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What to include in a boarding agreement

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What to include in a boarding agreement
  • My previous neighbor's (from where we just moved) are probably loosing their house very soon through both being laid off and have asked if I would board their horses for them.  We are probably going to trade some board for a couple 24X24 corral/shelters he has and several fencing panels initially.  Any advice on a boarding agreement?  What's standard for worming/immunization requirements, how many months of non-payment of board before the horse becomes yours?  How do you place a value on a horse for if something happened to it on your property?  What about veterinary care?  Thanks!
  • I Googled "horse boarding contracts" and this was a site that caught my attention mainly because I have never had to board and know absolutely nothing about what might be in a contract.
    The same search yielded some sample contracts.  They might get you started on a format and you can add/change things to fit this situation.
  • I've boarded at 3 different places.  Only one made me sign a contract.  At that barn I was only having the horse pasture boarded.  I had to provide vet information and instructions as to what they should do in the instance of a medical emergency.  There were no requirements for deworming, vet, or farrier.  It was basically a contract to cover their butts for liability reasons. 
    The second barn I boarded at did not make me sign a contract, but I was leasing (full lease, I paid everything) a horse at the time and I'm not certain if the owner of the horse had to sign one or not.  This barn had stall board, full care.  They did schedule farrier and vet and had a deworming program. I could supply dewormer or they would buy it themselves and charge me.  The vet and the farrier came out on a regular schedule to do all of the horses there at the same time and then I was sent a bill.  They would hold horses for vet/farrier at no extra charge.
    The third barn (the one I am currently at) does schedule a regular visit from the farrier but I have to come hold the horse and I have to let her know when I want Reidar's feet done.  They have a lot of horses and the farrier doesn't always get to the all in one visit.  I believe he is on a 4 week rotation out there.  Same story with the vet...if I want Reidar vetted I let her know and she usually has at least one other horse that needs something at the same time too.
    In your situation I think it would be an excellent idea to have some kind of contract outlining who is responsible for what and what will happen if they can no longer make payments.  Contracts don't necessarily have to be in legalese, just clearly outline your expectations and have all parties involved sign it. 
  • I highly recommend signing contracts. they get rid of most of the GREY areas of who is responsible for what. They may even save friendships by having everything agreed upon BEFORE there is an issue, which there WILL be at some point.
  • Here's a link to a site that has a couple different boarding agreements.  They also have other great forms that might be helpful.
  • Thanks for the links and good suggestions!
  • [quote=danastark]

    What's standard for worming/immunization requirements, how many months of non-payment of board before the horse becomes yours?  How do you place a value on a horse for if something happened to it on your property?  What about veterinary care? 
    All horses coming into my barn must be current on vaccines acording to my requirements as outlined in the contract(EEE/WEE, WNV, rhino/flu, rabies, strangles and botulism).
    You can't just take a horse because of non-payment, regardless of what your contract says.  You must go through the court system for all liens.  It is a good idea to include a clause in your contract citing the horseman's lien laws (or whaever your state calls it)  in your state.
    As to placing a value on an injured boarders horse on your property........if the horses are insured whatever value they are insured for is what they are worth.  Proving a horses value without insurance is difficult and in court would probably be based on purchase price plus achievements in training/showing since purchase.  We carry Care, Custody and Control insurance for all of our clients horses.  It covers us in case a boarders horse is injured or worse while on our farm.  Each horse has it's own value listed on the policy. 
    Our clients sign a "consent to treat" form.  This covers everything from scratches to having the vet out for a serious illness.  Contract states that we will make every attempt possible to contact client in case of emergency and if client can not be reached we are authorized to provide immediate medical care and obtain veterinary care at our discretion.  Our contract also states that any client failing to provide necessary vet and farrier care for their horse will have their contract terminated with 24 hours notice.
    If you are bartering board specifically state how many months board you are providing for the items bartered and list all of the items.  Another thing you might want to add is exactly how much feed, hay and bedding are to be provided by you daily.  Client must pay for anything over and above the stated amount.  You'd be surprised at how much people will help themselves to if it is not covered in the contract.
    Something else to think of.....while it might seem nice to get some stuff and board a few horses for someone in need, PROCEED WITH CAUTION!  Are you covered if the neighbor/boarder twists his ankle on your property and his insurance company sues you to recover medical expenses?  Do you have commercial liability insurance that will cover accidents should a rider fall from their horse on your property?  An incident like either example could be enought to take everything you have if you are not properly insured.  Please be careful and CYA!

  • Thanks, TOGM, all good points.  I'm nervous about taking on the neighbor's horses because if they are losing their house soon and neither have a steady job at this point, once the value of the fencing/shelters runs out, will I be stuck with feeding his horses?  He also has not vaccinated/wormed his horses in forever so I would demand that.   I want to help them out but don't want to be taken advantage of either........... Right now they are friends sort of and it isn't good to mix business and friends....... What to do..... I don't have to have a commercial license for only 2 horses here and currently don't have any riding facilities on my property so it's just trails around here.