Walking On Volume 6, Issue 2, February 2019 - Page 8

Back to Basics When A Potential Buyer wants to take Your Horse on a Trial Basis Selling a horse can be a stressful endeavor. Adding to that stress, many potential buyers will ask to take a horse on a trial basis to see if they are a good fit. To anyone that’s ever bought a horse, this make total sense. However, as the seller, it’s understandably nerve- wracking to have a horse that they still own and are responsible for out of site for even a short time. There- fore it is important for the seller to cover their bases with the following three forms of documentation. Terms of Use: This can be thought of much like an abbreviated lease contract. With that in mind, some things to think about might be: Restrictions on use: This is where the seller can put into writing what the seller can and can’t do with the horse. Can someone other that the potential buyer ride the horse? Can the seller take the horse trail riding? Can the horse be taken to a show? Basically the seller should think of things they may not be comfortable and include those in the Terms of Use. Quality of Care: This is where the seller can list any pertinent aspects of the horse’s care. Things like feed- ing requirements, blanketing instructions, and turnout instructions should go in this section of the Terms of Use. In Case of Injury or Illness: Although it’s tough to think about, the seller should address what the potential buyer should do if the horse becomes ill or injured. This section could include information on how to contact the horse’s veter- inarian or farrier, if the trial is local, as well as who will be responsible for any bills incurred. 8 • Walking On Insurance: Insuring against risk of injury is critical. In addtion to the Terms of Use, your documentation should re- quire that the potential buyer insure the horse during the trial period. It is a very good idea to have the horse insured with major medical and mortality for the sales price prior to the horse going out on trial. Finances: Lastly, the seller needs to address the financial agreement. In most instances, a non-refundable de- posit should be paid prior to the trial period, with that deposit then being deducted from the horse’s purchase price if the sale goes through following the trial. At the end of the trial period, the remaining purchasing funds should be delivered by the buyer to the seller on the trial end date, or the horse should be returned imme- diately on that date at the potential buyer’s expense. These arrangements should be in writing and acknowl- edged by all parties.