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Need horror stories about extra fees from trainers when buying a horse!

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  • Need horror stories about extra fees from trainers when buying a horse!

    Posting this in h/j first, though I'm sure the syndrome is just as prevalent in other disciplines. I'm a freelance journalist who's working on an article about hidden commissions and fees in a horse's purchase price. What the seller is asking, and what the buyer ends up paying, once all the palms have been crossed with silver, can be very different things! What's a justifiable commission fee for brokering a deal, and just how many people should be entitled to be compensated? I'm looking for buyers and sellers who have horror stories, cautionary tales, or strong opinions on the matter. You can share under a pseudonym if you prefer. Please PM me or email ridexc (at) hotmail.com. Thanks!

  • #2
    I worked at a farm MANY years ago. One of the client's moved out west and wanted the BM to sell her horse for her. Commission was supposed to be 15% plus regular board and expenses such as farrier, vet etc... Owner leaves area.

    Dobbin sold within 3 weeks. BM keeps charging owner board. Every 6 weeks she has the farrier shoe a horse that she says is named Dobbin. She had a horse colic and told the vet horse was named Dobbin.

    Nine months later owner calls to say she will be in town the next week. BM says "Oh, good news Dobbin just sold last week. Just waiting on final paperwork before I send you your check."

    She then tells owner that horse sold for $Y when horse really sold for 2 times $Y. BM takes commission on $Y plus keeps the difference for between $Y and two times $Y.

    BM was bragging about this to me after the fact. I never knew the horse, owner or owner's name. I didn't work at that farm much longer.


    Same BM was selling a grey pony that sometimes had some minor soundness issues. Prospective buyers arrange for a PPE but aren't going to be there for the PPE. BM brings a different grey pony out to the vet for the PPE. This pony is known to be sound and is a much fancier pony. Pony passes PPE with flying colors. Ringer pony was also the about the age the sale pony was advertised as. Sale pony was really about 10 years older than advertised. BM bragged about that one, too.

    Not exactly hidden fees but still ways to cheat the new owner or the old owner.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

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    • #3
      ^ OMG that is barbaric! :O
      Originally posted by rustbreeches
      [George Morris] doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, he prefers Dos Equis

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Wow. Just wow.

        SonnysMom, will PM you.

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        • #5
          Years ago, someone I knew was selling a very, very cute paint that was quite fancy but priced low to sell quick. A local MNT heard about him and had a student try him out and then took him on trial for two weeks. Trainer called seller, offered to meet asking price and the sale went off without a hitch. A year later, seller runs into new owners at a show and in the course of talking, discover that MNT told them the horses price was about $10K more than it was. She not only kept the $10K, she also kept her fee for finding the horse and negotiating the sale. The seller was not so much upset, but the new owners were justifiably irate.

          Comment


          • #6
            honestly this part of the horse world is foreign to me. Sure my trainer's always saw the horses I was interested in etc, but never brokered the deal.

            Why aren't contracts signed between the buyer AND the seller, which state the animal's selling price etc? I have had one for every horse I have purchased or sold. Woking in law, I can't imagine a sale without a contract and full disclosure.

            But it seems to happen often in the horse world.... It is crazy!
            APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

            Comment


            • #7
              There was a case where someone actually sued over this. Unfortunately, it would have been pre-internet so no news stories, but it was a pretty big deal in this small pond (Cedar Rapids, Iowa). It was the old story of horse cost $x and the owner was told horse cost $xxxx.

              Comment


              • #8
                http://forums.horsecity.com/index.ph...topic=47088062
                "I always remember you as quite the desk chair contrarian." - APirateLooksAtForty

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sales get funny because all it takes is an off hand comment that the "horse has a bad stop or iffy hock" or what ever , Unless a seller cam sell horse out of their own back yard on their own the trainer and all the BS are part of the game. Selling horses is not selling a pair of skis - the daily $ keep rolling along. Sellers just close their eyes and thank the powers above that the horse is sold and the money out the door is over. Yes, it sucks to know the trainers are padding the bills but better than paying board on a horse you don't want. Not long ago a friend of mine was in between horses. I offered her free rides on a semi retired mare sitting in the field. She could ride her at my place or take her to her own place and at any time bring her back. No obligation any where and horse is not for sale so no fear of buying horse. Her trainer got wind of conversation and talked to my then rider who jinxed offer. Both my friend and I have forgotten more about horses than the two young pros put together nor was it it any of their business any way. My friend and I laughed once we connected the dots but lesson learned about the trainer grapevine.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SonnysMom View Post
                    I worked at a farm MANY years ago. One of the client's moved out west and wanted the BM to sell her horse for her. Commission was supposed to be 15% plus regular board and expenses such as farrier, vet etc... Owner leaves area.

                    Dobbin sold within 3 weeks. BM keeps charging owner board. Every 6 weeks she has the farrier shoe a horse that she says is named Dobbin. She had a horse colic and told the vet horse was named Dobbin.

                    Nine months later owner calls to say she will be in town the next week. BM says "Oh, good news Dobbin just sold last week. Just waiting on final paperwork before I send you your check."

                    She then tells owner that horse sold for $Y when horse really sold for 2 times $Y. BM takes commission on $Y plus keeps the difference for between $Y and two times $Y.

                    BM was bragging about this to me after the fact. I never knew the horse, owner or owner's name. I didn't work at that farm much longer.


                    Same BM was selling a grey pony that sometimes had some minor soundness issues. Prospective buyers arrange for a PPE but aren't going to be there for the PPE. BM brings a different grey pony out to the vet for the PPE. This pony is known to be sound and is a much fancier pony. Pony passes PPE with flying colors. Ringer pony was also the about the age the sale pony was advertised as. Sale pony was really about 10 years older than advertised. BM bragged about that one, too.

