How to Let Your Horse for Sale Go On Trial


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When listing your horse for sale, you should be prepared for a potential buyer to request a trial period with your horse. Trial periods are fairly common when selling horses, and allow a horse to go stay at the buyer’s home for a period of time to make sure that the horse and the buyer are a good match. While you’re not obligated to allow a trial, if you decide to do so, then you’ll want to follow the following points to ensure that the trial goes well.

Visit the Buyer’s Agistment

Before you allow your horse to go on trial, pay a visit to the agistment where he will be staying during his trial period. Observe the quality of care that the horses at the agistment receive, and decide whether you would be comfortable with your own horse receiving that care while on trial. You should also look for potential safety issues like broken fence boards, weakened stalls, or the use of barbed wire in the pastures. If you see significant safety problems, then you might not want to let your horse go on trial.

Check References

It’s always a good idea to have a potential buyer provide you with references from their vet, farrier, and other horsemen. People who act as references for a buyer will be able to tell you whether that buyer pays for regular and necessary care and treatments for their horses. References can also help to give you an idea of how responsible the buyer is in their horse ownership, which may inform you of whether you would trust your horse to their care.

Consider What to Include

You may want to send some items with your horse when he goes on trial. A well-fitting saddle and bridle are important and necessary in order to ride your horse safely, so you might want to include these items for the trial. It is also a good idea to send a few other basic items, like your horse’s halter and rugs, with him when he goes on trial.

Get It In Writing

Before you agree to let your horse go on trial, draw up a document explaining the terms of the trial. Set out a specific duration of the trial, and specify what will happen if the buyer decides not to buy the horse. Will the buyer be responsible for shipping the horse back to you?

You will also want to specify what happens if the horse is injured while out on trial. Outline what steps are to be taken and who will be financially responsible. You should also take a payment from the buyer for the cost of the horse, and note the amount that has been paid.

Once your document is complete, both you and the potential buyer should sign and date it.

Sending your horse out on trial is a common process when selling your horse. Before advertising your horse for sale, consider whether you will allow a trial and how you would handle the trial if a buyer requests one.

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