PROTECT YOUR HORSE WHILST OUT ON LOAN

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QUESTION
Dear horseanswerstoday.com
 
I've just been promoted at work which is brilliant news however my boss has informed me that I will be requested to travel overseas for a minimum of at least four months a year, often at short notice. 
I have a lovely 8 year old warm blood mare that I backed myself so I am reluctant to sell her. I am also very nervous about the idea of sending her out on loan - particularly as I might not be able to deal with any matters that might arise whilst I am out of the country.
Can you please give me some ideas and advice about how to advertise her on loan and also how can I protect my horse against any future problems that might arise when I am away.
Rebecca, Leeds
ANSWER
Dear Rebecca
Thank you for your letter, it sounds as if you are trying to make the right decision for you and your horse at the moment.  
To begin with post a good quality photograph and accurate description of your horse at your local tack shop and or on an equestrian website. Be entirely truthful and clearly state in the advertisement any vices or allergies that your horse may have. 
Have a series of questions ready to ask people when they contact you such as have they owned a horse before, how frequently they intend to ride, how will the horse be kept over winter and how often will she be shod.
Make sure you view where the horse is going to be kept and spend time with the potential loaner to get a 'feel' of how they are likely to get on together. 
At the point where you make your decision you must firm everything up; first by fixing the period of loan - to 18 months for example - then draw up an agreement so that all parties know what is expected.  
The BHS provide a very useful sample loan agreement on their website which gives you a good basis of what you should include. Click on the link 
There is so much to consider, for instance keeping up inoculations, regular appointments with the dentist/back person and insurance all needs to be discussed and agreed. It's vital to amend your policy to include any new activities that your mare might be undertaking with her new partner. It may be pertinent to request the 'loss of use' clause in your insurance just in case anything happens while she is out of your hands. It is worth while checking this with your Insurance Company.
Ask for, and verify, the stabling address where the horse will be kept as well as the permanent address of the person who will be having her on loan.  It might be worth taking a note of their car registration number or numbers.  Don't leave anything to chance.
Finally prepare an inventory of tack and rugs and include this in your loan agreement which both parties must sign along with an independent witness.
Good luck in finding your mare a lovely temporary home and best of luck in your new job.
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