When it comes to selling a horse, I’m a big believer in letting it go “on trial” with the prospective buyer. After all, if you have nothing to hide about the horse, why not give the person interested in him an opportunity to see if they’re truly a
When it comes to selling a horse, I’m a big believer in letting it go “on trial” with the prospective buyer. After all, if you have nothing to hide about the horse, why not give the person interested in him an opportunity to see if they’re truly a good match?
I know, the voice in the back of your head is saying, “What if the horse gets seriously injured while on trial? What if they ruin him?!”
While it might take several pages, be sure to include every important aspect of your horse’s care in a trial or lease agreement.
Photo: Alexandra Beckstett
Here’s where I’m also a big believer in putting everything in writing and signing contracts. This helps set boundaries for what the prospective buyer (or agent, or leasee, or whoever you’re handing possession of your horse to) can and cannot do with your horse and who is legally responsible for expenses and injuries. These agreements can be as simple or detailed as you want–although in my opinion, the more detailed, the better.
Because I have no legal background myself (remember, this blog is based purely on personal experience!), I had an equine lawyer draw up contracts for the past two horses I’ve sent out on trial to be sold. The first was extremely basic–essentially, “Agree that you will care for my horse, and sign here.” Unfortunately, that basically was just a green light for them to do whatever they wanted with the horse. Two years later, I’m still hearing stories about different states, barns, and horse shows my horse traveled to while in that trainer’s possession.
So when I sent Lily out on trial this past December, I made sure to put everything I could possibly worry about in the contract. This included:
And, of course, all the legal jargon that goes into creating an agreement like this. The outcome? After three weeks and one horse show, Lily sold to great new home!
Some details commonly seen in these types of contracts that I intentionally left off included who could ride the horse (as I knew multiple people might be trying her) and the need for the prospective buyer to put down a refundable security deposit.
What else would you include in a contract to try or lease a horse?