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Livery agreement

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This comprehensive contract is suitable for any professional yard.

The document can be presented to the horse owner as terms and conditions on a “take it or leave it” basis or it can form the basis of individual arrangements. It allows for different packages of services: full and partial.

Although it is written to protect your interests as strongly as possible, we have considered what your clients will think when you send it to them. We use wording that will not worry them that they have to see a solicitor before they sign.

We provide for everything you might want in the agreement with your clients and give you strong legal protection. The document covers:

  • details of services and prices
  • terms for use of additional facilities such as a cross-country course
  • care of equine including veterinary call-out
  • insurance
  • safety
  • basic facts about the horse and disclosure of any vices

The disclaimers also include cover for a situation where you are asked to ride a client’s horse.

As well as setting out the contractual terms, you can also use the document to explain how the yard works and to set down your practical rules and expectations.

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland

£34.80 inc VAT
(£29.00 ex VAT)
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Horse loan agreement

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Use this agreement to loan an equine for any purpose, including for competition, casual recreational riding and breeding.

Using a formal written document may seem unnecessary between friends, but it is in the interests of both parties, the long-term friendship and the horse.

Because each party knows what is expected, disagreements should be minimised and the equine should be looked after as the owner wishes.

It covers far more practical issues than the BHS version and provides stronger legal protection. The contents include:

  • responsibilities of rider for care and maintenance including the condition of the animal, tack and supplies
  • risk and insurance: sets out which party is responsible
  • warranties (promises) relating to the condition and the history of the horse
  • condition of the loan that rider shall compete (optional)
  • special provisions for brood mares (optional)
  • the supply to the owner of documents and record of achievement

The document can be used whether the loan is for free or for a payment

This document could be used to loan:

  • an equine to be ridden for a specific purpose such as training, competition experience, or conditioning
  • a brood mare to take a foal
  • an equine to be ridden for recreation

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland

£16.80 inc VAT
(£14.00 ex VAT)
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DIY livery yard agreement

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This is full livery agreement for yard owners who provide “do-it-yourself” livery services to horse owners.

The yard owner provides a loose box and basic facilities, but the horse owner feeds, exercises and generally cares for the equine.

This agreement is based on our standard livery agreement, but sets out your reduced responsibility for the equine while it is on your property.

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland

£34.80 inc VAT
(£29.00 ex VAT)
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Horse sharing agreement: competing

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This is a shared ownership agreement for a sport horse, where one of the owners is a competition rider, and the other a financial backer.

Sharing ownership of a sport horse has advantages for both the rider a backer. It can give a rider a financial or motivational incentive to perform, and it can reduce the upkeep costs and the responsibility of the backer.

Just as in any business arrangement, an informal agreement can lead to numerous problems later. The aim of this equine sharing agreement is to set out not only a record of ownership, but of agreed responsibility: for management, care and competitions. With it, backers will find that they aren't just a source of finance.

Matters covered include:

  • Safekeeping of any passport and other records
  • Care standards, and location and terms of stabling
  • Agreement in which events to compete
  • Expenses
  • Third party services: including vet, farrier and physio
  • Termination of the agreement

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland

£22.80 inc VAT
(£19.00 ex VAT)
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Horse training agreement

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This agreement is your route to happier clients and less worry about what might go wrong.

Without the terms of training written down, it is likely that at some point you will disagree with a client about exactly what level of service you are providing and what he should reasonably expect from you.

In particular, it covers you against expectations of faster progress than is possible, claims of deterioration in your care, and repair costs for damage caused by a client’s equine.

This document has been designed to be used by a professional horseman-trainer working with clients’ horses at his own yard or establishment.

There may be specialism in: backing young horses, remedial training, bringing on inexperienced equines, or training lessons for the owner.

The agreement is also suitable if you are taking a friend's equine as a one-off favour for a few months.

The document includes:

  • optional, full provisions for livery and rider training
  • obligations of the horse owner, including to disclose vices
  • disclaimers, including for the situation when you are asked to ride a client’s horse on your land

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland

£22.80 inc VAT
(£19.00 ex VAT)
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Horse sale agreement: buyer's version

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This agreement is a simple way to protect yourself as a buyer of a horse or pony.

It is very hard to ascertain whether an equine has any problems or vices at a viewing, even when a vet has assessed the horse's medical condition.

By using this sale agreement, you obtain the seller's promise (warranty) that there are no undisclosed problems. If there subsequently turn out to be, then it is the seller who becomes responsible for them, not you.

