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Is she mine or not?

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  • Is she mine or not?

    So I'm in need of some opinions on a situation I'm in. A little over 4 years ago I recieved a horse. A friend of mine had a friend that could no longer afford or have the time for her horse so she came to me and my mom to see if I would be interested in a free lease. My mom agreed so we went and picked her up. There was never a contract written or signed by me, my mother, or the previous owner. After the horse was settled in at my barn she left and I didnt hear from her for 2 years. She never stopped by to check up on the horse and never tried to contact me in any way. After the first 2 years she did make contact and came out to visit and talk about our "agreement". It was agreed that I would keep the horse until I went to college and then she would be returned to the previous owner, however I ended up attending the local community college so I was able to still keep her. Once she left I again never heard from her for 2 years. In the time that I have had the horse I have covered all vet, farrier, board, and all extra costs. This horse is my heart horse and I have went above and beyond to keep her and take care of her. So what do yall think is it my right to say shes mine or is an old verbal agreement 100% binding?

  • #2
    Nope. Just a lease. At no point in your post did you say she said that she was giving you the horse. In a lease would be paying for all costs anyways.

    Comment


    • #3
      No, it's a free lease, there was no contracts, so you don't legally own her. For you to legally own her you need to sign a contract. Even with no contact for 2 years, it's still just a free lease.
      Mendokuse

      Comment


      • #4
        Uh, yeah, definitely not yours. The definition of a free lease is that the leasee pays the expenses. That's the whole point. Sucks that the owner has been absent in the extreme, but she's still the owner.

        You said the owner hasn't tried to contact you - have you tried contacting her?

        If not, you should. If you want the horse, call the owner and see what can be worked out. But I don't think you can just claim ownership.
        "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
        -George Morris

        Comment


        • #5
          If you want to keep this horse permanently, go to the owner and get something in writing. Otherwise, no, she is still on a lease with you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Little Secret View Post
            So I'm in need of some opinions on a situation I'm in. A little over 4 years ago I recieved a horse. A friend of mine had a friend that could no longer afford or have the time for her horse so she came to me and my mom to see if I would be interested in a free lease. My mom agreed so we went and picked her up. There was never a contract written or signed by me, my mother, or the previous owner. After the horse was settled in at my barn she left and I didnt hear from her for 2 years. She never stopped by to check up on the horse and never tried to contact me in any way. After the first 2 years she did make contact and came out to visit and talk about our "agreement". It was agreed that I would keep the horse until I went to college and then she would be returned to the previous owner, however I ended up attending the local community college so I was able to still keep her. Once she left I again never heard from her for 2 years. In the time that I have had the horse I have covered all vet, farrier, board, and all extra costs. This horse is my heart horse and I have went above and beyond to keep her and take care of her. So what do yall think is it my right to say shes mine or is an old verbal agreement 100% binding?
            If you want to keep the horse, offer to buy her from her owner; to date all you have is a free lease - which is what you agreed to.

            As others have noted, in a free lease, you generally DO have to pay all the horse's expenses. You got what you stated you agreed to; at this point, based on what you state above - the owner can come claim her horse at any time.
            **********
            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
            -PaulaEdwina

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Well the only issue (that I see) is that when I first recieved her I was told that she was unable to sell her because she was given to her and according to VA state law it was prohibited to sell her but when She came out to visit she said that I would either continue to keep her or I would have to pay her $10,000 which I feel is a completely incorrect price (not that I get to make that decision!).

              Comment


              • #8
                Sorry she's not yours. There is no signed bill of sale, no monies have changed hands. Therefore, no sales transaction transferring ownership has occurred.
                <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Does the original person who had her even want her back? Why not just as if she'll now give the horse to you? Or ask to extend the free lease for the next 20 years or something?! She's checked out and you've more than demonstrated you're a good home... do you have some reason to believe she won't go for that?
                  ~Veronica
                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                  http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Little Secret View Post
                    Well the only issue (that I see) is that when I first recieved her I was told that she was unable to sell her because she was given to her and according to VA state law it was prohibited to sell her
                    About the only way someone would be prohibited from selling healthy livestock is if that person did not have clear title to the animal.

                    In any case, you still cannot claim ownership of this horse. As others have said, you have a free lease that basically runs at the pleasure of the owner.

