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Trial purchase/PPE contact question

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  • Trial purchase/PPE contact question

    Situation: Seller hauling horse to the vet for PPE. If horse "passes", buyer will hand money order over for purchase price and horse will come to the farm for a 10 day trial to ensure suitable. If not suitable, seller has to come get the horse.

    Question: at what point should buyer assume liability?

    a) When the horse leaves the seller's yard?
    b) when the horse arrives at the vet clinic?
    c) When the payment is received by the seller?
    d) When the horse is delivered to the farm?

    At what point should the liability return to the seller if horse is deemed unsuitable?
    1) When horse fails the vet?
    2) When seller notified the horse is unsuitable?
    3) Until horse is back at seller's yard?

    The proposed contract implies the seller has mortality insurance and major medical, but we are going to confirm that is the case for sure.

    I also need to figure out at what point we need to insure the horse vs her insurance covering mortality/medical, but that may be a question for our insurance company.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

  • #2
    I purchased a horse recently where I assumed liability as soon as the seller received my payment. As a note, I didn't request a trial period, but I did board with the seller for a short period of time until I could move to horse to my barn. I worked with the insurance company to have a new policy started in my name at the same time the seller cancelled their policy. The insurance company was on board with both transactions so they could make sure there was no loss of coverage should something have gone awry.

    As a buyer, I wouldn't assume liability for anything until I had paid for it. I'm also the type that doesn't want to take things on trial for exactly that reason. Should I find the horse unsuitable and then something goes horribly wrong, I don't want to be stuck with bills on something I am not keeping. I think you can get around that sort of thing however with a carefully worded contract. I'm sure other COTH'ers could make suggestions.

    Comment


    • #3
      Absent contractual agreement or special circumstances the person in possetion of the horse bears the risk of loss.

      G.
      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

      Comment


      • #4
        If it were me, I would have insurance for the moment the horse is in my care and control (the day the horse gets on trailer for ppe) to the moment the horse gets on trailer to go home with the seller.

        Comment


        • #5
          C - as soon as money changes hands, the horse is legally yours.

          3 - the horse remains legally yours until you get your money back, which I'm assuming would be when the horse is returned to the seller if the horse doesn't work out.
          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by JRG View Post
            If it were me, I would have insurance for the moment the horse is in my care and control (the day the horse gets on trailer for ppe) to the moment the horse gets on trailer to go home with the seller.
            The seller is trucking the horse to the PPE, so technically the OP does not have care and control over the horse when it's on the trailer on the way to the PPE.

            If the horse "passes" and the OP decides to buy, the horse is under the care and control of the OP once money changes hands.
            "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              I have a message with my insurance company...without the PPE I don't even think we CAN put insurance on him, so the seller will have to accept that we won't assume the risk until the PPE is complete.

              The other end of the agreement still concerns me though...mostly if we decide to return him, and the seller can't/won't pick him up in a timely manner and something happens to him beyond our control while we are waiting for her to come get him. I had a horse come in on trial once before get more or less abandoned here before (I managed to find a buyer for it), so I am a little paranoid.

              the contract states he has to be returned in the same condition (which is fair), but is the date he is returned the date we notify her he isn't working out, or is it the date she actually comes to get him? (Seller lives over an hour away)
              Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

              Comment


              • #8
                I mis-read, I thought the money had changed hands in good faith prior to the ppe. In the past I have had a horse insured while on trial pending ppe.
                As far as the seller picking the horse up, I too would be specific to pick up in the contract. But I would still have the horse insured as long as he/she was with me.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by JRG View Post
                  I mis-read, I thought the money had changed hands in good faith prior to the ppe. In the past I have had a horse insured while on trial pending ppe.
                  As far as the seller picking the horse up, I too would be specific to pick up in the contract. But I would still have the horse insured as long as he/she was with me.
                  How did you get insurance without a vet check/certificate?

                  Planning to keep the insurance on, but I am talking about something that insurance wouldn't cover such as horse wacks his knee on the waterer and has a big knee...in the contract we would be liable...but I don't want that liability to extend on forever in the event the seller waits a long time to pick him up.

                  Do you think it would be fair to limit our liability to 12 days from his arrival (it is a 10 day trial)? And to charge her board starting 7 days after notice he wasn't working out?
                  Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yes. That is fair.

                    That detail was something I put in the lease proposal for my gelding...because his future soundness is uncertain, I said that I had to come and pick him back up by the end of the current board period...I didn't want you stuck forever with an unuseable gelding.

