View Full Version : WHEN LEASING A HORSE...Who pays vet bills?HELP!
2nd Nov 2005, 11:17 PM
I have recently leased a horse, and I have yet to sign the contract, just curious if it is usual that the leasee pay for vetting?
Any any advice on what I should expect my lease agreement to have??
2nd Nov 2005, 11:23 PM
Normally if you loan/lease a horse it's your responsibilty to pay vet bills, farriery, feed & anything that is needed.
2nd Nov 2005, 11:33 PM
So it is generally MINE just not in legal ownership form... :o
Any advice on what I should make sure is IN the contract??
2nd Nov 2005, 11:41 PM
Normally the owner does the contract.
Make sure you are happy with everything that is in it.
You will both sign it & you get to keep a copy of it
3rd Nov 2005, 04:05 AM
Well my friend and i lease 2 horses together and we pay for all the food and farrier... we havent had any vet bills but i think the owner would pay for them, but its a free lease, and we work at the stable where they are from so its a bit different, we dont have a contract or anything. But i think it woud just be up to what you and the owner decide and what is in the contract. so just make sure to read it and find out.
3rd Nov 2005, 04:17 AM
I am a lawyer and if you are leasing a horse, you should have a contract that specifies who pays for what. If not, there are going to be problems.
I would think that the owner would pay vet bills. You are just paying for the right to use that horse. It's not like leasing a car where you have it and have to turn it in at the end of the lease. I'm guessing you are sharing it with someone who just needs someone to help with the expenses.
If you want to give more details on your situation, I'll try to me of more assistance.
3rd Nov 2005, 08:12 AM
Is it a full or part lease? Is he staying on the same yard or moving? Is the owner still in charge of his routine?
If it's only a part lease or his owner is still taking an active management role then I would expect the owner to cover some, if not all, of the vets bills. If it's a full lease then I (as the leasee) would expect to cover the vets bills, especially if I'm moving the horse. I would suggest talking to the owner and finding out how they want to play it. If vet costs are going to be your responsibility then I would get the horse insured.
The BHS have a sample loan agreement (http://www.bhs.org.uk/DocFrame/DocView.asp?id=190) on their website that should give you an idea of what to expect. Whatever other terms are in the agreement, I would go out of my wayto have the BHS clause 14 included (which states that, if an attending vet advises the horse be PTS immediately to prevent further suffering, you're legally in a position to authorise it). Sorry - not trying to be morbid, just trying to avoid a potential horribly difficult situation becoming absolutely intolerable :(.
Hope you get everything sorted out to your mutual satisfaction :)
3rd Nov 2005, 05:11 PM
Thanks for all your thoughts on this...
I am actually in a full lease w/ her. Just got the contract yesterday, and it states I am responsible for the vet bills,she will have her shoed,fed,supplemented,shots...but she will forward those bills to me. So I suppose it is like I own her, just not in name.
I am planning to purchase her soon....the owner says she is in good health, but I think I should have a vet have a look see at her anyway. She is an older horse, and as active as she is I hope she is in good health as she seems.
My contract lets me take her out for a show or whatnot but I don't know if that is necesarily fair that I pay for vet bills while I lease and not own her yet. Is that usual??
3rd Nov 2005, 06:10 PM
Yes, that's the usual practice here - the lessee (you) pays for vet, farrier, etc. It's good your contract spells this out. If the horse is still living with the lessor (which sounds like your barn owner in this case) I guess it makes sense that she's the one who decides when and where to take the mare to the vet and you just get the bill.
However, the suspicious old lawyer in me is thinking "Hmmm. . . .what's to stop the lessor from taking the horse in for treatment she's needed all along but the lessor has put off until the horse is someone else's financial responsibility." I guess the answer would be to get a full vetting before you lease, which some folks do.
Definitely get a vetting before you purchase. And don't use the lessor/seller's vet. :)
3rd Nov 2005, 06:19 PM
Thats what I figured... so I am calling out to see how much it will cost me to have my choice of vet come in .
