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To sell or not to sell... WWYD?

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  • To sell or not to sell... WWYD?

    Hypothetical situation...

    You have a horse. He's nothing particularly special to look at, except to you of course... Young (<10), big (16.2hh), TB without any chrome, nothing about him stands out until you get to know him. He doesn't have pretty legs but he's always sound, and while he hasn't been pushed to high heights, he jumps absolutely anything you point him at and trail-rides like a champ. You got him for next to nothing (<$500) and have had him for a few years; you don't have any real plans for him, other than a fun ride. Horse has no real show miles other than a few schooling shows, but people seem to adore him. He may not be your "heart horse," but he's darn close to it; you don't have any plans to sell him and have expected to hang onto him for the duration. He meets your needs perfectly.

    You: mid-30's, married/no kids, working F/T but money is tight right now due to some personal issues. Horse is a "luxury" you probably can't really afford, but you make ends meet somehow because you love Horse and riding's your only "fun" outlet.

    You allow Horse to be used for lessons from time to time by barn instructor on a limited basis. Teenager has been riding your horse for lessons for a few months and has fallen in love with him. Parents are in the market for their daughter's first horse; your horse and their daughter are a perfect fit.

    Parents ask you if Horse is for sale; you laugh and say probably not, but that depends on the price, if they're really interested then go ahead and make an offer. Parents come up with an offer that is, in your opinion, ridiculously above what Horse is worth (>$5K), considering he has no show miles and funky conformation. But teenager has blossomed with Horse, parents know it and want teenager to be happy.

    Amount of the offer could be a serious help to your financial issues at home. You could start from scratch again with another off-track TB if you wanted (like you did with this one)... but you're not normally in the business of flipping horses for sale, either. You've shaped Horse into exactly what you need, and he's a great fit.

    Horse would have a good home with teenager, and even though you could put in the sales contract that you want right of first refusal if they can't keep him, you know that once he's not yours, he's out of your hands and you can't control what happens to him. And the thought of Horse ending up at auction is enough to make you physically ill.

    FWIW, if you told DH about offer for Horse, he would think you insane if you didn't take it. He would forgive you if you declined (probably), but that $$ could make a MASSIVE help at home right now. Very tough call from a financial standpoint.

    So....... Do you entertain offer? Do you stick your fingers in your ears and go yelling LA-LA-LA-LA across the pasture?

  • #2
    I'd see if they'd do a half lease or full lease. Not having to pay board will lighten the financial hardships, girl gets the horse she likes to ride, you can still see him, and presumably when she goes to college or loses interest, you have him back, and your financial situation may be better then.

    If you are paying 300 a month board, then in a year and a half, you have recouped the 5000. she offered for him. If she leases him for several years, you are well ahead.


    • #3
      Woah. Tough one. Two years, maybe even a year ago, I would say keep-keep-keep him. Now, that I have become pragmatic in my old age (36), I would say sell.


      • #4
        i agree with jetsmom........i sold my heart horse due to same circumstances as you, and regretted it the moment i cashed the check....the money was gone soooooooooo fast, and my longing for my horse lingered.................the stars aligned, the new owner got pregnant, and i snapped my love back instantly.........
        KEEP HIM.....leasing is a win-win situation...


        • #5
          I would sell him, fix your financial issues, and sock away what you are paying in board each month to save for your next horse and keep your DH in the habit of keeping a horse in the budget. Hugs to you, though -- tough decision. The kicker for me would be that the teen seems like such a terrific fit for the horse.


          • #6
            sell. There is a right buyer for every horse and you found yours.
            "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


            • #7
              I'd probably sell, given what you've described as your financial situation. And you love him, but this young girl adores him. But then, I've only sold four horses in my life. One of the best sales, though, was to a teenaged girl who was thrilled to get my mare. Ecstatic. And the mare was better for her than she ever was for me.


              • #8
                Its tough. I think that I would maybe approach them about maybe leasing for a few months first (like through the winter maybe) to see if A. you figure out for sure how you feel one way or the other, and B. Teen gets horse to herself to try out "ownership" to make sure its what SHE wants long term too. Maybe allow part of the lease fee to credit towards purchasing as well, but give yourself an out. Thats at least what I think I would do (and honestly, what I am currently DOING with my filly).


