Advice please - Horse purchase/trial period/short lease - ? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 12-11-2015, 07:23 AM
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I just wanted to throw it out there that an alternative to a lease is a buy-back contract. This is what the sellers suggested to us when we bought our Arab. They did not want to let us take him on a trial period because of the liability as mentioned by many posters. But they told us that if we found he wasn't suitable within a two week period, we could take him back to them (they are two hours away so we would provide transportation both ways if necessary) and they would refund us the full purchase price. This was a fairly generous offer and went a long way towards helping me decide to purchase the horse. We also spelled out specific conditions (hubby is a lawyer so I had him draft a 5-page contract!) so if the horse got injured or sick while in our care, we were responsible. However, we also asked them to disclose any known past injuries or illnesses they knew of. I spoke to their vet and had the horse vetted by mine. This way, preexisting conditions could be ruled out. This didn't remove ALL risk, but went a long way towards making me feel that the sellers were really confident in the horse they were selling. They were right - we kept the horse and he is simply awesome. I think we will have him until the day he dies, he is just a rare gem of a horse. And I regularly send updates and pictures to the previous owners by email so they know he's well.

Not only did the contract give me peace of mind, but we also got the benefit of having his medical history for the past 6 years (ie, we know he tends to get hoof abscesses, we know about a laceration he got to the face, etc).
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post #12 of 17 Old 12-11-2015, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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A buy-back is a good option if they would consider it. Like I said, I likely wouldn't have jumped through these hoops while selling my mare so I feel a little hypocritical! For the right buyer, though, I might have at least weighed options. Fortunately the right one came along with no strings attached (again, we weren't talking big dollars... prices for trail horses in our area are low).

I feel about 90% confident in these sellers, and if I were them knowing what they know about me I would be probably 80% confident... I would try to up their confidence level by boarding the horse at a really nice facility with indoor and outdoor arenas and stall board during the trial. This barn is where I kept my horse while she was on consignment and the owners are wonderful and accommodating. I'd also be happy for the sellers to do a simple background check if they would like. Heck, I'd pay for it.

Honestly, the main thing I want from a trial period is to see how she responds to being away from the current owners (she rides like a dream around them) and how tolerant she is with a relatively inexperienced rider. From her history, I suspect she will be fine. I ride my friend's neighbor's big quarter horse mare sometimes and we get along great... this horse reminds me a lot of her temperament and behavior. If I'm right, it would be a happy match.
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post #13 of 17 Old 01-09-2016, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elle1959 View Post
I'll be interested in the responses to this question, as well. As a newer rider, I had very much wanted to lease or get a trial on a horse before I purchased one, but it became very clear to me that no one wanted to part with a horse around here under those terms. I was eventually offered a lesson horse on lease by my trainer who wanted to defray some of her costs over the winter and I would have taken her up on that but I didn't really like riding the horse very much as he had an extremely hard trot. She also disclosed that he had a history of severely injuring a rider prior to coming to her.

Like you, I ended up purchasing a horse and she may prove to be too spooky for me as a relative beginner, having already dumped me once on a spook from a dead stop. I'm committed to her because I think she just needs a bit more training and a few more miles, but if she proves me wrong I will be in the same boat as you.

Hope you can find a solution. The best advice I can give you is to connect with people in the horse world locally because it's very likely no one is going to lease or trial a horse with someone they don't really know or trust.
Well, I'm looking at multiple horses - and haven't ruled this mare out completely, but I did offer an arrangement that I thought would protect the owners very well - but they discussed it and declined. They said they aren't willing to do a lease (or even a buy-back) at this time. I understand, but between substantial deposit, and wonderful barn, waivers, etc... I honestly think it would work well for them (I had much more to lose, and would have been 'out' a substantial amount had I tried her and passed, between the lease fee, genetic testing, stall boarding, PPE. So, I'm probably going to have a trainer go look at the horse when the weather finally allows (I've seen her twice) -but I have some nagging concerns about this one that just can't shake without a trial. I may be passing up the perfect horse, though, because the concerns are quite minor... but I'm 'skittish' after my experience of choosing the wrong horse my first time around (and she had seemed perfect for me - we tried to do everything right).
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post #14 of 17 Old 01-09-2016, 05:34 PM
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I don't know, the expression "nagging concerns" worries me. True, maybe you're just being overcautious because of your previous experience, but maybe your gut is trying to tell you this isn't the right horse.

