Tag Archive: horse loans

  1. Top tips about loaning a horse

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    Some years ago, I was looking for a horse to have on loan. I’d ridden as a child but hadn’t owned a horse since I was a teenager, so thought having one on loan would be a good reintroduction. I found a cracking little cob who was nice and steady, but needed a bit of work to get him going. I thought he’d be perfect.

    However, the cob was a weaver and windsucker and the yard where I planned to keep him was a showing yard. Because it was thought the show horses would copy the weaving, I couldn’t keep him there.

    Loaning a horse is an excellent first step on the road to getting (or getting back) into the world of owning, but there are considerations — whether you’re the loaner or the loanee.

    If you’re the loaner, it’s worth clarifying where the horse is to be kept, how long the loan is to last, what the loanee is entitled to do with the horse, and who pays for what. As the loanee, be absolutely honest about your riding ability and what you expect to do with the loaned horse, say where you will keep it, and ask exactly what your responsibilities will be.

    For the sake of both parties, a legally binding contract is vital — both for your own protection, and that of the horse. The contract should cover the length of the loan and who is responsible for such things as vet and farrier bills. Having a contract or loan agreement is an important way of helping to reduce risk and protect the owner, loaner and, of course, the horse.

    There are horror stories of people who have loaned their horses in good faith, only to find out that the loanee has sold the horse on, with no way then of tracing it. A contract will protect you from this scenario — without it, it is your word against theirs that you did not gift the horse to them.

    Find out more:
    The loaner’s guide to loaning a horse
    The loanee’s guide to loaning a horse

  2. The loaner’s guide to loaning a horse

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    Horses are expensive. Not just in terms of all the obvious outlay, such as vets bills, feed, farriers, bedding, clothing and so on, but also in terms of your time. You love your horse, but perhaps you have a youngster to bring up, or have taken on a new job, and can longer dedicate the amount of time he needs. A solution, if you can’t bear to part with him completely, is to send him out on loan.

    Unfortunately, these sorts of agreements can go wrong. We’ve all read about people who’ve loaned their horse in good faith, only for the loanee to sell it on, or the horse to be returned in a distressingly poor state. But there are safeguards that you can put in place to help prevent these problems.

    The first thing is to make sure your horse is identifiable. If he was passported before July 1, 2009, he won’t necessarily be microchipped, so it is worth either getting him chipped or freeze-marked. Remember if you have him chipped that the implant site must be added to the silhouette on his passport.

    The next step is to find a loanee. Although you may have to spread your net more widely, it is worth trying to find someone locally first. Put up cards in feed merchants and tack shops, and ask your vet, farrier and local riding club — or Pony Club branch — if they know of anyone looking for a horse to take on loan.

    If someone comes forward, don’t be too quick to accept them as the loanee. Watch how they interact with your horse, and how he reacts to them; visit the place where they intend to keep him; ask for references and make it clear that you intend to follow them up.

    When you’re happy that you’ve found the right person, it is imperative that you both sign a contract. Even if that person is known to you, be pedantic about putting everything in writing. A written agreement is not only a safety net if a friendship turns sour, but can actually protect a relationship from the strain of misunderstanding by clarifying exactly what is expected from each party.

    The British Horse Society offers plenty of helpful advice and has a template of a contract, which is a good place to start. Go to: www.bhs.org.uk/welfare-and-care/buying-and-loaning-horses

    Watch out! A loaner’s story

    “I have sent out several horses or ponies on loan and on the whole everything has gone well, but I do have a fairly comprehensive loan agreement,” says Trisha Smith. “However, recently someone wanted to return one of my ponies at short notice and I had to point out the terms of the agreement — two months’ written notice. Fortunately, he has been re-homed to a super competitive family. Another pony was loaned to a friend and I found out through Facebook that he had gone to a new home!”

    Find out more:
    Introduction to loaning
    A loanee’s guide to loaning a horse

  3. The loanee’s guide to loaning a horse

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    While it is a huge step to send your horse out on loan, it is possibly no less daunting to take one on yourself, so it helps to follow a few, basic pointers.

    Once you have decided to take a horse on loan, ask around. Local riding clubs and schools, Pony Club branches, the local hunt if you have one, plus tack shops and saddleries are all good starting points. Social media such as Facebook can be helpful too. But make sure you find what you are looking for — or as near to it as possible — and don’t settle for the first one you see.

    Ask the right questions

    You should quiz the owner about the horse in detail. This sounds obvious, but, as well as the usual enquiries about vet bills, dentist, farrier, insurance and feed, ask about his habits, quirks and likes and dislikes, too. For example, is he OK on his own out hacking, or does he prefer company? How tight does he like his girth? Rack your brains and ask as many questions as you can think of.

    You should also be clear about what the loan arrangement allows you to do — whether you can take the horse to shows, for example — what the notice period is, for both parties, and whether you are responsible for taking the horse back at the end of the agreed period or if the loaner collects him.

    Protect yourself with a contract

    It is just as important for you, as the loanee, to have a contract in place as it is for the loaner, because it protects you both. Loaning can be a wonderful way of experiencing horse ownership, or a great step towards owning a horse yourself, but a legally binding agreement where each party’s rights and responsibilities are specified in detail is a must. Visit the BHS’ website for a sample agreement, which can be tailored to suit your needs.

    Watch out! A loanee’s story

    Trudi Johnson didn’t intend to take Jed on loan, but he was living in a field next door and when his young rider was told she was too big for him, he was offered to her on loan.

    “So I became the loanee of a 13hh New Forest pony,” says Johnson. “We had a fantastic time, doing all sorts of fun things, and I loved every second. He was naughty with people who knew what they were doing, but a total saint for anyone who was nervous or a beginner. He had a wicked sense of humour, too. I miss him terribly.

    “One day, out of the blue, his original owners came and took him back. We never did find out why and he ended up in a field doing nothing. It was very sad, but there was nothing we could do about it. I wish with everything I have that I could have bought him.”

    Find out more:
    Introduction to loaning a horse
    The loaner’s guide to loaning a horse