Originally Posted by ponyluver420
If you aren't going to answer the question at hand, please don't answer at all. It is a waste of both of our time.
I don't see why that was a necessary comment, but alas...
I have never personally leased a horse, but it can be a great option for people looking to "have" a horse, but not actually own one. It's something that I wish more people would do instead of running out and buying a horse before they are ready. I have a friend who has been leasing the same gelding for many years, and he is basically her horse. Just under someone else's name. She is also leasing her pony out to a lesson program in a similar situation. It works great for her and both of the other parties.
The way that I have seen free leasing work is that generally you would pay the full cost of the horse's regular care (board, farrier, tack, etc) as well as regular medical expenses, and most unexpected vet bills. Get in writing EXACTLY what you are expected to pay, what expenses the owners will cover, and what you are allowed to do with the horse. You don't want to be caught in a bad place if a sudden vet bill comes up and both of you thinks that the other should be responsible. Determine whether or not you are allowed to take the horse off of the property- you don't want to find out after the fact that the owner is not ok with you showing the horse elsewhere! Also, have in the contract what the protocol is for ending the lease. It isn't right to dump the horse back on the owner with less than a month's notice, but you also don't want to be stuck paying for a horse you aren't using for 6 months because you want to move on to something else.
Basically it can be a great option, but get everything figured out before the issue comes up and have it all in writing. It protects both parties from getting saddled with unexpected bills, and you both know what you can and cannot do with the horse!