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Is she mine or not?

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  • #21
    Does the old owner want her back? Why does the old owner think she's worth 10k?
    http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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    • #22
      That's why even when someone gives you a horse you should get a bill of sale - even for $1.00

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      • #23
        Not abandoned if the owner has been in touch within 5 years...although it depends on the state. And most would require you to give her notice etc. Where it sounds like this owner would reclaim her. But you can do some research into the laws and contact a lawyer.

        I think you probably missed understood why she wasn't selling her before....she probably just couldn't sell her.

        I have a horse out on free lease. To a teen. I expect to get the horse back when she goes to college unless she wants to take her to school...or comes to school out here. They pay all costs but the horse is most certainly still mine. But I'm also in much more regular contact.
        Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Dec. 14, 2012, 10:33 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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        • #24
          Definitely not your horse and not abandoned. It just means you get to enjoy the horse without having to purchase. Sounds like that's worked for you and the rightful owner. The right thing to do is ...
          1. Continue to keep enjoying her without changing anything. If the owner contacts you, you can offer to buy her if you'd like OR
          2. Contact the owner about purchasing the mare.
          Since they did free lease her to you for so long, they may agree to giving her to you or selling her for a reduced fee. (And, yes, do get a bill of sale to protect yourself and the horse down the road!)
          Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

          Comment


          • #25
            First, this is really not the place to seek or get equine legal advise. In the more then 30 years of making my living in the horse business I have been sued, have sued and have been an expert witness in some horse related legal issues. I am not a lawyer but have paid for a pretty good education in equine law. Having negotiated/brokered many deals for as little as a few thousand to several million dollar over the years lawyers will at some point be called upon. The law, especially equine law is not as cut and dry as most reasonable people would think. Every state is different as is the venue, judge and jury. “Horse law” is not well understood by judges and or juries. It is especially important to make sure and hire a lawyer that is well versed in equine law otherwise you will be paying for their education. So, to those who have been saying that the OP has no grounds for dispute you maybe right and you maybe wrong. But to outright say that she has no legal ground to stand on IMO is not good advise. Again, I am not an attorney but I think she does. At least enough to justify talking to equine law attorney. OP the fact that you reside in Virginia is a plus because it has a rich horse history so the law maybe pretty well defined in this state. I would get in touch with an equine attorney. I have seen several advertise in the COTH so look one up and call or put a well written email together giving all of the details, dates and EXACTLY what has transpired over the years. The fact that you are young one might cut you some slack and open with a free opinion on whether you have legal grounds to take possession/proceed with a legal dispute. They will also give you an idea of how much it will cost to proceed. Do not “fudge” the details in your favor because the real details will come out and will work against you and only cost you money in legal fees.
            The horse may or may not be worth $10,000. That is not for you to say or the owner in a legal dispute. What I would do is hire a FULLY qualified person to appraise the horse. Not a friend, not someone that buys and sells horses from time to time but someone that has a professional back ground in appraising horses of this type and they can state their back ground and expertise on the appraisal. In other words a verifiable independent paid for appraisal. If it is a price you can afford go to the person and cut a deal. If you can afford legal representation it would be best to make the offer through that person to make a point. Especially if there is case law to back you up even if your case is “thin”. They don’t know that and may not be in a position or not want to hire an attorney to find out otherwise.
            As others have said and as my attorney told me a number of times; Always get EVERYTHING in writing especially with a “free” lease. There is no such thing as a “free” legal document in the eyes of contract law. Something has to be exchanged to “bind” the contract that’s why you will see contracts that say “in consideration for $1.00” even thought the dollar never really exchanges hands.
            Please let us know how this is resolved.

            Comment


            • #26
              I would bet that the owner knows you really like the horse, and is trying to get you to buy her.

              If she has told you that she wants to sell her, then tell her "ok Im sorry I cant afford your asking price, you can come get her tomorrow..." the owner might think twice about allowing you to keep leasing her, or sell her at a reduced cost.

              It isnt your horse, but if the owner has been away for that long I wouldnt think she would be ready to start paying bills on the horse now....but, you never know.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
                I would bet that the owner knows you really like the horse, and is trying to get you to buy her.

                If she has told you that she wants to sell her, then tell her "ok Im sorry I cant afford your asking price, you can come get her tomorrow..." the owner might think twice about allowing you to keep leasing her, or sell her at a reduced cost.

