I'm considering a lease this summer, but need some advice and experienced knowledge about it because I haven't done it before. I know some people who have given some advice...but I'd like to also hear it from you guys--you don't know me or(probably) any of the people I'd lease from so you have a nice objective view point =)
Some of my questions:
1. What is a reasonable price for an on-farm lease/half lease?
For my area, half lease equals half the board price. Most times the owner and leaser split the shoeing costs.
2. What is basic lease etiquette? I don't want to accidentally breach some unwritten rule?
Most owners are control freaks, so they will have no problem saying what they expect. Most will tell you if you can jump, how high, if you can take the horse trail riding or off property. I have yet to find anyone who isn't very specific where their horse is concerned.
3. When someone asks what "level" rider you are, is there some specific criteria for beginner, intermediate, and experienced that I'm unaware of or is it pretty subjective?? I never know what to say...so I always end up writing them a novel about what I have and haven't done.
Very subjective, so rather than say beginner, intermediate, etc, tell the owner what type of riding you're doing...jumping 2'6", 2nd level dressage. Etc. Things the owner can relate to better.
4. Anything else I should look out for/be aware of? I know I should read the agreement carefully, and be very clear about what is expected from me and what I'm responsible to pay for...anything else?
VET BILLS - Usually the owner covers vet expenses except for something that the leaser obviously caused. That can get tricky if the horse suddenly turns up lame. Nobody can really prove who did it, if anyone. My horse soon started showing signs of back soreness after I 1/2 leased him. Turned out the leaser's saddle didn't fit. It was an easy fix, but those things can get weird.
I'm still unsure about leasing because I DO have horses I can ride for free, but I think it will be good for me to have that experience with a horse that will challenge me and one that I can go ride at times when the others aren't available or what-not. Variety is good. Anyway....just hoping there are some wise thoughts out there!!