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Dilemma; horses and family favors

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  • Dilemma; horses and family favors

    I have a bit of a dilemma with horses, extended family and what is the right thing to do. Sorry for a novella length post in advance.

    Relative has two horses, one who is about 7, draft cross (PMU rescue) who relative has raised since baby. Well cared for, good health, but hasn't been ridden in about 2 years. Reportedly horse as been free jumped up to about 3 feet and will go right over what is in front of him. Relative is considering moving and would like someone (me) to take him on as a prospect since I am between horses.

    The short cell phone video clips show a horse who picks his knees up, seems relatively tractable, but the videos it turns out are two years old. I would be responsible for the training, board etc, and could send back at any time. The shipping cost would also be on me as well if he didn't work out.

    I think if it wasn't a relative I would be more inclined. Love my family, but if it didn't work it would be endless comments from either side (i.e. you had no business doing this as your not a trainer versus you should have put more into the horse, now look at the difficulties X is having).

    To sum it up, I just don't think I can adequately evaluate him based on cell phone videos and I don't have the time to drive 12 hours out to see him in person right now.

    Thanks for reading and input on similar situations would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    If you are inclined to take him, get it in writing.


    • #3
      I guess the only suggest i have would be see if the relatives can get some decent pics for conformation wise and then maybe a better video of him now.

      A Wandering Albertan - NEW Africa travel blog!


      • #4
        So start with the "endless comments" and work backward from there to your relative's expections.

        AKA "I'd be happy to help, but I'm not a pro with unlimited time and money. I'm not sure I can get the job that you'd like done as well as a pro could. So, what are you hoping for?"

        Are you supposed to just enjoy the horse and maybe slightly improve him on your nickel? Is he supposed to be finished and sold?

        With respect to sending him back, people say this a lot to sweeten the deal up front but really don't plan for it and get "deer in the headlights" when you take them up on the offer. You might talk more about this part of the deal. What are the terms? If he's better, great. If he gets hurt, do they still mean to take him back? Do they need 60 or even 90 days notice to make that easier?

        If you like the horse and the project, if you have the time and money to put in, I don't think his being tainted by family connections has to be a big deal. And to the kibbitzers? I think a short or even curt conversation along the lines of "Hey, you get what you pay for" and "Things are going just fine, thanks" can let them know that your work with this horse is out of bounds.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat


        • #5
          I wouldn't just cause they ARE related, but you might wish to take the gamble. Years ago DH's relatives were moving horses from California and wanted to put them at my place. I said no - just wasn't sure how experienced they were, didn't want people coming to my place any time of day or night, etc. Glad I didn't - who would have taken care if horse had gotten hurt (changing bandages, etc.)? Betting it would have been me and that they would have said they'd handle it.

          If you decide to do this get EVERYTHING in writing, including "what ifs". What happens if horse gets hurt? They continue to pay or you pay? What happens if it's permanent and horse is now "useless"? Who pays for what then? Will they even want the horse back?
          Now in Kentucky


          • #6
            Don't do it! Relatives are the hardest people to get along with! I tried leasing my nice pony to my aunt for her daughter. I mean nice pony! Broke to death(2yr old safely rides him) and drives and jumps and ran barrels! Great pony! It seemed like every other day she was picking him apart and telling me I have no clue what I was doing with this pony! I went and got him and haven't talked to her in about 6 months.
            ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
            R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor


            • Original Poster

              Thanks everyone, those are good comments and suggestions. I'll see if I can get a more recent photo and maybe updated video. Getting it in writing rather than a handshake is a good idea and the detail suggested by all of you are helpful.
              MVP you make a good point about the conversations and yes that has been my tack on the discussions.


              • #8
                Why not ask an impartial COTHer who lives near the horse to go have a look at him for you? Then you could remove your family from the equation. I bet someone would volunteer.
                I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                • #9
                  My advice would be NOT to take the horse UNLESS they give it to you. That means they give up all ownership/rights/whatever to the horse and he's yours to do with as you please.
                  I took my sisters horse when she stopped riding but it was clear she was GIVING her to me and I could do with her as I pleased.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CHS View Post
                    My advice would be NOT to take the horse UNLESS they give it to you. That means they give up all ownership/rights/whatever to the horse and he's yours to do with as you please.
                    I took my sisters horse when she stopped riding but it was clear she was GIVING her to me and I could do with her as I pleased.

                    Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
                    Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.


                    • #11
                      With family and friends you are not involved directly in their life and each knows very well where the other is coming from, learn to say a clear NO.

                      You may help with several suggestions about what they could do with that horse, like getting a professional trainer involved.
                      Makes life nicer all around.


                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                        With family and friends you are not involved directly in their life and each knows very well where the other is coming from, learn to say a clear NO.

                        You may help with several suggestions about what they could do with that horse, like getting a professional trainer involved.
                        Makes life nicer all around.
                        I did suggest a they find a professional trainer or perhaps a college equestrian team. The trainer was too much money and they wanted someone who they really trusted on the care of the horse.

                        Personally I thought the college equestrian team would be good, but not my horse and not my decision.


                        • #13
                          It sounds like they want high quality care and training-but don't want to pay anything for it plus if they want you to take it as a prospect they are planning to make money on the back end.

                          Sounds like a recipe for disaster or at least a family fight.


                          • #14
                            Well, depends on the person you are dealing with.

                            My In-laws, heck no, not even with an ironclad contract.

                            On the other hand, we had diverse dealings among family, closer or not so close by hand shake. But those were all kinda old school people...