Leasing from a newbie owner.... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 10-08-2012, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: New Hope PA
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Leasing from a newbie owner....

Okay so I have debated over posting this but I cannot let whats going on continue without getting some advice and or feedback here.

Short back story: I move annually for work and do not see that as a fair existence for a horse. Will only be like this another year or two, but for now I lease.


I am currently leasing a YOUNG mare from a super nice, super quiet, sweet young (24ish?) lady.

The first week on this young little mare (I'm guessing this 15hh palo is no more than 4 1/2) was BLISS- I could get her out on the trail, into the beautiful state park the barn borders. No spook, nothing. I kept thinking "how did this chick get this horse like this???" Mind you when I leased this mare I was only looking to trail ride 2-4 times per week for slow scenic tours.

Then week two. The mare starts giving me issues. A little balk here, a little "I'm not moving" there... and fight fight FIGHT. I have been riding for 25 years, all types of horses, all sorts of situations. This little mare put me in tears. TEARS I TELL YOU! (first time ever on a horse I cried!) I could not figure out why a horse that was so great one week could go to super sour so fast!

In the process of going to the barn where the mare is boarded, almost every day over week 2 and 3 (some riding, some not) to try and establish a connection with her, I got more and more information on her that I wasn't clued in on when I came out for the trial ride. Like the fact that the girl just bought the mare in June. And that no one had EVER seen the girl get the mare off the property and down the trail. HUH???

I had noticed on the second day out there with her that she was slightly clubby in her front right. I lunged her and watched her move, watched her at liberty and it did not seem to be affecting her, but I knew it had to be addressed.

I noticed a slight issue going downhill- saddle issue. resolved by using my own gear.

In conjunction with a trainer we decided she needed to be taken out of the bit the owner wanted used and into a softer slow twist snaffle. I also got this trainer to help me convince the owner that she needed corrective shoeing in the front, and needed some time training, to which the owner allowed two training sessions. In which the trainer suggested better gear, being firm (being the alpha), shoeing, and more time spent with the mare, to keep her from souring (all things I thought I had suggested, but in these leases you have to be careful to not step on toes...).

I have spent almost EVERY DAY working with this mare in some form since. From getting her out on the trails, to ring work, to round pen work, to ground work, to coming and sitting in her stall with her for an hour on the days it rains too much to do anything else (no indoor available).

In the long run I find out she is (duh) a first time owner who went from renting out hack line horses by the hour a few times a week to full blown ownership. The mare arrived in June. I started leasing early sept.]. Her feet hadn't been touched. She hadn't been bathed. Her diet is not based on her use or activity... I could go on.

Her owner is a very mild mannered and private quiet girl and honestly she does not have the time for horse ownership at this time, (She has a lot on her plate, school, work, doesn't live at home, has a lot of obligations and doesn't live close) nor the time to really learn. I like her, but she needs horse husbandry... ugh

I am logging a LOT of hours on this horse. like 5-6 days a week 2+ hours a day more or less. She has soooooooooo much potential. But the problem is consistency. She lets this mare get away with MURDER. And when I come out on my day after it is her day, its 45mins of "Okay, its ME not her here"... And I can handle her pretty well. I have gotten my alpha role across clearly and without being a total cowboy and we have established (for the most part) who's in charge.

The owner gets very frustrated and gives up VERY easily. And won't really accept help. She feels anything more than a good heel nudge is mean, and honestly she's probably afraid when the mare throws her head and backs her into the pricker bushes and off the trail (her trademark "screw this I don't wanna" move)

How do I tell an owner, who loves her horse, without burning bridges or causing havoc, (and mind you I have told her already in VERY NICE, albiet potentially passive aggressive TERMS) that she is the problem? That she really should consider more lessons and more time with her horse? That horse ownership is more than showing up MAYBE 2 days per week to play with her for an hour or less? AGH! Maybe the novelty of horse ownership has worn off? (BTW I am also paying 2/3rds of her board to lease this mare)

I'm sure there are important details I have left out here, so ask away. I have no issue with being honest.

I am not sure how much longer I will be able to lease the mare (I may move in as little as 45 days) but I want to figure out a way to get the owner more involved, or to realize she is in over her head.

