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WWYD? Sold Horse on Payment Plan and Now Buyer Doesn't Want To Pay

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  • WWYD? Sold Horse on Payment Plan and Now Buyer Doesn't Want To Pay

    I recently sold my lovely, fun pony. As a re-rider she was great for me and built up my confidence. With a heavy-heart I sold her in November because I found out I was pregnant and could not afford the $600 board for a horse my doctor's didn't want me riding.

    An older timid woman bought her, but said she needed a payment plan. I was already very negotiable on the price of my pony because the woman seemed like a great home. So, the woman paid 50% in late November up front and was supposed to pay another 25% on 1/15 and the remaining 25% on 2/1. So, we dropped her off at the woman's barn in early December. Right before Xmas she wrote me an email saying how much she loved my pony and that she was PERFECT! ...But that her gelding (it's only the two of them) was acting stud-like and she was thinking about finding him a new home. Fast forward two weeks, to yesterday, the woman calls and says MY horse isn't working out and that she will not pay the remaining 50%. I know my pony well, and she never did any of the things this woman is claiming in my care. She said she is flighty, head shy, disrespectful, etc.

    Per the contract, the woman's 50% is nonrefundable if she defaults on payments. She mentioned taking my mare to a lesson barn, putting her in the lesson program, and seeing if she would calm down there, I said that was not an option.

    I just don't know what to do--I'm 14 weeks pregnant, shouldn't be riding. Also, the woman hasn't even ridden my horse in the month she has had her. When she came to try her she said she had only ridden her gelding twice in the last year because he scared her. So, my mare is probably fat, happy, and completely unfit. It will likely take me several months to get her in sellable condition, if i weren't prego!

    I can't help but think this woman is just trying to scam me out of the remaining 50%, especially since she knows i'm pregnant and can't justify paying board. What would you do?

  • #2
    Protect your pony and your money: go get her NOW, before she disappears into a lesson or sale barn and you lose all contact with the buyer. Once the pony is back in your control, you can think through other options, such as leasing her to a lesson program yourself, putting her out on a free lease through CotH, etc. While this may seem overwhelming at the moment, things will be far worse if you do not re-claim the pony Right Now per the contract requirements ... then you will be writing posts about missing / stolen ponies and monies.

    *star*
    "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
    - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926

    Comment


    • #3
      I have to agree with the above post. Keep the emails where she says she is now not going to pay. The day she defaults (because you can not really take your pony back until she defaults), go pick up the pony.

      I realize having your pony is not what you wanted right now, but I would guess your pony is fine and once you get her back you will have no problem finding her a new job.

      Comment


      • #4
        Agree with ShotenStar -- and would add that maybe you could find a cheaper place to board the pony while you figure out the next course of action. (And, next course of action could be to lease to a Pony Club kid, your pony sounds perfect for that)

        This may be a blessing in disguise if you can figure out something for the pony while you are pregnant; you may be very grateful for a safe, confidence building pony after you have your baby.

        If you need help finding another place to board, you could post your location and COTHers may be able make recommendations.

        Good luck!
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        • #5
          I am not sure what your area is like, but I would get my pony and try to find pasture board until you can find another buyer. Or put her back in the barn she was at and find someone to lease her for the time being. At any rate, I would go get the pony now, today and figure the rest out once she is safe.

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          • #6
            Go get her now.
            What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

            Comment


            • #7
              Get a lawyer, and get your horse back.

              Comment


              • #8
                Take-home: Cash up front on the barrelhead before the merchandise leaves the store. If payments must be made, then horse should remain with the seller and board should be charged to the buyer until all payments...including the interim board... are paid in full. Then the horse changes hands and the deal is done.
                Nudging "Almost Heaven" a little closer still...
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Belg View Post
                  Take-home: Cash up front on the barrelhead before the merchandise leaves the store. If payments must be made, then horse should remain with the seller and board should be charged to the buyer until all payments...including the interim board... are paid in full. Then the horse changes hands and the deal is done.
                  Totally yes on this one!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I got in that same problem with two horses I sold a few years ago.
                    The people bought them, came to get them and then asked for terms to pay for them, that I foolishly gave them.
                    One buyer was a friend of a friend, the other a nurse at a local hospital, stable sounding people.
                    She took him to try for a week, then sprung the payment in terms, then didn't pay for weeks, etc.

                    When they were late with the payments, I finally went to get the horses.
                    No telling where they would have ended if I didn't.

                    Lesson learned, never, ever let a horse go anywhere to stay, unless paid in full.

                    Go get the horse and settle with the buyer any way you have to, then see what to do next with the horse.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Pick her up on 1/15 if the woman doesn't have cash in hand.

                      Find a kid to free lease her or put her in pasture board when you figure out what to do.

                      There are plenty of horse-things you can do while pregnant that don't involve riding. I taught my horses how to long line (drive) and work in hand.

