Divorce, workload, redundancy, relocation and financial difficulty can all put a strain on your ability to maintain your horse. You might have outgrown your horse, either physically or in terms of ability, or you might want a new or younger horse to take you to the next level.
But parting with your trusted friend on a permanent basis can seem too drastic a step. The solution for many people is to put their horse out on loan.
Similarly, for those wanting a horse, finding the capital outlay to purchase one might be beyond their means, even if they have sufficient regular income to keep a horse. Others want to dip their toe into horse ownership, without becoming stuck with an unsuitable horse. Some want a school master to teach them and get them to the next stage before buying their own.
Whether you are considering putting your horse out on loan, or taking a horse on loan, you should make sure there is a loan agreement in place. This is a legally binding contract that sets out the terms of the loan and should protect each party’s interests as well as the horse’s.
Benefits of a loan agreement
As the horse’s owner, you’ll want to know that he/she will receive the same care and attention you would provide and, most importantly, that it will still be there at the end of the agreed loan period. The borrower meanwhile, will want to know what their obligations are, what they can do with the horse, how long they will have it and the procedure or circumstances for returning the horse.
In addition, you’ll need to consider who is responsible for:
- veterinary bills
A loan agreement can cover everything from where the horse is kept, its daily routine, how often it should be shod and even the type of shoes. It should also cover details such as the type of bedding, feed, and even work that the horse is allowed to do.
There are many templates available online, but these are generic and like a sale or purchase agreement, each loan agreement should be tailor-made. If you are in any doubt, you should seek professional legal help from a solicitor, preferably one with equine knowledge.