The best practices for drafting a horse lease agreement

Livestock law Jun 18, 2023

Drafting a comprehensive horse lease agreement is essential to protect the interests of both the lessor (owner) and lessee (person leasing the horse). Here are some best practices to consider when creating a horse lease agreement:

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Clearly Define Parties

Identify the lessor and lessee by their full legal names, addresses, and contact information. Make it clear who owns the horse and who is leasing it.

Describe the Horse

Provide detailed information about the horse, including its name, breed, age, registration number (if applicable), and any unique identifying marks or characteristics.

Specify Lease Terms

Clearly outline the lease duration, start and end dates, and any renewal or termination conditions. Include information on the frequency and location of payments.

Determine Lease Fee

State the lease fee, whether it’s a monthly, annual, or one-time payment. Clarify who is responsible for expenses like boarding, feed, veterinary care, and farrier services.

Define Responsibilities

Detail the responsibilities of both parties. This includes the lessee’s duties for horse care, maintenance, and riding, as well as the lessor’s obligations regarding horse health and documentation.

Insurance and Liability

Discuss liability and insurance coverage. Specify whether the lessee is required to carry equine liability insurance and whether the lessor maintains insurance on the horse.

Use and Riding Restrictions

Specify any limitations on the horse’s use, such as discipline or competition restrictions. Outline any safety rules and riding guidelines.

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Veterinarian and Farrier Care

Address veterinary care, vaccinations, deworming, and farrier services. Clarify who is responsible for scheduling and covering these expenses.

Emergency Contact Information

Provide emergency contact information for both parties and the horse’s regular veterinarian. Include a plan for handling emergencies or injuries to the horse.

Ownership Rights

State that ownership of the horse remains with the lessor and that the lessee does not acquire any ownership rights through the lease.

Dispute Resolution

Include a clause for dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration, in case conflicts arise between the parties.

Termination and Return of Horse

Detail the process for terminating the lease and returning the horse. Address any notice periods required by either party.

Signatures and Witnesses

Have both parties sign the agreement, preferably in the presence of witnesses or a notary public, to make it legally binding.

Remember that horse lease agreements should be customized to suit the specific circumstances and needs of the lessor and lessee. Consulting with legal professionals experienced in equine matters is advisable to ensure that the agreement complies with local laws and regulations.

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