                • #9
                  Consider this scenario: You decide right now not to sell, as you feel you can still scrape by and make ends meet. Teenager really wants her own horse and ends up buying another since you weren't interested in selling. Six months from now you realize you don't have a choice anymore- you HAVE to sell your horse. Do you regret not selling him to, what sounds like, a potentially perfect buyer for a great price?

                  I do not envy your situation. It may be worth approaching teenager and her parents about a possible lease, as others have suggested, but be prepared for them to say they want to own a horse rather than lease (though, who knows maybe a lease would be a perfect fit for them).


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
                    sell. There is a right buyer for every horse and you found yours.
                    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


                    • #11
                      Sell, with right of first refusal.
                      It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati


                      • #12
                        Sell. If you have financial problems at home, they won't go away without doing something about it. You can always have a horse later on. In this market, it's difficult to sell when you really need to.


                        • #13
                          I would say not sell easily, but that's not to say I wouldn't recommend selling at all. Talk to the parents. What are their plans for this horse down the road? Will they send the horse to college with the kid? If not, what would they do with him?

                          Leasing is an option. So is co-ownership if the girl really wants to feel like he's hers. But if they aren't willing to commit to this horse long term you are both better off with a lease situation.

                          Just be sure the parents have their heads on straight and don't think that daughter can turn this horse into a 20K horse and selling it when she's "done" is going to pay for her first year in college. Horse parents can get some very strange ideas in the heads sometimes.

                          A 2/3 or 3/4 lease might be perfect so you can ride once a week or so, but have virtually everything paid for.

                          Good luck, it's a tough choice.

                          The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.



                          • #14
                            Riding the winds of change

                            Heeling NRG Aussies
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                            • #15
                              Sucky situation... I would try and do a lease if you can so that in case your situation improves, he is still yours. However it does sound like a great match, and if selling him would really help financially it may be the way to go. She's Pure Gold brought up a good point, since you may not find as good a home if the need arises down the road. Worst case scenario, you say he is not your "heart horse", so you could likely find/make up another horse in the future to meet your needs if you decide to sell... maybe even one who IS your heart horse. Good luck with your decision!


                              • #16
                                Never turn down a good offer on a horse, if it's not your forever horse. Never. Because the odds of you getting a better one, or one when you need it, are NOT in your favor.


                                • #17
                                  As much as I would like to say keep...sell. It makes sense financially for you to do so. Plus, speaking as someone who was once the teen, you have no idea how much this could mean to her. I bet she will be more than happy to keep you updated on EVERY little detail in your horses life. I know I was(and am! Old owner still gets monthly pictures, even 9 years later!)!


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
                                    I'd see if they'd do a half lease or full lease. Not having to pay board will lighten the financial hardships, girl gets the horse she likes to ride, you can still see him, and presumably when she goes to college or loses interest, you have him back, and your financial situation may be better then.

                                    If you are paying 300 a month board, then in a year and a half, you have recouped the 5000. she offered for him. If she leases him for several years, you are well ahead.
                                    Yeah this is what I'd suggest.
                                    Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

                                    Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.


                                    • #19
                                      I would sell. Ten years later the teenaged girl still adores my mare, and she is a local legend on the show circuit. She never would have been with me. She's had two (great) foals and is fat and sassy. I had to get over thinking that I was the best possible home EVER for this particular horse. I had right of first refusal, but she did just fine, and I enjoyed watching her through the years.


                                      • #20
                                        Selling would help everyone within what you can foresee happening from where all of you are now.

                                        If you win the lottery, then you can make them an offer they can't refuse too and get the horse back, eventually.

                                        For now, the horse has a better future with the prospective buyer than with you if, as someone mentioned, your circumstances get even tighter and you eventually have to give the horse up anyway.

                                        Sure, that money selling the horse will be gone fast, but add to that price what you are not spending by owning the horse and it starts to become some serious savings for you now.

                                        Several times I had a horse I really didn't want to part with, that were better off with someone else if I gave the situation serious consideration.
                                        Practically every time it was the right decision, those horses are doing great now, so well the current owners have turned down considerable money for them, they like them so well AND they are in a situation to do so.

                                        Life is about changes, we have to see that we try to make the right changes, knowing that we will miss the mark plenty too.