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contract for payment plan on sale horse?

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  • contract for payment plan on sale horse?

    The woman who is leasing my mare would like to buy her but does not have the all the money right now. I would really like to sell her to this woman as they are such a perfect match and so I don't have to worry about finding her a new owner before my big move.

    How do payment plans work? I would ask for 50-75% of her asking price up front and then the rest to come in monthly payments. My only worry is my horse is already at this womans farm. Normally the horse wouldn't leave the owners care until paid in full, correct? Its not that I dont trust this woman, I just don't know her very well. She owns her own farm so there is no one I could call for references on her.

    So what would happen if she does not continue with payments? Do I immediately take custody of the horse? Do I keep the deposit? I would assume a deposit is non-refundable but 50-75% is alot?

    I'm just confused about what legally happens if she does not complete the payments.

    Thanks so much! I know you guys could help!
    "Using draw reins without spurs is like going to the bar with no underwear on. You're just waiting to get f***ed."

  • #2
    I can only help somewhat, but I did complete a payment plan on a mare early this year - it was a year-long contract, so I can offer you my experiences! The seller in my case is an experienced rider/breeder/trainer who has sold quite a few quality horses over the years - buying and selling (and breeding) is her business. You might be able to find the previous threads on this subject also on this forum (there are quite a few), though I recognize the search function is not always efficient.

    I was expected to put 25% upfront, and the horse was not to be delivered until paid in full. A ride for my mare panned out sooner though and the seller graciously shipped the mare to me last fall rather than wait until this spring. In regards to the amount paid upfront, I think one has to take into account the horse's full purchase price. Keep in mind people can obtain loans! It's not an option for everyone, but it might be something to bring up with potential purchaser.

    Had I not continued with payments, the mare was expected to be returned to the seller (immediately) and my deposit and any payments forfeited.

    Hope that helps a little to lead you in the right direction - I'm sure more posts will further clarify the norms. Good luck, glad you found such a great home for your mare
    ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


    • #3
      Most do not allow possesion until it is paid off but...too late for that now.

      Basically, you should check your own state stautes about these things, particularly installment payement contracts and procedures involving repossession for non payment. It can vary and sometimes needs specific language in that contract..

      No way I would start with less then 50% down, non refundable. You need a schedual of payment dates and a deadline for repo if payment is not made according to your state. You MIGHT want to look into wording to indicate each payment is considered a lease fee for that month should the buyer default so you don't get stuck in small claims over a partial refund if you have to go get it.

      I dunno, I hate this type thing because all it takes is one vet bill and payments get skipped. You really might want to consult an attorney to draw up that contract, state and local jursdictions can vary. It's not the same everywhere.
      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


      • #4
        consult an attorney to draw up that contract

        Go on any horse related forum & you'll find threads on "buyer defaulted on payments - how to get horse back" "buyer defaulted on payments - horse is missing" etc.
        In general, local police are reluctant/unwilling to get involved: they will require you to have a proper, legal (within your state etc) contract & documentation of paid/unpaid fees before they will even consider any involvement ...


        • #5
          Doing payment plans is risky. However, if I were going to do one I would structure it as a "lease to own" where the person with the horse is clearly only leasing the animal until the entire amount is paid in full, and if payments are late beyond X days you clearly have the right to come pick up the animal. I would definitely consult a lawyer before doing it, though. It's just too risky, having possession of the animal is a powerful advantage. When people ask me about payment plans I always worry how they are going to manage the expenses of horse ownership. Lord only knows the purchase price is the least of it. Good luck!


          • #6
            Oh, to add, my payment plan was set up as a lease-to-own of sorts. I was responsible for all expenses (and had the mare been injured or died, I still would have had to complete payments).

            Make sure the contract is clear... google contracts and you should be able to piece together something fairly thorough. Then have an attorney (preferably one familiar with equine matters I would think) run through it and correct or change it as appropriate.

            BeeHoney, does that line of thinking also apply to purchasing a vehicle? A house? The monthly and yearly upkeep and all associated costs of owning a house or a vehicle are substantial. I honestly think that is an unfair judgement re: purchasing horses, especially if the purchase price is relatively high. A purchase price in one lump sum upfront can be difficult to front, especially if you are trying to balance a number of things within your household and budget. Doesn't mean that person's care is going to be any less than any other individual - that is a separate issue. The expenses for care are strung out and spread over months and years, not one lump sum due in one payment. Such a person might even have separate savings for emergency vet care, or insurance, or other options to pursue in the event of an emergency - options not available for purchase.

            If you don't have the money for a certain purchase price or range, then your option is to save, right? Does that mean you can't afford the horse in the first place???? A purchase plan is essentially the same as a saving plan for a horse within a certain price bracket then going out and laying that lump sum down, except instead your 'savings' all go to the seller and one must also likely consider the cost of care in addition to saving as much as possible.

