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Would you do this - re: joint horse venture

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  • Would you do this - re: joint horse venture

    I've been wanting hubby to agree to find him a nice husband horse, but of course he's balking at the thought of all the bills that would go along with another mouth to feed. So I came up with the idea of getting a horse that both he and a good friend of mine's daughter could use. The arrangement would be that I get the horse (found a nice free one on CL) and keep him at my house and feed him, while she would be responsible for shoes and routine vet care - we would split any big vet bills.

    I understand that not everyone sticks to their word (really? - LOL!) but I really trust this friend, and I love her daughter and know she'd be thrilled to have a horse to ride. I haven't mentioned it to her yet, however, until hubby is on board. So, would you be willing to do this?
    I would like to think I will die an heroic death...

    But it's more likely I'll trip over my dog and choke on a spoonful of frosting.

  • #2
    I would be willing...however, I would still put the agreement in writing. Joint-ownership is the fastest way to ruin a great friendship.


    • #3
      Why not get the horse and make up a lease for their part of the use of the horse. I hate joint ventures of any kind. They are good for destroying otherwise great relationships.


      • #4
        Why not get the horse and make up a lease for their part of the use of the horse. I hate joint ventures of any kind. They are good for destroying otherwise great relationships

        There was a horse at an old barn my friend and I adored. I already had one and couldn't afford the total upkeep of 2 and she couldn't afford the purchase price. I said that I would "own" the horse and then she could lease it with a contract. Would have been great except they refused to sell him to me... They ended up selling him a year later for $500 less than my offer.


        • #5
          I have had things turn sour with friends during things like that. At this point I would never in my life go in on a horse with another person.


          • #6
            If you really know the mother and daughter well and trust them, it could possibly work. But it'd be extremely advisable to spell out every possible scenario in writing for all to sign. Maybe even to the point of specifying which farrier, how often to shoe, which vet, define "routine" vet care, how big a vet bill would qualify as a "split."

            But at the same time I know you'd not want to ruin a good friendship.


            • #7
              I'd be very leery of having a minor ride any horse on my property, regardless of who owns it. I've read stories of people losing everything they have because a child got hurt on their property (not necessarily by a horse). Keep in mind minors can not be covered by any kind of hold-harmless agreement, even if the parents sign off on one stating they won't sue if their kid gets hurt.

              Get a bigger insurance policy if you do do this.


              • #8
                This is a much better idea. I've seen some joint ownership deals go very, very bad, especially when there's a medical issue with the horse or one owner ends up having financial problems. It can get nasty.

                Originally posted by Treasmare2 View Post
                Why not get the horse and make up a lease for their part of the use of the horse. I hate joint ventures of any kind. They are good for destroying otherwise great relationships.
                Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                • #9
                  First it doesn't sound like hubby *wants* a horse, or else he'd be the one figuring out how to afford it.

                  If *you* want another horse, that's different.

                  In that case, either you or your friend needs to own it, and the other can part lease under whatever arrangement you come up with. If its yours, be ready to assume *all* the expenses on short notice. Kids can quickly lose interest, get busy with school, etc.

                  I have (free) half-leased to a minor, but I worked with an attorney on the lease agreement to get as much into it as I could. (That she was a C-something pony clubber. That the barn owner had recommended the horse as suitable for her. That she had had a chance to try the horse and so on.)
                  ... and Patrick


                  • #10
                    If there is one lesson that I've learned, it is never to do business with friends. Adding horses is like waving a match around a powder keg.

                    What ever you decide, best of luck to you!
                    "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
                    "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
                    Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Treasmare2 View Post
                      Why not get the horse and make up a lease for their part of the use of the horse. I hate joint ventures of any kind. They are good for destroying otherwise great relationships.
                      I'm also agreeing with this. Joint ownership can get real complicated real quick, and about the only time I think it is a good idea is when the owners see the animal as primarily a business venture (such as race horses or high value show stallions, that type of thing). In cases where the horse is primarily a pleasure horse and both parties have an emotional attachment to the animal, it can get sour really quick. A lease is much safer for both parties, IMO, at least unless you both have lawyers involved.

                      I don't think it's always bad to go into business with your friends, I have done it many times with no issue. But, you do need to be very careful. Look honestly at your friend. Does she meet her other obligations? If not, don't assume you'll be different. If anything, you'll be the last one paid since she has that personal relationship with you. If she pays all her bills on time and is very responsible in all regards, then it's probably okay.

