Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Journey Takes a Turn..........

Part One


OK! Take a deep breath! Hold tight to your coffee, I wouldn't want anyone to spill something and wreck their computers over this! And please don't let your jaws dropping do any serious damage to you or your surroundings! There's just no way to ease into this so here goes..........

In mid October of 2008, I offered the horse, Scandalous Storm, to BG and WF (who up to this point I believed was BG's wife according to what BG had said) in trade for the training of my young horses that BG was really already doing for free. With a $30,000 price tag on the horse at that time, I figured I'd be able to get all of my young horses started well enough they would be safe for me to continue and that would be a big help in getting on with my dream.

BG and I hammered out the details. Training would be at $300 per month per horse and based on a five (5) day work week for five (5) horses. As part of our contract Storm would be shown beginning in 2009 including to nationals in Tulsa. I would receive a female boxer puppy from one of their litters from their female boxer who is a descendant of a dog I used to own.

BG joked that at that rate of training it would take him until October of 2010 to pay off the horse. I figured that was probably right by the time days were taken off for horse shows and such. It would be a long road but BG said it would be worth it AND it would be fun.

Storm being shown was an important part of this deal. Them showing Storm that would help to get my breeding program noticed and it would be accomplished without me having to contribute financially to the show expenses. That and getting other horses started were the only things that balanced out the loss of revenue I knew a horse like Storm would bring. This was the only way I could even consider this trade.

I couldn't afford the loss of $30,000 income. That kind of money would pay my expenses on this place for over a year but I thought this deal could make up for that in other ways. I thought if Storm was out there showing what my horses can do, along with his dad and Reflection, I should be able to pick up interest and even sales on those horses that were started at home.

It would also free me up so I would be able to focus on getting at least one of the other horses I had for sale in the ring, maybe Tag as a maturity horse. Since I knew Storm probably wouldn't have been sold until he was in the ring anyway and most likely not until nationals, I would be trading the money on the one horse for the possibility of making it up sooner on others. It looked like a win- win to me at the time. I suppose it would have been if things had gone as I'd planned AND more importantly as they'd committed to do.

There was another issue about the contract. Since I had paid board and training for Reflection, I wanted to include that in the contract as well. WF said that she couldn't afford to do that with board. She needed the revenue to pay her expenses but she did agree that I could take the amount of training I'd paid for Reflection and apply it against the next month's board for Reflection. The horse's training expense would be deducted from the amount owing on the contract and I would pay board for Reflection each month that he was there.

As for other terms of the contract BG said he was helping me with Legs as one friend to another. He had been doing that from almost the beginning of when I'd started schooling horses there and he didn't want that to change. He said the groundwork he was doing with Legs wouldn't count towards the contract and that groundwork was the only thing he was doing with Legs. It was something he wanted to do because of our friendship.

To be honest, had he wanted working Legs to count, I would have no longer allowed him to touch Legs. While I was curious to see what boxing would produce in my horse, I was not convinced it was getting the job done. I sure wasn't willing to pay for what he was doing. I was and am perfectly capable of getting the horse finished myself. I had no intentions then/nor will I ever pay another trainer to train Legs. That's just the way it is.......

The possession of the horse, Scandalous Storm, was relinquished to BG and WF as we hammered out the details. It seemed there was going to be no problem with those details so there was no sense in my hauling the horse back and forth when he was going to be theirs anyway. Leaving the stallion with them would free up one more space in my horse trailer so we could begin getting another horse going well enough to see the ring.

There was one "little" hitch in all of this right from the start. Once the details were determined we did NOT get any of this contract in writing although it was always my intention to do that. BG said he was going to help me with the formal writing of the contract since he had legal expertise and I did not. Yet, every time I brought up the fact we still needed to sit down and get that contract drawn up there was some excuse to put it off. It ended up no written contract was ever done. In the beginning I wasn't all that concerned about this because I trusted these people. That turned out to be a very big mistake.

To be continued.............