                It isnt your horse, but if the owner has been away for that long I wouldnt think she would be ready to start paying bills on the horse now....but, you never know.

                That could be true but may not. My horse has been on free lease for several years now. I COULD sell her...or compete her myself (especially last year when my normal rides were all hurt). I haven't taken her back because I know the person leasing her loves her and I'm being nice. I will let her stay with that leasee for as long as she wants her because I know she loves the horse but could never afford to buy her. If she wanted to buy her...I would charge what the horse is worth. BUT by me owning her, I know where she is, and can make sure she is in a good place and take her back if her younger rider falls on hard times and can not afford to keep her. I sold/gave one horse to a young person once...who sold him to dealer a few months later when her parents cut her off. NEVER again. And I could afford to take my horse back in a heart beat.
                ** 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


                • #28
                  Okay, I think the gist of it is that ethically this horse is NOT yours. I cannot be 100% positive about the legality, but my first thought was also that she is NOT yours. Now, if you had said you tried to contact the owner repeatedly and she did not respond, maybe you could ethically pursue the abandonment angle.

                  Think of it this way... Say you had a horse and you free leased out to a young girl who took great care of the horse. Things were going so well for your horse that you just decided to let the situation continue until/unless the lessee said she wanted to stop. All is well for horsey, lessee, and owner, everybody's happy, so you just get behind in checking in. Then the lessee thinks she OWNS your horse?! Without even contacting you to ask about keeping her??? I mean, how concerned would YOU be?

                  Frankly, after having her for 4 years, I would do the right thing and talk to the owner. Or just keep going, nothing wrong with that. Chances are she will work with you and may even give her to you. I mean, she's given her to you for four years already...
                  Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    This story is interesting to me because I had a similar experience when I was a kid -- except, the person did tell us (my dad and I) she was GIVING us the horse. I sent her a thank you note, otherwise she would not have even known how to contact us. Nothing was in writing.

                    Ten years went by -- and a DIFFERENT guy starts demanding the horse back. He said he was the brother of the person who "loaned" the horse to me. (That person had since passed away.) And he said he was the actual owner of the horse and the sister had no right to give the horse to me. He said the sister knew that and would never have given the horse to me. It was definitely just a loan.

                    They had baby pictures of my horse that they used as evidence. I remember looking at those pictures of my beloved horse as a baby, and just crying.

                    And then they escalated the pressure. I was young and felt trapped.

                    After about two years of being harassed by them (after I had had the horse 12 years), I did give the horse back -- to his daughter, who struck me as a nice girl. By then I was newly married, new career and all that . . . Still chaps me though. I cried and cried over loosing that horse.
                    I have a Fjord! Life With Oden

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Sorry. Double post.
                      I have a Fjord! Life With Oden

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        DD and I entered several free leases in her junior career. We appreciated each one as a gift and opportunity to further her knowledge and experience. We never would have assumed the horse was ours simply because we loved and cared for it. In each instance, the owner loved and cared for the horse as well, but wanted to provide an opportunity for my DD and it worked well for them.

                        In each case we had a written agreement that stated that either party could end the lease with one month's notice. I suggest you contact the owner asap and get an agreement in writing. Start by expressing your appreciation for the opportunity to enjoy the last 4 years of their horse's life. Then make an offer to purchase him. If she says no, then don't continue the free lease without a written agreement to protect both parties.

                        Another important point is that you should have stayed in contact with the owner, keeping her informed of the horse's condition/progress, IMO.

                        I'm happy to share copies of agreements we have had in the past, if that's helpful to you.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          OP I am curious, how many times have you, yourself contacted the owner? It's not a one way street, or it shouldn't be. I'm also curious why is it now that you are wanting to know if the horse could be considered yours? Do you want to sell it?
                          My blog: Crackerdog Farm

