Why Loan and Not Sell Your Horse?
Perhaps you have a horse you can’t bear to sell but simply cannot keep anymore. Maybe you have outgrown him or her, your circumstances have changed, or they cannot do the job required of them anymore due to minor injury or ability. Loaning offers a great way to keep hold of your horse, but allow someone else to cover the costs and responsibility and potentially offer them something you can not.
Loaning your horse can be a very positive experience. As an owner you remain a part of the horse’s life, you are their ultimate guardian. By loaning your horse it can be enjoyed by a new family and as an owner you can get great satisfaction from knowing the horse is being used, loved and enjoyed in its new home. By loaning you don’t have the ongoing costs of keeping the horse but can be safe in the knowledge you have total control over his future welfare unlike when you sell a horse, there is always the risk he may end up in the wrong home and you lose all trace of him.
In this post we examine what can be expected from loaning your horse or pony and what to look out for in the process. Whilst loaning can be a wonderful experience, many horse owners and loaners have come unstuck when the ‘loan’ waters are muddied.
The key to successfully loaning your horse is finding the right person and home. A person who has the same standards of horse husbandry as yourself, someone who has the right riding ability, time, facilities, environment and resources to look after and enjoy your horse. Ideally the loaner should not be too far away from home in order that you can easily check on their welfare from time to time.
With Right Horse Right Home you receive online applications with full details about the home offered, the experience of the rider and what they are looking for in the horse. Enabling you, as an owner, to compare and consider each application prior to making contact with the individuals themselves. Furthermore, the application process weeds out timewasters and unscrupulous people allowing you to spend your time assessing genuine, serious applicants thus making the process easier and less stressful.
“I found the whole process refreshingly easy and very good value.”
Tio needed a home with very specific requirements, however, RHRH made this much easier by using their application method. I received a number of home offers that I was able to consider, however, one stood out and I’m thrilled with the match. The RHRH team were extremely helpful too. I have already been recommending RHRH to friends as I found the whole process refreshingly easy and very good value.
Top tips for owners
- Always thoroughly check out the person and home where your horse will be going. Ask for references and follow them up.
- Never allow your horse out on loan without a written agreement, which states that you retain the ownership of the horse at all times.
- If you don’t want the horse to take part in particular activities, such as hunting or polo, make this clear and include it in the written agreement.
- If the horse requires specific, individual care for any condition be sure to include details in the agreement.
- Discuss what will happen if the horse becomes badly injured or ill and needs to be put down on humane grounds.
- The loan agreement should include terms under which the horse can be returned to you by the loaner, or under which you can ask for the horse to be given back.
- Regularly check on your horse once it is in its new home and keep in regular contact with the loaner.
- Consider the reasons why you are loaning the horse out. If the horse is old or infirm humane destruction might be the better option, so discuss your plans with your vet
Choosing The Right Type of Loan For You and Your Horse
Horses on Full loan are just that, all responsibility lies with the new ‘owner’ such as shoeing, vet’s bills, feed bills and so on. The owner of the horse will have very little interaction with the new home on a day to day basis, and relinquish management of the horse to the new ‘loaners.’ This can work really well for the new carer, particularly if an experienced horse owner, but can often be hard for the person loaning the horse as control is lost.
Part Loan or Horse Share
Part loan or Horse Share as it is often called offers owner and loaner a happy medium where cost and responsibility are shared. Often the horse will be kept at the owner’s yard and they will continue to take responsibility for some of the care. Part loan can even mean shared riding but in general the main decisions are made by the owner NOT the person taking out the loan.
Loan With a View to Buy (LWVTB)
LWVTB is where a horse is put out by the owner on Full Loan on the understanding that after a set period of time the Loaner will purchase the horse for a pre agreed sum. This situation is often used where an owner wants to be 100% sure that the loaner is the right person to own the horse and to prevent the likelihood of them being sold on. It is also a useful arrangement in respect of the buyer to help ensure the horse meets their requirements. Agreements should always be in place in respect of LWVTB arrangements to outline the agreed sale price, length of the trial, horse care arrangements and termination of the agreement.
Horse Loan Agreements
Before entering in to an equine loan partnership or horse loan it is highly advisable to draw up a loan horse contract, or loan horse agreement. The majority of loan arrangements that fail are due to not having a clear agreement in place which outlines, cost, care and responsibility of the horse and its potential return and termination of the arrangement.
Loan agreements should offer terms on the length of the loan, what is expected in term of care, termination of the agreement, and issues relating to illness or injury. As well as this it is important to cover liability and insurance of the horse. Both parties must sign the horse loan agreement and agree to all terms before the horse moves yards.
Simple loan agreements can be downloaded from sites such as the British Horse Society and offer legal protection should something go wrong. Alternatively you can purchase a tailormade loan agreement here via Right Horse Right Home where your agreement will be tailored to your specific circumstances to include any special terms you wish to be included as well as tack and equipment which you may be sending with your horse.