foal contract question
I was given a mare who was already bred, whom vet says is too far along for a misbred shot. I have someone who wants the foal, but I have no experiences with such things, and was wondering what a reasonable agreement might be. This person has agreed to buy my mares feed, and some hay in exchange for the foal, but there are other issues that concern me, such as who would pay for vet care that was related to the pregnancy, supplements she might need, etc. Also the issue of when does the foal cease to be come my property, and be come her property, when it's born, or when its weaned and i surrender it to her. several issues are already beginning to concern me. There is only a verbal agreement at this time, and would it be too late for a written agreement of some kind.
Before you take money or goods in trade for this mare's foal, get everything in writing. The agreement can be as detailed as you want.
I'd think since you're the mare owner, you should at least be responsible for half of all the vet/farrier/supplement expenses concerning the mare during her pregnancy. After all, the person who wants the foal isn't getting the mare, and it's in your best interest to keep her healthy during and after her pregnancy.
The foal can change ownership in utero, but you need to put in the contract that it will go to the new owner upon weaning.
Make sure any contract you write up is signed by both of you and witnessed by a third party, preferably a notary public. Then each of you should get a copy.
I agree with most of this, except the part about this lady owning the foal in utero, in my opinionm that would give her the right to come on my dauhters property, bring anyone she wanted, and make all of the decisions regarding foals care and initial training. Please keep in mind, this is a very bossy, opinionated person who has never been near a horse in her life. When I made the verbal agreement, I just assumed te foal was mine until weaned and surrendered to her. I am being to be very sorry I entered into the deal at all. I know when it comes to puppies, the owner of the mother owns the puppies til they are weaned. Please disregard all these spelling mistakes, my 2 yr. old gradson removed some keys.
I never said you were required to name her the owner in utero, just that it's an option. It's often done with high dollar show horses.
Besides, terms of the contract may clearly state what she can and cannot do during the mare's pregnancy. If you don't want her on the property or making any decisions about the foal before it's weaned, put that in the contract. However, if you're expecting her to fork up money during the mare's pregnancy, she has some rights in the matter. If you don't want to turn over ownership until weaning, then you can't expect any help with bills during the mare's pregnancy.
You're also allowed to change your mind about giving her this foal if you don't think it's a good match. Until something is in writing, it's a he said/she said type of situation.
If I were you I would wait til the foal is weaned and just sell or exchange something for it. This stuff never seems to work out well for either party. One feels they got shafted, one feels they are not sticking to the agreement, the other feels they are over stepping their bounds. It would save you a lot of head ache to just retain ownership over every thing and handle it when the foal is ready to go.
What happens if the foal somehow doesn't make it? What she changes her mind? Do you have to pay her back?
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Exactly, Slide. Too many variables, especially since the OP is starting to regret the agreement.
First, you need to step back and not be emotionally involved with this foal. If you don't want it, to the point you'd be willing to abort it, then mentally you have to let go.
Second, remind yourself frequently that the market for weanling foals not from superstar parents SUCKS right now. Think about that several times before you alienate your buyer.
After you do that, then decide if you want to go on with this transaction or not. If you do then decide if you're selling the foal in utero or upon weaning. OR third option, you can do a "breed lease" on the mare for the remainder of the pregnancy and until the foal is weaned.
If you sell in utero or do a breed lease you get money now but the buyer does have some rights.
I would not deal with a mare owner who wouldn't permit me to visit the mare throughout, though I would expect that visits would have to be arranged, I wouldn't expect to be able to just show up and especially just show up with a posse.
Another good point with the in utero sale or breed lease, the person owns the foal NOW and there can be repercussions if they try to back out later. And if they DO back out later, you have non-refundable money to compensate you.
