One of the more satisfying aspects of my new little private pasture rental enterprise has been in it resulting in it allowing several people with some horse experience to acquire their first horse of their own. They had been riding at friends places etc. and or had grown up riding horses but current circumstances prevented their owning a horse. Most of them live in town or on small rural properties where there simply isn't room to keep a horse. Conventional boarding is quite expensive here and just completely out of the question for most of them. Three of our clients came from other places that rented pasture but they were just a big field with everybody's horses just tossed in together. One client's horse was low man on the pole where he was and was such a nervous wreck from being bullied constantly that she could no longer ride him. Neither of those other sites had any place to ride at all (we are not like a state park but we have 4 miles of grass lanes) and nothing like a round pen. The client with the nervous horse was amazed at how quickly he calmed down in his new home. She is now riding him often.
Four other clients have bought their first horse of their own and are becoming very attached to them. There is nothing like having your own personal private horse.
I have been thinking of buying one or two more horses and offering to lease one to someone (with some experience) who has not been able to own a horse. I would lease it to them for a year with monthly lease payments for the price that I paid divided by 12 based on them keeping it on my farm for 12 months and renting my pasture (1 acre private lot). I can buy very nice common saddle horses around 8 to 12 years old for about $300. After I got my money back in 12 months they would have the option to buy the horse for $1 and could then stay here on this farm for the regular monthly lot rent or move it to any location of their choice, no strings. That would give them a monthly cost of $125 for the first year and $100 a month after that. If they want to provide their own run in shelter we would knock off $25 a month. This is all self care of course so they would have to commit to daily chores. Since we sit barely out of town that is fairly easy. They would also have the same full use of the riding areas and lanes and the round pens as well as the clubhouse which I hope will help create a real sense of community among everybody involved.
I would rather use a 12 month lease than sell them the horse at cost outright so that I can watch the well being of the horse and it will also give them a no strings exit option at any time in case they decide it was a mistake. I don't want to stick either the rider or the horse with a bad deal.
Is anybody doing anything like this? And if so is it working?