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What;s your "return policy" when you sell a horse?

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  • What;s your "return policy" when you sell a horse?

    Or when you buy a horse?
    What do you expect to be fair, if anything?
    ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
    R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor

  • #2
    I am not WalMart, Macy's or Dillards - I don't have a return policy. If you buy a horse from me, you've bought it - period. I can't imagine anyone selling a horse to someone that might even think about returning it.
    In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
    A life lived by example, done too soon.


    • #3
      I think it's nice when someone says there is a return policy, but it sure would be hard to determine when it's fair, so probably better not to have one (as a seller). For example if they end up "not getting along" who's to say the horse doesn't come back lame, and what if they claim the horse went lame because you hid the lameness, but you claim the horse went lame because they took poor care of it or jumped it half to death? Too many he-said she-said situations would make me wary if I were a seller (I've never sold a horse, though). And as a buyer I wouldn't count on the offer even if it were made, though I'd consider it a nice gesture.


      • #4
        Umm... what return policy? Horses are sold "as is". Its the purchasers choice to do a pre-purchase exam should they choose to do so or blood work should the suspect anything "off". If people want to take the horse home for a trial and pre-purchase that's up to the seller, but once the horse is purchased and the contract has been signed that's it as far as I'm concerned.
        Custom Painted Brushes: spcustombrushes@gmail.com


        • Original Poster

          I have never sold a horse either, which I why I am asking.
          ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
          R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor


          • #6
            I don't do returns either- I will allow multiple trips to try, spend time with , visit the horse, etc... may allow a week trial period, you can vet it, etc... but the price is the price(don't call me after the check has been written, and all of the above is done and ask for a lower price) and do not call me 8 months after you bought it and say your not sure the horse is the right match for you....


            • #7
              this is not intended to be a snarky question, i'm genuinely interested in the perspective- because i dont generally sell or move horses along.

              But for those of you who do and do not have a return policy, or say "dont call me" do you ever worry or concern yourself about what will happen to the horse?

              For me my concern wouldnt be so much for the seller, but the horse. I'm not saying a return policy would solve that, because I can see (and have seen with rescues) that some people treat it like a "rent-a-horse" program.
              My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage


              • #8
                A horse should be returnable in cases of fraud/misrepresentation

                --you say it's elligible green and it's not.
                --you say it's 9 and it turns out to be 16.
                --you say it's breeding sound and it's not.
                --you represent in an ad that it's "bomb proof" and forgot to mention that it has a rearing problem.
                --you fail to disclose a known vice (cribbing, weaving, known to bite and kick)

                Otherwise, most people don't take horses back unless (and I don't agree with this) it's with a trainer/purchaser they are afraid to upset and are worried they'll never do business with again or will come down on them with some similar form of painful wrath.


                • #9
                  Six months 100% refund if there is a genetic issue.

                  One year, 80% refund for 'unsuitable' temperament/personality/just don't like. If the horse is a resale project, there are stipulations in the contract that I might subtract a little more for board. I don't have the contract in front of me, it will not exceed the 50% of full purchase price amount, so minium at a year is 50% cash back.

                  FOREVER I'll take a horse back (no refund) that I bred, for WHATEVER reason. I will normally even come get it if new owner can't get it back to me. .

                  Life happens. I brought them into the world, I therefore have responsibility to provide for them.

                  I have returned full purchase price at 2+ years in once case when things didn't work out. By contract I didn't have to, but I *could*, so I did. I'm glad I did.
                  InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                  Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                  • #10
                    People I know that have sold horses usually offer a trial period where a person leaves a deposit of some sort and can take the horse to their facility and try it out, usually for a week or two.

                    The same people have a clause where they will take the horse back at any time for any reason, but will not buy it back or return purchase price once the deal is final.

                    I do not know anyone with a typical retail-esque return policy.


                    • #11
                      No returns here either. Purchaser has opportunity to come ride, work with the horse, see how it acts, here at my house. I certainly want my horses going to places the buyer will be happy with them, so a good match is most desirable.

                      HOWEVER, a poor handler, bad rider, bad facilities at the stable or farm, can wreck a good horse fast. Injure him beyong repair physically. Could even be within a couple rides or overnight. I AM NOT giving back money for a ruined horse.

                      For the above reasons, none of ours go out on trials either. Too easy to ruin him with cloddy handling or injury. Horses learn bad stuff FAST. You want him, you can try him at our house a few times, then pay to take him home. He is then YOURS, for using as you deem suitable. No, I don't want him back after you are done with him, unlikely to suit me anymore. My methods make good horses, but I am not into re-habbing them.

                      The only reason I sell horses is because I can't use them for Driving. We have few that fail, usually a "too tall or doesn't like Driving" for their reasons. Doesn't mean they are not excellent in other disciplines. Driving is our BIG interest, so ALL the horses here MUST Drive. They do riding stuff as extras, usually pretty good at it too. There is never anything "wrong" with them, we do full disclosures, you can Vet them to your heart's content. None have ever failed to pass an exam.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by myhorsefaith View Post
                        this is not intended to be a snarky question, i'm genuinely interested in the perspective- because i dont generally sell or move horses along.

                        But for those of you who do and do not have a return policy, or say "dont call me" do you ever worry or concern yourself about what will happen to the horse?

                        For me my concern wouldnt be so much for the seller, but the horse. I'm not saying a return policy would solve that, because I can see (and have seen with rescues) that some people treat it like a "rent-a-horse" program.
                        We don't take returns, but we do keep very close track of the horses we sell. I'm always getting updates on the horses, and if I don't hear from a new owner in a while, I'll send an e-mail to check up on them. Several buyers have now become loyal students.

