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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I became very ill and had only owned my mare for 10 months previous to becoming ill. I bought her in foal, she delivered a lovely foal while with me :) Both have excellent Arab bloodlines.

When foal was 4 months old is when i became ill and found it really difficult to manage them. I had given them a lot handling. Mare was very green, unbroken, so i put life on hold for those 10 months to handle the mare and foal.

I had the option to sell but i wondered if anyone would loan them longterm.
A friend had a friend...yeah you know the rest im sure!

Anyway, the agreement between the 3 of us was a long term loan of both mare and foal. The friend would break-in the (10yr old) mare, and have a few years riding out of her, and would bring-on the foal to 3 yrs old. It was left open about the foal. I had said that IF i wanted the foal back i would pay for all upkeep costs for the 3 yrs she had him. That would give her enough money to buy a trained horse fully.
IF i didn't want him back (most likely scenario), she would pay me the cost to buy an Arab foal at the age of 4 months (when she originally loaned him).

It's been just over a year of loan with very little contact from the loanee. I wrote to ask how things were, updated my health is still very bad and getting worse, and i wasn't sure if i'll ever be able to have to have the horses back, and i might be offering them both to her for sale.

She replied that she didn't loan them, she took them on so i could keep track on how they were doing, rather than me having to sell them. She said no-one would take on horses for 3 years and give them back. If i did think that i should collect them. (despite her getting 2.5yrs riding from the mare, and potentially 3K for looking after a foal OR getting a foal for free)
She had her own land , stables so there were no livery/rent costs. Farrier costs are nothing as our mutual friend is a farrier.

So basically she agreed to the above loan agreement and has turned against the agreement. Expecting me to give away 2 premium bloodline Arabs for free!

What would you do in my situation? Was the original loan agreement unreasonable?
I am truly unable to pick up the horses and take them back as most days i even struggle to walk.

I don't want to move the horses to another temporary home (my friends) only to sell them on as they've settled at their loan home. I wanted stability for them, not this. Their care is the most important yet i also feel i'm being taken advantage of. She refuses to pay ANYTHING for them and thinks it's extremely cheeky i even suggested it!

Yet i was the one who bought them. I have their papers, still. Her horses were old and one died so she said she was ready for such a project, longterm.

It's a nightmare and i have no idea what to do...any suggestions would be really welcomed!
Many thanks for reading.
 

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Hi Luna. I assume nothing was put in writing so it is then a case of she said/she said. Under the circumstances, I could only think of these options (in no particular order):

1. Realistically look at what you could get if you sold the mare and foal - they may have good bloodlines but do they have good conformation and what training do they have to enhance their value? If this is a significant amount of money, then consult with a lawyer on the options available to you to get them back. In addition to legal fees, there may be an issue with outstanding board come up so that would further eat into the profits from the sale of the horses. On top of that, since you are concerned about the quality of the horses' lives, you would not likely want to do a quicky sale and sell to the first buyer that comes along so that could add to boarding costs and further erode profits while you looked for the right buyer.

2. If the horses are in a good place now and you determine you are not likely to get a lot of money for them, then just let it go. It sounds like you have other things going on in your life now that require your attention. If you do decide this, don't hand over the registration papers though (see Option 3).

3. Continue to try to open the lines of communication with her and see if a revised agreement of some sort can be arranged where she will pay a mutually agreed amount and you will sign over the registration papers. Get everything in writing with this one.

It does sound like you are between a rock and a hard place with this one and I wish you the best of luck in resolving it. Let us know how it turns out.
 

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Personally? I would sign over and send her the papers to both horses and wish her well. You're ill, you probably can't take them back anyway, and they sound like they're in a good home now. Let go and concentrate on getting better. If it comes to the point where you recover enough to take on another horse, go get one that is suitable to your ability at that time. It sounds like these 2 will never be the correct horses for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is your original agreement in writing?

No, no written contract. All agreed with 4 of us there verbally, mutual friend, loanee, myself and my partner. It's a very close-knit community and i trusted my friend's judgement about the loanee.

I am beginning to wish i had just sold them!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Luna. I assume nothing was put in writing so it is then a case of she said/she said. Under the circumstances, I could only think of these options (in no particular order):

1. Realistically look at what you could get if you sold the mare and foal - they may have good bloodlines but do they have good conformation and what training do they have to enhance their value? If this is a significant amount of money, then consult with a lawyer on the options available to you to get them back. In addition to legal fees, there may be an issue with outstanding board come up so that would further eat into the profits from the sale of the horses. On top of that, since you are concerned about the quality of the horses' lives, you would not likely want to do a quicky sale and sell to the first buyer that comes along so that could add to boarding costs and further erode profits while you looked for the right buyer.

2. If the horses are in a good place now and you determine you are not likely to get a lot of money for them, then just let it go. It sounds like you have other things going on in your life now that require your attention. If you do decide this, don't hand over the registration papers though (see Option 3).

3. Continue to try to open the lines of communication with her and see if a revised agreement of some sort can be arranged where she will pay a mutually agreed amount and you will sign over the registration papers. Get everything in writing with this one.

It does sound like you are between a rock and a hard place with this one and I wish you the best of luck in resolving it. Let us know how it turns out.
Thanks Chevaux for the advice....i have been juggling through these points myself.

