I Bought a Horse with a Behavior Problem – Now What?

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As an attorney for Equine Legal Solutions, I frequently help unhappy horse buyers decide whether they have a viable legal case against the seller, and if they do, whether I am the right attorney to represent them. Here is what I look for during the initial consultation.

Did the Buyer Try the Horse Before Buying It?

If the buyer tried out the horse before buying it, noticed the behavior problem, and bought the horse anyway, the buyer probably doesn’t have a viable legal claim against the seller. This is true even if the seller offers speculation about the cause of the behavior problem, such as, “I think he bucks because of an old saddle fit issue,” (that is, unless the seller knows exactly why the horse bucks and deliberately lies to the buyer about it)

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Written by:

Rachel Kosmal McCart is the founder and principal attorney of Equine Legal Solutions, PC (ELS), an equine law firm based near Portland, Ore. McCart is a graduate of the Duke University School of Law and licensed to practice in four states: California, New York, Oregon, and Washington. She is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. ELS represents clients in litigation, helps resolve equine disputes, drafts customized equine contracts, represents clients in horse industry disciplinary hearings, and incorporates equine businesses. Learn more at www.equinelegalsolutions.com.

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