Old owner wants her horse back, my heart is breaking!
 
 

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Old owner wants her horse back, my heart is breaking!

This is a discussion on Old owner wants her horse back, my heart is breaking! within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Do horses remember previous owners
  • How to get put of a horse contract where it says previous owner must approve of new boarding place

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    09-29-2013, 04:17 PM
  #1
Foal
Old owner wants her horse back, my heart is breaking!

This is a super long post, but please read it to the end because this is just eating me alive. I am a teenager and about a year ago I started riding the horse of a family friend, and just fell in love with her. Her name is Sophie and she had basically been a pasture ornament for the past few years and I brought her back into work and took her in as my own. Her owner saw how much I cared about her, and so she asked if I would adopt her, since she had no time for her and we were such a good pair. That was about a month ago and since then I have bought her new tack, gotten her shod, paid big bills to get the vet out (the owner had not kept up with any routine vaccinations or floatings), created a work schedule to work off field board at my trainers barn, and signed the contract saying she is officially mine. Four days ago I finally picked her up and moved her to my trainers barn just as the owner and I had agreed I would. She settled in amazingly well. Nothing about the new place phased her. She gets along with her new herd, loves the extra attention, and I even rode her in the new ring and my normally spooky horse floated around beautifully without any sign of nerves. It made me happier than I have ever been in my life to see the horse I loved look so calm and content in her new home.

Here is the problem. Her owner has gotten cold feet. I had told her to come visit Sophie anytime she wanted, and she went by yesterday while the BO and I were at a show and when I asked what she thought she told me that she didn't like the new situation. What changed her mind is that Sophie is at the bottom of the pecking order in the new herd, and when the other horses are in the run-in shed they do not let her in. The weather is nice now and Sophie is not at all bothered by it, but her owner went nuts over it. None of the mares have EVER threatened Sophie before or been at all unwelcoming to her. I don't even think that they are really preventing her from going in the shed, I just think she has not gotten up the courage to approach them to go in yet. However, her owner insists that I either get Sophie more shelter or she takes her back, and I simply cannot afford to stall board Sophie and the although the barn she is at is very, very nice and well run it is small, there is no other field where she will have more access to the run-in than the one she is in. I could also tell from the way the lady was acting that she was having serious second thoughts about letting Sophie go. I had expected her to miss Sophie and knew she would be sad to see her go, but I'm afraid that with the way she feels about getting rid of Sophie anything I do to fix the shelter problem will still not be enough.

I am terrified that I will have to give up Sophie over this. Does anyone have any suggestions? I know this whole situation probably seems ridiculous but I just can't give this horse up, she is the first one I've ever owned and I've been riding and dreaming of owning a horse as long as I can remember. I really love Sophie more than anything and the idea of losing her is breaking my heart.
     
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    09-29-2013, 04:24 PM
  #2
Yearling
If you have a contract that says you own the horse, her old owner is out of luck and can't so anything. It's your horse now.
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    09-29-2013, 04:26 PM
  #3
Green Broke
I agree. If you have a contract that says you are the owner, the lady really has no say in how the horse is taken care of.
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    09-29-2013, 04:30 PM
  #4
Super Moderator
.

I hope you got a bill of sale for the Horse, but a contract might suffice if you are over 18...depends on your states laws

If not, I would check with a local lawyer, since you have vet bills and possibly a boarding bill and then you have possession, you may have a case to prove the original owner gave up the Horse.

The original owner must not know a lot about Horses, it takes a while for new Horse to become a part of the existing herd and fit in, so she thinks being a lonely pasture ornament is a better life for this Horse?

.
     
