Partnerships are a bad idea. However, if you are determined to do it, here are a few things to consider:
1. Where will the horse be boarded? If the horse is boarded at one partner's farm, how much does the other person pay? Is the person who is not boarding the horse expected to do anything (in regards to care) other than pay the agreed-upon fee (such as take care of paperwork, manual labor at the farm, required visits to the farm, etc.).
2. In regards to the health of the horse...Are vet costs shared equally, or does the owner who does not board the horse pay extra (since the one boarding the horse would be taking time out to meet the vet)? What happens if the horse requires a large vet bill? What if one partner cannot come up with the money to pay for the extra expenses?
3. If the horse is shown, how will these bills be divided? Who will take care of transport? Who will show the horse? Remember, you must agree (before you get to this point) on the training of the horse...who does it, how that person is paid, where the horse is boarded while it is trained, etc. These costs will need to be agreed upon as well.
4. If the horse is a stallion standing at stud, how will you sell breedings? How will you divide the money? How many breedings does each partner get for personal use? You will need to agree to any marketing investments and how this bill will be divided as well. If one partner takes care of the marketing, how is this service figured into payments? Here you get into advertising (free and paid), professional photos, back again to training, vidoes, AI, back again to vet costs, etc. etc. etc.
5. What happens if one partner wants to sell and the other doesn't? Is there a buy-back option? Can one partner sell to another party? And how does this affect the original contract? And if both partners agree to sell, how will this money be divided?
6. In the event that the horse dies, is there an insurance policy? How is this money divided? Who takes care of burial expenses? In the event you have a partnership with a stallion, Did you have lfg's? And, if so, did you promise a breeding to another stallion or money back to the mare owner if the stallion dies? How will this money be paid (who is responsible)?
7. If one of the partners dies, does the horse go directly to the other partner for full ownership (if so, is there a life insurance policy on the partners
)? Or, can the family of the deceased sell their shares in the horse to another party? Does that partner's promised personal breedings go to the family as well?
8. Again, if it is a stallion, what if he is injured and sick and can no longer breed mares? First, once again, those vet bills up until that point will need to be taken care of, and then you must decide whether to geld him, sell him, or what. Both parties must agree.
9. If you are sued for a liability case (the horse hurts someone or gets in the road and causes an accident or whatever) how is this taken care of? Is there insurance to cover accidents? What if one partner can't pay for the sued amount?
10. If the horse by one partner (and the other retains their half-ownershi) are they liable for any further costs after the horse sells? There may be old bills that were over-looked and come up after the horse sells. In the case of a stallion, a mare owner may return for a re-breeding because of a live foal guarantee...does the partner who sold out owe half on that re-breeding?
11. If the horse is shown, and wins money, how is that divided, or is it re-invested in the horse? This will need to be agree upon. Remember, you might agree to reinvest the money, and then BAM! A tragedy strikes one partner and he/she changes her mind about the agreement and asks for half the money for expenses. Is there a clause where agreements can be changed?
All of this, and much more, would need to be in a contract. A horse is a living being, and often one that has as much emotional investments as it does monetary investments. It also is a large animal that requires a lot of care. Not only is money involved, but hard work by SOMEONE will take place to care for this animal, esp. if it is shown.
Sooooo many things can go wrong in a partnership of this sort. A very long, solid, and clear contract helps, but there is no guarantee as to what can happen. One partner can just ignore the contract and doe what he/she likes and it would take lots of money and time in court to get back what is owed or lost. There are lots of simple things...for example....one partner houses the horse, and even though both parties had agreed (orally) to not allow children to ride the horse, partner #1 goes ahead and lets his neice ride the horse anyway. Neice is thrown and breaks her leg, her parents want money for hospital costs and pain and suffering...Partner #2 says "I TOLD you not to do that! I'm not paying anything!". Partner #1 says "In our contract we AGREED to go half on any liability costs."
And so on, and so on. The problems that can arise are never-ending. The one thing you don't remember to put into the contract is the one thing that can and will come up at some point. And, one partner can at some point just say "I'm not happy with this contract anymore. I want to change it." The other partner can refuse, but a rift is then made that makes it impossible for the two parties to work together thereafter.
Money can be lost, friendships can be ruined, and dreams can be spojled from partnerships.