Rights and risks when buying a saddle
A saddle belongs to the essential equipment for rider and horse. It should be correctly fitted to the horse's back and the rider's body to prevent hazards and injuries.
But what rights can the buyer assert if the purchased saddle is defective? What can be done if a custom-made saddle does not fit?
To answer these questions, it is first necessary to distinguish which contract is involved.
Buying a standard "off the shelf" saddle
When buying an unadjusted saddle "off the rack" in an equestrian store, a purchase contract is concluded between the buyer and the seller according to § 433 I BGB. The seller owes the handover and transfer of ownership of the saddle free of material defects and defects of title. The buyer owes the payment of the purchase price. If the saddle has defects at the time of the transfer of risk, the buyer is entitled to the statutory rights.
Essential when buying a saddle "off the rack" is that it is not expressly agreed with the seller that the saddle will fit horse & rider properly.
However, if the condition of a saddle has not been agreed individually, then the saddle is usually free of defects if it has the basically usual condition.
Making an individual custom saddle
What rider wouldn't want to benefit from a custom saddle for their horse. Comparable to a made-to-measure shoe, a custom saddle also offers several advantages over a standard saddle. The custom saddle is adjusted to the specific body measurements of the rider and the horse, thus providing a better fit, less pain that occurs and, in terms of that, improved performance for the horse. This makes it an attractive option for many riders.
The custom saddle does not fit - what now?
Nevertheless, there are cases in which the custom-made saddle does not fit the horse's back as expected or does not meet the specified riding needs. The reason for this can be mainly an inaccurate measurement by the saddler or a change in the horse's physique, for example due to weight change or aging, which was not taken into account.
How is this to be judged legally?
In this case, you as the purchaser can demand subsequent performance from the saddler in accordance with §§ 651 S. 1, 437 No. 1, 439 I BGB. At the saddler's discretion, the saddler may provide subsequent performance either in the form of rectification or new delivery within a reasonable period of time. If he is not willing to change the saddle or provide a new saddle, you can demand a refund of the purchase price and return the saddle. Also in the case of an unsuccessful deadline, you as the buyer have a right to reduce the purchase price, rescind the contract or claim damages. Here it is important to consider the details of the case, burden of proof and legal pitfalls (judgment AG Kaiserslautern of 29.03.2011, Az.: 3 C 336/09).
Would you like more detailed information about buying a custom saddle and your associated rights?
Then do not hesitate and contact us. We will gladly and competently help you.