Advice on Loaning
Buying a horse or pony is an expensive business so many people look to loaning a horse instead as it removes the initial capital expense. Although a horse on loan should be cared for as well as if it belonged to the loaner, it is a less permanent arrangement than purchasing and it can be a fantastic first step towards having a horse of your own.
On the other hand, horse owners may find themselves with a horse they have outgrown or can no longer care for but which they don’t want to sell. In these situations loaning may be the ideal solution as it allows the owner to maintain ultimate control over the horse while somebody else takes over the day to day work and expense involved in caring for it.
So loaning can be a great arrangement and work out well for all of the parties involved, including the horse. However, there can be a lot of problems and pitfalls if this isn’t done properly from the outset. So before starting, loaning your horse out, or taking a horse on loan yourself, needs to be thought through very carefully.
For any loan to work, both parties involved need to agree on their responsibilities and ensure that all eventualities are planned for, particularly what will happen if the loan comes to an end unexpectedly. Having a contract is an important way of helping to reduce risk and protect the owner, loaner and of course the horse.
For this reason the BHS very strongly recommends that a written and signed (by both parties) agreement is in place before the loan begins. This is important whether the people involved are best friends or total strangers. Nobody can predict the future and a written loan agreement will help protect the best interests of the horse and people involved.
The sample loan agreement you can download here is an example of the kind that can be made between a horse’s owner and the person agreeing to take it on loan.
You will need to alter the template to suit your particular circumstances. You can use it to form the basis of a legally binding agreement, by amending it to include your own details and particulars, and ensuring that it is signed by both parties. The bold italics shows where amendments are needed and the plain italics are sample clauses you may wish to include.
However, we strongly advise that you ask a legal adviser to check the completed document. If you’re a BHS Gold member, you can call the free legal helpline using the number on the back of your membership card. You should also seek references if you are loaning your horse to someone you don’t know.
As ever, the welfare of your horse is of the utmost importance.
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