I am so sad...(need advice)

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Dec 1, 2002
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Well, one of my "ex" mares has passed away. I never really "wanted" to sell this mare, and really the only reason I sold her was because I needed some room, also thought she had the best chance of being sold w/her nice pedigree and color, etc. She gave me my best broodmare, and I did retain her daughter.

I heard from her new owner that she died very suddenly of renal failure. It was fast and awful, from the sounds of it, and there was nothing they could do.

I have a bit of a dilemma from this situation:

I sold the mare bred (bred July 10, 2004), and ultrasounded so. She was sold/left the farm on about 10/15/04, so she was over 90 days in foal, then. Previously, the mare had lost a foal at about 22 days when she was trailered home from the breeding farm, but noone was sure if it was the trailer ride, or had she absorbed before, because she was in heat when she stepped off the trailer (only about three hour ride).

I did hear the mare had come into heat last Spring, and I felt awful, but was perfectly willing to re-breed her. Or use the breeding on another mare of their choice. I sold the mare at a pretty low price, probably half of what I paid for her, and a lot less than I had been asking, because it was getting down to winter and we needed the space. I don't know how that's here nor there, but she was in good health and had never been sick a day that I'd owned her.

I get the email and I think the owners are upset that I sold them a mare and foal and now they have nothing (I totally sympathize with them). I don't know what to offer them to make it alright. I can't really offer a refund as I did not make any money to speak of, and I don't know that it's my fault that 9 months after she left my place, she died suddenly.

BUT...that being said, I have offered to discount to them a half sibling (a filly) to the foal they wanted, or offered them first dibs on a discounted '06 foal that will be by the same stallion and out of the mare's own daughter.

I was thinking somewhere along the lines of $500 off? Am I doing right, here, or do you think I should refund money?

At this point, I think they are probably in shock, and I've sent them an email w/my offers and of course condolences (Heck, I feel like I've lost a member of my family).

I just feel so badly. I don't know if being on Regumate would have saved the foal, but that was another suggestion. I had asked my vet about that a long time ago in relation to the other issue, but he said no, it would not have helped in the other case, as obviously she had no trouble carrying foals to term, she had three of them for me w/no trouble or intervention, one of them she traveled on a trailer during her pregnancy at 40 days gestation.



Liz M.

I really don't have any suggestions. You are in no way to blame and should not feel guilty, and I think the discount is a generous offer

...I replied more to offer you and the mare's owners my condolences. That is so terribly sad.

The more I think about it, the more I don't know how I could have known what was going to happen either way. It has been over 9 and a half months since she left here, and they themselves saw no sign until two hours before she died.

It is still hard to believe that Lailah's momma is gone. I was sad about selling her, but this is harder. I would still own that mare if I had more room in my barn and pastures and more time. I was so looking forward to her baby w/Incredible.

She's gotta be dominating the herd, somewhere over the Rainbow Bridge, she was always the Queen "B" around here.

Rest in Peace, Sami!

(was going to insert a photo, but Image Shack is locked up or something. Will do so, later)

Samis Imadorable

(Crescents Bucky X Samis Fame De Orion (by Orion Light Van't Huttenest)) 4/08/90-8/?/05

Thanks, Susanne, for your condolences. I may have sold her, but she was still very loved and appreciated.

Liz M.
Oops, double post! Sorry.
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While the loss of a horse you felt an attachment to is truly tragic you could not have foreseen this happening. You have made an offer which has already gone far beyond what most people would have done. If I found myself in your position I would write a personal note stating you share the sorrow with them. If they take you up on your offer fine but beyond that nothing more should be expected of you. I would like to add my sympathy also.
I'm sorry for you and her owners at her loss.

I agree with what Geese said.
Liz, you have absolutely NO responsibility in this matter- you are ripping yourself apart wondering if the onset of renal failure could have caused the other problems- aren't you?? Even if this were true, and I do not think it is, there is no way any tests would have shown all this, nine months before it happened. It is just possible she ate something on their place that caused it- stranger things have happened- maybe the new diet did not agree with her- maybe they missed some of the signs/ all of the signs- in nine months the new owners have far more responsibility in this matter than do you- they have owned her for nearly a year, for Goodness sakes!!! You have made a very generous offer to them, out of sympathy, be careful you do not go any further as you could be admitting legal responsibility and that could land you in a heck of a lot of trouble!!!! Even the nicest of people can turn nasty. Be warned, PLEASE.
I am very sorry about what happened to the mare.

If I had bought a horse and it got sick and passed away after 9 months, I would never expect anything from the previous owner. You have no responsibility for what happened to this mare after all that time. I think it is very generous of you to offer a discount on another horse, but you have no obligation to offer anything. Unfortunate events happen that are out of our control. What if it had been a year, 2 years, 10 years and then she passed away? Would you still feel that you owed the new owners something? 9 months is a long time to still have responsibility for this horse.
Liz, I had a similar situation happen to me recently, only I was the buyer. A mare I purchased last August, died this July, although she DID have her foal this spring.