                      Also, keep the business and the friendship separate. IME, it really depends so much on how you act. I generally lay things out upfront, that I am running a business and that I will treat them like any other client in that regard, and if they don't like it I won't be offended and will happily recommend other trainers. Obviously your situation is different as you're not doing this professionally and it's a share arrangement and all, but that's the attitude you need to take. For example, if your friend doesn't pay for his shoeing, her daughter can no longer use him. When payment is made, then her use of him can resume.

                      And definitely get it all in writing, including what will happen if her obligations are not met. You both need to be very aware going in what is expected of both of you. In the lease agreement I would also specify details of the use of the horse--as in, friend's daughter can ride him X days a week, and hubby will ride him X days, any special events (ie. camping trips, horse shows, whatever) will need to be determined X days in advance. And do talk to your insurance agent and make sure you will be protected if the daughter is hurt on your horse or your property. The fact that she is a minor wouldn't scare me off, as release papers are largely worthless--still do one, it won't hurt, but even an adult can sue you in spite of them.

                      And just one more thought, don't do this if you can't afford the horse if your friend can't come through. I have known people who were always incredibly responsible suddenly be unable to meet their obligations due to unexpected layoffs, sudden accidents or illnesses causing loss of work and hospital bills, etc. Life happens and you need to be prepared for that, as much as any of us can be while still getting out there and living it.
                      exploring the relationship between horse and human


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks so much for all the replies!

                        And you're right, that is my biggest fear is that there will be a misunderstanding that will ruin the friendship. I think what I would like to do now is discuss getting the horse with my friend and give her the option of part-leasing it for her daughter at $100/mo. That way, she doesn't have to keep the horse at her house (what is keeping her from getting one for her daughter in the first place), her daughter has a nice horse to ride, but no obligations regarding care, and I have help with the bills.

                        And yes, I can certainly afford the upkeep for another horse should the whole thing go sour. I'm just really excited at the prospect of finally having a horse at the house that anyone can ride.
                        I would like to think I will die an heroic death...

                        But it's more likely I'll trip over my dog and choke on a spoonful of frosting.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Treasmare2 View Post
                          Why not get the horse and make up a lease for their part of the use of the horse. I hate joint ventures of any kind. They are good for destroying otherwise great relationships.
                          Originally posted by Couture TB View Post
                          I have had things turn sour with friends during things like that. At this point I would never in my life go in on a horse with another person.
                          Originally posted by BetterOffRed View Post
                          If there is one lesson that I've learned, it is never to do business with friends. Adding horses is like waving a match around a powder keg.

                          What ever you decide, best of luck to you!
                          I was in a partnership with a friend once. I will never do it again. I think one owner, one lease would be the better option. Not enough was spelled out in our agreement. I never got her half of the money for a surgery, and she has the horse now.
                          "In the beginning, the universe was created. This made a lot of people angry and has widely been considered as a bad move." -Douglas Adams


                          • #14
                            To answer your question, no, I wouldn't.

                            What happens when you want to go riding with hubby, and friend's DD wants to go to a horseshow? Or perhaps DD wants to show the horse, and you don't feel she is ready to jump 3"6"... but she does anyway.

                            What happens if Hubby takes him on a trail ride, and unfortunately the horse is hurt so badly he needs to be laid up for months. Friend says, "hey, you broke him... I'm not paying for that. Oh, and since my kid can't ride for the next x months, I'm not paying for shoes, etc either."

                            Yes, it could happen. Even with a contract in place, although of course spelling all that out in advance can help. But even then, people have different ideas about what "appropriate" care consists of. Does it mean just feed/water? Will you clip the horse and then blanket? What if the horse "needs" joint maintenance? Will you both agree on injections, or oral supps? They can get pricey, after all. What if you hate friend's farrier, or the job he/she does on "your" horse? Friend may say, "sorry, Farrier is my cost and my choice."

                            Sorry, but unless you can afford the WHOLE cost of the horse - including all the possible scenarios that come along with one that may have hidden issues, as most nice horses are not offered for free on CL - I would pass. Especially since it doesn't sound like your hubby is dying to have a horse right now.

                            Of course, if YOU want another horse, including one that your DH can ride once in a while, and can afford to take one on even if no one else participates, then why not? You can always lease him to your friend's kid for a defined period of time, with a contract that controls that use.
                            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                            • #15
                              I've tried mixing business and friendship before and it's never really worked out as well as I'd hoped. There are too many opportunities for misunderstandings and too much risk. Does your husband really want to ride? If he's not super enthusiastic and into it, I'd pass on the whole thing. Although being able to ride with him or go on trails would be great, I don't think the associated risk is worth it.


                              • #16
                                I'm with those who say don't do business with friends. It rarely turns out well.