Its been an interesting week!
Not really looking for any advice, just wanted to share my story. After thinking about getting a second riding horse recently last weekend I decided to try sell my gelding and take a break from riding over summer. I would still have my mini mare and was thinking about getting a second one so she would have company but I wouldn't have to ride as lately I haven't been getting so much enjoyment from it.
After checking with his previous owner first to see if she wanted to buy him back as we had agreed she said she couldn't afford it right now so I listed him on the net. I wasn't sure how much interest I would get in a 19 year old horse but he is solid and reliable for the most part and within 24 hours I got a huge amount of calls and emails about him. I also got an email from a lady saying he was her horse that she leased out a long time ago but had lost contact with the woman who had him, the last she had heard was about 3 years ago when the woman who had him asked if it was ok for him to go to another lady in the same area.
I was pretty shocked but even more so to find out that he is closer to 25!
I rang the lady that I brought him from and told her about the email, she was shocked too and said that she would ring the owner to sort things out since I brought him from her in good faith and shouldn't have to deal with it. She spoke with her and explained that he had been given to her about 4 years ago by a woman who got him from the original lady who leased him. All a rather complicated story made more confusing by the fact that neither the original leasee or the lady that gave him to the person I brought him from can be tracked down.
I ended up going over to the ladys house who I brought him from that night and we rang the original owner and had her on speaker phone so we could all talk together. She is happy for him to stay where he is as she said from the photos he looks very well cared for but to just let her know if he does ever get re-homed. I dont really have any reason to doubt her story as she knows a lot about him, if she had demanded him back then I definitely would have done some more digging and I doubt legally she could have reclaimed him having no papers for him - I would have put up a fight too.
So now am back to square one with a much older horse than I thought I had but I now find myself quite happy to keep him - I feel like the pressure is off to exercise him so much and he's probably perfectly happy with a light hack once a week. And I know that if a situation ever arises I have two people (the original owner and the lady I brought him from) that are happy to give him a great retirement home.
I guess these situations probably happen more often than not with horses going out on lease and the owner losing touch with them then being passed on from person to person. The only thing that stung a bit was that I didnt know the lady I got him from was given him for free and I paid her $2000 for him 2 years ago. We have discussed this and she has offered to help with his upkeep which is great since I know she didnt have enough up front to get him back.
Anyway if you read this novel well done and I now have a lot more respect for my sometimes crotchety old man!
I always say 'everything happens for a reason'!
Feel for you that you paid that much for him, when the previous person got him for free.. happens when people are money grabbers. But, the horse may have also come to her and she may have plugged a lot of time and money in to him?
Glad to hear it has all worked out for you though, and that you have possible retirement homes for him :D
Thanks Duffy! Yes, I feel it happened for a reason too and I'm actually pretty glad it did. If I had sold him to someone before I heard from that lady or not heard at all then it would have been unfair on him and the new owner. It would have been an awful conversation ringing someone to tell them their new horse was actually about 6 years older than I thought.
She only used him as a once a week hack much like I do so didnt do any work with him. I did broach it with her that I felt it unfair she had asked for so much money when he was given to her and she admitted that she needed the money at the time. She has now offered to share the costs of his care with me in the future, I know she feels bad about the situation and there is no point in me dwelling on money spent 2 years ago. As I keep saying to myself, if you want to make an investment going out and buying a horse isn't generally the way to do it!
I don't think it was unfair at all for her to get $2k for him. You were content with the price at the time. What she paid for him is not relevant to how much you were willing to pay for him. Had you never head that she got him for free, you would never have been concerned about the price. If she had paid $5000 for him, would you offer to give her another $2000 or $3000 to make up the difference? I doubt it.
I gave a horse away a few years ago to "John." That horse then went to another home. I suspect that "John" received payment for her. Meh - it is what it is. I was anxious to have her gone and at the time that seemed like the best option. Ended up being a really bad decision, but in the end all worked out, even if "John" made a buck out of it. So, good for him.
Sorry, that posted by accident - I wasn't quite finished:
I also find it interesting that now that you know he is 25, not 19, you feel less obligated to exercise him. The horse hasn't changed overnight. Only your view of him has. The reason that he has done as well as he has is because of the care and exercise you have given him. Base your care routine on what the horse's needs, condition and abilities are, not his age which is just a number.
Thanks for your thoughts mama. Everyone has their own opinion but I did think it was cheeky asking $2000 for a free horse that she had not done anything with in the time she had him. At the time she initially asked $3000 and I said no way - to be completely honest I wanted to say $1000 was my limit as I felt $2000 was too much for him. But I didn't and I paid $2000 so yes, that's all on my shoulders. No - I would not have paid $5000 for him if I knew that's what she paid for him. I was just surprised that she paid zilch.
I am not going to leave him to rot in the paddock now that I know he is much older. I will just be more careful with my expectations of him. I think he is perfectly happy spending more time in the paddock with his buddy and deserves to be semi-retired.
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