Horses in the NW

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks all. I'm feeling a bit better, waiting for the vet to call. Just needed some voices to listen, responses were much appreciated and grounding.

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            • #7
              What bugs me on the initial read through is that it sounds like it's possible that there were no knowledgeable eyes on the horse after she was ridden on Saturday until she was noticed as lame on Monday morning.

              "Don't know what happened - maybe she got cast" can be legit, or it can cover a multitude of sins. I don't know how well you know the seller or what kind of reputation the seller/barn has, but if I were in your position, I think I would be on high alert for any hints of inconsistency in the story.

              I join in hoping that it will turn out to be nothing serious so your new horse can be on her way to you soon.

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              • #8
                She's your horse. Don't freak out too much yet. Find out what is wrong and whether you should wait to ship her (probably). I had one that I bought and had to put in a massive claim 2 days after insuring her. Mine recovered and I've now owned her 15 years.

                Let the vet look at her, then call the insurance. You have major medical. But hopefully it isn't too serious. One that I sold got chased through a fence badly at his new owner's farm. I felt horrible for them both. He will hopefully recover. I hope the same for your filly as well.
                ** 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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                • #9
                  I think OP understands the horse is hers and she can't *demand* her money back (hence "beg" in the OP). I agree with everyone saying wait for the vet visit. Hopefully it's something minor!

                  But if it's something that leaves her usefulness to you in doubt or requires prolonged rehab before she ships, I don't think it would be insane to respectfully approach the seller about buying her back. Obviously you would not get anywhere near all of your money back, since the horse is now injured. But they may take you up on it if, for example, they feel they can rehab the horse and still sell her for an amount that makes it worthwhile, or if they don't want to sell a horse into a home for which it is no longer a good fit, or if they want to spare a recovering horse that very long trailer ride.

                  Does anyone else think that's not insane or am I the crazy one? I'm definitely not saying I would expect the seller to say yes, but can it hurt to ask (respectfully of course!)?
                  Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm: http://thesmallhorsefarm.blogspot.com

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                  • #10
                    I hope your horse is not badly injured OP.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Libby2563 View Post
                      I think OP understands the horse is hers and she can't *demand* her money back (hence "beg" in the OP). I agree with everyone saying wait for the vet visit. Hopefully it's something minor!

                      But if it's something that leaves her usefulness to you in doubt or requires prolonged rehab before she ships, I don't think it would be insane to respectfully approach the seller about buying her back. Obviously you would not get anywhere near all of your money back, since the horse is now injured. But they may take you up on it if, for example, they feel they can rehab the horse and still sell her for an amount that makes it worthwhile, or if they don't want to sell a horse into a home for which it is no longer a good fit, or if they want to spare a recovering horse that very long trailer ride.

                      Does anyone else think that's not insane or am I the crazy one? I'm definitely not saying I would expect the seller to say yes, but can it hurt to ask (respectfully of course!)?
                      I don't think it hurts to ask, I just would never ask!

                      OP I hope it's nothing major and jingling for a quick recovery.

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                      • #12
                        I am sorry this happened. What a disappointment. At this point, I see no option but forwarding your credit card information to Vet. and have your horse assessed. Expect a board/care bill related to the ongoing stay at current location.

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                        • #13
                          Unfortunately the horse is yours at this point. But, I would definitely have the same vet that performed the vetting back out to examine the horse and figure out what is going on and when it is safe/reasonable to ship. It's a good thing that you had insurance in place.

                          If there is any delay in shipping the horse, I would discuss up front with the barn she is staying at (assuming they are the ones that sold you the horse) what the charges would be. I think there might reasonably be some room to negotiate if the seller is also the BO/trainer at that barn.

                          FWIW, I'm sure the barn sending her off feels nearly just as badly as you do. I would be super upset if something like this happened to a horse leaving my facility...but with horses being horses, of course it could.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Hi all, thanks for all of the kind words and advice. Here's where I'm at.

