Lawyers and You: I want to know what you think!

The intersection of law and horses is a funny thing.  
When I was growing up in the horse world I had always thought lawyers might be reserved for racehorses or exorbitantly expensive ones, and lawyers wouldn't have a place in the average competitive and recreational world.

But then I went to law school, and I realized how frequently deals go wrong, often due to a lack of communication or understanding of each other.  So I started talking to horse people, and I realized how frequently people have felt "burned" or treated unfairly in a horse transaction.  

Common themes I hear are issues with trainers and being charged more than expected, trainers not receiving what they believe they deserve, issues with lame horses after a sale, and boarders who won't pay their bills.

Straight from the horse's mouth... what's YOUR opinion?
Source: USEF Facebook Fans' Funny Horse Photos submitted by Ferne Johnson... and look for my boy Lux!


There are such simple steps that can be taken to avoid many of these issues, such as a proof of sale or sale agreement, an insurance agreement, a trainer's commission agreement, a trial-period agreement, an insurance agreement, a release of liability, boarding agreement, etc.

To me, the best way to avoid problems is to anticipate where problems could arise- this comes largely from horse world experience and learning from horse transactions that have gone wrong.  But in large part it is common sense: no matter how friendly you are with the trainer, barn owner, or seller of a horse, unfortunately when money is in issue there is a rather high likelihood of good faith going out the window.

So I would really love to know- what are your thoughts on using a lawyer in your horse transactions?  Would you use a lawyer once to receive a set of forms for your barn that you can use over and over?  Would you use a lawyer as a preventative to help avoid problems, or would you only use a lawyer if something went wrong?

Thank you so much for your time in selecting your answer to the poll!