Legal Considerations When Selling, Leasing, or Re-Homing A Horse With Issues

by | 12.07.2017 | 11:15am
Not disclosing a horse's known behavioral issues can result in injury to the new owner and liability issues for the seller.

Rehoming a horse can be a challenge, but when attempting to sell or give away a horse with behavioral or physical issues, it can be not only difficult, but a liability if not approached properly. In order to protect yourself, the horse in question and also the potential new owner, there are some tips The Horse suggest following.

Full disclosure is key, both verbally prior to the person test-riding or handling the horse and also in writing. For example, if the horse is spooky and prone to turning and bolting when he is frightened, describing it simply as “sensitive” isn't robust enough of a description. One should also disclose if the horse has ever hurt someone as a result of his behavioral issue.

The same goes for a physical ailment or limitation. Even if the horse is currently sound, it is an ethical practice to release all veterinary records on the horse and disclose any major injuries or surgeries the horse has had prior to the sale.

Putting details in writing, including those mentioned above, terms of sale, etc., in the form of a contract will help to protect you as a seller (and also the purchaser) if anything happens after the ownership has changed hands.

To read more about these and other tips on selling a horse with issues, go to The Horse.

  • Larry Ensor

    Sounds like “caveat emptor” doesn’t hold much water anymore in the horse business.

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