Trial period and personal check? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 12-10-2010, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Trial period and personal check?

Hi everyone,
I am selling our 15 yo AQHA gelding. A nice lady came out to the farm and rode him and loved him (of course) and said she wanted to buy him. Then she said she wants to have a two week trial period and to pay with a personal check. I told her that she cannot have a trial period and that she can do whatever vet checks she wants to do and put him through anything she wants on our farm but I won't do a trial period. Am I being unreasonable? I told her also that I would not accept a personal check and that if she wants to pay by personal check, I will not let the horse leave our farm until the check clears or that she could pay with cash, cashier's check or wire transfer and take the horse right away. She got on the phone and her husband told her no deal. They want two weeks, pay by check and to be able to return the horse if he "fails a vet check" whatever that means. Am I being unreasonable not allowing a trial period. It seems very risky to the horse.

Doveguy is offline  
post #2 of 21 Old 12-10-2010, 04:17 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
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No, you're not being unreasonable.

It's your horse. If you don't want him going off property for trial, then don't.

Personal checks can bounce, and anyone who isn't trying to get one over on you would know that it's completely reasonable to not let the horse go until the check clears.
Speed Racer is offline  
post #3 of 21 Old 12-10-2010, 04:31 PM
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I think you are being reasonable.

You gave her the option to pay with a personal check and take the horse once it clears. If I really liked a horse, it would be worth the wait.

As for trail period, I think a couple days (3-5) would be reasonable. But two weeks? I'd be suspicious. Also, there is the possibility the horse would get hurt there, and then who would pay the bill?
A knack for horses is offline  
post #4 of 21 Old 12-10-2010, 04:36 PM
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The horse could also disappear in that time frame, and you'd be out not only the money because the check bounced, but the horse.

If someone has the money in their account, there's no reason they should balk at paying with cash, money order, cashier's check, or be unwilling to wait until a personal check clears.

The whole thing stinks like 3 day old fish to me. I really and truly think you dodged a bullet.
Speed Racer is offline  
post #5 of 21 Old 12-10-2010, 05:45 PM
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*Shrugs* I think trials are a much more common thing here in Aus. I'm selling one of my horses, and both people so far have asked for a trial and I agree'd straight away. Unfortunately one lady became unwell so nothing came of it, but he will soon be going off for a trial with the current prospective buyer.

I'm asking a lot for this horse and I want to make sure he is compatible with his new home. You never know what a horse will be like when taken away from it's home.

However, I trust my gut when agreeing to a trial, and if your gut told you it wasn't kosher, then stick by it. The current prospective buyer comes reccomended by a good friend of both of ours.

wild_spot is offline  
post #6 of 21 Old 12-10-2010, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. I wonder how common trial periods are. The buyers said they bought two other horses with trial periods. I think that the buyers are kosher. The lady was very good and I could tell she was just trying to work out between a rock and a hard place. She wanted the horse and probably would have bought him w/o a trial period but the chemistry changed when she got on the phone with her hard-*** husband. I could hear him ripping on her about how she should be demanding this and that, etc. She just wanted the horse, poor lady. I guess she is married to him and has to deal with him. I am afraid of trials because of the unknowns: My horse will get stressed out by the change in home, meet new dominant pasture mates, be exposed to new illnesses, parasites, untold dangers, possible injuries, possible incompetent care and handling. The list just goes on and on. No no no. I don't think this buyer was anything but sweet and I would like her to own my horse but maybe it is best that he go to a family where the man of the house is more reasonable and friendly.
Doveguy is offline  
post #7 of 21 Old 12-11-2010, 02:33 AM
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That's fair enough - Follow your gut.

The way I see it is I want the best possible home for my horse - If it is going to be a different horse in a new home and not be suitable, I would rather know and take the horse back and find someone it will suit, than have the new owner stuck with a horse they don't suit and sell it on again, maybe not being very thorough about where to.

I know I relinquish all control one I sell a horse but I like to do my best to find a home that they will be happy in for at least a while to come (Not at all implying you don't - That is just why I like the idea of trials).

wild_spot is offline  
post #8 of 21 Old 12-11-2010, 08:08 AM
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Stand your ground on this one. To much can happen once the horse leaves your place.

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franknbeans is offline  
post #9 of 21 Old 12-11-2010, 08:53 AM
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I would never accept a personal check from anyone when it comes to buying a horse. It is so easy to get online nowdays and the buyer put a stop payment on their check from home as soon as it is written and the horse is loaded up and gone.Plus the check can be written on a closed account and you would never know it until its too late. If the husband has such an issue with it, then something is wrong.
As far as the trial period. We have done that once on a horse, we really liked this horse(knew the sellers well) and decided to take her home and see if we liked her. Well we did like her okay, but not totally sure. Went outback to ride her again and somehow she had cut her shoulder wide open. After lots of stitches and a big vet bill, we automatically bought her since we felt we had let her get hurt. Turned out fine, the mare was great. However, the same folks wanted to buy a barrel horse from us. Since we took theirs home for a short trial, we let them take this mare. She got run into something when they turned her out and they brought her back to us hurt and we had to pay the vet bill and have an injured horse, they did not feel obligated to buy her once she was hurt.
Moral of this story, do not let your horse go on a trial.
Since then when we have wanted to buy a horse, like my mare Smokie,after initial meeting at their farm, we met in a neutral place. I rode her around the arena, did all kinds of things on her and bought her then and there. She was on unfamiliar territory and did everything I asked and since it was strange for her, then I felt she would adapt well to a new home. Worked out perfect.
If someone really wants a horse then they will work things out to get that horse. Wanting to take a trial would worry me, had a friend who sent a horse out on a trial week, got the horse back after the husband took it on a week long trail ride with friends. He didn't have a horse and figured this was the way to "borrow" a horse for free and then return it. No excuses after the trial, just that he had decided he didn't want to buy a horse right then.
wyominggrandma is offline  
post #10 of 21 Old 12-11-2010, 09:39 AM
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I concur with the other posters on this one.

I used to negotiate trials for my first time buyer clients by doing the following:

Offering a non-refundable cash deposit for the trial
Letting the seller inspect my facility
Agreeing to solo turnout for the trial period
Giving references, including vet's, for me and my facility
Binding the horse over on full mortality policy for the term of the trial

THOSE are the kinds of conditions that will persuade sellers to agree to a trial.

If you didn't know these people, they weren't local, and they didn't offer any of the above, then no, I wouldn't agree to a trial.

With a deposit, I might agree to to let them have a trial period at my facility, and I might agree to haul the horse to another location to try away from home, but that would be under my control and supervision.
maura is offline  

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