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When A Lesson Barn Is Selling *Your* Horse

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  • When A Lesson Barn Is Selling *Your* Horse

    So, a little over a year ago I "free leased" a horse to a friend of mine to use in her lesson program. This was a little advanced eventer. A TB mare that could jump the moon. She's sensitive and needs a softer rider, but really very athletic and has accomplished a lot in her younger years. I dropped her off with the agreement that if she's ever not working out, that I have the opportunity to bring her back home. Well, the woman at the barn who's taken a special interest in her said that there has been chatter of my mare being put up for sale. My mare hasn't really been used, and I found out recently that she was ridden by a nasty young rider early on in her time there, and after being beaten with a crop and sawed in the mouth, she reared up and dumped the rider into a wooden fence. IMHO, the rider deserved the reaction, but this gave the mare the "stigma" of being dangerous. I don't want to stir the pot, but I also want to protect my horse. There was no bill of sale, no written agreement. I still hold her papers and all of her documentation. I've been there recently to visit and everytime I'm told all is peachy by my friend. I certainly don't want to burn bridges or destroy friendships, but I also want to do right by my mare. I'm not necessarily wanting to bring her home, as the barn here is full, but would make room if need be. I don't want to be all maverick about this. I'm not storming in with truck and trailer, loading her up and taking her home, but want to address this calmly to prevent damages. What would your suggestions be in handling this?

  • #2
    If that was my horse I would ask the BO. I wouldn't mention any names, but say something like "I heard she dumped a rider, if you can't use her do you want me to take her back to my house/barn?" Or casually mention how YOU might sell her down the road (even if it's not true) just so BO knows SHE can't.

    Just make it clear that you still have ownership and this is just a free lease.
    Last edited by mybeau1999; Oct. 15, 2008, 08:52 AM. Reason: added ownership part
    BDC

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    • #3
      Drop in and ask your friend..."I've heard through the grapevine you've had some trouble with Witchiepoo and your thinking about selling her. Is this true?"

      Go from there, and you don't have to say where you've heard it. Horse world is small. She might have the perfect person lined up to buy her so you don't want to burn that bridge. Otherwise, I would bring her home.

      Comment


      • #4
        Ask your friend outright. Only way to know for sure. Don't beat around the bush, just drive over there and ask her, "I've heard rumors that my horse might be up for sale. Is this true? If so I'd like to help you find the right buyer or I'll make room at home to take her back myself. If she is for sale, I'm none too happy about her being marketed without my permission."

        And either way, bring a contract with everything spelled out in it and get it signed now. Even if she isn't for sale, friend or not, *always* have your animals protected by a written and signed contract. It's never too late to get one.
        You jump in the saddle,
        Hold onto the bridle!
        Jump in the line!
        ...Belefonte

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        • #5
          Barn chatter = gossip which should always be suspect!

          If she were mine I would sell her - she does not sound like she is working for your program. Tell your friend that "Sassy" is for sale if she should find an interested party. Either set a price and give the BO 10 - 20% or set a price and tell her anything she gets over that amount is hers to keep.

          If this mare is a real problem no one would keep her for you for free - not in this economy!

          Bottom line this mare is not going to be a "keeper" for you so cut her loose. She may just be someone else's keeper!
          "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"

          Comment


          • #6
            First, I am puzzled how a horse that you LEASED to someone (free or not) could be up for sale without the lessor notifying you. Especially if you had a verbal agreement (Note to self: Always put it in writing) that you would be notified if things weren't working out.

            Second, this person who has "taken a special interest in" your horse just might be feeling YOU out to see if you would be willing to sell. If so, she's taking a bit of a stealthy approach.

            I agree with the others - contact your friend. And have something for her to sign with the lease agreement terms clearly spelled out.

            Let us know what you find out.
            "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." ~ Jack Layton

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Ok, let me clarify a few things. The mare was fine for me at home. I actually liked her quite a bit, but wanted to focus a bit more on me, and felt her abilities were being wasted here at my barn. She was a high-level performer, and my friend was really struggling with being able to provide mounts for her better riders. She would try to "rescue" horses and have them be 4' jumpers. SURPRISE!!! That didn't quite work out in her favor. I could appreciate her effort in trying to give horses a chance (even though the selection process leaves a lot to be desired - Who here thinks a horse with a blown suspensory that has a fetlock that hits the ground when he walks should be a 2'6" hunter?) and when the horses didn't work out, she still gave them a permanent home. It seemed like a perfect situation, she needed a high level horse and I didn't. I've known this person for years and have never found her to be dishonest.

              The woman who has the interest in her isn't shady and while I don't take anyone's word as gospel, I do put more weight into what she says. If it were one of the teen barn rats, it would be something completely different, and I wouldn't be as concerned. I did tell the woman who informed me that I had pangs of wanting to "buy" back my mare this summer when it seemed that all of my other horses were lame. This was never relayed to my friend, and the desire was fleeting and unsure. I certainly appreciate my friend taking her off my expenses for this time, and while it wasn't part of our agreement, I would want to at least reimburse my friend for some of the expenses she's incurred in the time she's had her. There hasn't been any vet bills that I know of. She's been shod at my friends expense (I always had her barefoot.) I'd probably offer up $500-$800 in good faith as a symbol of my appreciation if I were to terminate our agreement. The offer wouldn't stand if she terminated the agreement. If she inquired, I would consider it though. The other major issue I have is that her barn was infected with strangles a few months back. It has been allowed to run it's course and I don't think there are any symptomatic horses, but still I don't want to be bringing that back home (especially with the immunosuppressed cushingoid mini).