Using this document could not only save your thousands of pounds but also much anguish over dealing with a horse that you cannot ride.

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland

£22.80 inc VAT
(£19.00 ex VAT)
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Horse share agreement: recreational riding

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Horse sharing is a fantastic way of reducing the costs of ownership. However, many informal arrangements turn sour because of disagreements about cost or responsibilities for care, access and use.

This agreement sets out ownership and responsibilities. It covers a lot of points, and is suitable for both high value and low value transactions.

We haven't used any legal jargon, so the document doesn't seem overly formal for an agreement between friends. It will however, protect your investment in the equine, and help prevent disagreements.

This agreement could be used when:

  • buying a new horse with a friend and sharing costs and riding time
  • selling a share in an equine you already own in order to reduce your financial or time commitment to looking after it
  • buying with someone else to allow a third party to ride (such as buying with an ex-husband, where the rider will be your daughter)

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland

£16.80 inc VAT
(£14.00 ex VAT)
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Horse sale agreement: seller's version

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Sale agreements are usually written to protect the buyer because it is the buyer who takes the risk if the horse is not sound.

This document is drawn to protect the seller. It can help re-balance the strength of the deal back in your favour:

  • by offering an agreement you are likely to come across as a professional and trustworthy seller
  • by giving warranties (promises) you can reassure a nervous buyer to buy
  • if there are potential problems, you can remove your warranty relating to it without bringing the removal so obviously to the buyer's attention
  • you can choose terms around payment and delivery that suit you rather than the buyer

Of course, this agreement is drawn in terms to which a reasonable buyer would not object.

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland

£22.80 inc VAT
(£19.00 ex VAT)
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Stallion service agreement

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This is an agreement for use by any stallion owner as his standard terms.

It covers arrangements where a mare is liveried with a stallion for live service, or where a mare is artificially inseminated on a stallion owner's premises.

Generally it sets appropriate expectations between the two parties so as to minimise disputes over the terms of the deal, and limits the liability of the stallion owner.

Although drawn primarily to protect a stallion owner, this agreement sets out matters important to the mare owner as well. It is likely to be acceptable to both parties without much editing.

The document covers:

  • for the mare owner to provide full information about the mare against firm warranties
  • livery arrangements
  • a live foal guarantee and terms for free return (repeat service in case of failure to become pregnant)
  • an option for a veterinary check on the mare's fertility if she does not become pregnant after the first “season”
  • details of the stallion and owner warranties
  • reservation
  • sale of semen and payment arrangements
  • service certificate
  • veterinary call out
  • disclaimers and limitation of liability

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland

£30.00 inc VAT
(£25.00 ex VAT)
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Horse care agreement

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This agreement records how a retired or injured horse or pony will be looked after on a long term basis by someone other than the owner.

The owner initially loans the equine to the carer for the agreed purposes at no cost. The carer assumes all responsibility for the care of the equine and pays all costs (such as farriery and veterinary charges).

Ownership passes to the carer after a given period if neither party terminates the agreement before that date. This allows the owner to become confident in the quality of care provided before abandoning the horse to the carer completely.

Using this document prevents worry and confusion over the terms of the loan and, in particular, makes clear who pays for what outgoings.

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland

£22.80 inc VAT
(£19.00 ex VAT)
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Horse sale commission agreement

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This is a livery agreement where the yard owner acts as an agent in the sale and receives a commission if he sells the horse. In addition, he receives livery fees while the equine is on the yard.

The yard may have superior facilities in which to allow the seller to demonstrate the horse's ability, riders on hand who can get the best out of the equine, and surroundings that impress buyers; and the owner doesn't need to spend time arranging viewings, answering questions, or being at viewings.

Key features of this agreement include:

  • same provisions for livery as our standard livery agreement
  • the yard owner can choose to evaluate the horse before accepting the instruction to sell
  • a choice of alternative commission arrangements including fixed sum and percentage of the sale price
  • the procedure for selling is covered in full
  • recourse to yard owner if horse causes damage

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland

£34.80 inc VAT
(£29.00 ex VAT)
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Horse sale agreement: high value transaction

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This agreement is suitable for high value transactions where the buyer needs strong legal protection.

It could be used to buy any equine, including those for general recreational use, sport horses, racehorses, stallions and brood mares. It is suitable for international sales.

