Half boarding, or share boarding a horse are all the same concept in which you've arranged to have someone else pay for riding time with your horse. Leasing is a separate entity where you may own a horse but the leaser pays you to ride your horse on or off property and typically pays all the fees associated with the horse (farrier, board, vet bills, etc.) Half boarding is similar to leasing except the leaser is paying half of the horse's board, medical, and vet bills in order to ride a few days a week.
Half boarding can be a great option for those looking to save money and get their horse more time under saddle and is also an ideal option for those who are looking for riding time but are not ready to own a horse. However, it's important to take a few legal aspects into consideration by asking yourself the following questions.
- Who Will Pay the Horse's Maintenance Fees?
In a half board agreement, it seems reasonable to divide the horse's expenses aside from boarding fees, such as hoof trimming and shoeing, routine veterinary bills, de-worming expenses, and other expenses.
- What Happens if the Horse Requires Major Veterinary Care?
The possibility of an emergency always exists – it's important to note up-front under what circumstances the owner will pay for the bill or split it with the leaser. The parties can agree that the one responsible for the problem must pay the bill or that if no one is at fault, the bill is to be split down the middle.
- What if Somebody Gets Hurt?
There is always the risk of getting hurt in the sport of horseback riding and it's important to address these issues. As the owner, you could purchase a policy of liability designed to protect herself, as well as requiring a signature for a release of liability. It's important to contact a lawyer experienced in equine law when drafting up any documents.
- Are There Restrictions on the Use of the Horse?
You may prefer that your horse not be used for certain activities such as showing or jumping without a trainer. These things should be specified in the half board agreement.
All of these things need to be written out in a detailed half board contract, which each party needs to sign prior to beginning the agreement. Other things such as the duration of the agreement as well as the ability to end the agreement at any time should also be indicated. In order to ensure that your documents are valid and cohesive, it's important to contact an attorney experienced in equine law to draft up your agreement. While this may cost money up-front, it could save you a large sum, as well as unnecessary frustration in the long run.