We gave a horse to friends, do we have rights to get her back - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-09-2011, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy We gave a horse to friends, do we have rights to get her back

Friends of ours took care of our horses, in return as a good gesture we gave them a horse of ours, no paper work was drawn up just words. Now we are seeing they are not taking care of her. I have used my money to cover some of the expenses that they could not afford. She is pregant and if they cannot afford her how will they afford the baby. I am able to care for her and we care a great deal for her. Do I have any rights in getting her back???
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-09-2011, 05:48 PM
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I'd say so, since you didn't actually sell her.

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post #3 of 13 Old 07-09-2011, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, for your advice
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-09-2011, 07:52 PM
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No problem, good luck with everything!

Horses are scared of two things... Things that move and things that don't.
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-09-2011, 07:57 PM
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Depends. It will be a he said/she said type of thing, and some states do have laws about verbal contracts; though how well one would stand up in court is iffy at best. If she doesn't want to give the horse back to you, you would have to go to some sort of court system (small claims perhaps?) and that will cost time and money.
Have you talked to her about offering to take the horse back since she's pregnant?


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post #6 of 13 Old 07-09-2011, 08:02 PM
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That is what I was thinking. Unless you have documentation that the horse is still yours (registration papers in your name, coggins papers in your name, brand inspection in your name) possession is still going to trump you wanting her back.

If she is truly a friend, why not offer to take her back out right. A friend should be able to handle you being concerned.
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-09-2011, 08:16 PM
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How long have they had her? Possession is 9/10ths of the law, and if they can prove they've paid the majority of her bills for at least 6 months, you'd have a heck of a battle in court trying to get her back.

If you gave the animal away you don't really have any rights to her, regardless of how well or not your friends keep her. Unless you have a written contract that clearly stipulates the mare is to come back to you should her care suffer, you're probably out of luck.

So I guess what you're trying to say after the fact is that it was a free lease and not a giveaway, with conditions as to how the mare should be kept or she'd come back to you.

I'm thinking you legally don't have a leg to stand on, and should you 'repossess' the mare, the current owners could charge you with theft.

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post #8 of 13 Old 07-09-2011, 09:10 PM
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Why not ask if the owner would like you to take the mare back since she is stretched financially. Since you gave her the horse in lieu of payment for taking care of your horses, perhaps offer her the fair value of the work she did. She just might go for it.
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-10-2011, 07:31 PM
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Are you in a state with brand inspection laws? In colorado, whoever has the brand inspection owns the horse, regardless of bills of sale, registration papers, whatever. Brand Inspection trumps all.

If not, I believe that they are the legal owners - unless you lie in court about actually giving them the horse. I'm sorry to hear about your mare, though. Maybe bite the bullet and buy her back from them - in the end, it may be the only way to get her back.

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post #10 of 13 Old 07-10-2011, 08:22 PM
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Ace, I would be shocked to hear BI trumps sales contracts....
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