To allow a Trial or not to Trial?
So this is a mistake we vow never to fall victim to again. As of 11 days ago we stupidly let one of our lovely ponies go out on a trial for sale to a couple from Ballybay, County Monaghan. They viewed the pony, daughter was a fair rider and they agreed to pay a deposit and pick the pony up on the Friday having agreed a price.
It was 4 days after we let the pony go we got a phone call from the husband who started off by unsurprisingly picking holes in my pony, melanomas which had been explained to him and he has disregarded as not an issue and that the pony is short striding. Unsurprisingly the vet couldn’t find anything wrong with the pony. She is just not rangey. So they gave me an offer of 30% of the ponies original asking price to which the response was, pay the agreed price or return the pony.
It took these people a further 5 days to return my pony. The state , mentally and physically that my poor sweet pony (that has been competing up to 1m with a small 9yro girl) arrived in was shocking.
These people then got aggressive when due to the total disregard for our ponies welfare, they expected the initial payment of the pony to be returned. It took an hour and police intervention to get rid of them.
the first picture below is the condition they pony left out yard in and the following three show how my lovely girl came back to us. In case the pictures are hard to see, her belly is covered in mud, there is a distinct sweat line from a girth, her legs were still sweaty as was her ears and forehead coupled with a matted and half missing mane.This pony is ridden bitless due to her huge tongue making all standard bits uncomfortable for her and she was sent with her full tack to ensure the right equipment was used but she has come back with rubbed lips, a bruised tongue and sweat lines from a tight flash.The pony was box walking terribly for the first 2 hour she was home she was so stressed. She also has her poll out, jammed up shoulders and her back is now rock solid with sweat lines that werent possibly made by her made to measure jump saddle (full panels vs half panels).
We have not yet got back onto the pony to see what damage they have done to her work ethic and previous joy for jumping.
This is a hard lesson and the number one reason most sellers will not allow you to take their pony out of their sight until the deal is done no matter how nice and genuine you come across.
Should buyers expect a seller to allow their beloved pony disappear off with strangers?