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Share and share alike, spreading the cost of horse ownership


Horse ownership can prove to be an expensive exercise and for some owners finding a person to share that expense in return for a fixed number of days riding and care is the solution.

Whilst this can work out to favour both parties it often leads to one party doing all the work and incurring costs which they did not anticipate. It is therefore important to set out clearly what each parties responsibilities are and what happens if one party does not fulfil those responsibilities.

Life is seldom regimented and straight forward. People have holidays and are unexpectedly taken ill or become otherwise engaged, leaving one party having to care for the horse on days they were not expected to.

Whilst on the whole it tends to be the ‘sharer’ and not the ‘owner’ in such situations who become unreliable, on occasions it is the ‘sharer’ who unexpectedly gets put upon.

Written agreements for sharing horse ownership

It is therefore wise to have a written agreement that sets out each parties responsibilities, liabilities and what happens in the event that one cannot meet those responsibilities and how the agreement is terminated.

With the rising price of quality horses and cost of keeping such horses, many people are now purchasing sports and leisure horses as a joint venture in order to spread the cost. As a result purchase and ownership agreements are now no longer just in the realm of race horse ownership.

As well as the considerations required for a sharer agreement you will need to consider:

  • what happens should one party wish to sell their share
  • who can ride the horse
  • how costs are split
  • how replacement equipment/tack purchases are made, and
  • in the event of the horse being sold, how the proceeds are shared.

Having an agreement drafted by a solicitor might feel like an unnecessary expense but in the event of a dispute arising such an agreement can prove invaluable, saving both time and costs.

There are many templates available online which might be sufficient for your needs but it is advisable to have a custom made agreement drafted for your specific requirements and circumstances.

To discuss drafting a shared ownership agreement for your horse, contact our equine law department today.