Below are some considerations you should take into account when thinking about buying, loaning or sharing a horse.
Whilst this doesn’t cover everything, it is important to look at these key points before taking on the responsibility of a horse or pony.
Do you have the time?
A yard or centre may be able to help you manage your time by offering full, part, working or assisted DIY livery options to make sure your horse is looked after when you can’t make it down to the yard. The upkeep and care of a horse can be time consuming and this must be something you are prepared for when making this step.
Where will you be based?
Livery yards can have a variety of different facilities ranging from a basic offering of paddocks for grass livery right the way up to facilities such as solariums, horse walkers, outdoor areans and so on. Depending on your location, budget and the environment you are looking for there are hundreds of livery yards to choose from. The British Horse Society has a list of accredited livery yards, check it out HERE.
What do you want to do?
The type of horse you get should depend on what you would like to do with it and be suitable to your ability. Your local instructor or coach may be able to support you on your search and provide advice on what would be right horse for you and what to look out for.
When purchasing a horse we always recommend that you consider having a pre-purchase vetting by your chosen veterinary practice. A basic or insurance vetting is comprised of 2 stages (in the stable and in hand), whereas a 5 stage vetting looks at all aspects of the horse including under saddle.
What do you know about horse care?
If this will be the first time you have been responsible for a horse you might want to consider developing your knowledge of horse care. The British Horse Society, Association of British Riding Schools and The Pony Club offer a range of different training opportunities and qualifications in horse ownership, care and management.
- The Horse Owners Certificate
- BHS Stages
- The Pony Club Efficiency Tests
- The Association of British Riding Schools Equestrian Care Award
The legal bit!
As with any animal, if you are responsible for a horse or pony the Animal Welfare Act applies - find out more about the act HERE.
All horses in the UK require passports. An equine passport is a small booklet (usually around the size of an A5 piece of paper) that identifies each horse by its height and species. All passports issued since 1 July 2009 must contain a microchip number. You can find out more about these HERE.
Have you considered a contract?
The British Horse Society have drawn up some sample agreements that can be used when loaning or sharing a horse or pony. Click on the links below to see the sample agreement:
If you need advice regarding a breach of contract, whether this is a contract of sale or a loan agreement, this is classed as a civil matter and professional legal advice needs to be sought.