The New Journey Begins


  1. Ouch! that's what I was expecting and wondering about , just the kind of guy to agree to everything and gloss over the actual legal details.Funny thing though , I found out a few years ago ,if you are willing to pursue it ,a "Handshake agreement " is still legal and binding here in Alberta, I wonder if it is there as well. Harder to prove and I suspect harder yet to litigate , but binding all the same

  2. fern, yupe, you're right on target there. A verbal contract is binding in this state. Proving the terms can be difficult but if that can be done litigation is possible.

  3. I think although a verbal contract is binding in your state without a written and signed contract in your case it was he said she said and two against one.

    I can see how you thought at the time that they were honest and this was a win-win situation for all concerned. But some people being what they are I'm sure it quickly turned to disaster once they had Storm in their possession. I learned my lesson a long time ago after being screwed around more than once that I never accept a handshake on anything. I always get a written contract signed sealed and delivered. Live and learn.

  4. Arlene, you're so right about the he said, she said aspect of this case. There is not good replacement for a written contract. That's for sure. That's not the only lesson I learned in all of this, unfortunately.

  5. Oh, I just feel sick thinking about where this is heading. The thing is, even with a written contract it can turn into a he said she said sort of thing. :(

  6. Story, you're so right about that. A written contract can turn just as much into a he said/she said situation. I learned that and a lot more in this circumstance.

  7. Just getting caught up, especially after going back to read some of the older posts (Have I really been reading your blog for over 3 years? wow! Time flies!)

    All of this returning to the story just reminded me of that post from Monday, October 13, 2008. Your perpective on the situation was so very different than it is now. And I remember that time, but for some reason didn't connect who BG was, but then I saw his photo in that post and had an 'aha moment'!

    I don't remember you ever mentioning back then that you traded Storm for his services, though. Wow, it must have been a hard pill to swallow....


  8. Lisa, yupe, time does fly.

    You're so right about my change in perspective since that post in Oct 2008. I guess you could say I was wearing rose colored glassed then. I saw what BG wanted me to see. Now I see what is real. Hopefully the rest of this series will show others what I now see.

  9. I learned my lesson about paying up front for contract work - don't!!! We hired a general contractor to repair our upstairs deck in the Beacon Hill house and he took the money and never did the job. We pursued him but he obviously had other jobs and we were not a priority, he had our money already. So he came when he felt like it, did a little, left, and a year later it still wasn't done, but he said it was. In that case having a contract did not help us. *sigh*

  10. hoping all turns a good corner and doesn't go down a dark lane! hope he does the right thing. remember to... breathe!

  11. Was Storm's registration signed off to them? That's a lot of money!!!

  12. So often, the best of intentions turn south. Sounds like it happened in this case.

  13. lytha, I had a similar experience with a contractor years ago. It is frustrating and contracts aren't always the protection people think they are.

    Hopeful, thanks for the thought. It's not really how this went but like you, I hoped it would.

    Linda, you're right about it being a lot of money. I still held the horse's papers at this time but....

    FV, when all the details are told, I wonder if this perception will change. I know it did for me.

  14. I too was wondering if BG and WF somehow managed to be ambitious enough to get the paperwork on Storm without getting their end of the bargain in writing.

  15. Ms Martyr, keywords "not at this." There is a lot more story to be told.

  16. Creating and/or enforcing contracts is tricky business, especially when people you enter them with have ulterior motives or don't really have any intention of following through.

    What you accomplished on your own legally is amazing and a true testament to your determination.

  17. BECG, boy have I learned that. From this experience there are things I will now have in contracts I never would have thought about before. It is not wonder that contracts can be a zillion pages long. There are so many ways for people to avoid was is intended.

    I was definitely determined. I am going to post all the way through to the resolution. Hopefully it will help others not get caught as I did or maybe help someone who is caught find their own way out. It was and still is a learning process.

  18. i can't even tell you how many times this has happened to me or someone i know. people suck. hope you got everything sorted out :-\