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Buyer Wanting Lease

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  • Buyer Wanting Lease

    I am currently selling a horse and have had a buyer out twice now to ride him. He has been perfect for her each time. He is a good boy with no bad habits. She is worried because she leased one that was also quiet when she tried him but when she took him to her barn he bucked her off and tried to kick someone. She asked me if I would be willing to do a two week lease. I declined as I am not comfortable with that - not because he may misbehave but because the barn is two hours away and I would worry something could happen that would cause him to be unusable (ie kicked by another horse). Am I being unreasonable?

  • #2
    I would say it depends on how badly you want to sell the horse, have there been other lookers, and what price range he might be in. And if you happen to know the barn where he would go. I have a mare that I would sell if she were sound, and would consider this situation. My show horse, if he were for sale, no.

    Comment


    • #3
      i dont think you are being unreasonable. So many things can cause a horse to change behavior; change of routine, change of diet ( a BIG one) change of or ill fitting tack. You cannot be responsible for what happened to the potential owner in a previous situation.

      However, if you know the barn and the trainer either personally or by reputation, then you might consider it. . Did their trainer come to see the horse go and even try for themselves? Or is this a pleasure horse and there is no trainer involved.
      _\\]
      -- * > hoopoe
      Procrastinate NOW
      Introverted Since 1957

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        This is a hunter prospect. Trainer has not been out but I did suggest that. I also offered to trailer him to another arena nearby so she could see him off property. I don’t know the trainer or the barn. I just didn’t know if this is a normal ask from a buyer.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, it's fairly "normal" for the occasional buyer to make outrageous requests. But I wouldn't consider this buyer's request to be typical of the standard sales agreement.

          I wouldn't agree to that request. Sending my horse 2 hours away to a place I didn't know with people I didn't know? No way. Too much potential for disaster.
          "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
          that's even remotely true."

          Homer Simpson

          Comment


          • #6
            What exactly is her worry - that the horse may be on dope when she comes to try him, or that something mysterious went wrong with the last horse and she doesn't want the same thing to happen again?

            If it is the first, perhaps tell her that she can drop by at any random time of her choosing and try him again. If its the second, I'd be waiting on another buyer. The buyer needs to have enough horsemanship to have confidence that they know how to handle a horse who has just changed homes, and can help a horse transition in other ways as well.

            Just an idea. Good luck!

            Comment


            • #7
              I will admit I bought my first hunter on a one week trail ( not lease) this was back in the 80s and life was a little different then. I was at one A barn and the horse was at another within 30 minutes drive. Both trainers knew the other and it was all good.

              In this situation inviting the rider and trainer to drop by anytime and try the horse . But I would not let him go out and I would not hold off letting anyone else try him.
              _\\]
              -- * > hoopoe
              Procrastinate NOW
              Introverted Since 1957

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd call this a trial period, not a lease. A trial period is not uncommon or outrageous at all, but it implies a larger commitment to buy if things go well. There are lots of ways to do trial periods, like the buyer can give you either a deposit or full purchase price for the horse (your choice).

                The last couple of times I did trials, I put up the full purchase price (typically just low-4-figure horses here) and we have written up a contract about the length of trial period, what my limit of liability is if horse gets hurt while in my care (typically my limit of liability is the purchase price; I break it I buy it), what I am to do if horse is injured, etc. Then I bought specific feed from the seller, and provided all care to the seller's standards, including bedding, turnout, etc.

                Personally I always request a short trial period because I want to see how horse will react in specific situations that cannot be created at the seller's facility. Specifically, how they react in crowds (we foxhunt). This has nothing to do with my level of horsemanship, so please don't insult your potential buyer by saying something like that. Some horses can handle foxhunting crowds beautifully and some lose their marbles, and I don't care how good that horse is on trails, it is not something you can recreate at home. I certainly understand if sellers say no, but I'll cross that one off my list.

                When requesting a trial, I am usually able to provide a personal reference from someone that the seller knows, so that they know I'm not just some yahoo off the street. If you want to consider doing a trial, I think it's reasonable for you to ask for personal references -- connect with the buyer's trainer, barn manager, or even her vet.

                I think that trial periods do not need to be any longer than a week at most -- at that point, you should know one way or another. Our last trial was only 2 days, but that was enough!
                where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've sold one with a 2 week right of return - buyer paid in full and had two weeks to return him in the same condition for a refund. It's essentially a trial - but with the majority of risk put on the buyer.

                  I wanted him to go to a good, suitable home. The buyer was similar to yours - had purchased something that didn't work out and it had really knocked her confidence. It all worked out fine, she had him for a number of years

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by HMM View Post
                    Am I being unreasonable?
                    Originally posted by HMM View Post
                    I just didn’t know if this is a normal ask from a buyer.

                    These are two totally different questions. You are not being unreasonable saying no to a trial/lease. It is also not unusual for a buyer to ask for a trial/lease. In my experience (in my part of the world) it is pretty common in the hunter world and since you say this horse is being sold as a hunter prospect the request makes sense.

