Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Germany- but not German =D
I have loaned a horse out to my trainer for lessons, and as a result I got cheaper lessons. It got a bit out of hand, however, and they were using him more and more.
Since I no longer have a horse, I started a loan. One didn't work out because it was a 'second' horse, and the girl had her competition horse. So there was myself and two other people who had this mare on loan. She wasn't overly difficult, but the other riders let her run around like a goose, and on my two days I had to correct that. It was a complete pain. To add to that, the horse was always ill, so I couldn't do more than a walk.
The loan I have just had to give up due to injury was slightly better. I had lessons when I could, and paid €70 a month for twice a week, and I had to muck out (not a big deal).
Neither of them required a contract from me, as they were around initially when I was around the horse and saw me to be responsible enough not to spell everything out.
HOWEVER, I would ALWAYS have a contract. You need to make sure the loanee understands that galloping for an hour wildly over fallen logs is a no no, communicate his current work plan (trust me, communication is complete key to this. Not checking up on them all the time, but letting them know if he's worked hard over the week, if he's got the farrier, dentist etc etc coming out). If the rider puts the horse in danger, and from that comes an injury, who foots the bill? We had one rider on a loan horse who decided to jump the horse in a muddy paddock over 1.10m when the horse hadn't jumped in a long long time- three weeks box rest. This isn't a horror story, you just need to be very clear about what is allowed, what isn't and what your horse is capable of.
Lessons as part of the pack is more than justifiable. I would always count in a lesson once a week, if it can be arranged.
Financially, I would also ask for a contribution. I never hear of a free loan. It depends on how much your stable fees are, and whether you ask for half, or just a contribution to the monthly finances.
Will the rider have their own insurance? I'm not so sure how it works in the UK, but here you can insure the horse for 'guest riders' or you can get your own rider's insurance which I would always recommend.
There is much to think about, but its good you are thinking of these things, and not letting jo bloggs on your horse.
As for letting your horse go off the yard.. is it a big, busy yard, or are there periods of time where no one is around? I don't often hear of horses disappearing when they have to stay on their own yard, it tends to happen when the horse goes on full loan with all the papers included.