                    7 days is completely fair for someone who lives less than 2 hours away, but limit your liability to the day you start charging board...charging board makes it clear that you are not interested in the horse, it is HERS. Anything that happens while she delays to come and get him is her financial responsibility.
                    Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CHT View Post
                      How did you get insurance without a vet check/certificate?

                      Planning to keep the insurance on, but I am talking about something that insurance wouldn't cover such as horse wacks his knee on the waterer and has a big knee...in the contract we would be liable...but I don't want that liability to extend on forever in the event the seller waits a long time to pick him up.

                      Do you think it would be fair to limit our liability to 12 days from his arrival (it is a 10 day trial)? And to charge her board starting 7 days after notice he wasn't working out?
                      When I bought my horse (and did so with a trial) I was able to get a policy from the insurance company for this purpose (trial periods, I think it was a 15 or 30 day policy or something)- did not need a vet record, we insured him for his purchase price. I paid for the policy, which started prior to horse leaving seller's farm, but the seller was to be the beneficiary if something went wrong. I did the PPE at my trainer's barn during the trial after I was confident I wanted to go through with the sale and when the money changed hands and I received the bill of sale the insurance policy was changed to a full policy in my name. It worked out well for all involved. Check with the insurance company you plan to use to see if they offer this type of policy.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
                        C - as soon as money changes hands, the horse is legally yours.

                        3 - the horse remains legally yours until you get your money back, which I'm assuming would be when the horse is returned to the seller if the horse doesn't work out.
                        This is a simple answer. It's also a wrong answer.

                        "Risk of loss" and "ownership" are not one and the same. For example, when you board your horse with a public stable they don't own your horse but may well be responsible if the horse is lost. When you ship your horse on a common carrier they don't own the horse but may be responsible if the horse is lost. If you let a friend ride your horse and the horse is lost they may be responsible for the loss. There are lots of similar circumstances.

                        I'd contact a competant equine insurance broker, present the question, and then follow their advice.

                        G.
                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Yes, I remember enough from my Commercial law class to know that the timing of actual change of ownership over something is anything by simple, hence the need for a thorough contract...but at the same time I don't want to scare the seller by an overly complex contract.
                          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            http://www.equisure-inc.com

                            Call Equisure. I believe they insure horses up to $50,000 without a PPE.

                            Good luck!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I agree that it is wise to keep the contract simple but you do need to include the details of what will happen if you decide the horse is unsuitable. I would specify the duration of the trial period, and then also the time period for the seller to pick the horse up if it is not deemed suitable, and then exactly what will happen if the seller does NOT pick the horse up, whether it is then okay to engage a professional hauler or charge board, etc.

                              Personally, if I took a horse on trial, I probably would consider it my responsibility to return the horse to the seller's property and ensure that it got there in the same condition. Offering a trial is a nice benefit to the buyer so I think it is fair for the buyer to take responsibility for the return if things don't work out. I also think that for the buyer to take control of the return helps prevent the concern that you have. I also would be wary about relying on a seller to come take a horse back that failed a trial, because I would not want to risk having an extended period of responsibility for the animal, and typically the liability of the trial buyer doesn't end until the horse is returned to the seller's custody in the same condition as when it left. I think it is hard to say "Well, I don't want the horse so now it isn't my responsibility any more" when it still is in your possession.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Seller offered to look after all hauling...that works for me as they are far away!

                                We narrowed down our responsibility to when we hand the seller the money (after the PPE, before delivery to my place) and to up to seven days after we tell her he isn't working out (she will be charged board and be responsible for him after that). The trial is only 10 days long. She seems reasonable, but I want to make sure it is all clearly laid out!
                                Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Here's an article I wrote on the subject of "risk of loss" in equine sales:
                                  http://www.equinelawblog.com/Risk-of...e-Sale-Lawsuit

                                  I'm a firm believer in using a thorough contract.

                                  -- Law and Horse Sense

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    How about you set it up with Seller that they assume they will pick up the horse at X time on Day 10 or Day 11? The Buyer calls Seller to tell them the horse has worked out, they are keeping the horse and cancels the pick-up appointment. This way Seller already has the pick-up scheduled as an appointment.

                                    Put a board rate in the contract if the horse is not picked up by Day 13 or 14, in case of inclement weather or other circumstances that cause cancellation of the scheduled pick-up. I would also put in a flat dollar rate that will cover return shipping by Buyer if Seller repeatedly fails to show up and Buyer needs to arrange return shipping.
                                    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

                                    Comment

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