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First Time Buying a Six Figure Horse - Need Advise on Trialing

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  • First Time Buying a Six Figure Horse - Need Advise on Trialing

    Here’s my story: I am a junior hunter/eq rider and I train with two BNTs. This will be my first time buying a six figure horse; therefore, I have a few questions regarding the purchase and trial process.

    I’ve ridden this horse about a dozen times thus far, and I really think he would be good for me. I’m looking for a horse to show this summer, and hopefully take me to the finals; otherwise, I will buy a more suitable horse for next years finals, and lease the horse I am now considering then. My trainers think he will be a great confidence builder and take me where I want to go.

    Now that I’ve given you a little summary, here is the question. The owner of the horse is a past student of my trainers, who is now away at college. I’ve ridden with other trainers in the past, who’ve students have trialed a horse for free at a show in order to see how they perform together. This is exactly what I told my current trainers that I would like to do; however, they said no, and that I would have to put a down payment on the horse in order to trial him.

    My theory is this. When you go to test drive a car, you don’t just drive it around the car dealer’s parking lot and if you would like to take it out on the road, the dealer asks you to put a down payment on the car in order to do so? That would be ridiculous! However, that is what I feel like is being asked of me. Further, the dealer gives you all the specs of the car, indicating its crash rating, MPG, etc. My trainer gives me all the horses show record, etc. However, I am not going to buy a car if I can’t drive it at 60 MPH on the highway. Nor, do I feel that I should buy a horse if I can’t see how it will perform with me at a show.

    I would like to receive a reply from experienced sellers/buyers regarding how their go about trialing a horse.

    TIA!
    There is no secret so close as that between a rider and her horse.

    ~___/>
    . /\ /\

  • #2
    Car dealerships do want a copy of your driver's license and I think most also want proof of insurance, so try and bargain with them and say you'll take an insurance policy out on the horse (very common when horses are on trial). That way, if something happens, everyone's butts are covered.
    Amanda

    Comment


    • #3
      Definitely try and bargain and see if you can take the horse to a show. That is what I did with my current horse and I am so glad I was able to see how he was at shows. A horse I was supposed to lease that was nice at home was a stopper at shows. The woman who wanted me to lease him wanted me to sign a contract before I took him to a show. When I asked how he was at shows, she told me, "Uhm, well, he's pretty good but he gets funny at shows. You'll see." I later learned he was a dirty stopper. Thanks?
      www.justworldinternational.org

      Comment


      • #4
        If I let a horse go "on trial" (which is only under certain other conditions), then it is handled as a short term lease. The buyer pays me a fee to "try" the horse and if they subsequently buy it the fee goes towards purchase, otherwise it is non-refundable for ANY reason. This is for quite a lot of reasons, one is the horse is pulled off the market for the term of the trial and I expect to be reimbursed if they do not buy the horse and I lost potential buyers during the trial, second it separates the real buyers from the ones that just want a "free ride" (and trust me they are out there!), third I think it makes people REALLY think about whether this is the horse they want, if they are paying for the use of the animal they will think a little more about it before asking for a trial. It becomes a legal transaction with a contract, and I think there are less hard feelings on either side should the person not buy the horse.
        www.shawneeacres.net

        Comment


        • #5
          If you ride with two BNTs, do you think they will be swayed by the opinions of a bunch of strangers on the internet?

          If you've ridden the horse 12 times, you've already sat on it 10 more times than most people who buy a horse.

          Sometimes sellers will let a buyer show a horse, or pay a lease fee for a week or a month (including all costs plus insurance), but it's not a given.

          Comment


          • #6
            Wait you've ridden this horse a dozen times? That seems like a fair amount of time to figure out if you like or do not like this horse.
            If its a proven horse, which I hope if you are paying 6 figures for it, it is atleast somewhat proven, then there should be no problem.
            If this horse is at your trainers then they have obviously seen how it goes before at shows, and if you trust them then they should tell you if it is 'up' or not.

            If this was my horse and you had already ridden it 12+ times I wouldn't let you show it on my dime. No way. I don't care how much you're willing to pay for it. If you can afford the horse, then you can afford to pay for 1 show and a down payment.

            Comment


            • #7
              FYI, your analogy to trying a car at a dealership makes no sense. They aren't asking for money for you to ride the horse there at their farm. You are asking to SHOW the horse with brings with it a pretty significant risk on the horse being injured etc. It is as if you asked the car dealer if you could take the car in a race, I think not without FULL payment!!
              www.shawneeacres.net

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by heartinrye View Post
                Wait you've ridden this horse a dozen times? That seems like a fair amount of time to figure out if you like or do not like this horse.
                If its a proven horse, which I hope if you are paying 6 figures for it, it is atleast somewhat proven, then there should be no problem.
                If this horse is at your trainers then they have obviously seen how it goes before at shows, and if you trust them then they should tell you if it is 'up' or not.

                If this was my horse and you had already ridden it 12+ times I wouldn't let you show it on my dime. No way. I don't care how much you're willing to pay for it. If you can afford the horse, then you can afford to pay for 1 show and a down payment.