    09-29-2013, 04:42 PM
  #5
Green Broke
A few things from me, TruGing: 1) You said you signed a contract that she's yours - that should in essence be a bill of sale and should have been signed by the former owner - agreed? 2) Did the contract make any stipulations over and above transferring ownership? 3) It's not uncommon for horses to take time to become part of the herd so Sophie is probably OK for the time being. I used to have a gelding who never used the shelter when the rest of the herd was in - just to ensure that he was not being bullied, we put an annex on the shelter separated by a wall so he could have it all to himself and he still stayed out of the shelter; after a period of probably close to a year he finally decided he would start using it. 4) Finally, is inadequate shelter a legitimate concern? I don't know where you are from so I don't know how harsh your winters are. It won't hurt to do some pondering here and if you are certain all is well, then that's an end to it. If you wanted to post some pictures of Sophie's quarters, I'm sure we could offer educated opinions - that way you'll know for sure and you can, in turn, alleviate the former owner's concerns.
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    09-29-2013, 04:52 PM
  #6
Foal
All I have is the contract and vet bills to back up my case, and I am under eighteen. I doubt I would have much of a case, even if I did want to bring it to court. Especially since I got to horse for free, so she did not technically sell her to me. Besides that, she is a family friend and has been very good to me so far so filing a case against her would just be a very extreme measure. I just don't know how I can make her happy with the situation without shoveling out a heap of cash I don't have to stall board her. I'm already working everyday after school and weekends to pay off field board. She has given me a couple of weeks to figure it out and all my parents have said is, "Sometimes things seem like they are for the best, and then it just doesn't work out" I don't even know what they mean by that, but I do get that I'm alone in this.
     
    09-29-2013, 04:58 PM
  #7
Foal
You do have the contract. Just calmly(as calmly as possible the calmer the better) explain to her that horses take some time to readjust to a herd. My current foster mare still will not go into the barn with the others and she's been here for over a month now.
Also explain to the old owner that if she takes the horse back without sufficient time to readjust you expect to be reimbursed for all the medical you have done to the horse.
     
    09-29-2013, 05:06 PM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevaux    
A few things from me, TruGing: 1) You said you signed a contract that she's yours - that should in essence be a bill of sale and should have been signed by the former owner - agreed? 2) Did the contract make any stipulations over and above transferring ownership? 3) It's not uncommon for horses to take time to become part of the herd so Sophie is probably OK for the time being. I used to have a gelding who never used the shelter when the rest of the herd was in - just to ensure that he was not being bullied, we put an annex on the shelter separated by a wall so he could have it all to himself and he still stayed out of the shelter; after a period of probably close to a year he finally decided he would start using it. 4) Finally, is inadequate shelter a legitimate concern? I don't know where you are from so I don't know how harsh your winters are. It won't hurt to do some pondering here and if you are certain all is well, then that's an end to it. If you wanted to post some pictures of Sophie's quarters, I'm sure we could offer educated opinions - that way you'll know for sure and you can, in turn, alleviate the former owner's concerns.
The contract was not signed by the owner, I never even thought about it. It is completely useless now, how could I have been so stupid! And part of the contract includes proper care including adequate shelter and so if she really sees the shelter as inadequate then I am breaking the already useless contract. The winters here are fairly harsh, well below freezing with some pretty heavy snow some years, and I would never keep her somewhere where I don't think she'd have enough protection, but I really do believe she will be okay. The other three mares live out 24/7 and hardly use the run in except for shade in the summer!
     
    09-29-2013, 05:13 PM
  #9
Trained
Keep that contract and refer back to it. Try and be civil as long as you can and get your parents or maybe even the BO to help.

If you want to get nasty with her over this, write up a bill with all your vet, farrier, board, and feed expenses for the time you have owned her and tell the previous owner to pay up. Personally, I think that's a fair thing to expect since there was no free/full care lease agreement was there? Is it possible to see the contract and what you agreed to?
boots and EvilHorseOfDoom like this.
     
    09-29-2013, 05:17 PM
  #10
Weanling
I think you are out of luck with the contract... There are plenty of other horses out there, don't set your heart on one :). Don't take this to court and tear apart your family. I know you love this horse but maybe there will be an option for you to ride Sophie without having to own her. Does that sound like an option? I know I sound cruel but please take me into consideration.
     

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