This Business of Horses: Horses on Trial

I've been gone working on a big equine case, but I want to pop in for some blog time!
I love that equine law encompasses such a wide field, such as: labor and employment, immigration, constitutional, welfare, gambling, etc.
But this post happens to be right on the money with everyday life for the active horse participant.
______ 


There is a LinkedIn Group called This Business of Horses, and there was a recent forum discussion regarding whether you would ever permit a horse to go out on trial.  
I have learned that, for myself, I would find it unwise to purchase a horse without taking it on trial.  I was surprised however to see such a solid argument AGAINST permitting a horse to go out on trial. 

 I think it depends on the horse and the level of rider taking the horse- I would be wary to let a beginner take a horse on trial back to a home barn, but I feel comfortable allowing an intermediate rider take my horse into a training stable where an accomplished trainer will work with the duo.



What I recommend for horses going on trial:
1. A check be written for the full purchase price when the horse is picked up (though of course it cannot be deposited until or unless the prospective buyers decide they want the horse and a Bill of Sale is signed)
2. That the prospective buyers take the horse for only one week and pay for major medical or mortality insurance on the horse from the time it leaves the property (I have found one week policies are about $75.00, and WELL worth the peace of mind for BOTH parties!)
3. That an appropriate trial agreement/ contract is written requiring among other aspects, that the horse be returned in the same condition as it left the property, free from lameness, injury, or defects.  If the horse is not returned in the same condition then the owner of the horse is entitled to either receive the insurance proceeds or cash the check.  Other provisions may account for who may ride the horse, whether the horse can jump/ how often, if the horse can go to a show or be trailered off the prospective buyer's property, a release of liability if the buyers are injured on the horse, etc.


On that note, this is a quote I really appreciated from the forum moderator, Laura Kelland-May, who is a Canadian Senior Judge in Hunter Jumper Hack:
" - having a good contract is something that a[ ]lot of horse people really don't [e]nforce. When I see a seller offering a contract I know they are business people and want to make sure everyone is protected. They want to protect their horse as well as make sure that the horse is the best match for the prospective buyer. These are not the people new horse buyers have to be weary of ... these are the people that make their money from satisfied horse owners and quality horses.
 How do you feel about letting a horse go on trial as a seller, or taking a horse on trial as a prospective buyer?

If you are firmly entrenched in one opinion, have a read through the forum post to see how your arguments measure up to the opposing side!