3 Things Not to Say When Selling a Horse

How you represent a horse for sale to potential buyers is serious business. What you say could inadvertently create liability for you, so choose your words carefully.
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Just because children and beginners have ridden your horse safely doesn’t mean every child or beginning rider could do so. So, in advertisements, describe the types of riders who have ridden your horse, and in what circumstances. | Photo: iStock
Selling a horse is serious business when it comes to how you represent him in advertisements and to potential buyers. What you say could inadvertently create liability for you, so choose your words carefully. Here are three things not to say when selling a horse.

1. “100% Sound” or “Sells Sound”

Why Not?

As most equine veterinarians will tell you, hardly any horse is truly “100% sound.” And even if he is sound today, he might not be sound tomorrow. So if you tell potential buyers your horse as “100% sound” or “sells sound,” and the horse turns up lame after purchase due to a pre-existing condition, you have potential liability.

What to Say Instead:

“Vet checks welcome.” This is appealing to potential buyers because it suggests you think your horse is sound and healthy without making any representations about his physical condition. It also encourages potential buyers to think about getting a veterinary prepurchase examination, which will provide them with information they need to make a wise purchasing decision. At the same time, it protects you from potential liability.

2. “Bombproof”

Why Not?

Horses are flight animals and even the most trustworthy horse can and will react to stimuli.  So if you advertise your horse as “bombproof,” and then the buyer is injured when the horse spooks, you have potential liability.
tips for Selling a Horse

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Written by:

Rachel Kosmal McCart is the founder and principal attorney of Equine Legal Solutions, PC (ELS), an equine law firm based near Portland, Ore. McCart is a graduate of the Duke University School of Law and licensed to practice in four states: California, New York, Oregon, and Washington. She is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. ELS represents clients in litigation, helps resolve equine disputes, drafts customized equine contracts, represents clients in horse industry disciplinary hearings, and incorporates equine businesses. Learn more at www.equinelegalsolutions.com.

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