I have been trying to sell my horse, and finally some- one came and tried him and loved him! We negoti- ated a price, they paid me and took the horse. We didn’t put anything in writing. Now a friend is telling me that I have to get the buyer to sign a sales agree- ment or the sale isn’t valid. Is that true? a) Yes, that’s true. If there is no sales contract, it never

happened. b) No. You can sell a horse on a handshake. The answer is (b). You can sell a horse on a hand-

shake. However, if both parties don’t sign a contract setting out the terms of the transaction, then the law of the state where the transaction occurred will govern any dispute that may arise. But the lack of a written agreement does not render the transaction a nullity.

Now the buyer has texted me and says he wants a “Bill of Sale.” Is that the same thing as a sales agreement? a) Yes. A Bill of Sale and a Sales Agreement are the

same thing. b) No. A Bill of Sale and a Sales Agreement are not the

same thing. The answer is (b). A “Bill of Sale” and a “Sales Agree-

ment” are not the same thing. A sales agreement typi- cally sets out the terms of the transaction and how the deal will go down. A Bill of Sale is really just a receipt for payment received—in other words, it is proof of the transaction, but not documentation of the terms. Typi- cally, a sales agreement incorporates a bill of sale in the sense that it can function as a bill of sale once the trans- action has been completed.

I found a “Bill of Sale” on the internet and sent it to the buyer. But he says he won’t sign it because it says “as is” on it, and he is saying he didn’t buy the horse “as is.” What now? a) Now you might have a problem. b) No worries. Just ignore him. The answer is (a). The language “as is” is a disclaimer

of warranties. Technically, that is a significant contract term. Imagine buying a car—it makes a difference whether you are buying it with warranties or without. The law says that warranty disclaimers have to be in writing, but they have to be agreed to before the fact, and cannot be imposed by the seller after the fact. So,

since you have the money and the buyer has the horse, it sounds like the buyer is objecting to the “as is” lan- guage because he thought he was buying your horse with all legally applicable warranties. If the two of you can’t come to some agreement, then technically there was a “mistake” and the deal should get undone— meaning you may need to take the horse back and give the buyer a refund of his money.

So I went ahead and revised the Bill of Sale and took out the “as is” language. It’s been a month, but now the buyer is texting me again saying that he wants to return the horse and he wants his money back. He is saying he spoke with a lawyer and the Bill of Sale I gave him is illegal. What should I do? a) Give him a new bill of sale. b) Take back the horse and refund his money. c) No worries. Just ignore him. d) It depends. The answer is (d) because it depends on what the

real problem is. Obviously, the guy wants his money back. But you need to find out whether he has a le- gitimate basis for revoking the transaction. If you live in a state (like Kentucky or Florida) that has a law that requires specific statements in an equine bill of sale, then it is a relatively simple matter to give him a compli- ant bill of sale. But is he really hung up on a “proper” bill of sale, or is he just trying to find an excuse to return the horse and get a refund? Since you took the “as is” language out of the Bill of Sale, certain warranties may apply to the transaction. But depending on what the buyer is claiming, his issue with the horse may or may not be related to an applicable warranty. I suggest that you find out what the real issue is before you do any- thing.


I run a small boarding barn. I don’t have my board- ers sign any kind of boarding agreement. One of my boarders went off to college last year and hasn’t paid board in a year. She owes me $12,000 in board and her horse is worth about that. Now another boarder wants to buy her horse. Can I just sell it to the other boarder? a) Yes. That’s a logical and efficient solution. b) No.

Warmbloods Today 69 by

Attorney Krysia Nelson


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76