I wanted to share this story with you. I know this is a few threads late but you can post it on The Gloves if you would like.
A friend on mine that lives in the Reno area, was taking lessons from a trainer that was leasing 15 stalls in a local barn. She had met this trainer at a show and started talking to him and was initially very impressed. He really seemed to know what he was talking about and offered to give her one or two free lessons before she committed to signing a lesson contract with him. And at the same time she was in the market for a new horse and he offered to help her find it.
Everything started off fine, for the first few months the trainer really seemed to have my friends best interests at heart. He helped her find a new horse and gave her a small discount on the training fees if she let him train the horse for her. The horse that she bought, cost a reasonable $12,500.00.
Then after she signed the training contract with this guy, things started to change and not for the better. She would go to the barn to watch him ride her mare, and he was never there. She would call and make appointments to watch him ride and he would never show up for those either. My friend started to get a little concerned when she showed up at the bare and there was a lock on her mares stall door. Turns out, while she was paying the training fees which included the boarding fees as well, her trainer was not paying the fees to the owner of the facility. Turns out, he had not been paying them for several months and the owners had enough and locked all of the stalls.
She told the owner of the facility that she would pay her to take her mare out of the barn the next day and the owner was okay with that. She called the trainer and told him the same thing that turned out to be a big mistake.
The next day when she arrived at the facility, the sheriff was there as well as animal control.
The trainer had come in to the facility on foot and had a truck and trailer waiting for him sown the road, he cut the locks on my friends mares stall and as well as the stalls of four other horses and led them off of the facility to the waiting trailer, and then came back and broke into the tack room, and took his as well as his clients tack.
Upon doing some checking, the found out that this guy has done this before in a few other barns. Luckily, they did find my friends mare 18 months later. She was being shown by a woman that claimed she bought the horse from her old trainer. The 'trainer' that she bought this horse from, disappeared a few months after she purchased the mare. The woman offered to give my friend the mare back.
So I have to admit that I feel a lot safer if I my horse is in a barn that is owned by the trainer and not leased.
I hear ya!
I prefer to think that this is the minority and that these incidents do not happen all that often. Unfortunately, it seems to be happening more and more.
I have seen one horse be sold to one person in one state and then the horse is moved across state lines and is sold to someone else. This has gone on for a while.
Luckily for your friend, she was able to get her horse back. Many times that is not the case.