At any rate... it is NOT your fault. No one can foresee the future, and illness like that. Obviously she was not 'visibly', or clinically ill during the time the new owners had her either, or they would have said something. I certainly don't hold my mare's previous owner to task for what happened, nor expect any particular favors of any type because of it, and neither should your party. I'm sorry this happened to you, and to the new owners. It's never easy when a beloved animal dies.
Oh my goodness, that is very sad but if it were me that had bought a horse and 9 months later it died with no apparent sickness prior to that on my farm I would be looking at what I had done or not done for tha newly aquired horse...I sure wouldn't blame the previous owners and wouldn't expect anything..Now if I had purchased pregnant mare with a live foal guarantee that would be in writing and should be spelled out what would happen to that guarantee if the foal died when the mare died....you have no responsibility here and it sounds like you are willing to make them a kind offer ..If I had been that purchaser I would have hated (embarassed) to let you know your mare had died...Rest easy, sometimes these things just happen..I am so sorry for the loss of the mare for you and the new owner.
I personally think you are doing the right thing and being quite generous because as you state they had the mare for 9 months. We aren't talking an animal that arrived at her new home ill and past away within a couple of weeks. You are being generous with your new offer so don't fret about it. I applaud you!
I'm so sorry for the passing of this mare, evidently she meant alot to you. I too believe you are being more than generous in your offer.
Awww, I am so sorry for the loss. However, I feel you are being more than generous with your offer. I see no obligation on your part to refund anything, and they should be happy that you are offering anything.

This was a sudden death, not like you sold them a sick horse, and as sad as it is, things like this in life, do happen.
Liz, I admire you for your offer to them, but you really have no OBLIGATION to do so. If you wish to do so, I certainly think it is a generous offer.

As far as buying a horse that later dies, I purchased a bred overo patterned pintaloosa mare (about 5 months along) several years ago at a reputable auction, a healthy, but nervous mare. Within 2 days, the mare was dead. 36 hours after we bought her she developed enteritis. She failed quickly and died within 12 hours of the onset of symptoms, despite immediate, aggressive and EXPENSIVE vet care. I was upset and disappointed, but not at the Seller...
Well i have to say I disagree with a couple posts here and with something like that the last thing I would be looking at is what the new (or you as past) owners did or did not do or fed or didnt feed , There are times things just happen and they are no ones fault.

Ok now that said do you have to give a farm credit or a refund of course not, is it good business and something that might make you feel a bit better YOU BET IT IS!

I think a 500 dollar farm credit is a more then fair thing for you to do. I Would do the same thing.
I am so sorry about your mare. It is very clear how much you loved her.

I do not think you are under any obligation in this case.

HOWEVER...I understand your situation totally and my advice to you is to do whatever it is that makes YOU feel more at peace with the situation. Sometimes just doing what we're "obligated" to do may not be what lets us sleep at night. If the offer you made them makes you feel more at peace, then by all means do it.

Two years ago I sold a puppy to family with two children. At 4 months it turned out to have a congenital defect that nobody predicted...neither my vet nor theirs had noticed it up to that point. The puppy was given 1 to 2 years to live. All of us were devastated. If there was anything I could have done to undo this situation I'd have done it. I not only refunded their purchase price, I also replaced this puppy as soon as I could with my pick puppy from a stud service. (we very rarely breed). I offered to either take the sick puppy back, or let them keep him, I offered to pick him up when the "time was right" so they didn't have to deal with it, or even if they just felt they couldn't deal with the illness any longer.

Bottom line, I was not obligated to refund plus replace, but let me tell you, nothing made me feel better than to place a warm, healthy body in those kid's arms.

So, forget what the obligation may be, do whatever you feel YOU need to do to enable you to feel the best you can about this.


Wait a minute! Isn't there some plants and trees that can cause this? If they still have the source and get another horse it could happen again. Am I wrong?

Oh Liz. I'm so sorry, I know how broken hearted I would feel to hear one of my former horses had died. I do think you have been extremely generous. Most of our contracts' state clearly that the horse leaves "your or my farm" in sound and good health. New owner is responsible for any and all health related in the future.

How on earth could you have known she would suffer "renal failure"? Did they have an autopsy done or is the vet guessing. I really wouldn't give up another horse. Refunding $500 is IMHO VERY nice and above the call.
Liz, I had purchased a filly 2 years ago on payments from a large farm that was not "right" from the get-go. I notified the sellar of my concerns within the first 48 hours and then several other times continually after that. It was agreed by both parties that I would continue to watch and observe and give her must more of a chance to settle in and adjust, and as long as she was drinking and pooping I was not to panic. But she was not right, this I knew in my heart and in my gut. Eventually she was rushed to the hospital. My farm ended up with a "voluntary" quaranteen by the state until a ton of tests were performed to confirm that she was not contageous. She ended up dead a few weeks later and I was left still oweing money on her to the sellar and standing her with a bunch of medical bills. I am still having to pay her off and her $4,000 hospital bills as well and no one offered me any kind of farm credit or compensation or tissues to dry my teary eyes or blow my snot in. In the sellar's defense I do believe that she did not know there was anything wrong with this horse and there was no deliberate intent of selling me a horse with problems. I chalked it up to "just one of those things that could not have been known." Although I didn't have her very long, I did love her and she is on my Rainbow Bridge page. This just reminded me that I have to get another check in the mail.

But you are talking about 9 months! Nine months is a very long time to have a horse in your possession on your property and then have her pass. I feel that the people are just reeling in their grief and feeling very empty and are full of emotions over this and you are as well. So in your case, I see no reason for you to be responsible in any way. You are being very generous in your offer and I do hope that is appreciated. This just goes to show what real moral ethics are.
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I'm so sorry to hear about the mare! I haven't ever been in their situation or your situation, but I feel it is not at all your fault and not anything you could have foreseen. I think anything you want to do as far as a discount on a future purchase is generous on your part and not something you should feel obligated to do.

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