Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Just south of sanity
It's called an Agister's Lien, and every stable owner is allowed to take a horse for non-payment of board.
To answer the poster who asked why the BO can't take a saddle or other property, because that would be stealing. The saddle didn't take up room in the stall or eat hay, the horse did. So the lien goes on the horse, not anything else.
If an animal is seized for back board, the BO is within their rights to keep all funds from the sale. However, the sale legally has to be made public; the horse can't be sold privately to another party.
Whether or not they follow this rule is up to them, but if someone wanted to cause a stink because of it, the seller could get into legal trouble.