Purchasing your first horse is a big decision. The most important thing to remember is that the horse industry has been around a long time. The old Latin phrase “cavaeat emptor” applies to horses, as it has for centuries. This basically means “buyer beware”. In other words, the seller is under no obligation to disclose information to you that you do not inquire about.
A written contract is the best means of ensuring that the important questions get asked and dealt with. Regardless of the purchase price, a written contract should be in place between the parties that sets out the terms and representations of both the buyer and the seller.
Of course, some people think that a contract is unnecessary or not worthwhile if you are buying a horse for $5,000.00 or less. Well, that is just not true. There are two reasons I say this:
First, a proper, binding and thorough Purchase and Sale Agreement for a horse is not expensive and is always worthwhile, particularly compared to the cost of a dispute without one.
Secondly, the purchase price of a horse is irrelevant. The investment is in the long-term costs of owning and keeping a horse. You really want to make sure you get it right at the outset.
The moment you buy the horse, you become responsible for the cost of feeding it, boarding it, shoeing it, training it, and nursing it. In addition to the boarding bills, there are vet bills and farrier bills, not to mention the cost of saddle, bridle and whatever other tack you get. In other words, even a free horse is expensive, so you better make sure that you are getting the horse that you want.
This is why you need a contract and a clear understanding of the terms and conditions under which you are acquiring the horse, as well as your rights and remedies if there has been a misrepresentation.
The general rule is that a seller is under no obligation to disclose all information to a purchaser. This is what is meant by “buyer beware”. It is up to the buyer to do their own homework and educate themselves on the item being purchased.
We have a number of different contracts available, from a simple agreement to a complex syndication, depending on your needs. Please feel free to call or email me at email@example.com if we can be of service or if you have need of additional information.