Horses for Loan – Do I need legal advice?
There are many horses for loan available all over the UK. For the owner,
the horse and the borrower, it can often be a perfect arrangement.
However, it can also go badly wrong, often due to unforeseen
circumstances, with lengthy disputes taking place. Where a potentially
valuable competition horse is involved, handing over the responsibility
of its care and training to another person is a major concern. But the
borrower faces just as many concerns having to commit to paying livery
fees, the on-going costs of upkeep not to mention the huge amount of
time spent in training and competing.
Typical Horse Loan Disputes
Typical forms of dispute involving horses on loan usually centre around
disagreements over the loan period, the standard of care the horse is
receiving and who pays for vet’s fee’s, shoes insurance etc. Sometimes
it can be a simple falling out between one another (including the
horse!) and this possible outcome is very rarely discussed before the
Legal disputes regularly occur as a result
of owners promising a commission to the borrower upon the sale of a
horse but never following through with the money. There have even been
cases where the borrower refuses to return the horse or the owner
disputes ever owning the horse in the first place, refusing to have it
returned! Unfortunately this list of equine disputes is not exhaustive!
Horse Loan Agreement ~ Essential
For all these reasons it is essential that a proper
is made dealing with every element of what has been agreed by both
sides. A standard horse loan template can provide a useful starting
point. However, such contracts fail to take into account the individual
circumstances, of the parties involved. The horse loan agreement should
be in writing and signed by both parties involved.
What should be in included in the Horse Loan Agreement?
A typical agreement should always include:
- The loan period
- Inspection rights
- Vets, Farrier, worming and livery fees
- Competitions – allowed / costs
- Where the horse is to be kept
- Terminating the agreement
- Dispute resolution
This is just a basic starting point but there will be other specific
issues that need to be considered, for instance the horse may have
specific care needs. All this needs to be understood and agreed, then
written into an individual horse loan agreement. When these specific
requirements are written into a proper contract it can save all the
distress of lengthy legal disputes as it is notoriously difficult to
prove such requirements when only discussed by word of mouth.
So when you next see that” Horses for Loan” advertisement it would be very wise to seek the services of specialist with
the practical experience to help you make sure all areas are covered
properly for the benefit of the borrower, owner and the Horse. A
contract tailored to the specific needs of the owner and borrower can
seem overly official, but no-one would regret having taken professional
legal advice from the outset should things descend into a dispute.
Unlike most things equine, it is not expensive to get a proper horse loan agreement set up by a and money well spent should the unfortunate occur.