Question about pre-purchase trial period
I am currently looking to buy a horse (my first horse in many years) and am very interested in getting a short trial period to evaluate the horse off-site and have a veterinary pre-purchase exam performed. I know not all sellers will agree to this and I understand why, but in my experience it is very difficult to really know whether a horse is a good match after just a couple short rides.
My question is: Do you negotiate the selling price before taking the horse on a trial or at the end of the trial? What if the trial period or PPE reveals something that decreases the horse's value, but you would still be interested in buying it for less? (for example, the horse is sound but has early signs of navicular disease radiographically, or that the horse cribs in a stall and you didn't know this before because it was kept in a pasture at the seller's place).
So, if you had signed a trial agreement for a purchase price of $5000, but decide that the horse is only worth $3500, is it completely out of line to then ask the seller to reduce the price (of course they could always say no and you would have to return the horse).
ime, the final price was determined at the end of the trial period for just the reasons you gave. :)
From personal experience, my horse was listed at $1200 and i paid $500 deposit plus shipping to me. After 2 weeks (we agreed on 30 day trial) i knew he neededmore training. I liked him but if the price wasnt negotiable, i was sending him back. When i told her, she said "just keep him for the deposit, i cant feed another mouth" so it is not unlikely to ask for a reduction. But be fair, since a good horse is worth its weight in gold.
I would say no, you agreed to a price, then aked for a trial period, if the horse doesnt work or has issues bring him back,
Trying to renegotiate the price at that point is a little slimey in my book. Just say thanks but no thanks and walk away. If I dont want a horse at $5k I dont see why I would want it a 3 k,, it either does what you want without vices you cant live with or it doesnt.
But then again I never dicker. I'll make a single offer or sale price and dont change. I just feel it is beneath me to do the haggle back and forth thing.
A lot depends on the seller. I don't do trial periods on lower end horses. On my higher end horses I'll do a trial period IF:
Buyer puts down at least 1/3 non-refundable deposit
Buyer agrees to have the balance of the purchase price held in escrow at a bank (obviously price has already been agreed upon before the horse leaves the property)
Buyer fully insures the horse with me as loss payee
The buyer must have the horse transported with a professional hauler to and from (in case of return) at their expense
The buyer must have the horse transported to a professional, well known trainer's facility (approved by me) and the horse must remain there during the trial period
I'm perfectly happy to either have the vet of the buyer's choice come to the ranch or I'll transport the horse to the vet for the PPE exam at the buyer's cost, not a problem. Thus any navicular or other potential physical issues are discovered and disclosed prior to the horse leaving the property.
All of the conditions are agreed to in writing and monies paid and deposited with the escrow bank and insurance policy issued before the horse leaves my care,custody & control. Afte the 30 day trial period, if I'm not notifiedin writing prior to the expiration of the trial, I cash the escrow check and the horse belongs to the new owner.
Hmmm, it seems like there isn't really a consensus. I'm not looking at high-dollar horses, so I don't think an escrow account is necessary. I disagree that it's "slimy" to renogotiate if you discover characteristics that decrease a horses's value during the trial period. Yes, I might be able to tolerate certain vices but if I go to sell the horse in the future, he will likely be worth slightly less and that should be reflected in the price I pay. The owner always has the right to say "no" and as long as you return the horse as soon as you know it's not gonna work out, I don't think you are a horrible person.
Hopefully once I find "the one", the trial period will go great and I won't have to worry about this :)
I guess I dotn look at buying a horse as an investment, or its future worth. I buy a horse with every intention of riding it till it isnt rideable and then letting him live out his days. I have sold a horse that turned out to be not suitable.
I buy a horse to do a job, he either can do it or he cant. If he cant he'll go back, if he sorta can he'll go back, I either want the horse or I dont, not really any gray area. Once agreed to a purchase price I figure that is the price. If the horse is less suitable I wouldnt want him at all.
Bringing a horse back a month later after the owners have basically considered them sold and coming up with excuses on why you should get some of your money back in my eyes is a little slimy. I tell you to unload the horse, sorry it didnt work out.
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