The downside is that they do have the right to expect a certain amount of care (they're paying for it) and to have a say in the training of the foal until weaning. The way around some training ideology issues is to specify in the contract that you (or whomever) will be providing the halter breaking and handling training of the foal. Or, you can say that from the moment the foal hits the ground, the owner is responsible and you don't put hands on the foal. She gets pretty much a wild child, and I don't find that acceptable especially for someone who's new to horses, but you don't have to worry about training. You let the foal nurse for 4 months, at 4 months you say, "Come get your foal." and walk away.
You can also wait to even commit, let alone finalize, to the sale until the foal is weaned. If you do that, you don't have to deal with this individual at all until she comes to pay and pick up the foal. The downside to that is, she may change her mind and you are stuck with the foal you didn't want.
Also, if I bought a foal in utero (which it sounds like the verbal agreement you have now is along those lines) I'd expect to be handling that baby from day numero uno. If its her baby, its hers. You don't get a say in training if she doesn't want you to. Especially if you have no ownership over the foal. Which brings up an important piece, especially for your buyer. Bill. Of. Sale! As long as ownership is in her name she is in control of the foal.
Written contracts. Written contracts. Written contracts.
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Response to answers
I am not emotionally attached to this foal. maybe I mislead people into thinking that I was "selling this foal to this woman. That is not the case, she asked me for the foal in exchange for her buying feed and hay, no money or goods were to exchange hands. I am only upset over what I may end up being major issues, this being based on another deal she made with another party, same terms. That mare has just been injured and needs to be put down, and this woman is refusing to allow the mare to be put down, even thouggh she is in tremendous pain, because her "baby" will die as well.
I have no problems with her visiting thhe mare and foal, but I do not want her bringing others with her without our permission, or being bossy and controlling and ordering us around. My mare was bred when I got her, she was in very poor condition, my vet says I am doing all I can, there's nothing else I can do to get her into any better condition.
I wish now that I had just waited, if the issue with this other mare had come up first, I never would have. The mare is so severely injured, she cannot walk on her own, and no way could she jump into a trailer, yet she just keeps going on and on and on, that she's told this and that person and they say the mare does not need to be put down, without even seeing her.
My daughter insists I have alread made the deal, and cannot back out now, but in no way did I intend to make it so loose. with the mare being in such horrible condition it is very likely she won't carry to term, anyway. This woman has so far bought 4 bags of feed, and a round bale to be shared between 4 horses, only 1 was mine. I am considering very nicely telling her, that since the outcome of the foal is in question maybe it would be best to just wait and see what happens when and if te foal is born, and i will feed my own horse. i am not trying to go back on any deals, I just don't want any trouble, which with the oter situation like it is, I'm very afraid their might be. Thanks for everyones help.
If it's not your mare that needs euthanized then, write up a contract that states exactly what has been agreed to by both parties, have it signed and witnessed by an uninvolved party IF you choose to continue this deal.
With nothing in writing, I would hand her cash for the value of the amount of feed she has provided for 1 horse, tell her that you will keep a log of feed costs for your mare and IF the foal is born, you will contact her WHEN THE FOAL IS WEANED and if she still wants it, she can pay the feed costs and take the foal right then. That eliminates any right to visit or bring friends or cause you grief in any way.
And because you say she is difficult, I would make it known to her that it is this way, take it or leave it and be prepared for her to leave it.
I will brook NO interference in the care of MY mares, regardless of whether the foal is purchased in utero or not. They own the FOAL, not the mare and I am the ONLY one who gets any say in their care. To let this woman think she has control of your mare is simply ludicrous.
At most you would owe her a foal but without a live foal guarantee she's swingin' on that one too. Out of KINDNESS since there's no written contract, you can offer her her money back but by no means are you required to do so. I always take a minimum of 1/3 NON-REFUNDABLE down payment on any horse purchase, without it.....no deal. So, if/until the feed is at 1/3 of the amount she'd reasonably be expected to pay.....pffffffft! Give her back her money and send her packing.
If it's not your mare that needs putting down, then the other mare owner needs to grow a spine.
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