It might be that:

  • the value of the horse is high
  • the consequences of having an unsound horse are costly (for example, the buyer lives far away)
  • the performance of the horse is critical to enjoyment or use (for example, it is being bought in order to event, so it needs to be able to jump reliably)

It is impossible to test everything that might be wrong at a viewing - your new equine might behave perfectly in the seller's arena, but might be impossible to handle at events.

Up to a point, you can rely on a vet for checking medical health, but a vet can easily get it wrong, since he can only assess the equine at a single point in time with limited information. Of course, a vet cannot tell you anything about the horse's temperament, ability or suitability to you.

The only way of protect your interests as a buyer is to insist that the seller makes promises regarding the condition of the equine. If subsequently it turns out that a warranty is false then you can seek damages. This document gives you those warranties.

You can easily remove provisions that you think are unnecessary in your circumstances, or add additional ones that you might require.

As far as possible, we have drawn the agreement so that both sides will be happy to use it.

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland

£30.00 inc VAT
(£25.00 ex VAT)
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Option agreement: to buy horse or pony

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This option agreement binds the owner of a horse or a pony to a future sale if the prospective buyer decides to buy.

The prospective buyer pays the owner now for the right to buy later, whether he does so or not, and the right is granted for a limited time period.

Use an option agreement when prospective buyer is seriously interested in buying, but wishes to buy at a later date when he has better information about the value of the horse. Examples might be:

  • when awaiting the outcome of a competition
  • before you have had the opportunity to ride the horse and properly assess its suitability for you
  • before a vet has confirmed that a mare is in foal
  • before the results of a veterinary or drug test have been released

Using an option agreement enables the buyer to prevent any other prospective buyer from purchasing the equine until he has decided whether or not he wants to do so.

The advantage to the seller is that if he thinks that the value of the equine will not increase in during the option period (or if he thinks there may not be many buyers in the future), he guarantees himself a payment now for granting the option, and still has a good chance that he will sell the equine.

The document covers:

  • the buying process in the event that the optioner does decide to buy
  • appropriate optional warranties by the seller: that the horse is sound, and that she is in foal (or not!), or that she has not been fed any prohibited substance
  • for the buyer to take ownership without the involvement of a reluctant seller (the validity of this provision is dependent on the rules of the registering organisation)

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland

£22.80 inc VAT
(£19.00 ex VAT)

Documents that cover a wide range of equestrian arrangements

Equestrian legal documents are one of our specialties. The writer of these documents has ridden for many years and has bought and sold many equines for recreational use, to back and sell on, and for the family-run stud. The document is carefully considered to include practical matters as well as legal issues.

The documents, although varied, contain common elements, such as standards of care and disclosure of vices.

Why you should use an agreement to record your arrangement

Using a legal agreement might seem overly formal when you are dealing with someone who is also passionate about equestrianism, and perhaps who is a friend.

But just as in any business arrangement, an informal agreement can lead to numerous problems later. Without having the deal in writing, there may be confusion as to who agreed to pay vet bills, what level of service was agreed, or even to whom the equine actually belongs. Arguments can be time consuming, expensive and can cause worry. They can also end friendships.

If you use one of these agreements, the terms are clear and agreed, so there is far less likely to be any misunderstanding. The risk of conflict is also drastically reduced because each side knows what he or she has committed to and that a court claim will follow if he or she ignores that.

A good, readable contract provides a marker to your efficiency just as much as a tidy yard and happy animals.

Use of plain English will remove any worry from your clients that they need are signing a document that they need a solicitor to check before signing.

Whatever agreement you choose, remember that there is a strong psychological advantage in you being the party who presents the first draft document to sign or for discussion. You have the opportunity to frame the deal in your terms. This applies of course to any situation where a legal document is required.

Matters related to care of your horse

You may take it for granted that arrangements for care and management are covered very thoroughly. Each agreement contains different arrangements according to what is reasonably required. Here are some examples:

  • feed and exercise
  • use of third party professionals such as a vet or farrier
  • who pays for damage caused by horse
  • insurance: what is covered and who pays
  • obligations of the owner
  • safety on and off the yard

Livery agreements

You can use our livery agreements to explain how the yard works and to set down your practical rules and expectations. Yard procedures are given at the end of the document, and you can edit these to your exact requirement.

You can use one of these agreements as a hand-out for each client to sign and exchange parts with you or you can present a client with a draft and agree to negotiate each as a special deal.

It is not enough to post a copy on the wall of your tack room. That is useful as a reminder but it will not be binding. You need a signature.