To be honest, owning ahorse has been in mind forever--- and with a ten year old daughter nagging at you--- it does help a bit. Hubby and I figured out our finances and managed to acommodate a new old frien in our TB mare. But I have to tell you-- I am a little scared of all these new found responsibilites and the word VET scared the bejezzus out of me! I live in a part of Ca that is partially rural...and horses are not uncommon...so prices may not be that bad. Maybe I should call around to see prices just for my knowledge......This is all so overwhelming...but I know, I need to educate myself.
The barn owner says she will do the necessities as need (shoes,supplements,shots,de worming) and she will forward the bill..... I trust her but why do i have a sinking feeling it could all cost less and I am paying more? Just the paranoia in me maybe. She is an honest person...but at the same time...I don't see her being shoed,I dont see when she de worms,maybe thats the only case that I wonder if it is reallybeing administered.
3rd Nov 2005, 06:28 PM
Well, you'll know if she's not being shod, cause her feet will keep getting longer. ;) And I think you could trust your barn owner to worm her, because your barn owner won't want a wormy horse in her fields with the other horses.
You're right, horsekeeping could be cheaper, for instance if you did it yourself, but in the beginning especially it's good to have someone knowledgeable right there where your horse is to help you learn the ropes. :) I live on a farm and still board my two for that very reason. To me right now it's worth the extra expense.
3rd Nov 2005, 06:36 PM
This it true.....ofcourse between me and the stable owner(my instructor) she definitely trumps me on horse know how! I HAVE to trust she is there to help me.
I know I may need a lot more understanding about the whole horse care business, and hopefully in time that is somthing I will learn along the way.My daughter and I are the only horse freaks in the family...my son is sloowly getting the taste for it....but hubby is the "Oh that's nice....what does that mean? How does that work? What is she doing?" When I talked to him about purchasing this bay TB, he just said what is BAY? I chuckled....
He says the horse could be purple with dots and he would not know any better.....really funny to me!
But yes, I need to really learn a lot more to be comfortable knowing th ins and outs of horse ownership.... How many horses do you have and what breeds,Peace?
3rd Nov 2005, 07:06 PM
Do you full lease (meaning you are the only one to ride) or half lease (does the owner ride as well?)
In a full lease, the lessee is responsible for the vet bills.
In a half lease, the lessee is only responsible for the vet bills that are caused by her (so if the horse goes lame because he fell in a goffer hole while you were trail riding)
3rd Nov 2005, 07:37 PM
I am doing a full lease, so only me and my daughter ride and care for the horse.
4th Nov 2005, 07:09 AM
If you are suspicious/paranoid (:p), could you approach it as a "seeing as I'm likely to be buying her I'd really like to learn about worming/ shoeing/ vaccinations/ saddle fitting/ anything-else-that's-planned: could you tell me when they're being done so that I could be here to see?"
That way you'd at least know things were happening.... ;)
4th Nov 2005, 05:14 PM
Thanks! That is a good idea. This way I can also keep my own record of when all the services for the horse are being administered. :D
5th Nov 2005, 01:27 PM
When I put my horse out on loan, I specified in the contract that the loan people paid for all expenses. Later, I had someone sharing him at the yard where I already kept him, and then everything was split between us, although I didn't actually ride him any more (I was too heavy for him by then).
That said, you need to know how much everything is costing before getting into this - there may be things that you haven't thought of! Horses are a colossal drain on the finances!
The contract I made covered everything I could think of, including the situations we don't want to think of. I also had a clause saying that they couldn't change his tack without permission - one person wanted to put my well mannered, reasonably schooled, elderly chap in some ghastly 'schooling' gadget that would have tied him down completely, and he just didn't need...
The loan contract can become important for either side of the agreement - on one loan (which was his last, believe me) depsite being told that this horse didn't like to be stabled and must be turned out every day, they kept him in for weeks. He was fretting and desperately unhappy. When I visited him after a few weeks, he was nearly skeletal - I put him in the trailer and took him home! And to show how unhappy he was, he loaded instantly, although he was normally a bit difficult...