            I for one am grateful I was able to purchase such a wonderful, promising mare on a payment plan and I can assure you that although my pockets are certainly not limitless and some months are tight, that my horses want for naught. That includes feed, farrier, and vet care - whatever they need. I'm just lucky I found a seller okay with my handing my savings over to them within a certain time period, as opposed to my taking that same time period (or longer) and then finding the horse I wanted. The pressure of the purchase plan forced me to save and make the purchase and take a step toward my dreams Admittedly, without the pressure I otherwise probably would have inadvertently allowed life to get in the way and would not have saved as I should and thus a mare of this caliber might have taken me years to save for. In the OP's case, the lessee might not have had much time to save to purchase this mare even, for a variety of reasons. If the lessee has been caring for the horse responsibly throughout the lease, I think it's unfair to say that because she cannot purchase the horse upfront, that she can't continue to care for the horse and also put aside some savings (just as she has probably had to pay for the care and related expenses of this horse throughout the lease period, while also accommodating other expenses). In this case, it might be the best option to work with the lessee for a great home for the mare.

            Sorry for the rant, it just really irks me when I hear the comment "if they can't afford the horse upfront they probably can't afford its care". I'm not the only one for whom that is not true (so it's not that I am taking this personally) and I don't feel it is fair to generalize when even logically, such a generalization does not make sense. There are many factors to consider. And this is of course not to say that there is not (perhaps substantial) risk to the seller who sells a horse via a payment plan, that is a separate issue.

            ETA: OP, there are quite a few threads already on this topic...perhaps you will find something that way?
            Last edited by naturalequus; Jun. 5, 2011, 02:15 AM.
            ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
            ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks guys! I am not in any way concerned about the care of my horse. This woman owns the barn and have several boarders and does it for fun. Any money made from her business goes right back into it, so she takes a small salary. She can't afford the outright purchase price of the horse and her business cannot purchase the horse(I forget the reason) but my horse has never been happier and I want everyone to be happy.

              So any recommendations for equine lawyers?
              "Using draw reins without spurs is like going to the bar with no underwear on. You're just waiting to get f***ed."


              • #8
                I had a similar situation where I started out leasing a horse then the owner decided she would sell the horse and do payment plans. This is how she constructed the payment plans. Plan A 50% down, two month later another 25% down, and two months later the last installments. I also had to carry an insurance policy on the horse for major medical and mortality. Plan B 10% dicount if we decided to pay in full.
                We decided to pay in full.

                As everyone has recommended I would get an equine lawyer to draw up the contract because you want to make sure everything is covered in case something goes wrong. If you go with the payment plan I strongly recommend the insuarance to cover if the horse gets hurt and she decides at that point to return the horse. Make sure you are listed as the horse owner in case that happens. It's a small price to pay for some added comfort. Good luck!


                • #9
                  Naturalequus, I didn't mean to imply that someone using a purchase plan would not take as good of care of their horse, I apologize if it came across that way. More specifically I would have concerns about someone wanting to do a purchase plan on a less expensive horse where the sum in question might be comparable to the vet bill for a serious illness or injury. I'd feel a little funny selling a horse to someone where I felt like they had exhausted their financial reserves just to come up with the purchase price and not taken into account the expected and unexpected expenses that can occur in relation to horse ownership. I agree with your point that a responsible person might use a purchase plan to make sure they DON'T exhaust those reserves. I actually am more supportive of purchase plans where the price is higher.

                  Re: your comparison to payment plans on cars and houses... A horse is a luxury item with very unstable value--not a necessity like a place to live or transportation. Cars and houses are inanimate objects that do not suffer if someone fails to pay for their care, call the vet, etc. I don't care if someone buys a car or a house and then can't afford to maintain it.


                  • #10
                    Oh no need to apologize, I didn't take offense personally, sorry if I came across that way. I just took offense in general, lol.

                    My point re: cars and houses was just that the purchaser in that situation has to also consider the expenses of 'care' that are often mandatory (such as taxes, water heaters, tires, brakes, etc etc), in addition to the purchase price (and payment plan) - same as with a horse. Especially since the house and car are more of a necessity, even if the house or car cannot suffer (lol). Because the individual did not purchase the car or house outright - regardless of the price (even a $1,000 car) - does not necessarily mean they cannot afford the associated costs. I think the issue is separate - that whether or not a person pursues a payment plan (regardless of purchase price) has little impact on whether or not they are accounting for the expenses of care/maintenance/etc.

                    While I understand your perspective re: a lower purchase price/a large vet bill, that really only is valid to a point - maybe $1,000-1,500. Even then, the validity is limited - maybe I (being general) can't afford say a $1,500 purchase price upfront immediately because I am allowing room in my budget for an emergency and other expenses of care. Of course anyone should feel reserved about selling a horse to someone who has exhausted all reserves for the purchase of that horse without consideration to expense of care - regardless of the purchase price
                    ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.