                      Never, ever let a horse leave your property until it's paid for in full. I've seen too many horror stories and know too many people who have had to "repossess" them. And others who found their horse was gone when they wanted to get them back.
                      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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                      • #12
                        Go get your pony now.
                        ~Rest in Peace Woody...1975-2008~

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I sold my first horse in a very similar situation (two payments but very under-priced because the person seemed so great, verbal agreement that I would have first right of refusal if she needed to sell, etc.) Like you, she made the first payment, we talked a few times and she raved about how great he was ... then the second payment just didn't show up.
                          When I called to ask her where it was, I started the phone call with, "How's he doing?"
                          Answer: "Well, um, my back's been bothering me and my doctor told me I can't ride anymore. So, I sold him."
                          Me: "WHAAA?!?!"
                          Never mind the (verbal) first-right of refusal agreement; this lady hadn't even finished paying for the horse and she'd sold him without telling me!
                          I wasn't pregnant, but I was halfway across the country in college (why I sold in the first place) and while I guess I could've made a stink about my first right of refusal and demanded him back, in truth I could neither afford to ship him across the country nor find and pay for boarding/transportation, etc. back home.
                          I let it go (the second payment did show up a week later, though I suspect she sold him for far more than she had paid), but it bothered me for YEARS. She gave me the new owners' number, but of course I was just a weird stranger stalking "their" horse when I called to check on him. It kept me up on random nights for several years, wondering if I'd abandoned my horse in a bad situation and wondering whether I should've handled that phone call differently and demanded him back, per our agreement and the fact she hadn't finished paying, rather than capitulating to her "Oh, I sold him."
                          The happy ending to that story (though I only call it happy with the benefit of maturity and hindsight, and appreciation of the luck involved) is that the new owners ended up keeping that horse and taking AMAZING care of him to the end of his days. Better care than I did, apparently, because I later learned they'd left a boarding barn I kept him at for years because they didn't feel the BO bedded the stalls deeply enough for His Highness!
                          So, no real advice for you (though the advice you've been given is good), just empathy for the situation. Good luck.
                          I evented just for the Halibut.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Get ye the legal advice applicable in your area.

                            Then take it from there.

                            I can see the board bill being steep (which it is) but there are cheaper options.

                            And I am sure pony won't mind not being ridden. besides, maybe there is a youth group in the area who could take on sweet pony for the time you are laid up.

                            Don't let the riding part hinder you.
                            Originally posted by BigMama1
                            Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                            GNU Terry Prachett

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What ShotenStar and AlaGirl said.

                              Particularly the part about not getting hung up on the not riding part. You're going to be pregnant for 9 months, not 9 years. Please get your pony out of there.

                              Start looking for inexpensive field board (can be found) now, and go get your pony.
                              I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                              I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                If she doesn't make the payment on 1/15, then follow-up on the contract you have with her: i.e., the horse is yours and you should go get her. I'd call around today looking for pasture board for the horse, or talk to your old barn and see if they can take the horse for a month beginning on 1/15 while you look for something else.

                                Don't stress about not being able to ride the horse right now. As another poster said, pregnancy only lasts 9 months, and you may welcome the opportunity just to go groom the horse and de-stress yourself with barn therapy both before and after the baby arrives.

                                Good luck.
                                "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Without too much confrontation (yet), inform her you'll be picking up the horse. What you don't need is for her to get spiteful and to hurt the horse, starve her, or dump her at auction to "get even" with you. The red flag is that she's describing your horse as having behavioral issues, and to some idiots this is a justification for beating/abuse. Get her out of there now... if you wait a month, the horse you pick up may be terrified of people or physically hurt.

                                  Once the horse is safe, write her a firmly worded letter reminding her of what she agreed to in the contract, send her the bill for the reasonable expenses you incurred because she wanted to return the horse, and give a date you expect a reply.

                                  If there is anything at all wrong with the horse when she comes back, document it immediately. Photograph her walking off the trailer in good light at all angles. Get your vet involved, if necessary.

                                  The bottom line is this may likely go to court. If there is more than a thousand or two dollars lost, it may be worth it to consult a lawyer. If it's a smaller amount lost, you may have a chance in Small Claims court.

                                  Don't stress about not being able to ride the horse. Just get her back safely & find an affordable boarding barn for her. Then you can decide if you want to try again to sell her, maybe lease her out, send her off for training (or training-promoting-sale barn), whatever.
                                  Veterinarians for Equine Welfare

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Thanks for all the great advice! I really should not have let her go on a payment plan, and I will never accept another one again. If you can't afford to pay for a horse outright, then you probably shouldn't have one.

                                    I told the woman I would gladly take her back and I could come get her. She back-pedaled and said maybe she just needs to be lunged (??? This pony never needed lunging before) and she wanted to try that for a week. I told her to she has until 1/16 (the day after the day specified for the next payment in the contract) to let me know if she wants to keep her. If not, I'll happily come get her. I know I have a stall at my old barn, my sister has offered to ride her to get her back into shape, and fortunately my DH wanted me to keep her anyways (said it kept me sane). Deep down I'm hoping she does come back.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Bouncingthetrot View Post
                                      Thanks for all the great advice! I really should not have let her go on a payment plan, and I will never accept another one again. If you can't afford to pay for a horse outright, then you probably shouldn't have one.

                                      I told the woman I would gladly take her back and I could come get her. She back-pedaled and said maybe she just needs to be lunged (??? This pony never needed lunging before) and she wanted to try that for a week. I told her to she has until 1/16 (the day after the day specified for the next payment in the contract) to let me know if she wants to keep her. If not, I'll happily come get her. I know I have a stall at my old barn, my sister has offered to ride her to get her back into shape, and fortunately my DH wanted me to keep her anyways (said it kept me sane). Deep down I'm hoping she does come back.

                                      Your DH wanted you to keep the horse?!

                                      And you let it go???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                                      Worst case of pregnancy hormones I ever heard of! <faints>
                                      Originally posted by BigMama1
                                      Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                                      GNU Terry Prachett

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by ShotenStar View Post
                                        Protect your pony and your money: go get her NOW, before she disappears into a lesson or sale barn and you lose all contact with the buyer. Once the pony is back in your control, you can think through other options, such as leasing her to a lesson program yourself, putting her out on a free lease through CotH, etc. While this may seem overwhelming at the moment, things will be far worse if you do not re-claim the pony Right Now per the contract requirements ... then you will be writing posts about missing / stolen ponies and monies.

                                        *star*
                                        VERY well said!! GL!
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