Part of me, due to being ill says just let it go. I really cannot allow this to become a huge stress.

What is concerning is she said she doesn't need the horses and it would be much less hassle now she's pregnant to not to have to bother with them. The mare has been with her sister on her sister's land. She kept the foal with her.
She told me in a previous email she hadn't done much handling with the foal. After telling me all these plans she had, to find out the horses had been put to graze with minimal handling since loaning them, it just isn't the home i thought it would be.

So if i just let it go and tell her she can keep them, i have a huge suspicion i'll be seeing them up for sale.

So i think if i go this route i wont be signing over their papers. Although many horses are sold here in Ireland illegally without papers..

The horse market has taken a dive here in Ireland...mare value now of 3.5k, foal around 900, i was going to offer them both for 1500.
Conformation etc is a sight to behold. The mare is jet black. Foal to be dapple grey. Egyptian bloodlines. Stunning horses really.

Hopefully this will work out eventually...i'm trying to be reasonable...having invested a few thousand in purchasing the horses and preparing my place for them, building stables, fencing etc i think it's unreasonable of the loanee to expect them for free.
 

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I did not realize you were in Ireland, Luna, which means I'm even further clueless (generally a normal state of mind for me - quite painless really) on the legal aspects of horse ownership in your country. Nonetheless, I'm still hoping for the best for you.
 

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Always have things in writing.

If you're unsure about the whole thing I'd probably look at taking them back and then reselling them. Do you have any friends who could sell them for you taking a cut of the profits? At least that way you won't feel you've been taken advantage of, and can choose their next home. That's probably what I'd do, I wouldn't want someone to profit by taking advantage of me on principle.

I know you don't want to hand over the papers, but horses are worth more with them and registered horses are more likely to live better lives. Especially mares, even more so older unbroken ones. You'd be giving your horses a better chance to getting a better home.

I guess the loan isn't unreasonable because they agreed to it. Otherwise though, it's a lot to ask I think to take on an unbroken mare and foal. It's a lot of work to get a horse broken to saddle, around here it's a service that usually costs 1-2 grand and that's for a couple weeks under saddle. Then after all that work just giving the horse back... I know it wouldn't be worth it to me. As far as paying for the foal's care, $3000 would not cut it for three years worth of full care. It wouldn't come close. She shouldn't go against what she agreed to - but I can see how she would think it wasn't an equitable deal.
 

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"... which means I'm even further clueless (generally a normal state of mind for me - quite painless really)"

Almost spit out my coffee at that one!! Keeping that one for later use! As far as your predicament, OP - I agree with Dreamcatcher - too much stress for you at this point for unhandled horses. Let the woman have the papers and count in as lessons learned and focus on getting yourself well. Good luck to you.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone for your input. It helps to jiggle the options around with others :)

Will update with progress as and when it happens and further questions as they arise....your advice is greatly appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi all,

I ended up having the horses back.
It became quite the saga - i was told by my friend they had both been put out to graze the entire time, were not handled, so were greener than ever, the foal would no longer give his feet for trimming, the mare was getting fatter...but she said they were in 'good condition'...due to them being ignored i had to have them back and paid the loanee for costs (which ironically included farrier fees!):

So they're back with me - and , for their sake, i'm glad they are.
They were both in an awful state.
Covered in rain rot, bog burn heels, dreadlocked manes, extreme frog fungus all hooves, the mare has horizontal heel cracks in BOTH rear hooves from abscessing, also a full vertical quarter crack, severely overgrown feet, lame on her rear, overweight, patchy dull coat...and VERY fat! :-/
The foal was very underweight showing so much bone, ribs, shoulders, hips, very dull and lifeless in attitude, really overgrown fungus hooves, and has a left knee injury which he's lame on (the reason why he won't lift front hooves due to pain and being unstable on one leg - he's perfectly fine lifting his back hooves - something i would have expected a farrier to spot)
I've had a lot to deal with all at once since they've been back so haven't had time to be on this forum.

Obviously i'm still between a rock and hard place as they're not in ANY condition for selling! So i have no choice but to keep them and rehab them to full soundness and health. My boyfriend is helping with a lot of the hard backbraking work like picking up poop etc while i conserve my energy for their hoof, dietary care and handling. Depending on my own personal health journey depends on if i end up keeping them but i hope i can.

I do love them both - they've been really well behaved with me since being back. They heard my voice approaching the trailer when they got home and both called out - it was so heartwarming. Although i almost cried when i saw their condition.

Winter's here in Ireland are harsh and all horses need at least hay, and preferably hard feed unless an easy keeper. Mine were just on muddy bogland rush grass (acidic wet mud conditions) - no hay, no supps or hard feed for 2 winters so hopefully with slowly getting them back to condition they'll make a full recovery.
So far the foal has gained 25kg and the mare has lost 10kg! I'm going to get the vet out to draw blood for IR or cushings as she has the symptoms of potential insulin sugar issues, combined with the state of her hooves, so think i'll get that ruled-out. She's on non-heating, low starch, low sugar diet just in case.

I can't believe, before this loanee saga erupted how i was told by the loanee the mare was looking fantastic, the foal so well behaved, and they were really enjoying having them...it couldn't have been further from the truth and makes me glad i made the right decision in having them back.

I'm sure i'll be on this forum more often now asking you sages numerous questions and queries! :)
 
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