Thinking about loaning your horse? Richard Chamberlain, from Swayne Johnson Solicitors, advises you on how best to protect yourself and your horse.
While owning a horse is a wonderful and very rewarding experience, looking after horse requires a lot of time and moony. While many people can carefully work out the logistics and finances before purchasing a horse, there’s no telling what the future holds. Illnesses, redundancy or a new job can mean that caring for your horse becomes impossible. For most owners, the bond they have created with their horse makes parting with them heartbreaking, therefore, people are opting to put them on loan so they can retain ownership and have the opportunity to take them back if their circumstances were to change again.
Make your intentions clear
The key to loaning horses successfully is to ensure that you and the borrower are clear as to the ownership of the horse and responsibilities to each other. Problems often arise when there is confusion of what is expected so whether you’re lending or borrowing a horse, you should always have an agreement setting out the terms of your loan. The best way to produce a loan agreement that adequately covers all your requirements is to take proper legal advice from a specialist equine solicitor. Go armed with the list of matters that have been agreed with by both parties and what you wish to be included in the document.
Top Tips for a Happy Loan Home
– It’s important to keep the lines of communication open throughout. You want your loan person to be able to approach you if they need help with livery costs or supplements- better that than your horse ending up living in substandard conditions.
–Visiting often helps you gauge how well your horse is and if you can ride him you can judge his fitness and overall well-being.
–Although you want to keep tabs on your horse’s welfare, don’t be pushy or interfering- the loaner will want to feel like the horse is theirs.
For more advice on loaning, top tips and case studies have a look at the November 2012 issue of Horse&Rider.