Loaning In’s and Out’s
Loaning is something the horse world sometimes overlooks, many of us jumping straight in and buying, others fear loaning their horse to the wrong person. Like with anything there are negative experiences and it may not be for everyone but loaning a horse is certainly something you should consider when looking to find your perfect friend or when having to make the decision to say goodbye. Whether you’re an owner or loaner read on to find out all the ins and outs.
Loaning offers a variety of options suited to the individual loaner/owner and horse, some may include a monthly fee, some may be livery, feet and other costs associated with having a horse of your own and others may even involve no cost. Some loans may involve certain time frames where as others may be for life.
Common types include:
Full loan: This includes full loan of the horse, commonly this will include the horse to be moved to your own chosen yard (normally chosen in agreement with the owner) or will stay on the owner’s current yard. The horse will be in full care of the loaner 24/7, 7 days a week just like owning your own horse so you need to be committed, it’s a big responsibility. This may be an alternative to owning your own horse if you do not have the money to purchase a horse up front or loaning may be a better short-term option prior to for example moving away to university or to travel for a year.
To loan your horse out on full loan this is a good way to ensure your horse is not passed on, you can visit and know there whereabouts and still have control over things with the ability to intervene if needed. Perfect for the outgrown family pony which you can’t bare to part with but don’t want to retire yet.
Part loan: This will involve loaning the horse a few days a week, normally the horse will stay at its current yard and be looked after partly by yourself and partly by the owner. It’s an excellent way to get used to owning a horse without full time commitment or to fit around work, study and other commitments. Part loan may range from one day to seven, dependent on the contract the owner sets and what your duties are. For example, you may be required to have sole responsibility of the horse 3 days a week while the owner looks after the horse for the other 4 days. Part loan is a good way for the owner to share responsibility without having to sell their horse.
Loan with view to buy: This is where a horse is loaned out to a potential buyer to ensure the horse and new owner are happy before actual sale of the horse. This could be on the horse’s current yard or potential new yard.
Any issues with loaning?
Issues with loaning involve having no ownership of the horse, which potentially means having the fear of the horse taken off you. A horror story understandably feared, many contracts/loan agreements have a 30 day notice unless for example the horses welfare is compromised. This is a horse lovers worst nightmare but it is a risk you have to take if buying your own is not feasible. Planning a potential time frame of the loan may help beforehand as for example an owner loaning out a horse due to an injury is probably going to be a shorter loan than an owner loaning the horse out due to time commitments with a new horse for example.
This does work both ways, as an owner there is the potential for the horse to come back to you too. Before loaning make sure if this does happen the agreed time in the contract to give notice is long enough for you prepare for the sole responsibility again.
Not having full ownership also means what you think is best may differ from the horses’ owners, you have a lot less flexibility loaning than owning. Make sure before any changes you agree it with the horse’s owner, some owners will be more flexible others may want notifying of any changes. Remember they are trusting you with their pride and joy, you may feel like they are being strict and too involved but they only want what’s best for their horse.
As an owner it can be hard to see someone else with your horse and it can be easy to stick your nose in and interfere, sometimes without realising. Make sure you don’t overwhelm the new loaner, they will have your horses best intentions at heart. Keep in contact and don’t be a stranger to your loaner but don’t check up too much , you may put them off!
The good bits
Loaning allows you to have the perks of owning a horse when financially or due to time commitments you may otherwise not be able to have one. Depending which type you choose you may offer different benefits individual to you such as gaining experience, allowing for a new ride or providing the ‘stepping stone’ horse in between pony to horse. You also always have someone who knows the horse best whenever you are unsure or need advice.
As a owner loaning your horse out allows you to keep them in the family without the financial costs and time commitments. If you can no longer provide what your horse needs then allowing someone else to love them must be a good feeling especially in long term loans.
Whether you are loaner or an owner make sure you have a signed contract and know fully what your responsibilities are, make sure you try the horse out as loaner and as owner make sure you are happy with the new loaner and the place the horse will be staying. Doing so will help make a positive loan and happy horse. Let me know your experiences!