                        We only buy horses we wouldn't mind keeping, so the majority of them would likely have a home if the owner said they didn't want the horse any more. 99% of them we wouldn't buy back, but we would be willing to take the horse if the owner was giving him away or something.

                        For example, one person bought a mare, then decided she was just too big. She exchanged the mare for the half sister, who was about a hand smaller. Both mares were of equal quality, the woman got along with the second mare better than the first, and we like the first mare better as a broodmare anyways. We also sold one horse to an elderly woman who just kind of wanted a pet, and it's written in the agreement that we will take him when she passes or is unable to keep him anymore. Again, we love him and if anything, he was a fabulous babysitter.


                        • #13
                          It depends on the reason someone wants to return a horse.

                          In the best interest of the horse, I take them back, so I can see that they get a new home that will be suitable.

                          I sold a horse to a lady for her first horse as a trail riding horse.
                          Six months later she came down with cancer and was not going to ride any more, for what the husband told me, so I took the horse back and returned all their money.
                          They really had taken good care of him, were nice people in a tight spot and didn't know what to do, where to start to sell a horse.
                          I had him sold again to a family that was looking for one, before I even had possesion back.

                          It just depends on the situation if you take a horse back or not.
                          I always tell the buyers that I would like to know if they can't use the horse any more, to call me.
                          This way I keep track of the horses.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by myhorsefaith View Post
                            But for those of you who do and do not have a return policy, or say "dont call me" do you ever worry or concern yourself about what will happen to the horse?
                            Of course we do. But if you're in the business of selling horses, it's just that - a business. You don't buy a washer and dryer and expect the store to take it back if you lose your job and can't make the payments, do you? No difference. And before the bleeding hearts flame me for not having the horse's best interests at heart, consider this; if I buy hay once a year, and this particular horse's sale financed that purchase, am I going to buy back this horse and make all my other horses suffer, because they suddenly have no hay for a year? I think not.

                            Carry on.
                            In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                            A life lived by example, done too soon.


                            • #15
                              I'm just a private owner, so not professionally buying/selling, but I have had 2instances where a return was done. 1, I bought a 'dead broke kids horse' 18 yo QH mare from a friend of a friend. Rode the horse at the farm, knew she was only servicably sound, that was fine. Friend delivered her the following day and she EXPLODED out of the trailer, ran the fence (even with food, horses next to her and trying 2 different pens), was generally unsettled. Very difficult to lead, pushy, etc. A kid could not have handled her. Call seller, she doesn't believe me and offers no help. Next day pull sweaty, stressed mare out to walk and groom and try to settle. Rearing, striking at me. NO WAY!! Called friend who came right away. Friend is shocked, calls seller who says, just bring her home. Full refund. Turned out the 18 yo mare had been born on that farm and HAD NEVER LEFT. 2, sold a horse that 4 years later was being resold. The horse had left the area to go to college with the owners daughter and she had completely lost interest. The horse was severely malnourished and hadn't been handled at all in a year. I didn't have to take her back, and I certainly didn't have to give them any $ for her, but I was in a position to. I was shopping at the time and liked some of the trainers the mare had been with in the 4 years. I paid 1/3 of what I had sold her for. Turned out well down the road.
                              Do not toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!


                              • #16
                                Most BNT, I have heard, will take a horse back, and give you a different horse, if it is not working out.

                                You always hear, oh they sent it back, it doesn't jump the water/ change it's leads. Or from the other side, I got that horse back, they can't get it to jump the water/ do a lead change.
                                When the boogeyman goes to sleep, he checks the closet for George Morris. -mpsbarnmanager


                                • #17
                                  In this market customer service is paramount to make a sale. that means that I now offer - no insist - on a 14 day satisfaction guarantee. If I sell you a horse and you have it vetted and buy it. IF after 2 weeks it is not working out, you can return it to me in the condition you bought it in - verified by your vet - for a full refund. Since most of my horses are consignment horses, the consignors must be on board as well. Some are some are not. Sales made up 52% of my income last year - so it is working. 1 was returned.
                                  "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"


                                  • #18
                                    While I can see how professionals, sale barns, etc. may have a "return policy," I do think that such an idea is tough on the private person who is trying to sell a single horse.

                                    I've heard a zillion stories of an average joe horse owner selling a horse, only to have buyer come back a week, month, year later wanting to return, wanting money back, saying horse was misrepresented, etc. Makes it tough on the seller, who may not be in a position to take the horse back, refund money, or whatever.

                                    Now say a buyer can no longer keep a horse, for whatever reason, I can see contacting original seller offering to give or sell the horse back.

                                    But buyers whining about the horse not being what they want/need.... many days, months or years after purchasing... well heck. Management, handling, care, all those things can affect an animal. How and why is it the seller's responsibility to sort that out? I've bought horses that turned out to be a lot different than I anticipated. I'm sure we all have. At some point buyers need to take responsibility and be accountable for their choices.
                                    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


                                    • #19
                                      It is probably a better idea to make a bigger effort to achieve a suitable sale, rather than offer a return policy. Extended trial riding periods, pre purchase exams, "getting acquainted" time, etc are all ways to ensure that you make a successful sale. I think you invite suspicion if you offer to take the horse back.
                                      ... _. ._ .._. .._


                                      • #20
                                        I'm in that position now. I'm selling a large pony who is just not going to grow tall enough for an overweight rider (me.) I have an interested buyer who has asked if she can bring him back if he doesn't get along with her horses. I have no problem with that as long as he comes back in the same general condition as he left and in a reasonable amount of time. I will have a contract to that effect.

                                        My main concern in this is the pony. I wouldn't want to leave him somewhere he wasn't wanted and risk him ending up in a bad home. He deserves better than that.