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Selling foal before weaning - who covers what expenses?

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  • Selling foal before weaning - who covers what expenses?

    I would like to hear how other sellers handle their foal expenses if a buyer purchases before weaning. I know that board and registration is typically covered by the seller until the foal can be weaned BUT what about farrier, 1st set of vaccinations, deworming, etc? Do you as the seller cover all these or expect the buyer to once contract is signed?

  • #2
    I think you are going to get a lot of different answers depending on the individual seller, the buyer and purchase price. When we first started selling foals 20+ years ago, once a buyer purchased a foal from us, they were responsible for all expenses. Of course, with foals that are not yet weaned, we never charged board. The more foals we have sold over the years, the more we realized it just worked out better if we covered the cost of farrier, vaccinations and deworming up until weaning. It also made a nice incentive for prospective buyers. One thing we have always made buyers do, no matter what, is purchase insurance on the foal at least until they can get them to their new home.

    No matter what you decide to do, always make sure there is a signed contract and any obligations (both buyer and seller) are spelled out clearly in the contract.
    Home of Welsh Cob stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
    Also home to Daventry Equine Appraisals & Equine Expert Witness


    • #3
      Bought a foal last year well in advance of weaning. The sales contract stipulated that board was free until weaning (safety measure for a seller who doesn't want to get caught boarding a horse), feed, farrier. I paid registration fees, vaccines, and the health papers associated with shipping.

      There is some room to negotiate on this with many breeders, I've learned. Many times the promise of a quick and uncomplicated sale will help in the buyer's favor. For me, I didn't want to have to deal with multiple international payments so discussed with breeder the possibility of paying $x to buy the horse with an add on of $y which would cover A, B, and C anticipated fees for a total payment of $z - if the cost of AB&C was less than estimated seller could keep the extra, if it was more they paid the difference. (This worked for me because I trusted breeder and they had given me estimated pricing on those events prior to my making an offer - I had specifically asked about other additional fees so as to avoid being caught by surprise.)


      • #4
        I can tell you that as a potential buyer, if I trust you enough to buy a foal not even weaned, I definitely trust you to deal with the first vaccines, farrier visit etc. I'd rather just pay you for foal and what you expect those expenses with some padding. If those costs are a little less than expected, I'd just want the breeder to tuck that in they're rainy day fund. My world is largely dogs now, but what I describe is similar to my philosophy on my stud fee policy of a service fee and price per puppy with a cap on total stud fee. There's so little profit in breeding for most folks dumping the sweat equity in


        • #5
          I have actually done the opposite of Daventry. After breeder for over 20 years, and with the ease of money transfers thru paypal and venmo, I bill for farrier and deworming. All of that adds up and I really don't feel like it was that much appreciated or expected. Yes it sounds nice, and makes things simpler, but breeding is so expensive, I feel as a breeder I carry enough of the expense.

          When I sell a foal the owner sets up an account with my vet, and the owner pays for vaccines and anything else needed, like microchip insertion.

          I am only breeding foals for customers who want a specific cross. I am no longer marketing my program or trying to get new customers, so that makes a difference. At this point, my customers are repeat and friends. I do not charge board until weaning. And it is reasonable. I don't nickle and dime people, but I was starting to feel like a charity. I don't charge for halters, or anything other than farrier and deworming.


          • #6
            I'd like to add that I generally keep the babies I sell at least until riding age, so I would be billing for these things eventually, if not from the start. And I want the buyer to have an account with my vet in any case.


            • #7
              I no longer breed, but I always offered free pasture board until 6 months old. Vet, farrier, etc was paid by the owner. But my reasoning for the free until 6 months - I wanted an incentive to leave the foal with Mom until it was really old enough to wean! Too many horror stories about people setting up shipping (or showing up with a trailer) for a 4 month old foal.


              • #8
                I am with Daventry. It is much easier for me to include the farrier and worming in the price of the foal as it is to worry about collecting for it. The board is always included with an unweaned foal. Vaccines are not included, as those are usually done after six months, and by then the foal is weaned and gone. Registration is included as well.
                Mystic Owl Sporthorses