Help, newby owner taken for a ride...
This person who claimed to be my friend insisted that I buy two of her horses. For one, she knew I hadnt been around horses in over 15 years, and for two she knew I never even owned my own. She made it sound super easy.
I did the whole thing, feed a flake of hay twice per day, get their feet trimmed every 2 months, worm them, etc. One of them got really skinny, but I did what she said so someone else told me to get a complete ration for senior horses to put weight on her. So I did that too.
Well, this lady came over yesterday and freaked out and said they were starving to death. Nobody else told me they looked that bad, not even the 80 year old farrier who is a major horse lover and has been around horses since he was a kid! I know they were skinny, but some one, she is saying that they are dying.
The took them back yesterday night and said she would sue, etc. Just really nasty. Ive only known her for a year and she is always very spiteful and talks bad about EVERYONE. I should have avoided dealing with her like my fiance asked me to do. =(
Oh, and one of the horses BUCKS! She knew that Im a beginner rider and the first time I got on one of them I got bucked. Turns out, this horse is a bucker and Im not the only person to get bucked, even more experienced riders too.
I made payments to her for 8-9 months and she has recieved almost 3,000 total. Of course she said "well, i bet your dont have proof of your payments, and youre not getting anything back." And also she is telling me I have to pay for their feed while they live at her house, I think until she sells them again?
Here are pics, do these horses look like they are about to die? I asked to let a vet come and give an opinion but she refused and said that she had to take them emmediately because they may drop dead any time.
Those horses are FINE! Not deathly skinny at all.
Did you pay by check? Your bank should have photocopies of all of the checks on record, I know I can see the pictures of mine when I do my online banking--as long as you wrote in the 'for' category, you're covered and she will be required to pay you back if you take it to court. Or, she'd be required to give you the horses, since you paid for them. Having the farrier, friends, etc vouch for their care would also be beneficial, but may not make a solid case for you.
If she chose to take them back, she has to pay for their food. If she comes around looking for money, tell her to &*$@# off and you shouldn't be in contact with her without an attorney present. Which you should also hire one.
Ask around, and if you hear that she's said ANYTHING bad about you, that can potentially be a slander charge. Make sure any of the people you talk to would also be willing to give a recorded statement and talk to the police if necessary.
first up, do you have proof of perchace? if you do and she has taken them back, it's stealing.
do you have bank trasnaction records showing that you have paid this money to her?
the horses in the photos are on the thin side, but in now way about to drop dead.
Just listing things to keep different thoughts straight in my head:
- The horses look okay from those photos, lacking a little topline though. Weight-wise, how many pounds of hay are they getting daily?
- Get everything - yes, everything - in writing. If you end up selling this horse back to the "friend" then be sure to get a bill of sale stating that the seller knows all about the horse, and he's paid for in full, and that the horse is sold "as is." That way they own the horse, and they accept that it is "as is."
- If someone agrees to take a horse back, you do not need to pay for anything. Once they own it, they accept all responsibilities towards the upkeep of the horse.
- As for the bucking, have you had the saddle fit checked by a professional? What kind of bit are you using?
Sorry you're in this situation... how crummy - and that's saying the absolute least.
I am pretty trusting and paid by cash each month. I just have the sales contract with dates on it when I took possession of the horses and it states that monthly payments of $300 were to be made.
I honestly didnt think that something like this would happen (to me!). I am realizing pretty fast that I need a lawyer. I have googled "animal lawyers" but if anyone has a better suggestion/ referal, I would be grateful. Its northern ca.
BTW, one thing I am worried about is if she is really vindictive, she may keep feed from them until getting a vet out to see them. Thats why I took pics of them before she came and got them. Those pics were about an hour before she took them. She kept saying "if you fight me, ill make it hell for you." And "you dont have any proof of any payments... ha ha ha." Im not kidding about the laughing. I know shes hurting for money, but I am just floored at this. I just dont know if she honestly felt they were being abused or if shes really this devious. I am just pretty confused. Ill admit, Im not much of a horse person, they have been pasture ornaments this whole time really. I just go and sit with them, read a book, feed them carrots, etc. This has been a whirlwind.
For the bucking, I was just bareback. When I was a kid I pretty much road bareback all the time. Someone else told me that maybe the horse wasnt used to that so thats a possibility. Though the other person who got bucked was in a saddle. The lady laughed (yes laughed!) when I said she bucked. "Oh, yeah, she does that. You just have to show her who is boss." I have a bad neck and didnt make any fuss over it, but in hindsite, that was pretty mean of her, I think.
If you don't have proof of payments, it will be very hard to get your money or your horses back. Still, do not pay her for anything, even if she says she'll give you the horses back if you pay her a certain amount of money.
I don't know if you'd be better off trying to find a lawyer that specializes in animal cases, or a simple claims lawyer. Either way it IS good that you took pictures, just in case the horses deteriorate while under her care, did you make sure there was a date stamp on the photo when you took it?
Without proof of payment its going to be a very long shot to get your money back.
I know this probably sounds rude, but why in god's name did you give them back to her? I'd of told her to go get animal control, have THEM decide if the horses were "starved" and work through them; otherwise, she could go f**k herself.
I've never been in this situation before with horses, but I've been there with other animals. I bought a lot of animals (15 goats, 1 ram, 1 mule) from someone two years back for $115, and I was told that was all I'd have to pay, as she was desperate to get rid of them.
...Then she came back and demanded more money, claimed I'd promised to pay ten payments of $115... even when half the animals did NOT live up to her claims (one goat she claimed was 4 was actually closer to 8; ones she claimed were tame were aggressive, to the point of one attacking me; the ram had serious medical problems; the mule, although sweet, was sold to me as a donkey and DEFIENTALLY a mule).
I ended up keeping the animals. She couldn't prove her case, even after she changed tactics to the animals being mis-cared for (the ram's health problems being my fault, the one goat being underweight, etc.), it didn't hold up.
I ended up losing them a year later, though, in a HORRIBLE 1-month-long boarding experience, but that's a differant story.
Good Idea to take the pictures of the horses before she came for them. But Why did you let her take them? You had the contract, you were paying for them. If you really want them back, you need to get reciepts from her but she sound lik an &itch to m and I would stay FAR FAR away. If she comes after you, then you will need a lawyer, but not til then.
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