These agreements are drawn primarily to protect the yard owner but the tone and content are intended to avoid offence by a client. However, as you read it, you may decide to soften some of the strictest suggestions we have made. You can easily change anything that does not suit exactly what you want.

Training

Many horsemen simply agree to a training deal casually under the assumption that the owner will turn up from time to time for lessons on her ever-improving horse. It is easily done. But that leaves you open to numerous potential problems. Without the terms of training written down, it is likely that at some point you will disagree with your client about exactly what they should reasonably expect from you.

For example, you will want to know about:

  • the present stage of the education of the horse or pony
  • whether the real purpose re-training
  • if it is for backing, how far will the process be taken
  • whether the work be driven by a target outcome, or simple by a number of weeks
  • whether the work includes rider training as well

We suggest you write the precise terms into a schedule to the agreement.

Sharing arrangements

Before you sign up to a sharing agreement, it is important to sit down and talk over each item. These agreements are not drawn to favour one side over the other. There will be small practical points you will decide to add, for example, one person might not want to deal with a farrier, or it may be important that one of you has access on Wednesday afternoons for a riding club attendance.

Consider the areas where something may go wrong with the proposal or your relationship and ask “What would we do if . . .” Those issues must be covered in the way you want.

Sharing ownership of a sport horse has advantages for both the rider a backer. It can give a rider a financial or motivational incentive to perform, and it can reduce the upkeep costs and the responsibility of the backer.

The aim of our sharing agreement for a competing horse or pony is to set out not only a record of ownership, but of agreed responsibility: for management, care and competitions. With it, backers will find that they aren't just a never-ending source of finance.

BHS documents

The British Horse Society (BHS) publishes two documents: what they call "an example of a Livery Contract which could be used as a basis upon which to draw up an agreement" and an agreement for loaning an equine to someone else.

We think that the BHS documents fall far from the mark. The reasons are that the agreements are sponsored by the British Equine Vets Association, the ILPH and the RSPCA.

The documents are more about setting standards of care for the equine than the legal protection of humans party to the contract. They do not cover many legal or practical matters except relating to care.  

While we think that it is beneficial to animal welfare and equestrianism that these organisations are trying to nudge owners into doing things in ways that they think best, it is disappointing that the model contracts the BHS publishes don’t provide adequate legal protection for their members.

We admire the work of the ILPH, but their aim is to protect equines. Their constitution is not relevant to the average yard owner. The RSPCA now has a political agenda. As for the BEVA, we simply fail to understand the relevance of a third party contract to their membership. Horses need their professional help in every equestrian sphere. A legal contract to which their vet member is not even a party, cannot affect that.

Matters relating to sale

When buying an horse or pony, the old phrase "buyer beware" applies. Unlike many other transactions, you have no statutory legal protection (unless you buy from a dealer). A horse may seem sound when you view it, only to show problems shortly after you take it home.

After all, it is only natural to want to show an equine in a good condition or talk up its achievements, both to maximise the price and to increase the chance of a sale. The seller may not intentionally be trying to dupe you, but it is all too easy to include bute in feed the day before you view it or say that the equine is a good competition jumper when in fact it has only jumped in the neighbour's arena. In short, few equines are perfect and there are ways of hiding problems that a seller won't be inclined to tell you about.

A vet's report will give you some assurance that the equine is medically sound, but you shouldn't rely on a report alone. Vets can make mistakes, particularly since they are only looking at the equine at a point in time, and are unlikely to know about historical injuries. Of course, a vet cannot tell you anything about the horse's temperament, ability or suitability for you.

Using warranties

No agreement can mend a broken horse. But both parties to a contract can benefit from warranties by the other of them. A warranty is a promise about some fact or state or future action. If it turns out that a warranty was untrue, the agreement is breached and one party can claim from the other.

If you are the seller then you may prefer to use an agreement drawn primarily to protect you. The Net Lawman version here still protects both parties, but prefers your interest. Presenting your agreement allows you to set the terms and warranties.

Why choose Net Lawman

Immediate delivery of the document template by e-mail after checkout
DocX file format compatible with all popular PC & Mac word processing software. We can convert into other formats for you
Use of plain English makes our documents easy to edit and understand
Detailed guidance notes explain the purpose of each paragraph and how to edit
Review service available - a Net Lawman lawyer can check your edited document
Full money back guarantee if the document isn't right for you
 
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