need some advice
I recently sold a horse to a party that tried her out, (extensively) had a vet check done and approved, and now a short month later wants to give the horse back because its not working out. When she rides, the horse is refusing to move forward and when a crop is used to "encourage" forward movement, the horse bucks. So now they want to return the horse to me because "it must be a personality clash" They don't want their money back but here is my problem. If I take the horse back, I now have a horse that balks and bucks, and doesn't listen to its rider, she was good when she left here and the reason I sold her was because she was my daughters horses and my daughter is moving out of state. I don't have time to ride two horses and when I just ride mine, this horse gets very buddy sour in the pasture to the point that she gets my horse upset wondering what has the other horse upset. I don't want 2 horses anymore that's why I sold her in the first place. So do I take her back and forgo a nice relaxing summer of riding my horse so that I can retrain her to try and sell again, or tell her no you can't bring her back, take her to an auction like you said, and then worry about what happened to her down the road? She was a very sweet horse before she left, I am not sure what will be coming back. Any ideas?
Would it be possible for you to offer the new owner some lessons? That way, you could check the place out, see how they're handling the horse, if their tack fits, or other things that could be causing the mare to act out and perhaps advise accordingly.
I'm just reading between the lines in your post, but it seems as if they are reasonable, nice people, as they're not blaming you or the horse for their troubles -- they are calling it a "personality clash" -- and they are happy to give the horse back to you, so essentially they'd just eat the money they spent on the horse, whatever else they bought for her, and the pre-purchase exam. On those grounds, maybe they'd be willing to let you work with them and try to sort things out with the mare.
Welcome to the forum.
A month after you sold the horse in good faith they want to just return it. I think the choice is up to you and it seems you don't want him back. I don't think you have a moral obligation to take him back especially after she learned his new habit - although it sounds like the buddy sourness she had just escalated.
Since they are being nice enough about it that they don't want their money back, just to be rid of the horse, I'm sure that an ad on Craigslist offering a free (or nearly so) horse should bring results pretty quickly. It may be something that you do for them if you take her back.
Personally, I would explain to them your situation about not being able to take her back - which was the reason you sold her in the first place - and offer to help them rehome her.
I have offered to help them with her, and they declined, stating they had knowledgeable horse folk helping them already, and they couldn't ride her either. (my novice 11 year old niece rode this horse on the trails last summer) the purchaser doesn't want to rehome her from her currant location as she works odd hours and doesn't have time to show her to people and I could help there but she lives over an hour away. I don't have that kinda extra time to go down there multiple times either. I could bring her back but I am worried that that may mess her up more by bringing her back to her buddy and then taking her away again, and I am not set up nor do I have to ability to set up to keep the horses separate from each other. She was such a sweet horse when I owned her, I really only want whats best for her. And that's why I am in such a conundrum over the situation.
Really like iride's post above.
Here's how I look at it -
What are the horse's future prospects if she stays in the current situation?
What are the horse's future prospects if you take her back?
How much do you care about how the horse ends up?
Of course you will have to invest time, energy and money to get her resold - the question is how much will it bother you NOT to do it and let the chips fall where they may?
What Iride and Maura said.
To me it sounds like the horse has a pain issue that has not been resolved more than a sudden new training issue. Maybe their saddle does not work for this horse, etc.
I suppose it is stating the bleedingly obvious to say that once you buy horse, it is entirely your responsibility, including selling or rehoming it if you decide the purchase wasn't the right decision after all. Even if you work odd hours. Now from your latest post, it sounds as if they're not experienced enough to deal with the horse or diagnose pain, like poorly fitting saddles or whatever, and they don't want the hassle of finding her a new home. So they would like you to take on the hassle.
Is there a sales barn nearby and would the new owners be willing to pay the fees associated with that? Some of them can be quite good and the people who run them do their best to match up horses and owners. Beats the auction.
Thank you all for your advice, and your right it isn't my problem anymore, personally I would never dream of doing this to an owner that I purchased a horse from, and I would give the horse more time to settle in and find out why she is having issues before I made the call to quit on them. Its not a saddle fitting problem as I sent the saddle I had with her along as we had such a hard time fitting this horse to a saddle, (went through 7 before we found one that worked) but she didn't take the saddle pad that I was using, could it be maybe she is using a thin blanket instead of a cushioned pad and that's cause the saddle to fit differently and causing pain? Something I never thought of. I will check in the area and see if there are any sales barns around I never thought of that option. Thanks again, all your help is invaluable to me!
You may feel like you have an obligaion to this horse because it was once your daughters and I can understand that, but this horse is not your responsiblity anymore. Unless you signed a purchase agreement that had some type of "return policy" (which i doubt), you do no have to help them in this situation.
It sounds like you have done all you can to help them. You have offered them your help and assistance on how to ride the horse and they turned it down. Don't let them drag you into this to do all the leg work for them. If you want to help, have them pay you for you time. If they do no agree to it, then say there isn't anything you can do for them. Why let them take advatage of you?
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