Help us get back our horses! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-30-2012, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Syracuse, NY
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Help us get back our horses!

Earlier this year we adopted two horses from a woman who claimed she rescued them. Spanky, a 9 year old gelded thoroughbred (whom she told us was 6) and Char, a 20-25 year old Appaloosa mare (that she told us was 14) to ride as pleasure horses. We've paid board for these horses every month. We've purchased additional feed and bedding for them as well. Char, the mare has been lame most of the time due to injuries received at the stables. No one who works there noticed these injuries even though they caused her to limp. On May 22, Char dropped a surprise foal that we, as the owners, named Katie. No one who works there had noticed that Char was pregnant either. We've been taking care of all routine worming, farrier and dental work. We have paid for all of their shots. We paid for their Coggins tests, which, by law, should have been performed before bringing either horse on to the stable property. We have receipts for expenses we've paid. Even though we can't ride Char as we had intended (so Spanky hasn't been ridden in several months either) we have driven the 40 miles to the stable to work with Katie, groom, care for and love all three horses.

Since Katie's birth, we feel we need to move the horses closer to home so we can provide the necessary care and attention all the horses, specially Katie, needs. Upon advising the stable owner of our plans, she announced that we have been "leasing" her horses and she wants to be paid $2,000 to cover her expenses. Of course, she didn't have expenses as we have provided all care. The horses had both been on her property for several months and she didn't provide even the most basic horse health care. They had not been wormed, their hooves had not been trimmed and both had teeth that the Dental Vet we hired said were in terrible condition. In addition, we have been going there to tend to Char's legs which they have never done anything about. Char's latest wound, which she received some time in May while out in the pasture, has required daily attention to tend to proud flesh, infection and possible tendon damage.

We went to collect our horses today and were denied access to them. We had already contacted the Sheriff's Office to advise them of our plans and that we feared it wouldn't go well. She called 911, we called 911. The responding officer assures us that we have a strong case in court but that we do, in fact, have to go to court. Upon police involvement the stable owner told us that the horses would be gone tonight. We fear this means them going to the meat market where she has several friends (it wouldn't be the first time she sent a rescue horse there when she couldn't get someone else to pay for it). Clearly, the horses mean nothing to her. If she could have sold them, as she claims she could have, she wouldn't have had to involve us in the first place. She asked for our help, we didn't go to her. She never asked for money other than for board, she never used the term lease and she never referred to any of these horses as anything but ours. A lawsuit could take a long time, and while we are prepared to make our case we are scared for the health and well-being of our horses.

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post #2 of 16 Old 06-30-2012, 11:59 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2011
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What in the world is with people keeping others horses like that and with holding them?!?! People are nuts!!!
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post #3 of 16 Old 07-01-2012, 12:03 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
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Oh alright, glad you figured it out!

OMG though.. what is with these people lately?! That is my absolute worst nightmare.

Praying things work out!!

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-01-2012, 12:16 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Australia
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That's horrific. Can't the police get the horses off her property just for safekeeping? Or something, anything, just to keep them safe until something can be done?? I'm so sorry to read this :/

Satin Reign aka "Misty"... my life, my love, my everything.
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-01-2012, 12:38 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Midwest, USA
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did you sign any papers upon "adoption" showing change of ownership?
keep a journal of all actions & conversations, if there is any kind of court proceedings check the legal team... it is possible that she can't under the law change anything until the court decides, she is probably threatening at this time but who knows. unfortunately possession is important. you have been there over many times is there a typical time when she isn't home unless she has a restraining order ..hmmm might just get my horses

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post #6 of 16 Old 07-01-2012, 12:54 AM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
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Unfortunately, if there were no transfer papers signed to show the horse's changed ownership, the horses probably have to stay with their original owner (the other woman) until everything is cleared up. If there was nothing signed that says that ownership was transfered and nothing signed that you were leasing the horses, you'll be in court on a hear-say trial of who's horses they actually are.

Word of mouth contracts these days mean just about zip. Make sure you get your bank statements showing the withdrawls for board that happened monthly. You may be able to get the farrier and vet to testify on your side.

Worst case scenario, you'll never see the horses again. If there had been a sale or adoption contract signed, you could walk right onto that property and take your horses off, and the police would escort you. If the judge doesn't award you ownership over the horses, he might order this woman to pay you back for your expenses.

Get all your ducks in a row before you go to court. If you have enough evidence that the horses were yours (witnesses to testify that they were there and heard this woman said they were your horses, not hers), he may award you the horses. Hear-say trials are difficult because they have no actual proof. Get as much evidence as you can together and put her infront of a judge.
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-01-2012, 03:50 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 2,266
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I once found myself in a fight over a horse. Those receipts for vet, farrier, feed, and board can very well go a long way in proving ownership. You do need to hire yourself a lawyer, though. My fight ended with just a threat from my lawyer. Yours may not end so easily, but most of us need guidance in regards to law and court. I wish you the best and hope that you will keep us updated.
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-01-2012, 04:15 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
Posts: 11,770
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Scammers living in Crazytown! Get a lawyer immediately. Have you got the Coggins papers yet that shows YOU are the owner? This woman doesn't want the horses, she wants you to keep boarding there, you leave she has lost income. Sorry this happened to you & your horses.
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-01-2012, 08:03 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Eastern Shore of MD.
Posts: 1,320
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When you adopted these horses did you get a bill of sale or a contract?
Do you have receipts for the board you paid?

Cocoa - 32 yr old QH, Cherokee - 8 yr old TWH & Toby - 16 yr old QH
R.I.P. Cocoa 4/13/78 - 2/9/11
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-01-2012, 09:52 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Just south of sanity
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Get a Protective Order from the courts. What this does is keep the BO from selling, hiding, or disposing of the horses until you go to court and have a hearing to determine ownership.

Since this is a civil matter you don't necessarily need an attorney to represent you, although you might want to consult one on the best way to proceed.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
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