Viewing a horse just for a free ride?

nagblagger

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On holiday in Ireland at the mo and was just thinking that it would be nice to go for a ride as the weather is pleasant for January and countryside is lovely. Told my OH that i was going horse buying as i felt like going riding (he nearly crashed the car - his face was a picture!), but it did get me thinking whether anyone has encountered people who came to 'try' their horse with no intention of buying, just for a free ride, how do they tell whether they are time-wasters, or has anyone done it. I personally wouldn't have the nerve to do it...but I might just be naive as i have never sold one.
 

Otherwise

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I know of someone who went to see some at the time very expensive 2 year olds for the fun of it, they had no intention of buying one and then afterwards went on about how crazy it was that someone would spend 10k on a horse. I have absolutely no doubt there's people out there trying horses for free rides, hopefully they're only a very small minority.
 

Ratface

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I wouldn't dream of it. Unkind to the person selling the horse, who might be heartbroken to have to do so. Unkind to the horse, if the bogus "trial ride" person was worse than a bag of spuds in the saddle.
I've never actually sold a horse. I wouldn't feel that I had discharged my duty of care if I had done so.
However, at times I have had to work three jobs simultaneously to keep mine.
My current horse is my last one. He lives a 5* life and everything else, including me, but not the cat, falls in behind.
 

rowan666

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I did have someone view once who came, rode then said they wanted the horse but just needed to get a job first! So I did feel like that person was definitely just after a free ride! No idea how anyone would find the idea appealing, I absolutely hate viewings, riding an unknown horse infront a yard full nosey people I never met is my idea of hell!
 
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The yard, home or coal face.....
I've had joy riders in the past. Happy for them to try in arena and/or hack, maybe return to ride with their 'expert' but if they wanted a 3rd try, then I'd ask for a deposit of about £30 (this was in the 80s & 90s) of which I'd take off the total price if purchased.
Stopped a couple of Sunday afternoon tyre kickers.
 

eahotson

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merseyside
I wouldn't dream of it. Unkind to the person selling the horse, who might be heartbroken to have to do so. Unkind to the horse, if the bogus "trial ride" person was worse than a bag of spuds in the saddle.
I've never actually sold a horse. I wouldn't feel that I had discharged my duty of care if I had done so.
However, at times I have had to work three jobs simultaneously to keep mine.
My current horse is my last one. He lives a 5* life and everything else, including me, but not the cat, falls in behind.
Glad the car keeps everyone in order.
 

stangs

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18 September 2021
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Honestly, it's so tricky getting a viewing even for someone who's genuinely looking that I don't know why anyone would try if they weren't looking. That said, I'm sure there are plenty of intelligent folk who get away with it. How do you spot the difference between someone legit who's not interested in the horse, and someone who's only there for the free ride?
 
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20 years ago I had a horse up for sale, he was an extremely talented jumper an absolutely loved jumping and competing (but he was bolshey and too strong for me to handle). I was selling him from professional yard with full facilities and had a man come to look at him as a prospective buyer.

The man said that he was really interested but would need to do the following during the visit to make sure the horse was right for him: hack out on and off road, SJ indoors and outdoors and ride around the x-country course (old Novice level). I agreed thinking at least he was being thorough and hopefully it meant if he bought the horse the horse would be likely to stay with him.

The viewing took HOURS and the horse behaved impeccably and jumped like a star (the man was a lot stronger than me so much better at handling the horse and had no trouble). When he dismounted at the end of the viewing and I said 'do you think you'd like him' he said that the horse was perfect except he wanted a black one and would never buy a chestnut, so it was a no! The horse's advert had a picture, and he was described as a chestnut in the wording, and clearly couldn't be mistaken for a black- I was fuming!

Ironically the man actually did me a favour; as a result of me getting so cross about the viewing I took him off the market, a few weeks later his bolsheyness completely disappeared and he ended up as my horse of a lifetime until he died 20yrs later. The man missed out on a bloody good horse, but I suspect he wasn't interested in buying anything and just having a free ride.

I haven't tried to sell a horse since!
 

twobearsarthur

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Yep. I’ve had this happen, my mum was selling an absolute gem, could turn her hoof to anything. A lady came. Rode her in the arena, did a bit of jumping, took her on a hack. Told us she absolutely loved her and would be in touch. We never heard anything again and tbh didn’t think anything of it. Until a couple of months later we were at my friends riding school and saw her there, mentioned we had met her and apparently she was well known for “topping up” her lessons with free rides on horses for sale!!! When she saw my mum and I after her lesson she did scurry off rather quickly. Apparently she’d never done it so close to home before!!!
 

Lucky Snowball

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22 December 2020
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A very nice elderly man wanted to buy one of mine. Tried her but wanted to see her in company. I was going on a fun ride the following day so suggested he came along on his current horse, which he did. After about 20 mins he asked to swap. I spent all the ride watching him have fun while I was on a really slow pony. Afterwards he said he'd be in touch. You guessed - never heard from him again.
 

onemoretime

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12 April 2008
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Yes I had this happen back in 2012 when selling a mare I had. Young girl came up with her friend and rode her and got on with her very well, we chatted for a while and she really liked her said she would ring me that night - never heard another word!
 

nagblagger

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21 October 2021
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dorset
I can't believe the blatant nerve of some people.! There should be a blacklist of 'known people' who do it, so that genuine sellers can check before confirming the viewing and protect their horses.
 

twobearsarthur

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21 October 2008
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West Yorkshire
I don't think everyone who disappears without a trace is blagging a free ride. Some people are just too embarrassed to say they don't like the horse.
.
Exactly, that’s why we didn’t think anything of it when our joyrider never got in touch, until we found out later that’s how she supplemented her lessons! Lots of people think you’ll be offended if they don’t want to buy your horse and would rather ghost you than say it isn’t the one for them.
 
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