Once again reaching out.....
My friend is selling his horse. He has just been contacted by very interested buyers who seem perfect in every way. They are out of state, about 4 hours. They tried him over the weekend and want to take him for a week trial.
Does anyone have a trial contract template they could PM me?
We were hoping to avoid this but as they have been the most seriuos buyer we don't want to lose them in this market....
Of course horse will be shipped via commercial shippers, insured during trial period & deposit taken.
While you have to pay for the form, I think the attorney will talk with you (or your friend in this case) and make sure that the contract is set up in a way that your friend and the potential buyer are both on the same page. I'm a non-equine attorney and have still been involved in more trial periods gone bad than you'd believe. And every. single. time. the reason the dispute ends up on my desk is because the buyer and seller didn't really hash out the expectations each side has AND those expectations weren't indicated in the contract.
I'd be especially careful about details such as when the horse can be returned to the seller (i.e. what constitutes "not suitable for dressage, eventing etc), and what happens with the security deposit if the horse is returned (does the seller get to keep some of it since they gave up other possible sales while the horse was away, does the buyer get it all back). I'd also make sure that the potential buyer agrees (in the contract again) to release any medical reports/records related to the horse in the case that they decide against the horse and return it.
I don't mean to sound so negative, or against trial periods (I did trial period on every horse I've ever purchased and think they are really useful), but I've seen several potential buyers take advantage of a seller willing to do a trial period.
We have done some trial periods, very successfully. The last one was a nightmare and I almost never got the horse back.
Here is what I learned:
Put it ALL in writing.
Who is responsible for what. Including shoeing, medical care, etc
Who pays to ship him to/from?
For how long, ie a returned by date, and what happens if the date isn't met.
Any care instructions. My horse was to NOT be turned out with other horses yet came back to me with bite and kick marks from the horse he was turned out with.
What feed, hay, etc. Any supplements?
What they can or cannot do with him, ie show, have other people ride him, etc.
What exactly you are sending with him.
Cash the deposit check when you get it. And tell them you are doing it. Put it an escrow sort of account. If something happens they can't stop payment on it after the something has happened.
YOU get the insurance on him. That way the insurance company pays YOU if something were to happen. If the insurance is theirs, the claim will get paid to them, not you.
Micro chip him.
When the horse leaves the state, it's wise to have the purchase price in an escrow account - a few local horses have "disappeared" while out on trial & local police have been less than interested in assisting
OTOH I know someone who is very active in a Western community where trials are commonplace - sometimes purchace price is paid upfront, other times it's just a hand shake deal.