Thursday, March 19, 2009

MiKael Meets Richard..................Tested........... Part 3

Things were weird around here last Wednesday. The weather was ugly and unpredictable with scattered snow, hail, rain and high winds. Richard had gotten a new cell phone and the thing wasn't working right. He couldn't retrieve his voicemail, nor was he getting text messages. The lines of communication were down and tension was up...........bigtime! No one likes to be left one!

By Thursday we still had not heard from the party in PA. Even though Richard now had his phone fixed we had no idea if the horse had been picked up or if the people were coming at all. The weather wasn't co-operating either with predictions for the weekend not good for showing horses. We proceeded planning like things were still a go even though we didn't know anything for sure.

Friday was probably the low of the week. Richard found out sometime the night before his mother was in a coma. If that wasn't enough we had this thing hanging over our heads. There was a message for Richard to call the woman at 11:00 am. but no more information than that.

Again my instincts kicked in, I suspected that something was up and it turned out that I was correct. When Richard did call, the woman was in a meeting, so he called her house to speak with the sister. Talking with the sister it was clear the whole issue of price was still not settled.

While Richard was speaking with the party wanting the horse, the other sister patched through in a three way call. She told Richard the van was coming in an hour and asked if I was dropping my price. She pretty much threatened Richard. If he didn't get me to lower my price, she wouldn't send the gelding to him for training.

Penalizing Richard for something he has no control over just doesn't make sense. How did she think Richard was going to change my mind anyway? Lie to me maybe and tell me the horses are not as good as they are?? Wasn't integrity the reason she wanted to send the horse to Richard in the first place...........because she could trust him to be honest both in actually training the horse AND in his evaluation of the horse?? Funny how the woman wanted him to have integrity towards her but NOT me! She didn't care if he screwed me as long as she won. Nice woman, wouldn't you say?

Well, if she expected Richard to screw me, she expected WRONG! I heard Richard's half of that phone call. I could gather from it what this woman was saying.

She kept talking about the economy and how she had cash and we "should" need it enough to settle for her price. She just couldn't get over the fact that her cash wasn't going to sway this deal.

She told Richard she'd could get two horses with show records for the price she was offering. Richard told her she should hook up her horse trailer and go get them. It still didn't change what we wanted for these two horses.

This woman didn't really want those two other horses, however, she wanted mine but for her price. Funny she couldn't figure out that appeal that had her hooked was what made my horses different from the others. She was hung up on show records and totally missed what Richard was telling her about quality and disposition. She was comparing apples to oranges but she just couldn't get over herself. That feeling that being rich somehow entitles you to have whatever you want seemed to get in the way of her common sense.

The next line of attack was to ask Richard if he agreed with me about the price on these two horses. When he responded that he totally agreed, this woman replied Richard was blind to my horses. It couldn't possibly be because the horses were worth more as far as she was concerned. It must be some kind of ignorance on our part. Yet there's her sister still talking about how pretty Percy is when Richard tells them again to go buy those horses down the road.

The funny part about this is Richard and Angie both didn't used to believe in my horses at all. It's only been after working with them they have grown to realize how different their are from others. Richard and Angie are not fans because they are blinded by our friendship. They are fans because the horses have earned that loyalty. Definitely something these woman didn't understand.

So the woman made it clear she wasn't going to send the horse to Richard for training because he wouldn't "get" me to see the light. Then she had the nerve to ask Richard if he was mad. What did she expect he would be? She told him for six months this horse was coming for training in Feb and that he would stay for a year. He'd turned other training horses away because he had already promised her. But his word was the only word that counted because she didn't get her way.

I had to chuckle when I heard Richard say, "I guess I won't be seeing you at Nationals this year. We'll be qualified so we'll be there!" The implication was clear that with the decisions she was making she didn't have much chance of being qualified herself.

Even at that the other sister left off saying she'd come to see Percy at a horse show sometime this year. Richard made it clear once these horses hit the ring, their prices will go up...........a lot! If she waited for a show it was going to cost her.

That was the end of the "deal" from Pennsylvania. We went back to work and relished how fortunate we are to be working with great horses with talent and a great work ethic. Some people will never know what it's like to work with such horses..............but that's ok with me........and Richard. We're both pretty pleased to be working with the ones that we have.

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  1. I can't say I'm surprised at all, but I'm sorry the deal fell through for you and Richard. It is certainly true that in this economy, cash money does talk in a lot of cases. Depending on how strapped one party is, money doesn't even have to be an issue. I have had 2 nice horses offered to me for free just this week. It killed me to have to say no because my land will not support any more.

    The economy is a cycle, like most things. The question isn't if it will turn around, but when. The other question is, what will the correction look like. I hope it goes back to where people can expect fair prices for horses they have bred and trained responsibly.

    I want another report after they hit the show ring :-)

  2. BOY, MiKael, your gut instinct was right on!!!
    I suspect you (and Richard) will be WAY better off without that kind of "business".
    I don't think I would want my horses in that kind of home, regardless of the money they have. If they treat others like that without concern, how will they regard their horses???

  3. You know what, if it were me, I wouldn't want to sell my horses to this woman no matter how much I might have needed the money. Her behavior and sense of ethics is a major red flag. If she's this entitled when dealing with people who have something she wants, how is she going to be when it comes to handling the horse? What would happen if the horse didn't giver her what she wanted when she wanted it? NOT a good home, in my book.

  4. That's too bad, but people being people, well, what can you say...

  5. Shame on her for trying to play Richard against you. I really dislike people who try to manipulate others in order to get their own needs met.

  6. I'm sorry for those frustrating days, but you and Richard have such a wonderful working relationship that has just grown a lot stronger. You two are sure to have an amazing show season. I hope to see you guys somewhere, sometime.

  7. I wonder if you can't put a claim against her for detrimental reliance and a broken contract. If you have correspondence and phone calls basically confirming everything and you turned away other business, you were relying on her word that they would be buying horses/paying for training and you lost out on other possible incomes. Hmmmm. That's really crappy. I'm glad Richard stood his (your) ground.

  8. I am glad you stuck to your guns, I know it is hard, I have dealt with it with our horses and L being dead set on what he wants and not getting the sale, and photography work where people seem to think photography is a hobby and they dont need to pay a lot for it and I lose jobs because I won't bring my price down. This lady was obviously not the right home for one of your horses.

  9. Also wanted to add, could you clone Richard and send his clone to me??? I could sure use someone as good and trustworthy as he is!!! I am sorry to hear about his mom, I hope he manages to muddle through a difficult time.