                    Not exactly hidden fees but still ways to cheat the new owner or the old owner.
                    That is beyond devious. Hope karma slapped that BM into next week.
                    Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

                    The Grove at Five Points

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I won't do it. I buy and sell horses--and often have trainers ask if they can take a horse of mine to show to a client of theirs...and I know the trainer will add significantly to the asking price. I won't do it--I tell them if that is what is going to be done, they can buy the horse outright themselves, and then they can put whatever price they want on it. I don't have a problem paying a 10% commission, but it is to be out of my price I'm asking--not a price they suddenly decide to put on the horse without disclosing to the buyer my asking price.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Oh goody. Just what we need. Another article about those bad, bad trainers that rip people off to scare people away from buying a horse. Yeah, that will help...
                        www.midatlanticeq.com
                        Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival,Scholarships and College Fair
                        November 11-13, 2016

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by chunky munky View Post
                          Oh goody. Just what we need. Another article about those bad, bad trainers that rip people off to scare people away from buying a horse. Yeah, that will help...
                          Obviously there are fantastic trainers out there, but I think it's important to remind people to be careful when purchasing a horse. Yes, it may seem like common sense to some people, but when you fall in love with a horse, common sense tends to go out the window.
                          Educating people by sharing stories can't hurt.
                          I just recently got a new horse and my trainer was fantastic and so helpful and honest. This deal had the potential to make some evil unethical person a lot of extra change. But my trainer was honest because he's that type of person.
                          I think it's important as a buyer to speak directly with the seller as well, just to keep everyone honest.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sad thing is, to most honest people the idea that ANYONE would cheat them that badly just doesn't register. In about a year and a half, we'll probably go shopping for a kid's horse. I've already been quietly looking online, educating myself about what sells for what. When one trainer told me to plan on spending Y, I'd done my homework enough to know that I was being played for a sucker because those kinds of horses really sold for X (in higher-priced areas than I'm in). The trainer comes across as very honest/upright unless you have really done your homework. Going through him, I would have spent twice as much as some of these horses were worth. If I hadn't done my homework, I wouldn't have known any better. And plenty of people have NOT done their homework and trust that the person they're paying to represent their interests is actually doing that. A reminder that to make sure your interests are REALLY being represented can't go amiss.
                            Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

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                            • #15
                              I've been around enough to hear plenty, but OMG Sonny's Mom those TAKE THE CAKE.
                              ~Veronica
                              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                              http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by chunky munky View Post
                                Oh goody. Just what we need. Another article about those bad, bad trainers that rip people off to scare people away from buying a horse. Yeah, that will help...
                                Well, as the saying goes forewarned is forearmed.

                                When I was 12 my naive, non-horsie mother and I went to Florida with my trainer to buy a large pony, and we ended up paying $15,000 for a pony that actually cost $10,000 (this was in 1979). My trainer pocketed the difference. Unfortunately, although the pony had a fairly impressive record he was having physical problems and wasn't even worth the $10k. He had back issues and as this was before injections and other therapies that we have available today, there was nothing we could do. I'm not sure what kind of vetting the pony had, but my so-called trainer certainly should have been able to see that something was wrong.

                                My mother had sold a silver tea service and other things to buy this pony and since we basically had to give him away, that was pretty much the end of my show career. I leased an older pony at the end of his career for a year but was unable to buy anything else, and it has taken me nearly 30 years to get back to the show ring.

                                The trainer in question, who will go unnamed, was banned from USEF for an unrelated crime, so I guess karma does exist after all.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Actually it was 1980. I remember we were watching the grand prix at the Palm Beach polo grounds, and they announced that the U.S hockey team had beat the USSR at the Lake Placid olympics.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by EAY View Post
                                    Well, as the saying goes forewarned is forearmed.

                                    When I was 12 my naive, non-horsie mother and I went to Florida with my trainer to buy a large pony, and we ended up paying $15,000 for a pony that actually cost $10,000 (this was in 1979). My trainer pocketed the difference. Unfortunately, although the pony had a fairly impressive record he was having physical problems and wasn't even worth the $10k. He had back issues and as this was before injections and other therapies that we have available today, there was nothing we could do. I'm not sure what kind of vetting the pony had, but my so-called trainer certainly should have been able to see that something was wrong.

                                    My mother had sold a silver tea service and other things to buy this pony and since we basically had to give him away, that was pretty much the end of my show career. I leased an older pony at the end of his career for a year but was unable to buy anything else, and it has taken me nearly 30 years to get back to the show ring.

                                    The trainer in question, who will go unnamed, was banned from USEF for an unrelated crime, so I guess karma does exist after all.
                                    OMG For some reason this makes me so sad, no happy ending, gosh, just makes me shake my head. I hate this, I can just see your Mom selling her beloved silver tea service, because she rather see you show and in the ring. No, just so wrong.
                                    http://community.webshots.com/user/summitspringsfarm

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      so Im upset and have to vent. I have been taken by MANY trainers over the years, for $100,000s. so i found one that seemed to be honest. seemed to be a decent guy. just showed me a horse for $60,000 more than he just paid for it.... more than a 100% commission... and it had veterinary issues on top so i passed. then they showed me a horse they just paid 38000 for in europe -- which they priced to me at 175 but would take 165000. Im so mad. I seriously think that there is not one single honest horse trainer out there -- not one! and i guess i either need a new trainer or just to quit the sport i love.... again.

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