Horse Loan Agreements
No horse owner needs to be told that the financial cost of owning a horse is considerable! In times like these, loaning your horse or having a horse on loan becomes very popular.
Often in the past, the only condition imposed on the loan of a horse was that the person taking the horse on loan was responsible for insuring it. However, times are changing and you may have read horror stories of horses disappearing, being sold or put down while on loan, particularly in the case of an older horse as a companion. It is therefore advisable to agree specific terms, to be documented from the outset, to avoid any misunderstanding and to ensure the wellbeing of the horse.
Veterinary care, farriery responsibilities, feeding, stabling, amount of exercise, permitted riders, breeding and tack are just some examples of factor which should be covered in a loan agreement. It should also be clear who will be responsible for paying the veterinary and farriery bills and whether there is an option to purchase at the end of the loan period. If you no longer have the time to ride everyday and want to share your horse, you should also specify precise times for riding and caring for the horse.
It is advisable to check on your horse regularly throughout the loan period. A clause should therefore be inserted into the agreement to allow for this. Obviously, visiting unannounced on a daily basis isn’t fair on the person having the loan of your horse, so try to be reasonable.
The agreement should also provide for the person loaning your horse to be entitled to return it if it is not suitable. This should give a suitable notice period to allow the owner to arrange stabling and should specify who will be responsible for the travel costs.
Loan agreements do not need to be complicated or expensive to be effective and to give you peace of mind. They should, however, be tailored to suit the exact circumstances and the needs of both parties involved.
Finally, make sure that you ‘vet’ the person to whom you intend to loan your horse by asking for identification and references. If someone is genuinely interested in taking your horse on loan they will understand why you are making such enquiries.
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Published: Wednesday 12th August 2009