Equine attorneys- Breech of Contract?

I am waiting on a call back from an attorney but hoped for any advice.
I purchased a yearling but sold her 2 years ago (at age 23) when I went through a bad divorce because I didn’t know if I could keep my farm etc. I messaged the buyer this April and let her know if she was ever interested in selling the mare back to me I’d be interested. She wanted to think about it so I said of course and about a month or so later she contacted me and named her $$ price and I agreed (same price I sold her for). I arranged professional shipping for this Saturday. She wanted paid via PayPal which I did this morning. 1 1/2 hours later she refunded my money through PayPal texting she was mad that they took out “nearly $20” ($600 purchase price) and PayPal had an up to 3 day wait on the funds. So she said she’d had enough and she’ll just keep the horse. The mare, she admitted is not doing much of anything at her place, she is 25 years old and went blind in one eye in the lady’s care. All of our interactions since April were done via Facebook messenger & I did everything she asked.
Is this a breech of contract case?

She refunded your money?

Did you have a contract?

I think you’re SOL. Until money clears and the signatures are dry on the dotted line of an actual contract, a seller can kill the deal. Usually, there are payment penalties or listed reasons within a contract that outline the scope of scenarios in which this occurs but considering the mare never exchanged hands and the money was refunded before it even cleared the bank…

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If you really want the mare contact her back and offer to include all Pay Pal fees and other inconveniences to her ( within reason) in the money you send. I would not schedule transport until you had a signed contract from her agreeing to the terms. She could wait until the funds were released to send you the signed contract. I sure wouldn’t send the funds “friends and family”.


I agree with this.
Offer more money. That will likely make this person happy.


The transaction fees and wait time on PayPal are completely standard and I would think something else is going on to claim she wanted to back out of the deal.


I am not providing legal advice, but FYI:

A contract is an agreement between private parties creating mutual obligations enforceable by law. The basic elements required for the agreement to be a legally enforceable contract are: mutual assent, expressed by a valid offer and acceptance; adequate consideration; capacity; and legality. In some states, element of consideration can be satisfied by a valid substitute. Possible remedies for breach of contract include general damages, consequential damages, reliance damages, and specific performance.


I suggest that you talk to the attorney.

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Going in with a lawyer isn’t going to make her favourable to you receiving the horse. I can’t imagine, should it ever get to a court case, a judge deciding that an elderly animal should leave it’s home (that you haven’t suggested is significantly lacking in care) to return to a previous owner, but it will cost you a lot of money on a very low value animal. While I appreciate you are upset, work that out in private and try to maintain a friendly approach to the owner. Ask what you can do to make this happen now, tell her that should circumstances change you are always open to providing a soft landing for the horse.


“Hi. I was incredibly disappointed to see you refunded the money. I don’t think this is about $20. And if it’s immediacy that’s an issue, I can bring a check when picking up the horse or cover the fee via immediate transfer via PayPal or work our another method with you. But we’ve been in communication since April. Please tell me what’s really going on.” This is what you need to say, not going immediately to a lawyer.


Paypal payments for that amount, especially using goods and services instead of friends and family, will now be taxed. That may be an additional part of the problem.


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Thanks! I sent multiple messages to her yesterday asking her to revise the bill to include any other expenses. I expressed that I wanted her to feel that this was fair to her. I have offered to pay by any method from cash or money order to other digital apps, my shipper even offered to assist with the transaction. I have been pleasant throughout, but also have expressed a sense of urgency as I have made plans with a shipper. She sent one message yesterday evening saying she couldn’t talk because she was “too upset”. So I sent a polite message back simply asking for an update this morning. I hadn’t heard anything by 11am so and I politely asked for an update. I am still waiting… I have kept in contact with the shippers and they have been great. I have an upcoming appointment with an attorney but hope I don’t need it. I should have asked what was really going on as you suggested but I did not see this coming and was pretty shocked by the refund after months of back and forth messages without an issue. Thanks for the advice:)


The person sounds a bit…unhinged perhaps? It’s almost like she didn’t expect you to send the money and when you did, she went off the rails. The $20 taken out is negligible at best, and even moreso because you offered to pay it and change form of payment to her preference (which sounded originally like PayPal). Her reaction seems very extreme to me and I’d be surprised if you got an explanation if you asked being that the $20 had her “so upset” she couldn’t talk.


Unfortunately, I think you need to weigh the pros/cons of continuing this battle.

I’m in a similar boat which is why I’m responding a second time. I have a mare I’ve owned for 21 years. In her life, she’s only had one foal which I had to sell because I was in college at the time. The filly’s owner messaged me out of the blue this spring that she had a surprise foal born - my mare’s grand filly.

I immediately made an offer that I thought was more than fair. She declined the offer and was even perhaps slightly insulted by it.

I want this filly more than almost anything due to my emotional connection with the bloodline. (I tried breeding my mare last year and we didn’t get a viable pregnancy at 24.) However, I can’t harass this woman about it because she’s not obligated to sell me anything - even though she’s named a price.

You said in your title it was a breach of contract - however, it doesn’t sound like you actually have a contract. You have a verbal agreement, but nothing of value has been exchanged - she didn’t keep your money, and you have nothing outlining that she can back out.

If it were ME, I would take whatever I was willing to spend on an attorney, add that to my original offer and say - this means a lot to me, I’m sorry I upset you, I’m willing to provide $X to purchase Dobbin. Please let me know if you’re willing to accept that offer.

And then be ready to walk away. If you keep pushing, she may permanently close the door. I understand how much the horse means to you, however - hay is skyrocketing, the economy is slumping - what may be a no today may be a yes next month, provided she hasn’t blocked you.

Or go the attorney route, but I doubt you’ll actually end up with the mare in that case - possibly just monetary damages, of which none really exist except maybe a deposit on the shipper?


Agree with the poster that her reaction to the $20 fee was extreme. Perhaps she didn’t expect you to actually follow thru with buying the horse? Are you sure she actually has the horse and if yes, the horse is in good condition (other than what you mentioned)?

Taking this to attorney will likely not help you get the horse, she might just claim something happened to the horse and it had to be put down.


I think you’re confusing my post and the OP’s post.

Roger that, will edit!

Not quite. PayPal/Venmo is just reporting these transactions to the taxpayer and the IRS on an informational return, known as a 1099K. It still remains up to the taxpayer how and how much is reported as taxable income.

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Thanks for the correction! I know a lot of people who were taking their payments elsewhere to avoid the possibility of paying any taxes.

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nananananannanana…I didn’t hear that! :wink:

As with anything with the IRS, circumstances matter. Personal items sold at a loss (think yard sale), reimbursements, and gifts received are not taxable (generally. I know someone will bring up some odd example).

If the circumstances DO warrant taxation, there are generally costs that can be used to reduce the $600 of income (assuming a business, rental, sale of an item at a gain).

Most people I know that are turning away from Venmo are the ones who are now getting hit with a merchant fee, or in this example, PayPal’s % fee.

I’m going back to completing tax returns now…lol

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haha - not me! I see so many people getting scammed on PayPal that its goods & services only for me. The percentage is worth the protection.


That is why I refuse to buy anything that wants funds send via Venmo or CashApp. Absolutely zero recourse.