Does this sound reasonable to you?

emma.a

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Hi all

I'm buying my first horse and i have found one that seems perfect. Before going to see him i asked if the owner would be happy for me to have a short trial to ensure we were perfect for each other and ensure both parties were happy before buying him. She said that it was a possibility depending how long a trial i wanted, and to see how i got on viewing him. Viewed him, was great in the school. Went back up and hacked him, again no issues. So i told her I would love to trial him and if all is well, buy him, to which she replied she was not prepared to allow a trial as she needed to sell him. So i said that i wasn't prepared to buy a horse i hadn't trialled as you just don't know how they're going to settle at your yard etc. She then said she would be happy for me to have a two week trial but she wanted 1000 deposit and 500 of that is non-refundable if he is returned to 'cover the cost of reschooling him'. I also wanted him vetted and she said this had to happen before he went on trial.

I spoke to the girls at the yard and they all said 500 is far too much money to put down for a two week trial and that he won't need completely reschooling after two weeks. If for whatever reason he doesn't settle or he has a complete meltdown at moving yards (there are tonnes of possibilities as to why it might not work out) then i will have lost 800 quid in two weeks (300 for the vetting, 500 deposit). I can see why a deposit is needed but i'm not sure how much is a reasonable figure to risk losing. I understand why she might have to take it if i suddenly just decided i didnt want him, but if it's not down to me and it's a problem with the horse, i'm not sure i'd be happy to lose that amount of money :(

So any thoughts? No bitchy/nasty comments please, just need a bit of advice on what to expect and at what point to walk away.

Thanks! :)
 

Vodkagirly

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Its a huge risk to send a horse on trial. Not many owners would due to the risks involved. I suppose you could look at it as potentially £800 is a lot to lose but if you buy another without a trial you could loose a lot more.
Make sure the horse is insured while on trial, accidents often happen when horses are settling in to new fields/owners etc.
 

emma.a

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Yeah i do understand it is a big risk for her. As it's my first i'm not really sure what the done thing is so i thought i would ask for some advice. Thanks for replying :) Will definitely insure it if it comes down for a trial.
 

HashRouge

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To be honest, you've been very, very lucky to find an owner willing to let their horse go on trial. Most people won't even consider it anymore. If you really like him, I would vet and buy, and not bother with the trial. If you aren't sure, I'd walk away (like you, I couldn't risk losing the £500 deposit). I'm not sure I'd bother arguing the point with the owner though, because she's being quite generous considering a trial in the first place.
I'm not trying to be bitchy, by the way. This is just the way it is - most sellers wouldn't even dream of letting their horse go on trial.
 

PolarSkye

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I get that you are trying to make sure that the horse is a good fit - especially as it's your first - but, honestly, a two-week trial won't tell you that much. Horses take a good while to settle in and it can be months before you see their true colours.

In your shoes, if you are sure you want him, I would get the horse vetted and, if he passes, buy him.

Good luck :).

P
 

dogatemysalad

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PolarSkye is correct in that 2 weeks isn't a true test. Often horses may be very well behaved until they've sussed out their new home.

Personally, I would never let a horse go on trail. I did once, to an excellent home. Horse got kicked and was understandably returned. I had to re advertise and put my horse through the whole process of going to another owner again.

Not many owners agree to a trial, so I think your seller is being very reasonable.
 

webble

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To be honest, you've been very, very lucky to find an owner willing to let their horse go on trial. Most people won't even consider it anymore. If you really like him, I would vet and buy, and not bother with the trial. If you aren't sure, I'd walk away (like you, I couldn't risk losing the £500 deposit). I'm not sure I'd bother arguing the point with the owner though, because she's being quite generous considering a trial in the first place.
I'm not trying to be bitchy, by the way. This is just the way it is - most sellers wouldn't even dream of letting their horse go on trial.

I agree with this very few people offer trials and they are fraught with problems eg what if the horse gets injured while you have him. from the sellers point of view you could have him two weeks and then return him and in that time she mmay have turnd away other potential buyers.

If I were you I would go again with an instructor you trust try him again and if you like him put a deposit down subject to vetting. Two weeks isnt really long enough for him to settle anyway
 

xgemmax

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I would never let someone have a horse on trial, if all goes wrong and the horse goes lame, the trialer can return a broken horse that cannot be sold! I think she's being totally reasonable as you've tried him out twice already so should not really need him on trial for a couple of weeks. Sensible thing to suggest I would say would be to maybe try him again to be sure then book a vetting :)
 

CIJ

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This is a tricky one. I've been on both sides of this dilemma. I personally wouldn't let one of my horses go on trial before buying, I just won't be happy with all that can go wrong in that trial period.
I've also been allowed to take a horse on trial before buying, but it didn't work out, so I was glad I'd had the chance to trial, as if I'd bought him, I would have wanted my money back. Sadly horse buying is a risky business no matter what you do!
If you can't afford to lose the money then I'd either vet him and buy or walk away.
 

emma.a

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Will do! :) Thanks guys!! Super helpful. I can now stop stressing out and just be excited to finally have purchased the (hopefully) perfect pony for me!! :) wahoo!
 

Buddy'sMum

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Its a huge risk to send a horse on trial. Not many owners would due to the risks involved.

^this^ I know I wouldn't.

OP, look at it from the owner's POV - how keen would you be to let a complete stranger take your horse away and do who knows what with it for 2 weeks?
Managed properly, of course the horse will settle in its new home - but it might well take longer than 2 weeks!
 

Bluecat

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Hi I also looking at horse to buy and have been offered a trial of 2 weeks however the owners want me to pay the full asking price before the horse leaves their yard. I'm loath to do this as I realise they've been great agreeing to a trial but if something does go wrong there's no saying IDE get my money back. So I don't think I'm going to go ahead. I'd always vet before taking on loan or trial as have been burnt in the past by not doing so. Not really much help to you but I think the owner of the horse your looking at is being quite generous.
 

HaffiesRock

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Another here who wouldn't allow a trial. The owner will have to continue paying livery or a retainer on livery while you have the horse, in case it comes back, so this may be a part of the £500 deposit. You know you wouldnt, but what if yu just took the horse and never came back? So many things could go wrong.

Instead, I would make another trip to the yard to see the horse. Maybe ask if you can go up, bring in, groom, tack up, ride etc while the owner stays to one side out of sight. See how you feel doing things alone? All being well I would buy. If you have any doubts walk away, there are plenty more fish in the sea so to speak.

Good luck!
 

LFD

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I agree - you'll not find many people willing to trial nowadays as there is too much risk associated. 2 weeks really isn't much time at all and it completely depends on the horse. One of my guys settled the second he walked off the lorry, and the other took well over a month and is now a little sup. I would recommend going to try him again and then see how you feel. As Webble said, taking an instructor you know and trust with you could help and if you are both happy then arrange your vetting (being present at the vetting is also good is you can). There are never any guarantees with horses so sometimes you need to go with your gut in the end. Best of luck :)
 

PorkChop

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It is unlikely that a new horse will settle in two weeks tbh. Some will but an awful lot won't imho. My advice would be to see if it is possible to try him at another venue, whether that be a nearby school or a hack away from home. This should show you how he will be in a new situation.

I don't blame the owner at all for asking for a heafty deposit, a lot can go wrong in two weeks!
 

horsies4coursies

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if you are going ahead and if this is your first horse i would strongly consider getting a vetting done. i would also consider bloods to be taken at the vetting in case there is any "cover up" on the seller's side that way you have come back if there is a problem in the short term.
 
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