the buyer to give you a significant cash deposit up
front (e.g., 50%) and make sure that your written
agreement is very clear about when you can keep the deposit,
and when you must return the deposit.
the trial period to one week.
If the buyer is motivated, it is certainly
possible to fairly evaluate a horse and obtain a vet
check within a week.
The longer the horse is out of your control,
the more likely it is that something unfortunate will
the horse against mortality, theft and loss of use,
and have the policy name you as the beneficiary.
We recommend that you arrange for the insurance
yourself to make sure that it gets done, and that it
gets done correctly – you have the most at stake.
Often, a buyer will agree to pay the cost of the
insurance or split the cost of the insurance with you.
what the buyer can do with the horse during the trial
written agreement should specify what type of
equipment can and cannot be used on your horse, what
types of activities are and are not permitted, and
what persons can ride the horse.
For example, you may not want to have a bitting
rig used on your horse, or you may not want your horse
to be jumped over a certain height.
Your written agreement should spell out these
dos and don’ts in detail.
Check out the trial period environment before
the horse leaves your possession.
One easy way to do this is to deliver the horse
personally and make sure you feel comfortable with the
place where the horse will be staying.
Talk to the buyer’s trainer (if applicable)
and watch them work for a while.
If you don’t like what you see, you can
cancel the trial period, load up the horse and take it
right back home with you.
the buyer sign a liability
written agreement should provide that the buyer will
hold you harmless if the horse injures or kills them
during the trial period.
Note that a liability release signed by the
buyer will not protect you against claims made by
third parties – for example, if your horse kicks a
stall cleaner in the head.
You may want to consider taking out a horse
owner’s liability insurance policy to cover
sure that your written agreement is very clear about
who will be responsible if something happens to the
horse during the trial period.
Typically, the buyer agrees to bear the risk of
loss or injury to the horse during the trial period
(similar to “You broke it, you bought it”).
The parties can also agree that the buyer will
be responsible only if the injury or loss is the
result of the buyer’s negligence.
Be very clear with the buyer about what will happen at
the end of the trial period.
For example, if the buyer declines to purchase
the horse, will you have to go and pick it up?
What happens if the trial period ends and you
can’t get reach the buyer to find out whether they
want to buy the horse?
Your written agreement should cover these
Make sure that you know where the horse will be at all
times during the trial period.
Your written agreement should specify the name,
address and telephone number of the facility where the
horse will be staying and should provide that the
horse is not permitted to leave those premises without
your prior written consent.