Need Advice: Horse Sale Gone Wrong!
My friend offered to sell me her two horses a few months back. I paid off the gelding. I was supposed to enter a contract to pay for the mare. My friend delivered the mare and gelding last Saturday.
Within 24 hours the mare turned out to be lame, in her hind foot, and emaciated (ribs showing, hollowed out near barrel, and you can see hind end vertebrae). My "friends" admitted that they never picked up their feet to clean them. Their hooves were too long and splintered. The gelding tried to kick me in the face, he stepped on me, and bit me in the back. When I shared this disturbing information to my friend she started crying and said that she was afraid of him and didn't spend time handling or training him and that is why they sold him to me! They thought that I would work with him.... ....But he has no vices, she tells me.
When I approached them about the mare favoring her hind leg, with the broken hunks out of her hoof they lost their minds! They were insulted that I would even suggest that they are selling me a lame horse.
They decided that they were going to pack up the horses, the gear, the tools and anything else they brought and return with it in their trailer to Michigan. I calmly said, you can't do that because I paid for the gelding. He belongs to me now. They went so far as to write a check out in the amount that I paid them, for the gelding. I refused to accept the money and stood my ground.
They drove like mad to the farm where the horses were located. When I got there the owners of the property called the police to have them removed for trespassing. They said that they were going to take me to court, "for all of this...". I asked them to take the mare, her tack, and their trailer and please leave my home and leave this farm in the morning. My friend screamed at me, "Don't you understand Shelley! I can't take the mare back home by herself! She has never been alone and it wouldn't be good for her psychological well being to be without her son! You see, that is why I don't want them here with you! You don't even think about their well being." I politely replied, ".. if you were so worried about their well being then why didn't you work with the gelding to give him structure, ride them, feed them what they needed, and care for their feet properly?" She came at me and the policeman stepped in to hold her back! Then, she growled, "You're going to regret this! I am going to take you to court! Is that what you want?" The policeman then instructed her to get in her car and leave.
The following morning, I went to the farm very early, just in case they did show up. I didn't really want the horses to go back to them, but I didn't want to lose the gelding! I waited and waited for hours. Finally, my boyfriend called me and said that they contacted him and apparently were on their way home to Michigan. They just decided to leave the mare and the trailer parked in grass on property I am leasing!!!!! They told my boyfriend that I am to enter a contract to pay for the mare and trailer.
I do not want to see the mare going back to them. They are afraid of horses and clearly do not care for them properly. I can afford to keep her but do not wish to enter into a legally binding contract with these people. I do not trust that they will actually give me a bill of sale for the mare, or a title for the trailer. Also, they do not understand that the mare needs medical attention and is underweight. This costs money and they were not upfront about these problems!
I would like your advice as to how I should proceed with such an issue. Would you suggest that I write her a letter asking her to remove her trailer and horse from my property within 30 days or else I will start charging her rent for the trailer and board for the mare. If they do not pay, then does the mare belong to me?
By NYS law if they do not claim the animal in 30 days after I send this letter, would this constitute as abandonment?
Also, can you suggest someone I could speak with? Who has experience in these matters?
Thank you!!! :(