Trader Horror Stories
About Our Stories
(Find the links at the bottom of this page)
Readers of this site have been very supportive overall but the criticism we hear most often regards the stupidity of the buyers in the Trader Horror Stories. So, before you begin to read the stories, please consider this:
Buying a horse is often a very exciting event, particularly if it's your first. You do an Internet search on buying a horse and the first bit of advice on almost every site you visit tells you to get expert help. But let's pretend for a moment that instead of a horse, you have always wanted to fly, and even buy your own airplane. Maybe you've been up a few times in light aircraft. Maybe you've even taken a few lessons. Maybe you've read lots of books about flying and are captivated by the romance and adventure.
You make arrangements to go look at a Cessna 172. The plane is a pretty color, it's clean and shiny, the upholstery is spotless and the engine fires right up. The Cessna's owner takes you for a ride around the pea patch and tells you all about this airplane and much more. He may only have 55 hours of flight time himself but he knows how to work all the mysterious gadgets and can read all the dials in the cockpit. As far as you're concerned, he is an expert.
If he's unscrupulous, he won't tell you that the airplane needs thousands of dollars in mechanical work to pass an inspection, or that the sparkling paint job hides serious structural flaws.
The point is this: Anyone who knows more than you on a given subject can seem like an expert so you happily take his advice, especially if he's a nice guy.
On this page you'll see links to the Trader Horror Stories. Some of these sad tales are our own, and were the impetus for creating this website; others were sent to us by people who are angry, sad and discouraged by their horse-buying experiences. Most of the buyers in these stories (and we include ourselves) did indeed choose unsuitable horses. Most of them trusted the sellers and assumed they were getting expert advice. It is very easy to see all the red flags and stupid decisions after the fact. The buyers are not blameless, but their errors were made in innocence, not from greed or deceit.
Many of the readers who sent us stories felt the process of writing about their experiences was therapeutic and we appreciate that they were willing to share, despite having to admit their mistakes. Please, be respectful as you read them. You'll find that the stories are different but the deceptions are hauntingly similar.
All the stories have been edited to remove or disguise identifying names and details.
If you don't have the time or inclination to read the stories but would like a distilled version of lessons learned, click here
Interested in more stories on this site? Don't miss the Rescue Horror Stories at the bottom of this page. Also the story of a pity purchase here.
This work by horsetradertricks.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.