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Anonymous asked in PetsHorses · 2 months ago

girl abandoned horse, now wants horse back?

About 10 years ago, this girl bought a horse from me. She couldn’t afford upkeep so brought the horse to her house and wasn’t keeping up with its care. She asked me to take it back and I would use the horse in my lesson program. Stupidly, this was agreed upon verbally. Now, I’ve been feeding the horse and paying for all expenses for the last 9 years (roughly $100k). All of a sudden, this girl wants the horse back. She’s seen the horse under 10 times in the last 9 years. We’ve all grown to love this horse and she was planned to stay here as a forever home. Today, the girl showed up with police and a trailer and took the horse. The cops said they couldn’t make her leave the horse on property because it was her property because of a bill of sale. Is that true? I had always been told that they couldn’t allow her to take the horse off private property, and that it would be a civil matter and have to go to court before any actions taken. I do plan on taking her to court with records of all of the horses expenses for the past 9 years, do i have a leg to stand on legally? Will this result in getting the horse back, money, or neither? Obviously preferred outcome is getting the horse back. 


I can’t find a way to reply to the person thinking i’m a troll. so i’ll update here. but i genuinely could not believe they allowed her to take the horse either. i was arguing and pointing out all of the bills and costs we’ve paid over the years and that it should be taken to court first before she leaves the property. but he insisted there was nothing he could do and that the bill of sale from 10 years ago was more important. disappointing but i’m just trying to see what i can do now.

Update 2:

100k in upkeep because if she abandoned the horse, our boarding price is $800. we did not make $800 in lessons. feed alone is $350 a month. which would come to over $35k. farrier every six weeks at $200. vet because she was lame/injured a few times. spring and fall shots. we likely live in very different areas price wise but i wish upkeep on a horse is $1000 a year. 

13 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    That's a long story, and I'll give a short answer - the police should have had a Court Order, before they could take the horse.

    Lesson - GET IT ALL IN WRITING.   Always!

  • 2 months ago

    that girl doesn't deserve a horse

  • TK
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    This must be solved in court.  Gather all your documentation that you have cared for the horse for nine years: vet records, farrier records, statements from students. Then get an attorney. 

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    If I were her lawyer, this is what I would argue:

    The horse wasn't abandoned.   It has been boarding and cared for.    It doesn't matter that your boarding fee is $800/month.  You chose not to charge her.   The fact that you rendered services for free is your own damn fault.

    Anyone experienced enough to own a horse business knows that horses are property and a bill of sale is how you transfer ownership.  All you had to do was require her to sign a bill of sale and buy the horse back for $1.    Since you didn't buy it and the owner didn't agree to give you ownership, the horse isn't yours.   You continued to let her come visit the horse which is further evidence that you recognized the relationship between horse and owner.

    Next time:

    1)  Get a bill of sale if you want to own a horse; and

    2)  Don't let people hang out on your property who haven't been invited and have no business being there; and

    3)  Use written contracts EVEN IF you are going to do favors for people.  If you're boarding other people's horses without a contract and limits of liability signed, you are asking for even more trouble.

    If this story is real, I honestly do not think you will win in court.  Judges have to follow the law and there is no dispute about ownership.   You sold the horse and didn't buy it back.   You offered free boarding.  

    My heart aches for your situation, but you did everything wrong.   I find this so odd for someone in the horse business.

    ETA:   I'm totally laughing at xyzzy's answer.   $1000 to $1500/year to own a horse?   That's crazy talk.   The OPs estimate of $350/month for feed and $200 per farrier visit does seem high though.

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  • 2 months ago

    PURE BALONEY!            

  • 2 months ago

    NO ONE half as IGNORANT as you claim to be by asking this question is capable of training a dog, much less boarding horses.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    That is about ten times the average upkeep for a horse. Most horses cost around $1000 to $1500 a year for feed, vet bills and stabling everything.  Unless you have some type of written agreement and she has proof of ownership (the bill of sale) you have no case. Plus over the nine years you have made an income by using the horse in you lesson program.

  • 2 months ago

    Your story is flawed.  The Police would not have forced you to turn over the horse unless acting upon a court order.  Troll harder.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    It's her horse, all you can do is sue her for its food and board. Yes they can take it private property or not.

  • 2 months ago

    Get a lawer and bill her room and board for 10 years.

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