Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Control is a big factor, as it the feeling of ownership.
To me though the major issue is time. You lease out a horse and you put so much work into it. In my area you're more likely to find a young, slightly green horse on lease rather than a trained one. So you put months of riding, time, doing the hard work and then one day the owners say they want them back, and you have nothing to show for the work.
That happened to me once, kind of twice. The first time I leased a TB who needed so much work. I got heaps of lessons, rode everyday, took the horse everywhere and put so much work into it, with the understanding that while the owner could trail ride on the occasional weekend, I could have this horse as long as I wanted. Then she took him back because of things this guy said to impress her, and then it was in her interest to have him back.
The second time I almost did a similar thing. A young horse was for lease, 4 year old and I went out and rode it a few times, it was on a week by week type lease. And it just needed so much work. It was a nice little Quarter Horse and I thought if I put six months of good training into this horse they're going to up and sell it for thousands (they'd had it on the market before) and either I'll love it and buy it and practically pay for my own training, or they'll make a profit for work I've done. So I said no.
I've been looking for a new horse and my father keeps telling me to lease (he's non-horsey) but the big thing to me is that once I put some much thought, time and energy into a horse I couldn't stand it being taken back. I'll develop attachment and then be so sad. I only want to work with horses that belong to me because then I am responsible for everything, the consequences are mine and I can keep the horse for as long as I like.