OLS Solicitors Blog

Essential Tips for Drafting Horse Loan Agreements

By Lara Davies on March 11, 2024

Picture of Lara Davies equine lawyer


In my role as the Head of Equine Law at OLS Solicitors, I have witnessed numerous cases where poorly drafted or non-existent loan agreements for horses have caused significant challenges for clients. A carefully crafted loan agreement is crucial in clarifying the expectations and responsibilities of both the horse owner and the loanee. In this blog post, I will provide some key considerations and expert advice on drafting a robust loan agreement for horses.

1. Identification of the Horse

One of the fundamental aspects of a horse loan agreement is the clear identification of the horse involved. It is essential to document specific details such as the horse’s name, age, breed, and any identifying marks. This will help prevent any disputes or confusion regarding the horse in question.

2. Duration of the Loan

Specify the start and end dates of the loan period in the agreement. Additionally, consider incorporating provisions for extending the loan period if both parties mutually agree. Clearly defining the timeframe ensures transparency and avoids any misunderstandings.

3. Financial Responsibilities

A well-drafted loan agreement should clearly outline the financial obligations of each party. It is vital to define who will bear the costs associated with veterinary care, farriery, insurance, and daily maintenance. This explicit identification of responsibilities prevents unexpected disputes and ensures smooth coordination between the parties involved.

4. Use of the Horse

Define the specific purposes for which the horse may be used during the loan period. This includes specifying the types of riding activities, competitions, and any breeding restrictions. Clearly delineate the permitted activities to protect the horse’s welfare and prevent any unauthorized use.

5. Termination Conditions

Include conditions under which the loan agreement can be terminated by either party. This section should cover scenarios such as a breach of agreement, the horse’s illness, or if the horse becomes unsuitable for the loanee. Setting forth termination clauses ensures that both parties are aware of the circumstances that can lead to the agreement’s conclusion.

6. Insurance

It is strongly advisable to have the horse insured during the loan period. The loan agreement should clearly state who is responsible for obtaining and paying for the insurance coverage. Insuring the horse safeguards against potential risks and ensures adequate protection for all parties involved.

7. Dispute Resolution

An effective loan agreement should include a process for resolving disputes should they arise. Consider outlining a procedure that includes mediation as the initial step before pursuing any legal action. This approach encourages dialogue and can often lead to amicable solutions.


Drafting a comprehensive loan agreement is essential for the well-being of the horse and the protection of both the horse owner and the loanee. By following the key considerations discussed in this blog post and seeking legal advice when necessary, you can establish a strong contractual foundation that minimises the risk of disputes. Remember, a well-drafted loan agreement promotes transparency, safeguards the interests of all parties involved, and ultimately contributes to a positive and mutually beneficial horse loan experience.

If you require expert advice or assistance in drafting a loan agreement, please feel free to reach out to the equine law team at OLS Solicitors.

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    • Lara Davies

      Lara is our Head of Legal Practice and a director. She advises on complex financial remedy proceedings, private child disputes, and Inheritance Act cases. She also has a keen interest in protecting vulnerable clients, particularly those who have experienced forms of domestic violence in their relationships. Lara has often represented fathers in private child proceedings and has a unique understanding of the challenges faced by them. Lara is keen horsewoman, and has spent her life competing in national and regional level dressage competitions with success. She is also a keen runner, and has completed Marathons, Half-Marathons and mountain races – she is now building up to her first ultra-marathon. Lara loves being outside in the mountains; her favourite place is the Scottish Highlands where she can be found a few times a year with her other half and their Pug in their campervan. She is slowly making her way through climbing each of the Scottish Munros and high peaks of England and Wales. Lara is a Welsh speaker.

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