Buyer approaches you with wish/need list. You help buyer choose a young, unbroke prospect. Buyer does a basic PPE, flexions, no xrays.
As soon as horse is put into training, a major issue arises. After six months, two trainers, and some basic diagnostics, buyer is out of money and it is clear horse is not going to be suitable for the buyer's intended purpose in any way, shape or form. Buyer understands "caveat emptor" and does not hold breeder responsible for the issue, which was truly an unknown. However, buyer cannot invest anymore in training and diagnostics, and cannot keep horse as a pasture puff for the next 20+ years.
Buyer only wants horse to land in a safe place. Should buyer approach the breeder about taking the horse back? How should it be handled? As a breeder, what would you want a buyer to do in this situation?
I think most would at least want the option to take it back -- I do on my old horses -- but I wouldn't expect any money to change hands (doesn't sound like you do). I wouldn't necessarily expect them to be able to take it, either.
I would want to know and would take the horse back. That way I can take the time to find a "pasture pet" home or worse case scenerio humanely euthanize. As the breeder I would have a bigger interest in the horse's welware than a new buyer. JMO
Non-horsey hubby says to ask breeder to refund a portion of purchase price, but I in no way expect or even want that, and don't feel comfortable asking. While the issue was immediately present upon putting horse in training, it was a total prior unknown.
Thus, at this point I just want the horse to be in a safe, good situation, and would be happy simply to be able to return the horse.
Cool timing of this question, as we JUST instituted a "Responsible Breeder Guarantee" for our program for situations exactly like this.
We would definitely want to be able to have the horse back to make sure it could be placed in a good situation and also take the burden off of the buyer. However, yes, I would not expect the seller to try and receive compensation for the problem since it was unknown, as that would be the same as purchasing a car and 3 months later the transmission breaks - the dealer or seller doesn't compensate for that. Crap happens, unfortunately. So sorry to hear about this.
This is not to say that the breeder *will* take the horse back, but I would certainly give them the opportunity as I know we would like to know in a case like this and like I said, just developed a policy to try and encourage it so we can hopefully ensure the welfare of the creatures we bring into the world.
Ha....my non-horsey husband would say the same thing! He still feels jilted over the bad semen we got last year. Unfortunately this is not an uncommon thing due to the fact that we live in an imperfect world. Things happen. And after the PPE and final payment/contract is done, no more re-negotiations. But put that out of your mind and as you said, focus on what is best for the horse now. Talk to the breeder. As soon as he/she knows you are not going to blame or want reimbursement...I am sure he/she would be happy to work on a solution.
The breeder was wonderful to deal with during the purchasing process, has a great program, and in no way do I blame her for this. It is a bummer, all the way around. I know she may not want the horse back, or may not be able to take the horse, but it is good to know most of you would agree that offering her the first right of refusal is the correct thing to do in this circumstance.
And yes JB, it is possible there is a genetic predisposition. My intended purpose for the horse was a bit different than what the breeder does, thus, if this is prevalent in her line it may not necessarily have shown up previously.
Well, I made contact with the breeder who can not (will not?) take the horse back. I realize buyer beware and all, and in no way do I blame the breeder for this as I am sure she had no idea. Just bummed at my luck I guess, as my last horse ended up being a pasture puff, and I spent several years supporting him until we had to put him down at 24. I was definitely looking forward to finally having a riding horse. So much for that.
Anyway thanks everyone for weighing in. I know I did the right thing reaching out to the breeder and I guess now I will explore other options, though I don't know what those may be at this point.
Last edited by Altered_Buyer; Feb. 17, 2012 at 03:58 PM.
I know of someone who found themselves in a situation somewhat similar to this - horse was a bit older and had already been in work - there was a full PPE but horse colicked and died a month later. Necropsy showed a huge tumour in the horse's digestive system. Breeder went above & beyond, offered to replace the horse with any other horse they had for sale.
You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng
As a breeder, I would be happy to take the horse back. Unfortunately, I would not be in any position to refund some $$$, but I could most certainly help care for the horse or help placing it elsewhere.
Sorry about your horse . Is there any way that the horse "may" be sound for someone in the breeders area of interest?
"My intended purpose for the horse was a bit different than what the breeder does, thus, if this is prevalent in her line it may not necessarily have shown up previously.
Potentially, hopefully.... I am looking into that.
Horse was not insured, paperwork was on my desk and I got busy with other things.
I've not had the best luck the last 10 years. And all I want is a simple, all-around mount, don't need a world beater, just something sane and reasonably sound. I think I'm a pretty good owner, and ok rider, and I try to do right by my animals.... but for whatever reason, the horse gods have not been kind.
I am so sorry for your problems!!! I hope you can get them all worked out and poo on the breeder for not really trying to help at all. Did the breeder try at all or just say "NO", are they willing to help you re-home him? The horse gods have been rough on a ton of people, just keep your head up and hopefully things will turn around for you.
How much time elapsed between purchasing the horse and determining that it was not sound enough to do its job?
I happen to think that it would make a big difference if the horse got sick/unable to perform within a few months versus a year or two..... I also think that the type of "unsoundness" would make a difference, i. e. if it could have been determined with radiographs at the time of purchase yet the buyer chose not to spring for the expense.
So I think we just don't have enough information to really say what the breeder should or shouldn't do.
Just my opinion....
Siegi Belz www.stalleuropa.com
2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.