Nah, I wouldn't allow the trial. Come as many times as you like to ride him at your place, with you present, but don't take him off the property.
Once I let a horse go on trial overnight. He came back, obviously ridden hard, exhausted. Two nights later colicked & died. I have no idea what they did or if it could have had anything to do with the fatal colic but I'll never let another horse of mine go on trial.
Save your sanity & just say no. Maybe big barns with established procedures can take a risk like that but not the one horse seller.
Have them come to your barn for the trial. Then let the trainer bring out the student to try the horse. I once was selling a mare and the kid wanted more than 2 tries (the first 2 were with her trainer), so we set up some rides with my trainer for the next week. This way the person got to try the mare and we were able to monitor what was going on without over-working her.
If you do decide to allow your horse to go out on trial, please get a GOOD contract written up (to protect you and your horse).
Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
Trials are the norm at my barn. If it's nearby, you could tag along, just to make sure the horse got settled in ok, and to give the barn manager a written sheet with feeding instructions, contact phone numbers, coggins, etc. Check out the situation, and if you have any reservations, don't leave your horse there.
Keep the trial brief, and check in frequently.
We always hear about trials gone bad, but I wonder what the actual ratio of good trials to bad trials is. Of course if it's your horse, a bad trial is one bad trial too many.
She loveslovesloves him, wants to take him this weekend to a local barn to school some jumps and let her student (who will be the actual buyer) ride him. She said if they like him, they might go straight to their barn
I don't need to go with, do I?
Going to their barn? When do they actually pay for the horse in this situation?
I let my horse go out on trial in a similar situation, barn ended up being 5 minutes away from my house and everyone who knows the BO/trainer said she is as honest as the day is long. They were right; she is. She had my horse for a bit over two weeks unsupervised by me, she never overworked her, and took great care of her. I was a bit unsure of this situation (good gravy there are some horror stories on COTH!!!) until I met her and saw her horses. Her horses and lesson horses were all in great shape with bright eyes and pleasant expressions. The horses don't lie.... This ended up working well for both of us.
If you decide to do this, you should have some type of contract for how long they have the horse on trial, perhaps a deposit, when payment will occur, how much the horse is to be worked, etc. My friend bought a horse after getting a one week trial with a small non-refundable deposit. It is a buyers market as you know, so listen to your gut but to get your horse sold, you may have to do a short trial. I would not let them have your horse for more than 1 week though and I would at least go over there the first day and get a feel or the place. Get this is writing though!!!!
Going to their barn? When do they actually pay for the horse in this situation?
It was meant as a joke....I will definitely have a contract and deposit from them, and he's not going home with them till I get a check.
They want to take him off the property because where's he living is out in the sticks, the only place to ride is a dirt driveway, and the pasture he lives in. They want to take him somewhere to actually jump him. I can understand that, I wouldn't buy an eventer without taking him over some jumps.
You definitely need to go with. This is not so much a trial as someone just trying the horse out a different venue, which is fine. But, until the horse is sold all test rides need to be supervised by you or by someone you trust who is acting on your behalf. You going with protects you, the horse, and them. It protects you from having someone mess up your horse, it protects the horse from being messed up, and it protects them from being blamed if something normal thing does go wrong.
I posted some questions about selling, and I listened to the advice!!!
Buyer #3 has been awesome, bending over backwards to do whatever I ask regarding Horsie. She brought her student (who will be the actual onwer) out to ride him, the kid loved him. We drew up a hardcore contract, I got cash in hand, and accompanied them to the farm that has jumps available for schooling. Horse was a dream, not at all phased at travelling after a year of doing nothing. Almost a little too lazy
Wrote up another contract, and pending his PPE this afternoon, Horsie will have a new mom!
I am heartbroken, but relieved to find such a good home and seemingly knowledgable people. He will be back to work, back to competing, which he loves. And he gets to teach another horsecrazy teen how to handle a somewhat cranky OTTB. Thanks so much for all the help!! Fingers crossed he doesn't do something stupid between now and this afternoon!!
Glad the situation is turning out well. The majority of horse sale stories on COTH are ones that went awry.
Back to the original post that started it all, this is what I would have done (after being burned by so many buyers/renters, etc.)
Buyer # 1: I would have given up after the jerking around and finally, "I don't have the money." I would have walked away. Chances are Buyer #1's idea of a "lease" would be "lease-to-own" with the horse on the buyer's property (because we know those situations work out so well.) So what would happen if the second day the horse was at the owner's property on a lease-to-own, and it died? Would Buyer #1 have the money to pay the asking price for the horse? Probably not.
Buyer # 2: I would not have even told them about Buyer # 1. Buyer # 1 was merely an "interested party," but I would have insisted Buyer # 2 come out and actually try the horse to make sure it is a good fit before buying sight-unseen.
Buyer # 3: I'm glad that the whole trial thing is working out. I can't really comment on that. I would be hesitant about sending my horse away, but I would have also invited trainer/rider out to my location to ride and then trailer the horse, myself, to their location for the student to try off-site. I would also create some agreement to protect both parties.
We don't have any horses for sell, but we no longer do the "I am definitely interested. Will you hold it for me?" thing with buyers/renters. If you are "definitely interested," then put a non-refundable "hold" deposit on it with a signed agreement, clearly outlining the terms, the date of completion, etc.
If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
Originally Posted by talkofthetown
As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.
Good luck with the PPE! Don't count your chickens before they hatch, now!
My experiences with buying and selling:
1st buying: owner met us at an indoor, tried him there. Put a deposit on him, tried ~10 days later (he was ~ 3 hours away) in the open, took him home. No PPE, learned from that lesson. He ended up being worth every penny of maintenance spent.
2nd buying: Inexpensive OTTB with a quarter crack, 6 hours from home. Tried him, tetchy on hard ground sound on soft ground. Owner gave me 10 days holding the check so I could take him and have my vet and farrier evaluate. Told by both it would be easy but time-consuming to fix. Took the chance and didn't regret it, he ended up a very nice, sound horse.
2nd selling: This is where I would advise you to go to the jump session. My trainer had another, more advanced student try the little OTTB. I figured they would do the standard x-rail, grid and little course. He'd never jumped much more than 3' with me. Puts other student on my horse in a group jump lesson, jumping Prelim heights (3"6"). I'm a little freaked, but trust my trainer's judgement and the rider's ability. Rider misses a distance to a big square oxer with fill boxes, OTTB tries to chip in a stride and lands with his hind foot in the box. Goes down, hung up in box. Got up, scraped up and stung; trainer has rider back up and approaching fence before I can hardly react :/ OTTB comes back to oxer and clears it by about 18". Rider ends up buying horse though he was really sore for a while (pulled muscles and scrapes). Could have ended up VERY differently.
Failure is always an option*
*As long as you figure out what you f'ed up and fix it! -Me