Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
To be honest I think it is rude. Written contracts have developed because we can't seem to keep our word. Once you've made an offer, organised a pick up time and it's all been agreed upon the horse is as good as yours. They could be turning down other people based on your word. And sure, buyers back out all of the time, and so do sellers, but a lot of people in this world do things I wouldn't agree with but that doesn't give me an excuse to do them.
At the same time were you to buy this mare you would never be happy, because you'd always have wanted another horse.
I'd call up the owners immediately and tell them you don't want this horse, none of this messing around. If you don't want the horse you don't want it, it has nothing to do with what's better out there. Many people wouldn't agree but I would also give them 10% of the purchase price. That is generally what a deposit is, and I think for all the messing around and defaulting on the sale that is what they should have. They didn't ask for a deposit because they trusted you. If you walk away there is nothing that they can do, but I don't think it's right.
Good luck with your new horse though. You didn't mention which one you prefer riding etc? Minor issues like washing can be overlooked but in my experience you don't really know if the horse is just right until you sit on it and it all works.