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Leasing of a horse that has been nerved

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  • Leasing of a horse that has been nerved


  • #2

    NVM meaning nerves clipped for navicular?

    What are your riding goals? That makes all the difference for this situation. I leased then bought one and never had a problem - more trouble with arthritis. Used him as a light riding horse, jumped 2'6" no more than once a week and hacked out a lot. He was still going at 25.


    • #3
      Not a problem as long as both parties know.


      • #4
        I think NVM= nevermind??
        "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


        • Original Poster

          Yes NVM = nevermind. I kind of wussed out on asking b/c people can get a bit....erm...abrupt on this board.

          Essentially my question was if a horse has been nerved, that horse is no longer insurable for major medical or "normal" mortality. If the horse is leased, typically the Lessee is responsible for the vet bills and loss of the horse. But if the horse cannot be insured, how is this typically handled?

          This particular horse has had two MRIs and xrays cleanly. The pain in the foot was coming from side bones which doesn't affect the performance of the horse. No navicular, no structural damage to any of the soft tissue. He has been a successful 3'9 2nd year horse and the lessee would be using him for 2'6-3' only.


          • #6
            Interesting question

            I have little experience with insurance matters. Are they not insurable for mortality anyway? I would think "loss of use" would no longer be available. If you nerve the horse it's going to scare away some buyers and therefore decrease his sale value. So leasing him out in your scenario would not really cost you anything and he'd be comfy and having a fun job with someone. Your 6 figure horse would only be 6 figures to people who are comfortable managing a condition like this.

            Have the lesee pay the vet bills and join the Smartpak colic prevention program and accept that his traditional "profit center" - ie, 1/3 purchase price = 1 year lease fee - may not be as high as originally planned.


            • #7
              IIRC, the feet are excluded, subsequent to diagnosis.

              But the "side bones" cause pain? As in "side bone" as people mean when speaking about pastern arthritis? I wasn't aware that you could safely nerve a horse that high up.

              IIRC, the only problems with maintaining a nerved horse are keeping it shod at all times. You must do that since it can't feel an injury to the hoof or sole. And sometimes the nerves grow back and have to be cut again.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat


              • Original Poster

                Hidden Acres - Apparently industry standard is that if the horse has had a neurectomy of the palmar digital nerve (been nerved) said horse is not eligible for major medical or mortality. The only insurance available to a horse that has had this is reduced mortality which only covers things like trailer accidents or lightning. Other natural causes of death, like a broken leg or colic are not covered. This horse will never be for sale, and the lease fee has already been agreed upon. But when a lease occurs, the lessee usually takes financial responsibility for the horse for anything that is not a previously existing condition. In this case the foot is a previous existing condition so clearly I would be responsible if anything were to happen to that foot. However usually the lessee covers him/herself for loss of the horse and vet bills by insuring the horse which is not an option in this particular instance. Which is thus my question....how is this normally handled? Does the lessor simply understand that under any circumstances they are liable even though the horse isn't in their care? Does the lessee have to agree to pay bills out of pocket? I simply have no idea.

                MVP - you are thinking of ring bone (arthritis of the pastern) not side bone. Side bone is the ossification of the collateral cartilage of the coffin bone. It is usually caused by unbalanced trimming when the horse is growing. Typically it does not bother horses, and when I bought this horse he already had the side bone. I showed him successfully for 3 years before he showed up as NQR on the foot. After the MRIs and countless radiographs it was determined that the sidebone must be the culprit as there is no other structural issues with the foot. That's when I elected to do the neurectomy as the horse is otherwise completely fine. I was able to show him prior to the nerving on NSAIDs, although he jogged sound, I did feel like there were times he came off jumps and felt ouchy on the landing. That's why I did the surgery. Since the surgery he returned to full work and has been very successful.

                Sooooo....it brings me back to the original question. How are leases and liability for the horse handled on horses that have been nerved?


                • #9
                  I might be wrong, but would guess there are not a lot of examples for you to draw from. The best thing to do would be to lay out very clearly in the lease agreement what their responsibilities are - ie everything ex that leg, or some compromise or limits. If the horse can't be insured, I'm not sure it is reasonable for the lessee to be responsible for "loss of the horse" and I would also ask how you could put a value on this horse that you would not sell.
                  I've been on both sides of a lease arrangement, both with older horses (18+) and neither were insured. The one I leased, I just assumed that I was responsible for anything, but the lease was in six month increments, so I had a fairly short "out" window. The other was a free lease of my horse to someone else. That arrangement was also that she paid all normal stuff and anything major, I was to be consulted. That worked fine, and when horse began showing signs of cervical arthritis, he just came home.
                  We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


                  • #10
                    Older horses or those with various issues that render them uninsurable are usually leased short term or month to month with an auto renew unless either party notifies they are terminating.