Trust between you and the horse's owner is very important though - if you really don't trust her to be having him shod, wormed etc. I think you should re-think the whole thing.
5th Nov 2005, 07:46 PM
yes you would pay the vet's bills. Generally over here the loan will specify this, and will also specify insurance provision - so if I were advising on the same (which I'm not, LOL) i would advise my client to discuss with the other party what insurance provisions were needed, what if any restrictions on use were required etc. So e.g. if I take a long term loan of a horse I expect to pay the vets bills but I also expect to pay the insurance (which pays for the vet, save for the excess). I also expect to pay for everything else.
You need, I think, to sit down and plan a full budget for all the things you need to keep a horse - stable rent, farrier, insurance, vet (regular injections etc), feed/bedding, tack, rugs, etc etc etc ....
It's not cheap - but it's a darn sight cheaper than a lot of other things! and you learn a lot more than paying a fortune for a weekly lesson will teach you ... and you have more fun ...and you have no other life ..
5th Nov 2005, 09:12 PM
I currently have a horse on full loan and I pay for everything. feed, worming, vets bils, farrier etc.
Its basically like having a horse of my own, cost and time wise although you have to give the horse back and you don't have to pay the cost of acctually buying the horse!
7th Nov 2005, 05:57 PM
I am generally paying for it all....but I am lucky enough that she (RI/owner) does all the feeding,de worming, shod,shots...etc.
Which is a good thing I suppose for me who is a first time owner....I am still responsible for her but not as worried when I cannnot always be there to feed, etc.
My schedule is a bit difficult being that I am working full time and I have kids...so managing to come see my horse 3x a week is the best I can do for now.
I LOVE IT! But I stell cringe at the thought of the vet expense if needed.... It's somewhat scary....I am not the wealthiest person in the world, and unexpected expenses would be difficult, but I made the choice with y family to share our lives and time with this horse....she is just wonderful!
18th Nov 2005, 04:11 AM
We currently lease a gelding on a share-lease basis where we pay for 1/2 his board/feed and the owner pays the rest. This is a month-to-month lease that requires a 30 day written notice to cancel. The owner really just needed help with the cost of ownership and the responsibility of his exercise and care. He recently was injured on some tractor equipment in the pasture. We haven't been able to ride him for two months but, have continued to pay the lease. Do we still pay the lease when we can't ride him? I've looked all over the internet and can't find any contracts that address this. My contract doesn't address compensation to lessee in this case either. If we give notice to cancel our lease until he's better (don't know how long it will be) she said she'd look for someone else to lease him because she just can't afford it or (worse) she'll have to sell him (and break my 12 y.o. daughter's heart). I'm not sure what to do... we love him dearly but, can't afford to spend the $$ just to help out the owner...
18th Nov 2005, 05:35 AM
I sympathize with you, as a mom myself...I know how torn you can feel balancing the budget and making your child happy with a horse... it's a tough decision. IF you really cannot ride her, and you dont feel comfortable paying while you can't then...you shouldn't.
But I think regardless of the condition, leasing is also like owning that no matter what, you have to stick by the contract and care for this leases horse rain or shine-- less the owner is okay with you not continuing the lease.
How much longer will the horse be out of commission?
Thats is a tough call... but if $$$ is not too great an issue for you to help care for the horse until better, then I'd say hang in there, this again depend on the length of her re-coop.
Sorry If I cannot help much for a straighter answer, I have a child and I would be torn just as much.
Good Luck, and hope all works well for everyone:o
18th Nov 2005, 09:58 PM
Whether or not you are responsible for vet bills, you should have a complete exam before signing. You need to establish the current health of the horse and find any pre-exisiting conditions.
This will give you an idea of possible vet bills to come. It will also protect you from being help responsible for a condition that is already there.
19th Nov 2005, 01:16 AM
He was injured on the owner's tractor equipment that was stored in his pasture (it's now fenced off). He is on his way to recovery but, don't know how long it'll be before we can ride him again. We do love being involved in this barn (across the street from our home)...
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