Buying a horse is often an exciting and thrilling opportunity, no matter the age of the potential owner. However, falling in love with an animal and jumping into purchasing one can ultimately come with a plethora of unexpected challenges, consequences, and eventual heartache for the buyer and animal. Therefore, it should be in the best interest of all parties to develop a thorough understanding of the best equine legal solutions in order to ensure smooth transaction.
When buying a horse for your homestead, it is importing to understand the legality of such purchases. This includes the “as is” clause often overlooked in a contract, what the pre-purchase exam of a horse is, and finally, the need for a good equine attorney to oversee the transaction.
Equine Ownership Process
Buying a horse can rapidly end up becoming a process that is led by emotion. After all, the animals are often presented with the seller’s best foot forward, and it is hard not to meet and interact with these animals without imagining the ideal long-term future with them.
Potential buyers should be able to visit the stable while proactively equipped with all the necessary knowledge, rather than rushing into a costly decision and making a choice reactively.
Each of the three considerations below can lead to avoiding a serious mistake when purchasing a horse while giving the buyer peace of mind once they arrive to look over a prospective mare, stallion, or pony.
The Need for Legal Representation
The need for an equine lawyer to represent the purchaser is necessary to consider. There are often many complications that a buyer may unexpectedly encounter when they interact with the seller.
After all, the contract that is involved with buying such an expensive animal is full of clauses that could spell out more harm than good for both a buyer and the animal.
As this is the case, it is always a good idea to have an equine lawyer who can talk the buyer through a seller’s contract, and reach out to a reputable one in the first place.
The “As Is Clause”
One very helpful heads up that a buyer’s equine lawyer can give them is about the “as is clause.” An as-is clause is simply the part of a contract that keeps the seller from facing any future consequences for a horse’s potentially poor health. What it means is that the dealer is only selling the animal as it is on the day of the sale: not as it may end up in the future.
This means that if the horse has a medical condition that has done undiagnosed, or a tendency towards any illness or weakness that may make it perform poorly, the seller cannot be held responsible. The seller only claims responsibility for any known conditions of the animal on the day of the sale.
This may not be a clause that can be avoided or even contested, but it is necessary to understand and what to expect if the horse suddenly develops lameness or disease.
The Pre-Purchase Exam
The pre-purchase exam is sometimes thought of as a blanket of protection for horse buyers. They go into the event expecting that any medical issues with the considered animal will be revealed in the pre-purchase medical exam.
However, the pre-purchase exam is often not quite that in-depth. Most vets will look over the horse’s current condition, without checking the full history record. Oftentimes, the examining vet does not even speak to the seller, simply examining what they see in front of them.
Purchasing a horse for your homestead, farm, or family is a process that can become hasty and emotional, leading to risky purchases. Enjoy the process, take your time, and stay slow and careful when making such decisions. Obtaining an equine lawyer to help you navigate the sales process and fully understanding legal clauses is the best way to ensure that your horse and finances are secure.