To lease or not to lease? And other questions.

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To lease or not to lease? And other questions.

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    02-09-2011, 07:53 PM
To lease or not to lease? And other questions.

I've been tossing this idea around since late summer.

This past spring, I switched riding instructors. This change worked out wonderfully for me. I got to ride and do whatever I please (always within reason) at my instructor J's barn. During this time, I met Maggie.

Maggie was the best horse I had ever met, and I absolutely loved her. I rode her and Lilly on trails. J usually rode "his" mare, Annie. Well, mid-summer J informed me Lily was sold. I liked her, but it didn't break my heart to see her go. As fall approached, J bought a yearling and a mini. He already had a yearling, Joey, which was out of his mare. He wanted to get his herd down to three plus the mini before December. And sadly, Maggie was the one who went up for sale. I wanted to buy her, but my parents wanted (and still want) nothing to do with this horrible obsession of mine, and me getting a horse would be the end all for them.

Well, I told my grandmother Maggie was for sale, and she said she would buy her for me. I told her my parents wouldn't let me get one, to which she replied, "Well, I'd pay for a lease over the winter." I loved the idea, but talked myself out of it. I think I convinced myself nobody would buy her, but I was wrong. On Halloween, Maggie was almost literally taken out from under me and loaded on her new owners trailer. Watching her walk away shattered my heart into microscopic pieces. I had a chance to keep her, and I let her get away. I regret that decision every single day.

Now that you are up to speed, here's my situation:
Right now, J owns one trained horse, two long yearlings (both in the process of being broke), and the mini. And by the looks of it, I don't think he is going to be purchasing any trained horses this spring. I don't have the skill level to ride the coming 2 year olds, nor will they be trail material this summer. So right now, it looks like I won't be doing a lot of riding.

So, why not look into leasing a horse for the summer? I have a paid internship and a job lined up for the summer. I have qutie a bit of money saved up, BUT I don't have or want to spend a huge amount of money on a lease. I would have to lease at my instructors barn.

Here are my ?'s:
  • I have heard of leases where the leasee pays vet and farrier bills, but is it possible to find a lease where the leasee would pay for basics (hay, board, grain, etc.) + extras (show fees) and the owner/leaser payed vet and farrier bills?
  • Is it possible to take a lease horse off the owners property? To keep the horse at a different facility completely?
  • I know I need a contract. But is there any other documentation I would need?
I would be looking for a good trail horse, and I wouldn't object to a cow savvy one either. If I could find a lease that would let me take it off the owners property, I would pay my instructor board. I think $100 dollars a month would cover the costs. (I would be paying for hay, oats, tack rental for stuff I don't have, and trailering to shows and trail rides[I'd be tagging along, so no special trips]) In addition, I would help with barn chores and training the long yearlings.

I am a very advanced beginner/intermediate rider.

Does it sound like something I could do?

Thanks for your replies!!! And cookies for reading that.
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    02-09-2011, 08:52 PM
    02-09-2011, 09:45 PM
    02-09-2011, 10:04 PM
Usually for an off-property lease (you taking the horse and keeping at another stable) you pay the board (or cost of care if it's at home). The vetting and farrier are often split 50/50, or you pay farrier and the owner pays vetting. Show fees are almost always paid by the rider. Now, if the owner is paying for the vet and you cause something to happen then you would definitely have to pay for the vet. It's a good idea to have some money saved up in case this happens.

Make sure you have a contract drawn up that states who pays what, how long the lease is, what is allowed/not allowed (jumping? Off property showing? Can friends ride?), what the insurance requirements are, etc. Cover every thing!

As for the cost, why don't you ask your instructor how much it would cost? A horse eats 1%-3% of its body weight a day in hay. How much does hay cost, how big are the bales, how often can you get it, where will you store it, is the supplier reliable? Are you sure oats is all the horse will need? What if it requires a special diet with feed that is more expensive? Can you afford to pay for medicines? Will you still be able to afford lessons? Will you have time to ride often while you are working?

I don't think it's a bad idea to lease. There are just so many variables involved!:)
    02-09-2011, 10:35 PM
Originally Posted by BeauReba    
As for the cost, why don't you ask your instructor how much it would cost?
I am going to ask him this weekend about costs and boarding. I'll explain a little more below.

Originally Posted by BeauReba    
A horse eats 1%-3% of its body weight a day in hay. How much does hay cost, how big are the bales, how often can you get it, where will you store it, is the supplier reliable?
My instructor pays $2.50 to $3.00 a bale. He goes through about 4 bales a day for 4 1/2 horses (the mini doesn't eat as much as the big ones). He has 2 or 3 suppliers, and he gets it from whomever has the hay. The hay is stored in the barn. I don't know how big the bales are, but each horse eats a bale a day (a flake less in the summer with pasture) the cost would be between $75 and $90 a month.

Originally Posted by BeauReba    
Are you sure oats is all the horse will need? What if it requires a special diet with feed that is more expensive? Can you afford to pay for medicines?
I actually budgeted about $150 a month, but I would rather spend $100. If the horse needed a special grain or supplement, I would pay for that expense myself, rather than putting it in board.

Originally Posted by BeauReba    
Will you still be able to afford lessons?
I don't take riding lessons and I don't pay anything to ride right now. My instructor does correct me when I am doing something wrong, but I don't take formal lessons.

Originally Posted by BeauReba    
Will you have time to ride often while you are working?
My internship is 15 hours a week, max. I can work more, but I don't get paid for those hours. (I am getting paid through the program setting up the intership for me.) I will be working with horses, and I may end up interning under my instructor, if I can't find somebody else.
I will be working weekend mornings and weekday evenings doing consessions at soccer games. So I'm sure I can find time ot get to the barn.

Thanks for your imput!!!
    02-09-2011, 10:38 PM
And I do have money saved up, in case something happens and I have to pay vet/farrier bills.
    02-10-2011, 05:24 PM
Bump!!! Anybody?
    02-10-2011, 06:28 PM
Is anybody out there?
    02-10-2011, 07:37 PM
Originally Posted by A knack for horses    
Is anybody out there?
Hi, I don't know where you live, but I did a half lease for the summer and it was the best thing I'd done, because when the horse was moved and I didn't have a horse to ride, I realized how important having a horse was to me, and also that I was ready for the committment. They can be confusing, but yours will probably be easier if its a full lease. Basically, I paid half of board and farrier and had him for 4 days of the week. The owner had him the other 3 to use for lessons and was responsible for all vet costs (unless he had been injured by my negligence) I can get you a copy of our contract if you are interested but there should be a lot of examples on the internet. As you are working this summer, maybe a half-lease would work for you...
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    02-11-2011, 07:05 PM
^ I'll have to look up some lease contracts. I never thought to try Google-ing contracts. Thanks for helping!

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