              Comment


              • #8
                Well you could ride it out if you want- so you don't potentially bring strangles home.

                Maybe tell the BO you will take her back ASAP the minute she doesn't need her anymore.
                But tell the lady who told you about the possibility she would be sold that if somebody does come out to try her because they are interested in purchasing to call you ASAP. Then go over with the trailer... (Of course, this is if the BO never mentions a sale to you).
                BDC

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am pretty sure I know which local barn she is at. And I can see how she "didn't work out" there...

                  So this was a free lease situation? Has the BO maybe viewed it as a giveaway and hence why she's considering re-selling the mare? Because if it was a lease, in her mind, how and why would she even think about selling?

                  Is it possible the interested party doesn't even know that YOU own the mare, and not the BO?

                  You can try discussing with the BO and see where you get. If you don't want the mare back, and the BO isn't interested in using her any more, maybe you can sell to the interested party and then give the BO a cut?

                  Truth be told, hard to say how this could all pan out given the parties at play... I agree the BO is not a dishonest person, and is quite well-intentioned, albeit a little eccentric. Good luck!
                  We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am not trying to start something, I just don't understand a couple of your posts...

                    you free LEASED this horse to a friend but now you have considered BUYING her back?

                    why would you have to buy her back if she is only leased out?

                    I hope everything works out for you.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      FG,

                      I don't think that there's an interested party to date. The chatter has been that they would list her for sale. Now, this is an imported Irish Thoroughbred mare. We can both agree that the barn in question doesn't bode well for saleability, at least for value. The mare has been out of consistant work for about a year now. I was lightly hacking her and trail riding. She would be a great hunt pace, foxhunter or hill topper if someone didn't want to do eventing or jumpers.

                      I did tell the woman that informed me of the talk that I would wholeheartedly support her purchase of the mare, and would assist her in any way I could. I like this person and believe that she "gets" my mare. She's always been open and informative about what's been going on, and I appreciate that very much.

                      We'll wait and see. The BO was told by my "informant" that she can't outright sell the mare without offering her back to me, seeing as I didn't charge her for taking her. So, I do have an advocate.

                      ~ Katie-Nicole

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by melz View Post
                        I am not trying to start something, I just don't understand a couple of your posts...

                        you free LEASED this horse to a friend but now you have considered BUYING her back?

                        why would you have to buy her back if she is only leased out?

                        I hope everything works out for you.
                        If I were to terminate our lease agreement, I would feel bad and would want to offer some sort of financial restitution to the BO for caring for her. It would be nominal, but done in good faith. Not a requirement of our agreement, but I would likely offer it regardless. I wouldn't want to feel like the only one benefiting from the arrangement. "Hey, thanks for taking care of my mare for me! We're going home now! Thanks!" doesn't exactly fit me, how I present myself or my outlook on life. I haven't been afflicted with the "gimme syndrome" and don't intend on starting that.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Katie-Nicole View Post
                          She would try to "rescue" horses and have them be 4' jumpers. SURPRISE!!! That didn't quite work out in her favor. I could appreciate her effort in trying to give horses a chance (even though the selection process leaves a lot to be desired - Who here thinks a horse with a blown suspensory that has a fetlock that hits the ground when he walks should be a 2'6" hunter?) and when the horses didn't work out, she still gave them a permanent home.
                          Am I the only one who's really bothered by this? Although it does sound like your friend has only the best intentions, I would probably never voluntarily put any horse of mine in the care of someone so blinded by wishful thinking that she blatantly disregards basic safety and health. If the mare in question were mine, I would have brought her home yesterday based upon this alone.

                          Of course, the recent strangles outbreak at your friend's farm does complicate things a bit, but even if you can't (or don't want to) bring your horse home right now, I would make sure to get everything regarding the terms of the free lease in writing ASAP. If the prospective buyer is still interested, then go from there. I think it would be best to be direct but polite when you talk to your friend.
                          "The grace of God is found between the saddle and the ground" --Irish proverb

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            But you're already doing that...shes using YOUR horse in HER lesson program for FREE. She is making money off your horse, while youre not charging her a cent. If she had expenses, like shoes, then of course she would have to pay...she would with any of her other horses!!

                            I think this is a weird situation to be honest...why not just talk to the BO like suggested 20 times already?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Katie-Nicole View Post
                              If I were to terminate our lease agreement, I would feel bad and would want to offer some sort of financial restitution to the BO for caring for her. It would be nominal, but done in good faith. Not a requirement of our agreement, but I would likely offer it regardless. I wouldn't want to feel like the only one benefiting from the arrangement. "Hey, thanks for taking care of my mare for me! We're going home now! Thanks!" doesn't exactly fit me, how I present myself or my outlook on life. I haven't been afflicted with the "gimme syndrome" and don't intend on starting that.

