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Tips on Leasing a Horse

EQUESTRIAN QUESTION FORUM: by Lisa L. Lerch, Esq. Do you have any tips on leasing my horse? Leasing a horse can be a nerve-wracking venture for both the lessor and the lessee. Under a lease, the horse owner temporarily transfers a non-ownership possessory interest in their horse to another. The first thing to determine is what type of lease arrangement you would like to enter into. Typical options include a full lease or exclusive use lease; a half lease; a broodmare lease and a lease with an option to purchase. If you still want to use and enjoy your horse on a part-time basis the half lease would be the best option. All lease agreements should be in writing to clearly define the rights and responsibilities of each party. Oral agreements can quickly lead to misunderstandings and ultimately litigated disputes. If you are placing your horse in a full lease, be cautious if allowing the lessee to have possession of the horse at their facility. If the horse is stabled on lessee's private property, you may ultimately require a court order to gain possession of your horse in the event of a breach of the agreement if lessee denies you access to the horse. When drafting the agreement the following basic provisions should be included: 1. Proper identification of the parties to the lease 2. Term of the lease 3. Proper identification of the horse 4. Terms of payment 5. Expenses the lessee is responsible to pay 6. Provisions for emergency vet care 7. Limitations and use of the horse 8. Location of the horse during the lease 9. Termination of lease 10. Insurance requirements 11. Attorney Fees provision 12. Liability release 13. Lessor's right to access and inspect It is important to note that a horse owner's general liability insurance coverage does not extend to the individual leasing the horse. In order to be protected from liability during the term of the lease, the lessee should be required to obtain their own general liability insurance coverage naming the owner(s) as an additional insured. In the event the lessee's homeowner insurance does not provide adequate coverage, the horse owner should insist on a separate equine general liability policy. Finally, the lessee will most likely want assurances that the horse will be suitable for the intended use, i.e. jumping, trail use, dressage, etc... In lieu of providing warranties and representations regarding the horse's soundness and suitability for intended use, the horse owner should simply allow the lessee to fully inspect and vet check the horse at their own expense prior to executing the lease. Leasing a horse can be a wonderful experience for all parties and the horse if basic provisions and adequate insurance requirements are established at the beginning of the transaction. This article is meant to provide general information only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The information in this article is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship between attorney and reader. The contents of this article are not a substitute for seeking the advice of legal counsel. Copyright 2010. Legal Equestrian, a Professional Law Corporation All rights reserved.

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