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Does the "owner" have a Bill of Sale to prove that the horse is hers to begin with?
                            Another thing you could try is to show the "owner" a bill of expenses on the horse for the past 4 years and ask for reimbursement of those costs before parting with the horse. Since there is nothing in writing, who's to say what the original understanding was? Sounds as if you aren't sure. You would be saying that you now own the horse under the equitable remedy of "quantum meruit". You seem to be suggesting that you have had her so long that any prior understanding has lapsed. You can argue that the "owner" sat on her rights by never stepping in to reclaim the horse when you started college.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Wait, I can't believe ANYONE here is suggesting that the OP should manipulate her way into legal ownership of this horse. I'm not sure why it's important all of a sudden, but the way to make this legal is to go back to the previous owner and get a contract that states the transfer of ownership. Do it right.
                              If I had a horse out on free lease, no matter how long, I would not be impressed with the person leasing it suddenly claiming ownership of the horse.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                I'm with oldpony here, all the way. It is entirely immoral to take advantage of an owner who provided a four-year free lease. I could be mistaken, but I am under the impression the OP did not try to return the mare. The OP should be grateful for such an opportunity!!! And it's ludicrous to think that the owner should reimburse for any expenses.

                                Look, OP, you received a great gift of a free horse for 4 wonderful years. Be grateful for that! If you do the right thing by the owner, your conscience will be clear. And you will probably find that the good will you create (in handling this properly) will be repaid by the owner.

                                She's all but given you the mare for 4 years. She may give her to you outright, for cheap, or allow you to continue indefinitely, for free. Thank her from the bottom of your heart and kiss that lovely mare you're enjoying and did not have to purchase!!
                                Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
                                  Does the "owner" have a Bill of Sale to prove that the horse is hers to begin with?
                                  Another thing you could try is to show the "owner" a bill of expenses on the horse for the past 4 years and ask for reimbursement of those costs before parting with the horse. Since there is nothing in writing, who's to say what the original understanding was? Sounds as if you aren't sure. You would be saying that you now own the horse under the equitable remedy of "quantum meruit". You seem to be suggesting that you have had her so long that any prior understanding has lapsed. You can argue that the "owner" sat on her rights by never stepping in to reclaim the horse when you started college.
                                  Anyone who is considering giving an earnest young person the opportunity to free lease their horse, read Atlas' post and be warned. Make sure to have a written agreement with an "out" clause. It's hard to believe that someone would try to get their "heart" horse in this way.

                                  DD is a professional because of the experience she gained while riding free lease horses. Its the only way our family could have afforded for her to ride and show. We're forever grateful for those opportunities.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    I am only giving a legal argument on behalf of OP, as I am an attorney with lots of experience in the equestrian field. Another thing to note is that with horses, physical possession a huge factor. Owner can't come on Lessee's property and "disturb the peace" by forcibly take the horse, police escort or not. It is a civil matter that will have to wind its ways through the courts. Bottom line.. hire a lawyer!

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Muggle Mom View Post
                                      Anyone who is considering giving an earnest young person the opportunity to free lease their horse, read Atlas' post and be warned. Make sure to have a written agreement with an "out" clause. It's hard to believe that someone would try to get their "heart" horse in this way.

                                      DD is a professional because of the experience she gained while riding free lease horses. Its the only way our family could have afforded for her to ride and show. We're forever grateful for those opportunities.
                                      Boy, do I agree with you. Based on what the OP has written here, she has a free lease which was extended beyond the original term by mutual agreement, period, full stop.

                                      Now there are people on here suggesting that the OP has some sort of ownership claim to the horse, telling her to present the actual owner with the horse's bills, and lawyer up to try to establish ownership. It's all totally wrong.

                                      I once free leased my horse for a short while to a young adult who loved him quite a bit. In the past I have considered it was a very good experience for everyone, myself included, since I was working too many hours to keep him in consistent work. I am now once again working a zillion hours with limited time to ride, but I chose to just pay my trainer to keep him in work instead; I'v just heard too many horror stories about leasing to ever want to do it again.
                                      **********
                                      We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                                      -PaulaEdwina

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Hire a lawyer? Oh for goodness sake. You've enjoyed this horse with no investment in purchasing it. It matters not why the owner allowed you to free lease it. You entered into that arrangement willingly.

                                        I don't care what is legal and what isn't. Do the right thing. Either give the horse back or buy it - or keep doing what you've been doing.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Little Secret View Post
                                          So what do yall think is it my right to say shes mine or is an old verbal agreement 100% binding?
                                          An "old verbal agreement" is also known as "your word".
                                          If you don't abide by your word, then your word means nothing. That should bother you.

                                          This person apparently trusted your word (of honor) enough not to require a contract. Don't make them regret trusting you.

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