First-lesson learned, most trials are for X amount of time, at which time either horse goes back, or $$ is paid for horse. ALL IN WRITING. Secondly-am I the only one who thinks the OP is wrong for going to look at a horse she does not have the $$ for? Last week, this week or next week-doesn't matter. I don't think people should go try horses they cannot pay for, whether they have intent of buying one or not, NO LESS TAKE IT HOME ON TRIAL!. I am of the opinion that this is wrong, and honestly-if I was the seller- I would be on my way to get the horse.
I had one guy who came out and wanted to buy two mares. Okay, fine. Put a deposit down ($300 - $150 per horse). Signed contract saying this amount was given (he got a receipt for deposit), all deposits are non-refundable, horses could not leave until paid but buyers were welcome to come out anytime, and monthly payments were to be due by X days per month.
Month one goes by...No payment. Sent an email, phone calls...nothing. Month two... Same thing, nothing. Month three when deposit was due, both mares go back up for sale when nothing arrives.
I get a threatening email (NOW he has access to email??) saying if I don't take the said horses off the sale sites he was taking me to small claims court. He just didn't have the money at the time payments were due.
Umm... Sorry? Really? Not only did I wait two months without payment, I turned down sales that were more then I originally sold both of them for. So, I told him how to get a hold of my attorney should he have any further concerns. Lo and behold...Nothing.
I browse horses above my price range - I never inquire about one, let alone take one out on a trial knowing full well I couldn't pay for it, irregardless of a time limit given, unless it was a free lease situation.
And I can guarantee you that if, for whatever reason, I did have a stupid moment and let a horse go without being paid for, that that person decided to not return the horse when they couldn't put up the funds, I'd have every bloody RCMP in the county on their little behind. Sorry, OP.
This was just poor management all the way around.