                    The buyer simply wants to see if this horse works with whatever their program is. Clearly they had a bad experience last time, they are trying to avoid that this time.
                    That does not mean you have to say yes.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Trials are common. That's what this is. Ask them to do a PPE first. For one, this means they're serious. Also, if something happens to him, they can't say "he had this when we got him."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Common. 2 of our horses were bought after a two week trial. We added them to our insurance before they came to our barn and signed a contract saying the horse would be returned in same condition if we did not purchase.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Offer her a two week lease where the horse stays in it's current barn so you can keep an eye on things. Have a good contract though with everything spelled out.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by trubandloki View Post




                            These are two totally different questions. You are not being unreasonable saying no to a trial/lease. It is also not unusual for a buyer to ask for a trial/lease. In my experience (in my part of the world) it is pretty common in the hunter world and since you say this horse is being sold as a hunter prospect the request makes sense.

                            The buyer simply wants to see if this horse works with whatever their program is. Clearly they had a bad experience last time, they are trying to avoid that this time.
                            That does not mean you have to say yes.
                            This.

                            Pretty standard request in the hunter world, especially if you're talking 5-figures and up, but perfectly reasonable to decline, especially if you have no urgency to sell the horse.
                            If you did decide to allow the trial, buyer should do PPE before horse leaves your farm, money in your hand (either deposit or full price) before horse leaves your farm, and buyer pays insurance on the horse for duration, and have an excellent contract.
                            Custom tack racks!
                            www.mmeqcenter.com/tacklove.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by HMM View Post
                              I am currently selling a horse and have had a buyer out twice now to ride him. He has been perfect for her each time. He is a good boy with no bad habits. She is worried because she leased one that was also quiet when she tried him but when she took him to her barn he bucked her off and tried to kick someone. She asked me if I would be willing to do a two week lease. I declined as I am not comfortable with that - not because he may misbehave but because the barn is two hours away and I would worry something could happen that would cause him to be unusable (ie kicked by another horse). Am I being unreasonable?
                              No.

                              But, then, neither is the request for a trial period.

                              I've done them before but only with people I know and trust or who are "vetted" by people I know and trust. Given the VERY wide disparity of care and training philosophies and practices this is only good sense.

                              If you are otherwise satisfied with the honor and integrity of the buyer and the price justifies the expense I'd travel to the proposed lease venue and have a look around. Are these a clone of the royal stables at Versailles or is it Dogpatch? How do the horses look? If you walk into a paddock how do the horses react to you? What do the feet look like? The physical facility is important but the real test is how are the horses thriving, or not, within the facility. If you like what you see you tell the buyer that you'll agree, they are responsible for transport to and from, and they have to give you a certified check for purchase price plus transport back. You agree that you will not cash that check until they tell you in writing that they are satisfied and will keep the horse. Or send it back. At which time you will return the check, minus any damages or costs to the horse.

                              All of the above, of course, is in a proper writing signed by both parties.

                              There is a whole lot of "handshake" level trust, here, on both sides. But that's the way things are in these "short term" arrangements. There can be no real guarantees, just reasonable assurances.

                              It would not be a bad idea to talk to a lawyer about draft a proper contract. If something goes sideways you'll need it.

                              Good luck in your decision.

                              G.
                              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I had a friend look at a horse that was available on a paid trial. I think they had to pay the full purchase price, and were refunded, minus a trial fee, if it didn't work out for any reason. It was a long time ago, I think it was either 2 weeks or a month long. I thought that was a good idea, as the person buying was able to make sure it was a good match and the seller was compensated for "wasted" time if it didn't work out.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Any person who doesn't understand that there will probably be an adjustment period for the horse when he is moved to a new barn should not buy a horse. I always buy horses that are verified calm, cool and collected, and I actually had one of them rodeo buck the first time I saddled him up. This was a horse a 3 yo human was riding. I had a pony that I bought for my kids almost knock me down while spooking sideways at a weed on the way up to the barn. I always always always do ground work with them for the first two weeks because I strongly feel it helps reduce the anxiety from the move to the new barn, and because it helps me get a good feel for where the holes are in their training, and because I know I won't get bucked off when I get on.

                                  When you start a new job, are you anxious? Go to a new school? It's NORMAL for anxiety levels to escalate when the horse has a huge change like moving to a new barn.

                                  OP, since your horse is a prospect, he is apparently somewhat green and inexperience, and I would fully expect some out-of-character behavior. I do not do trials, although I don't sell many horses. I would make a buyer have skin in the game and charge a hefty nonrefundable deposit if you let the horse go out on trial.

                                  "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Yes, but that same 'I do not live here' behavior is what one could expect when they take the horse to a show so the trial does give them a good feeling for what type of horse they are buying.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I would not let a horse go out on a trial. Many years ago, a prospective buyer came out with her BNT. They wanted to take my mare for a two-week trial. My own trainer took me aside and warned me that the BNT had the reputation of jumping the Bejeesus out of "trial" horses and returning them either lame or ruined or both.

                                      I declined the request for a trial. I'd let a buyer come out to ride/visit a sale horse as much as they'd like -- but no off-property trial.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        It depends on how much risk you are willing to inherit.

                                        Allowing a horse you still own off property in the hands of someone other than yourself is opening yourself up to huge risk. I would be perfectly happy to allow the person to "try" the horse...with a signed sale contract, "deposit" of the full sale price and a clause in the contract that states the sale becomes permanent after x period of time or else the horse is returned in the exact condition he left in for a full refund.

                                        Even then, it's all well and good unless the horse does end up with an injury, or getting wrecked by someone, and then want to return him and demand their money back. That's when things could get dicey. So again - risk management.
                                        Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not. Remember that what you have now was once among the many things that you only hoped for.

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