                    Not everybody has MM insurance and many that do carry a minimum amount to avoid paying more in premiums then the established value of the horse. Thats what the underwriter says it's worth and is willing to pay out on.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the correction on the sidebone issue.

                      With respect to your question, I have been the lessor in this kind of situation-- a horse that I wouldn't insure or that cannot be insured (usually because of age).

                      Here, you write a contract that limits the liability of the lessee up to a dollar amount. Usually, this figure is for vet bills related to an injury (no matter whose fault). It's not for loss of use, the death of the horse or a very long rehab.

                      When I have done this as the HO, I have asked myself two questions:

                      1) How much is the animal worth? I'm honest about it.

                      2) Given his value, how much would I spend on vet treatment, diagnostics and rehab if the injury happened on my watch and on my nickel?

                      The point is to produce an agreement that is fair and comprehensible to anyone who would sign it or enforce it. So you don't, for example, ask a lessee to cap vet bills at $5K on a horse valued at $1,500. That looks unreasonable to anyone who thinks of livestock in mathematical terms and you may find yourself losing a fight, even if both parties signed.

                      A couple of last provision I put in my contracts: I get to pick the vet and treatment, respecting the dollar limit we have put on it. Here, I protect my interest-- after all, I'll own the "broken" horse after the lessee has walked away, so I want the treatment done right. The lessee is protected by the dollar cap.

                      I also must approve the barn where the horse will live. That means that as the HO, I have done due diligence to protect the horse from injury or disease.

                      ETA: I don't put loss of use provisions into these agreements for older, unsound or inexpensive horses. That's because loss of use is a b!tch to adjudicate. In general, you don't want to write an agreement that is hard to interpret or hard to enforce.

                      I hope you guys can come to a good agreement.
                      The armchair saddler
                      Politically Pro-Cat


                      • #12
                        You might want to shop around insurance-wise. I've known nerved horses to be insured for MM/Mortality with an exclusion for that foot only. I am pretty sure at least one of those polices even later allowed the foot to be included for mortality after a period of time had passed with no issues. It's worth calling around if insurance is something you want.
                        "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                        • #13
                          detailed contract

                          It's sort of looking like writing your own contract is the answer.
                          Sounds like horse is doing great, which is always good to hear.

                          Maybe cross posting this on Dressage would get some more ideas
                          on what to put into the contract? They also lease show horses a lot.


                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks for the responses.

                            I like the idea of putting in there a cap on vet bills they would be responsible for in the incident of accident or illness.

                            I thought about the idea of being the insurer myself. If that makes any sense? They would pay me for a major medical policy (standard rate), and then if/when vet work is necessary I am paying out of my pocket essentially acting as the insurer. Mortality wouldn't be applicable still. I guess that capping the amount they pay out of pocket is similar, except in this instance they are paying me the yearly insurance instead of an insurance company.

                            The only reason I would be interested in doing this is that there probably isn't honestly an amount of money I wouldn't pay for the vet work on this horse. He's that special to me. I've already spent a small fortune in vetwork trying to get him sound as it is.

                            vxf - If you could help me out with a company that would do this, that would be fabulous. I called 5 or 6 companies when it came time to renew and all said that industry standard

                            mvp - valuing this horse is so so so so difficult. With out the nerving, 6 figures ++ I'd think. He's placed well in the derbies, can win the hack in good company, champions in big shows. Requires no prep, can cart around a beginner rider and make them look good, great canter, easy changes. Heart of gold and simple to ride. With the nerving....ummmmmmmmm?

                            The lessee deserves a nice horse and is a special girl, otherwise I wouldn't even consider this. I've got a couple of greener ones coming along so I feel good about letting him play with her for a year.


                            • #15
                              Try Blue Bridle.
                              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                              • Original Poster

                                Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                                Try Blue Bridle.
                                VXF - You are officially my hero of the month. They covered him mortality and major medical. Excluded the RF which is to be expected. I literally have tears in my eyes from this development, it gives me such relief.

                                THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by anony2 View Post
                                  VXF - You are officially my hero of the month. They covered him mortality and major medical. Excluded the RF which is to be expected. I literally have tears in my eyes from this development, it gives me such relief.

                                  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!
                                  My experience has been that they're good to deal with too. I've got one of my two policies with them and I've been really happy with them.

                                  Glad to take a load off your mind!
                                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"