                    You must find the lawful owner and arrange for a gift or an outright sale. In either case, make sure you get at least a bill of sale (even if the sale is for $0) giving you title to the horse.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Nope, sorry. She's still the owner. I'm currently in a similar situation to you, but with an opposite problem - I used to keep my childhood pony at my house and I had a pasture mate for him that was sort of given to me by a woman over 5 years ago, but there was never any paperwork filled out and it was under the impression that she would still be the owner, on paper at least. Said pony is a 20something year old shetland that's unrideable but pasture sound and was just a perfect companion for my pony. Fast forward to now - childhood pony contracted a horrible virus and passed away this past Spring and now I have a little shetland that I really have no use for and is just costing me the price of room and board. I've tried contacting his owner to no avail. I have a friend that has offered to take him from me, but because the horse is not legally mine, I really do not have the authority to do that. It sucks, but because I am just the "lessee" technically, I have to hold on to this pony until the owner contacts me back, if that ever even happens.

                      My advice would be to try and give her a call - offer to more or less take the horse off the owner's hands - give her some peace of mind and let her know that the horse will be well taken care of for the rest of her life. See how that goes - and make sure you get something signed and in writing!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by caballero View Post
                        About the only way someone would be prohibited from selling healthy livestock is if that person did not have clear title to the animal.
                        Agree with this. I wonder if the leasor is not the owner (maybe she has the horse on a free lease too) or if she adopted from a rescue that disallows selling or something.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          When you have had contact, you do not say you or your mother asked about terminating or changing the agreement and continued to pay all expenses? Right?

                          By continuing under the same terms for 4 years now with no recorded objections, you and your mother have agreed to keep things as they are. It's not your horse. You can't continue for 4 years with sporadic contact from the owner then suddenly say it's your horse.

                          There are specific steps for declaring a horse abandoned but they don't really apply here. Your status as a minor when the original agreement was made also means your mother would need to be involved in any proposed changes.

                          You might want to think about a formal, written agreement to avoid further confusion. I assume you are now over 18 so that new agreement can leave mom out.

                          There are some rescues and adoption outfits that are pretty restrictive about future ownership changes so that could complicate things a bit.

                          But you need to do something to clarify this whether you continue to keep the horse or she shows up with a trailer tomorrow...which is her right.
                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            I am now starting to wonder if she even is the legal owner because from what I know she was given the horse by the breeder. The horse was a twin that was not expected and she wasnt what they wanted.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Little Secret View Post
                              I am now starting to wonder if she even is the legal owner because from what I know she was given the horse by the breeder. The horse was a twin that was not expected and she wasnt what they wanted.
                              All the more reason to ask for something in writing clarifying who owns the horse and what your agreement is. If for no other reason then who is liable if it gets loose and gets hit by a car or kicks somebody in the face. Suggest registered letters with receipt of delivery to contact this person and ask that she enter into a formal agreement with you.
                              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Weird story.

                                First the owner can't/is unable to sell the horse.

                                4 yrs goes by.

                                Then owner wants 10k.

                                She can sell the horse now? Will she realisticly be able to sell it for 10k?
                                What if you don't have that money/don't want to buy the horse? Is she going to take it back?
                                ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                                Originally posted by LauraKY
                                I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                                HORSING mobile training app

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Is there some reason you want to legally own the horse at this point in time? If not, I would tend to "let sleeping dogs lie," enjoy the horse and let her continue to age and depreciate! You have no intention of ever selling her. If the owner (and yes, she is still the owner), contacts you, you can work out a sale price at that time. I'm assuming you improved this horse since you received her and I can just see the owner realizing that she's worth $$ and wanting more than you are willing or able to pay. Out of sight, out of mind and all that.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I would check your state laws regarding the "law of abandonment" when it comes to equine. Because you have been paying the bills for the horse for a number of years without contract, it may be classified as abandonment. Google the laws in VA, I just did, and I believe if you wanted to fight it you very well could. (But im no lawyer.... by any means)

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by jherold View Post
                                      Is there some reason you want to legally own the horse at this point in time? If not, I would tend to "let sleeping dogs lie," enjoy the horse and let her continue to age and depreciate! You have no intention of ever selling her. If the owner (and yes, she is still the owner), contacts you, you can work out a sale price at that time. I'm assuming you improved this horse since you received her and I can just see the owner realizing that she's worth $$ and wanting more than you are willing or able to pay. Out of sight, out of mind and all that.
                                      That's what I'd do.
                                      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by NTolppa View Post
                                        I would check your state laws regarding the "law of abandonment" when it comes to equine. Because you have been paying the bills for the horse for a number of years without contract, it may be classified as abandonment. Google the laws in VA, I just did, and I believe if you wanted to fight it you very well could. (But im no lawyer.... by any means)

                                        That would be a crappy thing to do to the real owner of the horse. It has not been abandoned, she has been in touch with the owner. Not often, but it has happened. The last deal she stated was she was going to keep the horse till she went to college. Well now she is going to college near home. Nowhere did the OP post that the owner of the horse said that she didn't want the horse. Infact she posted that the owner said she could buy the horse for x amount.

                                        Comment

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