                              You may pay for her care; is she going to pay you for use of the mare? She did use her as much (or as little) as she wanted. I don't think that is a gimme syndrome. She WANTED your mare. She got her and didn't have to pay you for her.

                              I also think you are being exceedingly calm about the possibility that someone is trying to sell something you loaned them...and that without paperwork proving you didn't give her away the only thing standing between you and a mare that is gone *poof* to who knows where are the ethics of a 'friend' who doesn't recognize a horse with a blown suspensory can't do 2'6.

                              I read horse-loverz saga where her trainer was selling her mare out from under her and those of others on this board whose "leased" (free or otherwise) horses disappeared while in the care of 'friends' and I pray nothing similar befalls you.......
                              HaHA! Made-est Thou Look!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Katie-Nicole View Post
                                If I were to terminate our lease agreement, I would feel bad and would want to offer some sort of financial restitution to the BO for caring for her. It would be nominal, but done in good faith. Not a requirement of our agreement, but I would likely offer it regardless. I wouldn't want to feel like the only one benefiting from the arrangement. "Hey, thanks for taking care of my mare for me! We're going home now! Thanks!" doesn't exactly fit me, how I present myself or my outlook on life. I haven't been afflicted with the "gimme syndrome" and don't intend on starting that.
                                Except... it's your horse.

                                I would just pick up the phone and say "hey there, someone talked to me about schnookie and is interested in maybe buying her. Is she working out for you? If not, maybe it's time for the free lease to end and I can put her up for sale. If you'd like to help with that would you be interested in commission?" and just see where the conversation goes.

                                Friend or not, if she did put the horse up for sale, there's a little issue with ownership. If she's a good friend and well intentioned, and misunderstood the terms of the mare being there, then hopefully it won't ruin any friendships.
                                "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                                My CANTER blog.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Talk to your friend, and put a written lease agreement in place (even if it's free, or for $1). I would have done this in the first place, but it's not to late... if you feel you need to give a reason, besides the most obvious real one, cite your significant other (if you have one), mother, or insurance company If she won't put it in writing for some reason, I'd take that as a sign that something's awry I'd take the mare home.

                                  I would ask her again how the mare is doing and that you heard through the grapevine that she might be for sale at some point and see what she says... but I'd probably work out the lease in writing thing first.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Did you make it clear at the beginning that it was a lease situation and not a sale?

                                    If so, you can take your mare back at any time without reimbursing her. That's what free/feed leases are.

                                    Think about it this way. If your neighbor came over and borrowed your lawnmower, and then sold it, would you be worried about reimbursing him for the gas he used before you kicked his ass into next week? She paid for maintenance while she was using your horse. If she didn't want to use your horse anymore, she was supposed to call you... she didn't, her bad.

                                    It's your horse and any proceeds from the sale should go to you.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Chester's Mom View Post
                                      You may pay for her care; is she going to pay you for use of the mare? She did use her as much (or as little) as she wanted.
                                      Agreed. Really you shouldn't owe her anything.

                                      I'm guessing maybe the BO misconstrued the whole situation, since there was nothing in writing, and BO is known for being a little... eccentric... and thinks the mare was GIVEN to her and can now sell her.

                                      I'd definitely say something to the BO. It helps that someone has already mentioned "hey you can't sell X, you don't own her." Maybe stop by and approach it from the angle that-- oh hey you are just checking in on the mare, how are things going, has she been usable, do they still want her, cause you can take her home if they don't....

                                      And as far as the horse being sold, to those that are concerned, I doubt it'll happen unless to someone in the barn. That is NOT a reflection on the horse...

                                      Katie-Nicole, FWIW, I'd back away from the whole place quietly and politely. Stay friendly but perhaps steer clear in the future. Like I said, don't think anyone thinks they are bad people, but.... but.... you know what I am saying.
                                      We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Ambrey View Post
                                        Did you make it clear at the beginning that it was a lease situation and not a sale?

                                        If so, you can take your mare back at any time without reimbursing her. That's what free/feed leases are.

                                        Think about it this way. If your neighbor came over and borrowed your lawnmower, and then sold it, would you be worried about reimbursing him for the gas he used before you kicked his ass into next week? She paid for maintenance while she was using your horse. If she didn't want to use your horse anymore, she was supposed to call you... she didn't, her bad.

                                        It's your horse and any proceeds from the sale should go to you.

                                        I see your point. For me, easier said than done. I have a hard time accepting things from people. My SO calls me on it all the time. I never want him to buy me anything. I always offer to pay for dinner (and do pay most of the time). I just don't ever want to feel like I'm taking advantage of a situation I guess. Like I said, the offer of reimbursement wasn't part of our initial agreement and I'm not bound to doing it.

                                        I will casually speak with the BO. I'm calm because I'm not jumping to conclusions and I have a few good watchdogs on my side. If I have to get drastic and just load her up, then so be it. I was upfront with the BO regarding the agreement and I thought we were clear on it. Should it prove to be the demise of our friendship, then we're both at fault I guess.

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