Owning a horse can be more complicated than you might think, and the loaning of a horse is just one issue that has legal barriers to be overcome before it can occur.
The sample loan agreement below is a guide to the type of agreement that may be made between the horse owner and the person wanting to take the horse on loan. When amended, completed and signed by both parties it will form a legally binding agreement that both parties will have to stick to. However, if you have any concerns at all about the legal process and the terms of the loan agreement, or feel unsure as to whether you can trust the borrower, always seek professional advice before signing any contracts and agreeing to the loan.
This agreement is made on the (Insert DATE) between the parties (Insert Owner's Name & Address) (hereafter referred to as the OWNER) and (Insert Borrower's Name and Address) (hereafter referred to as the BORROWER) for the loan of (insert description and name of horse - including height, age, type, colour, name and any distinguishing marks) (hereafter it will be referred to as the HORSE.)
The HORSE is to be used as (a companion/riding horse/child's pony choose as appropriate) and not for hire or reward.
(1) The loan period will start on (Insert DATE) and continue for a period of 12
months until (Insert DATE) when the loan agreement may be:
1.1) Extended for a period of time to be agreed between the parties or
1.2) The HORSE is to be returned to the OWNER. (Delete or change if
(2) The Loan may be terminated on or before this date if:
2.1) The BORROWER no longer wishes to loan the HORSE. The
BORROWER will inform the OWNER in writing, no less than 30 days before
the HORSE (and all associated equipment as detailed in Section 12) will be
returned in a good condition to the OWNER.
2.2) The OWNER believes the HORSE is not being treated or looked after in
the correct manner. The OWNER may at his own discretion give the
BORROWER a specific period of time during which the BORROWER must
rectify any reasonable issues that the OWNER may have. The OWNER
hereby reserves the right to remove the HORSE at his own expense from the
BORROWER with no notice whatsoever.
(3) The HORSE is to be kept at (insert livery yard/farm/borrower's premises as applicable) unless it is agreed by the OWNER in writing that the HORSE may be moved to alternate accommodation.
(4) It is understood by the BORROWER that the HORSE (insert conditions of care e.g.- stabling and bedding preferences; dietary requirements).
(5) The BORROWER will allow the OWNER access to the HORSE at the address specified in (3) at any reasonable time in order that OWNER may check that the horse is in good health.
(6) It is understood by the LOANER that the HORSE…..
-(insert anything the BORROWER needs to know to safeguard both the
horse's health and well-being and his own.)
(7) The BORROWER is responsible for ensuring prompt and required veterinary
treatment by a registered and qualified veterinarian which includes routine and timely vaccinations for flu and tetanus and any other vaccinations the HORSE requires The HORSE at all times and the liability for payment of the aforesaid veterinary treatment lies solely with the BORROWER. The BORROWER will notify the OWNER if the horse suffers any serious illness or injury and will notify the owner in advance if possible of any requirement for the HORSE to have surgery or general anaesthetic.
(8) It is understood by the BORROWER that he is responsible for ensuring that the HORSE is fully insured for veterinary treatment, third party liability, travelling,
saddlery and tack, etc at all times for its full value and the liability for payment of the aforesaid insurance lies solely with the BORROWER. If the BORROWER fails to insure the HORSE and its effects the BORROWER assumes full liability for any loss or damage, including 3rd party legal liability. (The OWNER may have to arrange the insurance and reclaim the premium from the BORROWER.
(9) It is understood by the BORROWER that he is responsible for ensuring that the HORSE is suitably shod at all times and the liability for payment of the aforesaid shoeing lies solely with the BORROWER.
(10) It is understood by the BORROWER that that at NO TIME is he the registered OWNER of the HORSE and under no circumstances whatsoever is he permitted to loan, lease or sell the HORSE to any third parties.
(11) The horse is not permitted to take part in any of the below mentioned activities under any circumstances whatsoever: (change activities as required)
11.4) Any other activities of any kind not covered under the INSURANCE
11.5) Any other sports in which the OWNER requests the horse does not participate.
11.6) Mention any breeding restrictions here if you have a mare or stallion.
(12) The following pieces of equipment will be supplied by the OWNER to the
BORROWER and it is understood and agreed by the BORROWER that all items are in good working order and free from any defects not specified below. The
BORROWER agrees that at the time of termination of the contract, all the equipment listed below will be returned to the OWNER in good working order.
12.1) Saddle (state make, size, colour, condition, approx. value and any
12.2) Bridle (state make, size, bit, colour, condition, approx. value and any
12.3) Rugs (State quantity, size, type, colour, repairs etc)
12.4) (Anything else that you give with the horse but it MUST be listed
specifically to ensure any chance of seeing it again.)
(13) It is understood by the BORROWER that horse care and riding carry their own inherent risks and at no time can the OWNER of the horse be held responsible for anything at any time (except as detailed below.)
For example (add/delete as appropriate)
13.1) If the BORROWER is going on holiday and the owner has agreed to
look after the horse
13.2) If you have agreed to split costs on vaccinations/shoeing
13.3) If the horse ruins his rugs in the fields
(14) The OWNER agrees that if a VETERINARY SURGEON advises IMMEDIATE slaughter of the HORSE to prevent further suffering in the case of severe injury and the OWNER cannot quickly be contacted the BORROWER may give permission to the VETERINARY SURGEON on the OWNER'S behalf.
…………………………………….............(THE OWNER's NAME PRINTED HERE)
............................................................................(Witness's name & address here)
…………………………………….....(THE BORROWER's NAME PRINTED HERE)
……………………………………..........................(Witness's name & address here)
If you want witnesses (preferably two - one for the OWNER, one for the BORROWER), they should witness the signature and their addresses should be included. The OWNER and the BORROWER should both hold a signed copy of the agreement.
When commiting to any form of ownership agreement, the details within a contract are vital to ensuring you achieve exactly what you want to. Although this guide is an adequate example, you should take extreme care when filling out the content to your contract. For any more information regarding basic equine practice you may need, check out our advice and guides section