Ok, I'm going to play devil's advocate. For disclosure, I'm just a horse owner. Not a trainer or BO. So I'm not biased towards them.
First, just about everyone here has responded that a 1/2 lease should only cost it's equivalent in board fees. Honestly... that wouldn't even cover half the expenses. Maybe some people are hard pressed for $$ and willing to use leasing to reduce their overhead cost. But in reality a lease should cover expenses for the following:
Veterinary (std routine care)
Consumable equipment (items the horse goes through, ex treats, buckets, blankets, sheets)
The value of the horse (it's not worthless, or free, so some charge could be reasonable)
If you think about it, even at $500/mo I doubt the trainer is scamming you or making money. Probably breaking even on costs at best.
Let's put it into perspective like a car. When you rent a car, you pay for the gas you use. This is the equivalent of covering the board %. But you also pay an additional daily fee to drive that car because you are putting wear & tear and miles on it. The longer the car is rented, the more it's value is reduced. While you are renting the car, it can't be rented out to anyone else on those days to generate additional income, only you can drive it. This is all factored into the daily rental rate.
Before you decide that you are being scammed, think about the true cost of what owning the horse would be. Perhaps you can get a cheaper deal elsewhere... but that doesn't mean your trainer is scamming you.
It's a lot like nuts and bolts - if the rider's nuts, the horse bolts! ~Nicholas Evans
Last edited by KarrotKreek; 09-17-2012 at 10:39 AM.