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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My cousin called yesterday and asked to borrow my horse for a period of 3 months, while his is recovering from a leg injury and is unable to be ridden. I trust his riding abilities completely, and feel certain my horse would be in competent hands. He is the primary operator of the family farm consisting of approximately 3000 acres and 300 head of cattle. He would like to use Thumper my 3 yr old gelding to check cows daily. Thumper is in great condition, very healthy, and what I would consider green broke. He is the single most mellow man Ive ever had the pleasure of owning. I only consider him greenbroke because while he is very willing and gentle, he doesnt know much. He needs work with his reining. Anyhow, Im wondering what sort of obligations each of us should include in a contract. WHo should be responsible for feed, vet care, shoeing, etc? I wouldnt be paying board obviously, he would be moved from his current barn to the family farm. I benefit from this arrangement in that Thumper gets daily ride time, and will be finished out in these 90 days. Cousin benefits in the arrangement by having a horse to ride daily and not having to purchase a new one to check his cows. I want to avoid any hassle with family, so an ironclad loan aggrement is needed. I want my horse back, so there will be no option to purchase him, Im just uncertain of what each of our obligations should be. Thanks for any help in advance, I appreciate it. Ive never been in this situation before, so Im uncertain how to proceed and dont want to cause a nightmare between family.
 

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My cousin called yesterday and asked to borrow my horse for a period of 3 months, while his is recovering from a leg injury and is unable to be ridden. I trust his riding abilities completely, and feel certain my horse would be in competent hands. He is the primary operator of the family farm consisting of approximately 3000 acres and 300 head of cattle. He would like to use Thumper my 3 yr old gelding to check cows daily. Thumper is in great condition, very healthy, and what I would consider green broke. He is the single most mellow man Ive ever had the pleasure of owning. I only consider him greenbroke because while he is very willing and gentle, he doesnt know much. He needs work with his reining. Anyhow, Im wondering what sort of obligations each of us should include in a contract. WHo should be responsible for feed, vet care, shoeing, etc? I wouldnt be paying board obviously, he would be moved from his current barn to the family farm. I benefit from this arrangement in that Thumper gets daily ride time, and will be finished out in these 90 days. Cousin benefits in the arrangement by having a horse to ride daily and not having to purchase a new one to check his cows. I want to avoid any hassle with family, so an ironclad loan aggrement is needed. I want my horse back, so there will be no option to purchase him, Im just uncertain of what each of our obligations should be. Thanks for any help in advance, I appreciate it. Ive never been in this situation before, so Im uncertain how to proceed and dont want to cause a nightmare between family.
He should be paying for all feed, vet care, shoeing and anything that the horse needs while he is using it. I would even condsider him having to supply insurance if the horse is of any value.
 

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My cousin called yesterday and asked to borrow my horse for a period of 3 months, while his is recovering from a leg injury and is unable to be ridden.
Do you mean his horse has an injury so he wants to borrow yours?

Just make sure the contract is VERY comprehensive and covers everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
He should be paying for all feed, vet care, shoeing and anything that the horse needs while he is using it. I would even condsider him having to supply insurance if the horse is of any value.
He isnt worth any real money, but to me he is priceless. He is just my trail buddy, I have no intentions of showing or competing with him, hes too mello and Im too old lol. I appreciate your advice on this matter. Not having been in this spot before, never even having leased a horse myself, I had no idea how these situations should work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do you mean his horse has an injury so he wants to borrow yours?

Just make sure the contract is VERY comprehensive and covers everything.
yes, Im sorry if I didnt word that correctly...cousins horse has an injury, so he would like to borrow my sound horse while his is recovering. ( shes on stall rest with limited turn out)
 

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A mellow trail horse is worth his weight in gold. I'd write up a contract that said, cousin pays 100% for all expenses during the lease time. I'd write it up that there is no fee for this lease, it is a USE lease only, no buy out option. I would also make him insure the horse for at least $5000, major medical & mortality with you as loss payee. That way, God Forbid, anything happens and you have to find another horse, you'll have something to look with. Or if he should become ill, then no huge vet bills dictating that the horse be put down because no one could afford the surgery.
 

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THis is a tough one. It is very difficult to cover everything that could happen. But generally, I would think vet care (other than shots, etc) should be his responsibility. Basically, he pays everything for 3 months. Where it could get sticky would be in the unfortunate circumstance that your horse has a major issue, i.e. colic, injury requiring major car and possibly loss of use. I am thinking that insurance may be best, that cousin pays for, but not even sure that will really cover it. And, looking at it from your cousins side-whose to say the horse wouldn't colic if he remained under your care? (just an example.....) It is a great opportunity for miles to be put on your horse, and only you know how he cares for them......good luck with this one.
 

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It's going to be the same kind of contract as a lease, then, except it has to cover everything in case something happens and you have your back covered.

Even in the most competent hands, and on the most gentle horses, accidents happen.

I write my own contracts but it's good to have a lawyer or whatnot look over them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for your helpful advice. Im hesitant to lend Thumper out, I really am. Hes so wonderful as is, I would hate to get an all together different horse back. He does need ride time, as he doesnt get a whole lot with me. I would love for him to be out everyday enjoying himself and learning a little something in the process. Im just going to have to think long and hard about this decision.
 

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Personally I would want to be very sure of the type of rider my cousin is. Your boy is young and impressionable, you sound like a careflull and considerate rider, are you 100% sure your cousin is the same? I'm don't know your cousin so please no harm intended, but like you said yourself, you don't want to get back a totally different horse at the end of three months. If say for instance your cousin doesn't mind if the horse moves a little while he's mounting, you might find yourself with bad habit(s) to undo. That would be the exact opposite of what you want. Maybe if you can take your boy out to the farm for say a weekend and let your cousin ride him in front of you so you can see how he rides and if they get along. Or like the OP suggested maybe a month trail period? See how it goes. One hears so many horror stories of people who lent their horses to somebody - be they friend or family- and got t totally different dog back.
 

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Thank you all for your helpful advice. Im hesitant to lend Thumper out, I really am. Hes so wonderful as is, I would hate to get an all together different horse back. He does need ride time, as he doesnt get a whole lot with me. I would love for him to be out everyday enjoying himself and learning a little something in the process. Im just going to have to think long and hard about this decision.
If you are hesitant for your gut. I couldn't lend a horse out.
 

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never do business with family, Arew you gonna sue him if the horse comes home lame ? probably not. Always a recipe for disaster and hurt feelings.
Absolutely nothing good can come of this.
The only way I would consider this is to sell him the horse for fair market value. with a buy back first right of refusal for the same amount. If horse is lame or injured or dead, its his problem. You at least have money to shop for another. If horse is perfectly fine at the end of the 3 months, you get your horse back he gets his money back. No horsey changing hands till the money changes hands.
 

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Horses that are checking cattle are mostly ridden at a walk. No one wants to get the cattle excited and have them run off precious weight. Cattle work is good for horses, it takes the stupid out of them. It could be a win/win situation or a complete disaster, not for the horse, but family if something goes amiss. If you are reluctant to let your horse go then be upfront about it with your cousin. Equate it to watching your firstborn head off for school for the first time - you want to follow the child to keep it safe.
 
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