                Exactly. I wouldn't even let you do some sort of down payment and show trial thing... you've ridden the horse TWELVE TIMES?!!!

                It's not a car. If you want it, buy it. If not, don't. They just don't come w/guarantees. You could show him, have a great show and the next 4 suck. No telling. It's a horse.
                "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                ---
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree that you have already ridden it 10 more times than most buyers.

                  If you crash that car at 60 mph on the highway your insurance will pay for it..... if you crash that horse in the 3'6" equitation ring (or whatever you show it in) then who will pay- Insurance doesn't pay if the horse just doesn't want to jump around a 3'6" course anymore. They would pay if you physically injured it but not if you just ruined it or its reputation.

                  I would think that if you could pay to lease it for a fee to take to a show that you pay for before you buy it that would be more than fair.

                  Its funny- the more expensive the horse the less you will most likely be able to try it and do with it.
                  www.patchworkfarmga.com

                  "The harder you train, the luckier you get!"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would absolutely expect to pay a lease fee to ride it at a show. It's an animal, that can easily be injured, why should they take on all the risk?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Dear OP,

                      I finished my jr years on runaway jumper ponies and 5yro wbs who jump out of their skin at different colored grass.... i would DIE to have the opportunity you are getting.. congrats

                      I dont think that your analogy was "that bad" it is just obviously difficult to compare a living irreplaceable animal with a $100,000 car. I agree with one of the posters to see if you can do a potential "show lease" and since u are doing eq, see if you can persuade them by taking him in a lower level eq class or even just a a schooling hunter class or something not at your height. If that doesn't fly with them, and I wouldn't be surprised if they said that it was too much of a risk, see if you can negotiate the ability to see him go at a show under another rider, possibly someone your age/strength/level from their barn, and then you get the opportunity to school him in the schooling ring or even a ticketed warmup.

                      Like the others said though, you have ridden him 12 times and your two BNTs wont risk you sitting on a dirty stopper or a horse with bad show manners since their name is attached to your performance.

                      Congrats again and continued good luck, and soak up your jr years!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don't think it's unreasonable to pay the seller to show the horse.

                        Look at it from their point of view. The horse is still for sale, and now on display for many people to see at the show. Suppose you don't get along with the horse at the show and he stops or crashes...in front of many potential buyers. Now you don't like the horse and the seller will have a challenge selling it.

                        In that situation, the seller is bearing a lot of risk and you aren't bearing any. By making a down payment, you're assuming some risk too.

                        Seems pretty reasonable to me.
                        ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Personally I think the trainers are being reasonable and you're already lucky to have gotten to try the horse that many times. If you've been on the horse 12 times you ought to have a good idea of whether or not you're a good match by now. In my experience buying a high priced horse is not significantly different from buying any other horse. You try the horse a couple of times, decide if its the right fit for you and then do a comprehensive pre-purchase exam. If the horse is worth that much it most likely has a proven record which ought to indicate how it will perform in the show ring. Asking to show on some sort of trial before purchasing the horse is something I have rarely seen.

                          When they send the horse to a show with you they are not only missing out on other potential buyers but also risking an injury while they still technically own it. If by some chance the horse was injured while you had it on trial what would you do? Not only would you probably end up not buying the horse but they would be left with an injured and unsellable horse in addition to vet bills. I would absolutely expect to pay some sort of deposit or short term lease fee if I were going to a show a horse on trial as well as any other expenses incurred.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thank you everyone for all your replies, and I respect your opinions.

                            I've thought this over more since reading your replies. I should of clarified myself further by saying that the owner wanted be to put down 50% of the purchase price, for which I would not do considering that I haven't done a PPE, nor would I do that kind of arrange without doing a credit check on the owner first, in the event that I don't go through with the purchase, especially in the uncertain economic times.

                            I think I will talk with my trainers tomorrow about a show lease - that sounds fair and reasonable. I was not asking for a freebie, as I would not do that if I was in the owner's position.
                            There is no secret so close as that between a rider and her horse.

                            ~___/>
                            . /\ /\

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well I'll take a contrary view. (To some extent.)

                              If you are going to pay 6 figures for this horse, that's one heck of a lot of money. You deserve to feel that it's the right horse for you without any significant doubts.

                              Personally I would really ask myself how I feel about this horse. Have you seen it perform at shows? Is there a niggling feeling in there that's making you hesitate because you haven't showed it and your gut is telling you there might be a problem?

                              What's the sense you get from the BNT's about why they don't want to let you show the horse? Is it because they just "don't do that" or because they have insurance concerns, or they think you might not be serious or what is their reasoning? Just ask them in a straightforward courteous way. Say that this is one HECK of a lot of money and you don't want to make a mistake that you could regret--ask them what can be worked out so that you and the seller both feel comfortable with the trial and sale?

                              It may be that you can indeed arrange a short term, insured lease for a show. Or maybe you can put down a deposit, but be SURE in that case that you have a very good contract (there are good ones available online, or when this amount of money is involved you may want to consult an attorney with equine sales experience).