                            Her regular vet came out today to take a look and does think she got cast. She noticed two hoof bruises, one on her LH and one on her LF, in addition to the swelling in her LH. Swelling went down as the day went on but she was still not sound on it. No swelling in the LF. There is also a huge gouge in the wall of her stall to corroborate this story. To clarify, the barn manager did come down in the middle of the night when she heard the commotion, but everyone was up and standing when she arrived and turned on the lights, so she didn't investigate further.

                            So we're bringing the heat down in those hooves and gave her some banamine and will switch to bute tomorrow along with hand-walking and close monitoring. Vet is coming back out on Wednesday to follow up. Former owner kindly footed the bill for this vet visit along with the medications, and I had already paid her board in FL through the end of the month, so that piece was in place (back when I thought it would take me longer to line up a stall in CO).

                            The vet thought she might still be OK to ship on Friday, but I decided to push it back a week regardless of her recovery to give her system more time.

                            It's just so frustrating to be so far away and not be able to actually see anything with my own eyes, or feel her legs myself. I have no reason to believe that the folks down there are doing anything other than their best -I think they feel just as bad as I do. It's not a big sales operation and she's not expensive enough to be worth lying over.

                            Nothing to do now but wait and see...

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                            • #15
                              Hope she is feeling better soon, OP! I think it was smart to hold off on shipping this week. Looking forward to hearing about her after she makes her way to you :-).

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                It does sound like she's got some good and caring people taking care of her. Yes it is hard when you are so far away. But I would be optimistic she will recover. Hoof bruising can take time but they often recover. I've had a few horses get hurt by getting cast. One mare broke her withers as a 5 year old. Surprisingly for such a severe injury...she fully recovered in 4 months. It seemed to run in the family as I had some foals from her and siblings and all were prone to getting cast!

                                Hopefully your girl keeps getting better and you get her up to you soon!
                                ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Libby2563 View Post
                                  I think OP understands the horse is hers and she can't *demand* her money back (hence "beg" in the OP). I agree with everyone saying wait for the vet visit. Hopefully it's something minor!

                                  But if it's something that leaves her usefulness to you in doubt or requires prolonged rehab before she ships, I don't think it would be insane to respectfully approach the seller about buying her back. Obviously you would not get anywhere near all of your money back, since the horse is now injured. But they may take you up on it if, for example, they feel they can rehab the horse and still sell her for an amount that makes it worthwhile, or if they don't want to sell a horse into a home for which it is no longer a good fit, or if they want to spare a recovering horse that very long trailer ride.

                                  Does anyone else think that's not insane or am I the crazy one? I'm definitely not saying I would expect the seller to say yes, but can it hurt to ask (respectfully of course!)?
                                  I mean, you can ask, but...

                                  why would you?

                                  its your horse. Would you call the seller two years from now and ask for the same thing "if the usefulness to you is in doubt?"
                                  Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                                  you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

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                                  • #18
                                    That's good news. I think it sounds like the people you are buying from are very reasonable and are trying to let you know everything that is going on. I think you can rely on what they are representing. I had a mare that was prone to getting cast but, fortunately, she was never severely injured. Good luck and rest easy.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by soloudinhere View Post
                                      I mean, you can ask, but...

                                      why would you?

                                      its your horse. Would you call the seller two years from now and ask for the same thing "if the usefulness to you is in doubt?"
                                      LOL that's not remotely the same situation but yeah, people do give or sell horses back to previous owners all the time! Lots of people on here have mentioned taking horses back or letting buyers know that they would do so if the buyer ever needed to sell. No seller is obligated obviously, but it does happen.

                                      OP, I'm glad you got good-ish news and it's awesome of the seller to cover the vet visit! Jingles to you and new horse!
                                      Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm: http://thesmallhorsefarm.blogspot.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Im glad the vet visit was not bad and in my opinion it sounds like your dealing with some pretty decent people as they footed the bill for you, that says a lot.
                                        Please keep us posted. fingers crossed its just one of those moments when horses think they need to keep us on our toes lol

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