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Help... Potential buyer 4 hour drive away, what is reasonable?! UPDATE post 39

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  • Help... Potential buyer 4 hour drive away, what is reasonable?! UPDATE post 39

    When someone is very interested in a horse you have for sale but is a 4 hour drive away, how can it work? I'm thinking it is not feasible for her to try him multiple times. He is not horribly expensive but enough that I can understand not wanting to make a mistake.

    What she has suggested (pay for horse, take for wIeek trial, vet at end of week, bring him home if not suitable or presumably also if not satisfied with vet check) leaves me cold. She could be a total flake or scammer, even a certified check could be bad, horse could have illness or injury during that week.

    Is there anything that could give both of us what we need? Person sounds sane and suitable. I know that is no guarantee, but I do think it means there's a good chance she's sane and suitable. I don't want to shut her down totally unless I have to. So please give your ideas and experiences.
    Last edited by JoZ; Jul. 23, 2012, 12:45 AM.
    Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.

  • #2
    Never send a horse on trial. Period.

    So, she pays for him, and he gets hurt, goes lame, colics...then what? Sends him back and asks for a refund?

    I assume this is not a finished show horse, but a young one? She wants to try multiple times? Why? Can she come over, try him, spend the night, try the next day and/or haul to a local venue to try him in a different environment--all under your watchful eye?

    Recommend several local vets who are not your vet for a PPE, keep him there and have her try him over a weekend as mentioned above.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


    • #3
      We THOUGHT about sending my horse on a lease to own type thing when I had him for sale, but that was ONLY to trainers that my trainer knew extremely well and had a lot of respect for. Even then I was hesitant to do it. Not only injury or illness, but bad training is a hazard.
      In the situation you describe where it sounds like you really don't know them, I would NOT allow my horse to go.


      • #4
        If I were looking at a horse 4 hours away and was really interested, I'd get a hotel room to stay a day or two.

        The seller can recommend few hotels nearby that span a range in pricing from which the buyer may choose.


        • #5
          I also think the hotel and multiple trials in different situations.
          But, if you do decide to go with the trial at her place option, then, I would have the vet check done first. If she is serious, then that won't be too huge a hurdle. Also, have an arrangement in writing about transporting him back, who pays and what time frame. I would also insist she have him insured whilst at her place or be willing to forfeit the purchase price if something happened to him.


          • #6
            Having just bought a horse sight unseen, just videos and PPE, I'd vote for them staying in a hotel for 2 or 3 days, and trying him daily. PPE before she leaves if she wants to be there for it.
            No way would I send a horse on trial to someone I don't know, or who isn't a trainer I know well. And definitely not with a PPE later. No way. She could injure horse and you are screwed. Or say that the PPE is questionable, and then not want to pay to ship back. Or not have the funds to buy horse and want to start negotiating. Or horse could be ridden by everyone and their brother. Or tried to be sold to someone else, for more money.

            Just suggest hotels, and allow to come out daily. If she wants horse badly enough she'll work it out. And honestly, it really shouldn't take multiple rides to decide if the horse will work. They can have blood pulled at PPE to hold for drug testing if needed.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks for the speedy replies and for confirming what I was thinking. I just sent off an email saying no trial, and vetting before he goes anywhere. I suggested she spend a few days in the area and said that my trainer and/or I could haul him out to a new venue to show how he handles that. Not to mention (though I did mention it!) the quality time and multiple rides.

              She will probably vanish now, and a trial MIGHT have gone off without a hitch, but I have to do what's best for me and my boy.
              Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


              • #8
                At this distance, I wouldn't ask for a trial as a prospective buyer unless the seller knew trainer etc

                You can make it work BUT she needs to
                1) buy horse first
                2) vet check before horse leaves your property
                3) comprehensive insurance on horse to protect both buyer & seller - as she's paid you the purchase price, then she gets to be the beneficiary
                4) allow return of horse less a lease fee or non-refundable deposit (that you would've charged to hold the horse for her) after vet exam to confirm same condition AND you go up to ride the horse before it steps on the trailer to come home.

                You need to have references from her vet & trainer & boarding barn - no way does horse go to a private property, even if she normally keeps horse at home - & actually drive up & see where horse will be going etc (you could trailer horse up - she pays additional costs as part of the purchase price rather than paying you for shipping - & then watch her ride with trainer at the trial barn): you pay the barn fees so that YOU are the only one that can remove horse from the barn etc (again you can roll this into the purchase price).