Definitely bring someone out to see her. An unbiased opinion is most likely what you need. Good luck!
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post #15 of 17 Old 01-18-2016, 07:41 PM
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I see what you mean about being out so much more than them if you were to pass on her, but that's not really THEIR concern, if you know what I mean. Do you have a chance to ride her a few times, in the circumstances you plan to ride her in? If so, can you do the PPE and genetic testing without actually committing? Do you need to lease or do a buyback if you can ride her a couple times and get the PPE done, or would that make you comfortable enough to buy her, and them comfortable enough that you're doing your due diligence without inconveniencing them or leaving them at financial risk?

I know it's easy for us as buyers to worry that we're the ones bearing all the risk, but when you think about it from the seller's perspective, they don't really have a lot to gain by letting a horse out on lease/trial--they risk the horse not being returned in the same condition, payments not being made, etc., and even if all goes relatively well except it doesn't work out and the horse is returned, they've lost time they could have been showing her and/or had another buyer buy her (say that five times fast!) already. Buybacks are a little more "fair," but there's still the risk that you'll insist on returning her for a reason they don't agree with, or they'll think she's not being returned in the same condition for some reason, and then you're down to fighting over it in court or something. So it's pretty easy to see why sellers prefer to just do an "as is" sale and be done with it, and how anything above and beyond that is actually a pretty big favor to us buyers.

(And I'm coming from very much the buyer's side on that, because even though I've owned bought three horses and "sold" two, one was sold to a friend for $1 and the other I sold on commission so I didn't have to deal with buyers. )

Shawna
Central Oregon
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post #16 of 17 Old 01-19-2016, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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Yes sabowin, I agree - I would probably not have considered a lease or buy-back on the horse I just sold. I actually do truly understand their angle. They aren't actively trying to sell her (so no "missed selling opportunities" there), and I could take a few lessons on her at the stables in an indoor arena over the course of a couple of weeks and get all testing done without taking their time. Part of my problem is that the sellers travel so much, conflicting schedules (mine,theirs, the trainer's), throw in all the rain and cold we've had... we can't seem to get our timing together. I haven't been back out to see her in weeks. It was seeming like a good way to get things moving, and we aren't talking about a huge amount of money here. That said, I honestly do understand why they would not agree. No hard feelings there. No matter how reliable I am, things could happen.

I do think maybe I can get all the stars to align this weekend and get everyone out to see her, and hopefully decide whether to proceed with testing or rule this one out. I do like her, or I wouldn't still be trying to make it work (I've looked at a number of other horses during this time period, and keep comparing them to her... and they lose).
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post #17 of 17 Old 01-19-2016, 11:56 AM
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Yeah, I can see it from both sides, too. My horse I have now was originally supposed to be a trial-to-lease-to-purchase. She was a "husband horse" for the seller, and the husband wasn't riding her, and then the wife busted her knee and couldn't even keep her in shape for potential use for the husband, so she offered to let me try her out for up to six months, make payments during that time or not, as long as I paid in full by the end of the six months if I decided to keep her. I was thrilled at such a long trial period, as I'm not the type to instantly "click" with a horse (or a person, actually), but need time to grow my fondness for them. But soon after she delivered her, the seller kept asking for at least a commitment to purchase, though I could still take up to the six months to pay, she said. I didn't really like being in the limbo state any better than she did, though, so once I'd tried the horse out on the trails at all three gaits, I went ahead and pulled the trigger and just paid for her in full and got the bill of sale, rather than futzing around with the trial. I never felt a "click" since that implies a sudden clicking into place, but our bond did deepen, but I'd say it still took about 9 months till I really felt that connection. So yeah, a trial has its place, for sure, and I'd love to be able to have one with any future horse purpose (hopefully not for a long time, knock on wood!), but I can see from both the seller AND the buyer side that it has its drawbacks, and it's definitely nice once it's over and a done deal instead of limbo.

Good luck with this mare, whatever happens!
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Shawna
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http://yougottastart.blogspot.com
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