                              And if the sellers get all huffy about it, then keep in mind you can always walk away. This is a SIGNIFICANT amount of money, and a BIG DEAL. Particularly in this economic climate, let the sellers and trainers tell you what they may, it is a buyer's market.

                              And as my trainer says, "Take your time, there's always another horse."

                              Sadly, these days that's becoming more and more true.

                              Take your time, don't let anyone, BNT or not, railroad you or insinuate that you are being unreasonable. You are asking what you are asking for and offering what you are offering. Negotiations may be possible or they may not, but neither you nor the seller nor the BNT's are well served by getting their feelings hurt or their pride involved.

                              Just stick to what you know and what your gut tells you makes sense.

                              ETA: cross-posted with the OP's last post...sounds like a good plan.
                              Ring the bells that still can ring
                              Forget your perfect offering
                              There is a crack in everything
                              That's how the light gets in.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Agree with others-- even for a low 5 figure horse, I don't think many people would just let you take it to a show. Sure, if the horse was already at the show, I can totally see letting you ride it in a class or two, but not taking it to a show for free.

                                Any why would you do a credit check on the horse owner? That part makes no sense to me.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I'd be more interested in the BNT's opinions that those of the (probably very knowledgeable) crew on here.

                                  I am guessing, that since the seller is affiliated with one of these BNTs that the horse has been available for you to ride through him/her? Asking for a 50% deposit just to show the horse seems a bit much. A "show lease" makes more sense. What is the opionion of your trainer as to the rationality of this seller's terms? If BNT is representing the horse they must be aware of the terms? I've never dealt with a six figure sale but I am sure that you've ridden this horse far more than most people do when horse shopping.
                                  I'd offer to lease the horse for the show with insurance. Lease fees are non-refindable if you don't buy. If you do buy, they are credited to you on the purchase price.
                                  F O.B
                                  Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                                  Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Is there a reason to think that this expensive "car of an eq horse" will be different at a show than he was the 12 times you rode him at home.

                                    Sorry for the attitude. I didn't get there all by myself.

                                    I can't understand all of the OP's ideas, but the credit check for the owner makes no sense. What does the buyer have to lose if the seller is 6 inches away from bankruptcy? I also can't imagine that the requested 50% deposit was intended to remain with the seller even if the horse failed a PPE. Finally, it seems to me that the OP thinks that her trainer is a bit of an adversary. That makes little sense, too. The trainer stands to make a great deal of money from a kid he/she can keep showing through the Eq finals. The trainer could be wrong about the horse and rider's match at shows, but I'm betting that the BNT is also betting that he/she is not. Why not trust everyone a bit more and also cover your a$$?
                                    The armchair saddler
                                    Politically Pro-Cat

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I'm also wondering about the point of doing a credit check on the seller, seems more likely that they should be doing one on you to see that you have the funds available to make such a large purchase.
                                      In the past I have offered to lease a horse for it's annual fee plus insurance on the total value with the stipulation that the lease fee could be applied to the purchase price if the "buy option" was executed within a certain time frame. Happy shopping.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by ACS View Post
                                        Here’s my story: I am a junior hunter/eq rider and I train with two BNTs. This will be my first time buying a six figure horse; therefore, I have a few questions regarding the purchase and trial process.

                                        I’ve ridden this horse about a dozen times thus far, and I really think he would be good for me. I’m looking for a horse to show this summer, and hopefully take me to the finals; otherwise, I will buy a more suitable horse for next years finals, and lease the horse I am now considering then. My trainers think he will be a great confidence builder and take me where I want to go.

                                        Now that I’ve given you a little summary, here is the question. The owner of the horse is a past student of my trainers, who is now away at college. I’ve ridden with other trainers in the past, who’ve students have trialed a horse for free at a show in order to see how they perform together. This is exactly what I told my current trainers that I would like to do; however, they said no, and that I would have to put a down payment on the horse in order to trial him.

                                        My theory is this. When you go to test drive a car, you don’t just drive it around the car dealer’s parking lot and if you would like to take it out on the road, the dealer asks you to put a down payment on the car in order to do so? That would be ridiculous! However, that is what I feel like is being asked of me. Further, the dealer gives you all the specs of the car, indicating its crash rating, MPG, etc. My trainer gives me all the horses show record, etc. However, I am not going to buy a car if I can’t drive it at 60 MPH on the highway. Nor, do I feel that I should buy a horse if I can’t see how it will perform with me at a show.

                                        I would like to receive a reply from experienced sellers/buyers regarding how their go about trialing a horse.

                                        TIA!
                                        I don't really see what the big deal is about making a 'down payment' to show....
                                        There are quite a few people out there that won't even consider a trial period, payment or not. A 6 figure horse? You better believe I'd be asking for a 'down payment' before it leaves my property. Granted; if you should choose to buy it, I'd make a case that the money you paid for the trial go towards the initial purchase price.

                                        It seems to me like your hmm'ing and haw'ing about this horse already, given the comment about finding another one for next year's finals.
                                        I know now, the place that I was trying to reach, was you, right here in front of me

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