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Terms and contract for horse on trial?

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  • Terms and contract for horse on trial?

    You guys helped me out a couple of weeks ago with a lease contract. Now I have found what I think might be the right partner for my girl and she is going to take her on trial for a month to make sure they are the right fit.

    What should I use as a contract for that period? The same contract as the lease but with the one month time period? Should I require all the same things? Insurance?

    Any thing you guys think I should be sure to have in my contract? I've never done this before!?!

  • #2
    Well, I know you didn't ask for my opinion, but I am giving it anyway. I just want you to know it’s VERY risky letting your horse go on a trial without him being paid for. I speak from experience on that one.

    My rule is I absolutely do not let any horse off the property UNLESS he’s paid in full. It's called a check in hand. I let my horses go on trial, but only with all the money up front. If it doesn't work out and the horse comes back as it left, they get their money back. You then know if the buyer is really serious.

    I would make insurance mandatory during the trial period. If he gets hurt or dies, they can get their money, but you already have yours. I know it sounds silly being only one week, but seriously--It’s happened to me before that’s why I am so leery of trials!!!!

    Also, normally the Pre-Purchase comes BEFORE the trial. You don't give your horse up for week risking it be run into the ground trying to get it sore (maybe not even intentionally) before the PPE. The sale is basically complete before the trial, but you agree not to cash their check and if they decide to return the horse after a week in its original condition, then you agree to return the check.

    The trial is never the first step. That is too risky and doesn't insure the buyers are serious and ready with the money. The buyers need to assume some of the risk as well. I've seen people say, "well, I get the horse for 3 days before PPE so were riding him 2x a day for 2 hours to make sure he is sound," Not Cool!

    The PPE is your proof of original condition or I can basically promise people will say you gave them a lame horse and aren't going to buy it. Now you have a lame horse to care for and no sale.

    I am not trying to scare you, but this is reality. Like I said before, I speak from experience!

    Good Luck!


    • Original Poster

      Sorry I didn't explain fully. This is not a sale but a lease situation. I will require insurance.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Ember View Post
        Sorry I didn't explain fully. This is not a sale but a lease situation. I will require insurance.
        I am assuming there is some sort of set time frame for this lease that she will be committing to, as otherwise there would be no point in doing a 'trial,' unless she is just trying to be slick about scoring the first month free.

        I would ask for the full monthly lease price, just for one month.

        Add on a $600 deposit that is refundable IF, in the event she decides not to pursue the horse, the horse comes back exactly on time and exactly as specified. Otherwise $200 per day gets knocked off refund as a late fee. Or your trailering costs are covered if you end up having to go pick it up, etc.

        If she decides to pursue the horse, the $600 gets put toward the lease fee. (As for the lease fee, the most month-to-month I get is to have the first four months paid up front in advance and then monthly contributions from then on. I like the security of knowing that lease is covered with enough time for me to handle it and still be covered in the event the lessee stops with the payments.)
        The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
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        • Original Poster

          The trial period will be for one month. For both of us to make sure that my mare is with the right person. After that it will be a year lease.

          It is a free lease. She will be covering all of her costs, have major medical, mortality, and loss of use insurance, keep her at an approved barn, be in training with an approved trainer, only she and the trainer will be allowed to ride my mare unless I give written consent, I will be able to check in on her whenever I choose.

          If you can think of anything to add to that feel free to mention it.

          Thanks for your input.


          • #6
            Just put the above in writing and have her-or her parent-sign it. Just make it for the 30 days instead of the 12 months.

            It always makes me nervous though when no money is involved. Me, I'd ask for a deposit of a few hundred for taking the horse off the market while she decided whether she wants it or not. Refundable if she takes it, not of she does not.

            Also, have to say, been around a long time and on all sides of buy/sell and lease. I have never heard of a 30 day trial period on any lease, much less a free one. That what leases can be for, to decide to buy or not. Most unusual.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks findeight, it is a bit of an unusual situation.