Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Canberra, Australia
I can never quite decide what I thinjk of leasing as I have had both positive and negetive experience with it. One thing you have to make sure is that you talk about everything with the owner and then put it all on paper, and then both sign it with witnesses. A lot of people go and just lease a horse without discussing anything or putting anything down on paper. They think that the owner is nice and they are nice so everything will work out. You have to talk about things such as if you are at a competition, horse breaks its leg or something do you have the authority to put it down if you can't contact the owner. A situation such as that happened to one of my friends and it was horrible. If something happens like that you have to decide if you would pay for the horse or not, and if so agree on a market value before you start the lease.
If you are going to do a lease I would do what we call a "free lease" in Australia. Basically you take over the horse for an agreed period of time and pay all the fees and bills. You are the only one who rides it and you can take it to competitions, pony club etc. If you do a half lease where someone else is riding it then you can get in tricky situations if the horse gets sick, or you both want to take it out on the same day.
My experiences with leasing have been varied. When my first horse was out of work for a couple of months I leased a friends horse who she never rode. She paid agistment and some food and in return I would look after her other horse everyday, even though I only rode her main one, Rubicon. We filled out a lease form for pony club and such, and I took him to a few comps. He was very untrained and I put hours and hours of work into this horse. Then a guy who did saddle stuffing (he was very dodgy) came out to see the horse and saddle, and met the owner who was pretty good looking, wanted to get with her so he said I was bad to the horse and stuff to get her attention or something. I adored that horse so much and it really hurt me so after that I was really turned of horses. Basically she took the horse back and it was all pretty not nice. So I bought another one of my own and he was a much better horse so it all worked out for the best, but after having a horse taken back I was really upset.
Earlier this year I leased a quarter horse 3 year old just to see if I wanted to get back into horses or not. That was okay but I just didn't want to put so much work into a horse that wasn't mine.
Overall I think buying is better, but I think keeping horses is easier in Australia than the US, so maybe its a bit different over there. If you're not sure you want a horse then leasing can stop you from making a big mistake but I think overall if possible owning your own horse is the best option.