Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Unfortuantely what everyone is saying is correct - without a contract (and probably even with one) you have no claim to the horse.
Years ago we free leased a horse out for the first time to an acquantaince who we thought we knew fairly well, because of this prior relationship nothing was signed. A few months later our so-called 'friend' sold the horse for nearly $2000. When I found out I rang them, but my calls, emails etc were never answered and I never did find out who the horse had been sold to, only that it was out of the area completely. I have seen this woman since at events and she refuses to even acknowledge having had the horse, and unfortunately with nothing signed there's nothing we can do despite him literally having been stolen.
We did approach a lawyer about it, not intending to follow it up as we were not willing to pay court costs for what was in the scheme of things an inexpensive horse, but rather to be able to hopefully approach the woman with what we could potentially take to court and scare her into telling us where the horse was. At the time the lawyer said that the only thing that could be done was that if the horse was found and proven to be the same horse that we had via microchipping details, then he could be returned to us but without proof no charges would be filed. (Emails and texts etc were not considered proof, we needed a signed document or receipt which we did not have)
We did eventually see this horse again years later at an event, in the beginners ring a disabled teenager was being taken in the lead in on him. After seeing him happy and clearly making someone else happy, we never did pursue it to get him back as we probably could have (He was microchipped and clearly branded/DNA typed & registered as an ex race horse).
I guess the lesson here is don't do anything without a contract, but also to think of the horse before yourself - if your mare is happy and looked after then leave it be. You couldn't keep her in the first place just like we had to lease out our old horse, and you made that decision so now you have to live with it.
Last edited by Jessmaylilah; 02-15-2012 at 10:42 AM.