My daughter is asking for advice on leasing a horse. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-03-2011, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Ohio
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My daughter is asking for advice on leasing a horse.

She sold her last horse about 4 years ago to the people that had been leasing him from her for year already, and used the money to buy a car.

For the last 3-4 years she has been finding horses to ride under circumstances where someone needed their horse kept in work while they had surgery/were injured, too many to ride themselves, for owners who needed a seasoned rider to put some time on their horse, or friends, partial leases, etc. and also taking some lessons herself.

She called and asked my opinion on a situation, we talked some, and I suggested she put it in to her own words in an email and I would post it here on the forum for some discussion and thoughts/ideas from others.

So here it is:

I'm going to try to explain the situation the best way I can in a small space...

I am an experienced rider but I can't afford to own a horse right now. I was looking into leasing one a few months ago when my friend who I used to board with before I sold my horses told me since she's so busy with school and work that I can ride her horse anytime I want if I just clean his stall when I go out there.

I've been going 3 times a week since September to clean and ride and she has only been out like twice since then. I also paid to have his hooves trimmed since it hadn't been done in over 6 months.

I have absolutely no problem with either of those things since I get a horse to ride for (almost) free, and a nice show-quality Morgan at that. I've started to become attached to him and he seems to be happier to see me each time I go out so I know he's bonding with me too.

The problem:

Yesterday, mid-ride, the owner of the boarding stable came to the gate in a very hostile manner and asked me if I was leasing him and if so why had I not paid board for November or December yet. I told her I was not leasing him and the only thing I'd agreed to pay for was the farrier bill.

Once I told her that she was much nicer, and I definitely understand why she was angry, but now I have a problem. She told me she is becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the situation since she's not being compensated for the use of her facilities, but that she doesn't want the stall to go uncleaned and she doesn't want me to have to drive the 40 minutes to clean the stall and not get to ride.

I was gone for a week and a half for the holiday and his owner was supposed to take care of him while I was gone but she didn't go out even once...seriously, it took 13 buckets to strip the stall when I got back. So for now I'm still allowed out there...but they're into their second month of not paying board and after 90 days the horse can become the property of the barn owner (something that's happened to this poor lady more than once since she opened her stable.)

I contacted my friend and her mother and told them of the conversation with the barn owner, and that she had asked me to try to convince them to move the horse. They asked if I was interested in splitting board with them (the only thing that would be different if I have a lease contract is I'd be able to take him to shows and trail rides whenever I wanted) and I told them the only way I'd be interested in that would be if I could move him to a barn closer to my house.

They told me to go ahead and look for stables and I've found a couple I would like to check out. I'm hesitant though, I mean if they haven't paid board in 2 months how do I know they will pay half of board and not dump all of it on me?

My other delimma, as much as I like this horse and I'm afraid if I stop caring for him he will be neglected, is that he is not the type of horse I'm interested in paying to lease.

I really want a hunter/jumper, I've only had about a year and a half of jumping training but I absolutely love it and I want to further my knowledge and experience in the field.

The Morgan gelding is 17 years old and scared to death of ground poles, let alone anything bigger/taller than that. Training him to jump is not an option as it's against his owner's wishes. Reporting them to authorities is also not an option because they haven't severely neglected the horse and it's really not my business to report them for not paying board, that's up to the barn owner.

What would you do in this situation? I can only afford to lease one horse, do I go with the one I feel needs to be "saved" or one who is capable of the type of riding I want to do?

Last edited by anndankev; 12-03-2011 at 07:23 PM. Reason: typo
anndankev is offline  
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-03-2011, 07:46 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
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My short answer is that this was a great horse to ride recreationally, for almost free....but when the situation turns to a lease where there will be more expense, your daughter needs to take another look. Based on this information, it's likely that the owner won't live up to the financial end and the horse could be up for sale by the barn owner or your daughter would have to pay the board herself. If she's going to make that much of a financial commitment, it seems to me that she should be doing it for a horse that can do what she wants to do. Sounds like this Morgan will be in a pickle for a while, but the barn owner isn't going to let him be seriously neglected, surely, for her own reputation. If the friend keeps on this path, not paying board, the barn owner can sell him to someone else who is looking for that type of horse.
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-03-2011, 07:54 PM
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Yes, very sticky problem. Unfortunately you only have two options as I see it. You can move the horse and more or less be "saddled" with caring & paying for a horse that is not yours. Also keep in mind, the owner, could at anytime, sell the horse from under you. Or you can just keep doing what you are doing right now until the barn owner forces the situation (ceases the horse) & look for a horse more suited to what you want from a lease horse situation. Keep in the mind, the horse is bonding with you because you are spending time with him. Good luck in your decision.
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-03-2011, 08:14 PM
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I agree with Ladytrails- if the owners aren't paying now, they won't in the future. If the horse is not what she wants, she should not get into a situation where she will likely be the one responsible for him. I would not recommend getting any further involved that she is already.
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-03-2011, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Ohio
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Thanks so much for your replies so far, good advice imo.
Now to figure out how to send her a link,
maybe she'll start coming around HF :)

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post #6 of 10 Old 12-03-2011, 08:30 PM
Green Broke
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Don't do it.

They are already behind on board, so how long would it take for them to end up not paying board in this new situation, where it now comes down to you to pay their half?

Plus, this current place is 40 minutes out. There is a good possibility that you could find a more suitable horse, one that you could do hunters or jumpers on, closer to where you are.

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. --Epictetus
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-03-2011, 08:34 PM
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I would let them and the BO figure it out and hightail it out of there. In most areas of North America it is very easy to find an appropriate jumping trainer and a horse to ride where the bills will get paid by the owner!! Don't put up with the sketchy, not paying board nonsense...
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-03-2011, 08:41 PM
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At one time we were looking for someone to "free lease" because we have a toddler and we dident want our horse to just waste away at the stable. We offered to pay for everything. All we asked in return was to make sure he was fed and ridden/exercised. im sure if you do a little digging, theres lots of horse owners that may be willing to fee lease if you are able to dedicate the time
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-03-2011, 09:11 PM
Green Broke
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either buy the horse, something you don't seem to want to do, and it isnt really suitable for you, or pat the horse on the head and walk away. We cant save them all.
First I would expect the current barn owner not to let you take horse until she is paid. Second I guarantee you will end up paying 100% of the upkeep for a horse that isnt even yours, Then one day the "Owners" will decide to sell it out from under you.
Seriously, pat it on the head, and walk away.
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-04-2011, 01:27 PM
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Ugh! I just went through a similar situation I completely understand the emotional tug-of-war she is putting herself through. I felt so bad for the horse - but I knew he was not the "right" horse to be buying....the barn owner wanted me to buy him and take over his care...the owner wanted me to continue to lease - even though the owner was having trouble paying for everything the horse needed. PLUS the barn was further than I wanted to continue to drive... So yeah, I get it.

For me? I decided that I didn't need to be involved in the drama. He is a good horse - and if he needs to go to a new owner, I'm sure there is someone out there who is a perfect match for him. But in the meantime, I did not need to be involved in any dispute or nastiness between the horse owner and the barn owner.

So I patted the horse on the head....and walked away.

It was hard - but I have no regrets.

Leasing a spoiled rotten trail horse...pretty - but a brat!
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