                If she agrees, she gets trial, you're protected - have a lawyer draw up the contract to make certain it will hold up in court.


                • #9
                  Most advice here has been good------accept it-----------horse goes no where under no conditions. That is why they make motels.


                  • #10
                    NO trials, not ever. This horse is not a Sleep Number bed, right?

                    Also, your sig line got me good. I just whispered "gullible" at work and feel like an idiot.
                    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


                    • #11
                      I drive 4 hrs one way for lessons 2x/ month (down & back + hr lesson + groom, tack & cool out, in one day) It's a long day but it is doable. Prospective buyer needs to do the drive once to see him initially, and then if they like him enough for a second look, get the motel room and test him off site from his home barn etc.

                      Trials CAN work, but you really need ironclad wording in the agreement about what sort of things they can do, and what shape he needs to be in if they return him. A PPE before he goes is not a bad idea either. It'ds all no gurantee something horiible won't happen, but it could happen on your farm too, so... It's all a crapshoot anyway


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                        Also, your sig line got me good. I just whispered "gullible" at work and feel like an idiot.
                        Ah, man, it took me three times saying it before I got it.


                        • #13
                          Totally agree with everyone who says "NO TRIAL" away from home. Realistically, 4 hrs. isn't that far if she is reasonably sure that the horse is the right one for her. She could make it work - either by making the drive a few times or putting herself up at a cheap hotel for a few days so that she'd be able to spend more time with the horse over the course of a couple of days.

                          Too many things can go wrong if you allow someone to take your horse out on trial, especially an unknown individual (vs a known trainer type situation).


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Macimage View Post
                            If I were looking at a horse 4 hours away and was really interested, I'd get a hotel room to stay a day or two.

                            The seller can recommend few hotels nearby that span a range in pricing from which the buyer may choose.
                            THIS. Or stay a week, whatever. And the vet check at the END of the week? NO way. That needs to happen before the horse leaves the property.


                            • #15
                              In this situation I don't think a trial is a good idea. I think the hotel idea is a great one. If I were in this situation and felt willing to go the extra mile (seemed like a good match, etc.) I'd suggest that the buyer try the horse first at my place and then offer to trailer the horse to a location in between for a second ride assuming there was a suitable venue.


                              • #16
                                One of my horses was purchased from someone who lived four+ hours from me. The first weekend, I went down to try the horse. The second weekend I brought my trainer and my trailer and a cashier's check to pay for the horse at the already agreed upon price. Trainer rode horse, and blessed the purchase, I paid for horse, took horse home and would do the PPE with my vet at my barn. If horse didn't pass the PPE, I'd return horse and get my money back. Horse passed PPE and everything went fine.

                                There was a written agreement, and seller had a week to check out trainer and barn's reputation. Good luck!
                                It's 2017. Do you know where your old horse is?

                                www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.


                                • #17
                                  Don't give a trial when selling and always ask for one when buying.


                                  • #18
                                    And to add to the horror of sending horse on trial I sent a horse off to a broker who let horse go out on trial three states away with a bad check and without consulting me first. Broker said this is how it's done in the hunter/jumper world. Potential buyer said she didn't want horse after a week and refused to send horse back. Broker and buyer said it was my responsibility to get horse 8 hours away. WTF? Had to go get horse myself. Never again.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by JoZ View Post
                                      She will probably vanish now, and a trial MIGHT have gone off without a hitch, but I have to do what's best for me and my boy.
                                      Would you vanish if you were very interested in buying a horse? If she vanishes, it might mean her intentions were underhanded, so you can happily write her off. At the least, it means she couldn't meet your terms, which I would give the same weight as if she couldn't pay the price you are asking. No meeting of the minds.

                                      As for worrying about a bad check, why don't you tell the buyer you will expect them to accompany you to the bank to cash the check? (especially if they are from out of town). That's what happened to me when I was young and bought a car: the guy said, fine, let's go to the bank together and cash it.
                                      "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina


                                      • #20

                                        Sorry for yelling.


                                        Drive over in AM, try horse (alternately stay in motel night before try horse first thing) bring trainer/friend/trusted advisor. Have T/F/A try horse. Go get motel room (or back to same room.) Discuss.

                                        Get non-refundable deposit to hold horse. Contracts signed.

                                        Schedule vet check. Discuss some more

                                        Stay in motel room.

                                        Day 2 try horse again. Drive home wait for vet check results.

                                        When horse vets through, come back and pick him up.
                                        Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
                                        Sam: A job? Does it pay?
                                        Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
                                        Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.