The mare is only going to get worse when I leave and that frankly scares the heck out of me. If there is ANY way I can prevent that (barring stealing the horse in the night when I move LOL) I'm open to your suggestions!
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-08-2012, 10:09 PM
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Honestly? I suspect the owner has heard everything you are telling her, and she's heard it from the trainer too. For her own reasons she is not acting how you want her to, but frustrating though it is for you - you can do no more.

Maybe she knows she's in over her head. Maybe she's debating selling the mare. Maybe maybe. Maybe she's just holding out until you leave. But whatevershe does I'm afraid it is not yours to interfere.

Sorry - just lesson learnt, next time don't lease from an owner who doesn't fit with your views on horse husbandry.
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-08-2012, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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I'm half tempted to tell her I'll take the mare with me when I leave if that is the issue... ugh... she bought crap gear (new bridle) off ebay and got mad when I texted her today and told her it (LITERALLY) fell apart... Not really mad in the text sense, but more of an :oh crap I have to spend more money *deep sigh kind of way....
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-08-2012, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry - just lesson learnt, next time don't lease from an owner who doesn't fit with your views on horse husbandry.[/QUOTE]

I didn;t feel like she was THIS ignorant when I met her... is it ironic that she is a vet tech?
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-08-2012, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by LauraJo View Post
I didn;t feel like she was THIS ignorant when I met her... is it ironic that she is a vet tech?
Not really. I live down the street from a vet college and all of the students have to do a large animal rotation. Sometimes that's the FIRST time in their lives that they've ever seen one and many are hoping it's their last, LOL!

As for your owner, unless you want to broach the subject of buying her horse when you leave, I don't know what else you can do. It's her horse to do with as she sees fit and if she's not going to discipline the horse or take lessons, there's really nothing you can do about it. Finish your lease, kiss the mare on the nose on your way out the last day and shake all the rest off as you move on.

As for it being "fair" to move the horse every year or so, why not? They really don't care as long as they get fed and get to be social and are well cared for. My husband and I have discussed taking overseas work and if we did, we'd take a couple of our favorites with us. Wouldn't even think twice about it, the ones we love like kids would come with because they're family.

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post #6 of 15 Old 10-08-2012, 10:40 PM
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I had the opposite thing happen to me. I leased my horse out to someone who led me to believe that they knew more about riding and horse care than they really did. The best you can do is talk to her and like Shrop said, lesson learned. Some people just don't want help or won't except help and unless the horse is danger or being neglected I'm not sure there's much you can do about it.

(BTW, I'm a vet tech, too. I learned about horses some 10 years ago and it sort of went out of my head since I only do dog/cat medicine. I've had to relearn a lot of stuff so I can see how she can be confusing. I'm fairly new at horse ownership since I've only had Dancer 2 years and I feel that there is still a lot I have to learn!)

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post #7 of 15 Old 10-08-2012, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Dreamcatcher, have you ever looked into what it would take to bring your horses to another country? Livestock moves are no joke!
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-08-2012, 10:44 PM
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It's the age old problem in that people cant be made to see something until they are ready to see it. That might take a big "incident" for her to want to see the whole picture.
Does she not notice that you can get a lot more out of the mare than she can? Have you been able to kind of commiserate about what it's like to be new to horses (remembering back to when you were a newbie). I noticed taht you said she would not hear that "she was the problem". I doubt many people will hear the truth if it's voiced too much like that. the more you can voice it like, "horse are much happier and better behaved when the rider is clear and conisistant in their leadership". Staying very nuetral and not casting blame. the person will usually see where the blame belongs eventually.

Also, if you are riding the horse twice as much as the owner , or more, I would think that the minor "dulling" that happens when the owner rides would be more than offset by the sharpening you keep putting on, as you ride much more than she does.. If you were riding equally, then maybe it would be more of a teeter-totter effect.
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-08-2012, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by LauraJo View Post
Dreamcatcher, have you ever looked into what it would take to bring your horses to another country? Livestock moves are no joke!
Yes LauraJo, we have looked into it, hence why we'd only bring a couple of the favorites over, not the entire broodie band! LOL! It gets pretty involved and pricey.

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post #10 of 15 Old 10-08-2012, 11:08 PM
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Alot of people lease horses because they don't the have time or for whatever reason, if she had the time like you speak of, you problably wouldn't be leasing her. She has the right to do whatever she wants with this horse. She owns it !
Just because your views are different than hers, doesn't make her a bad horse owner. And it really doesn't matter where she buys her equipment either as long it works for them.
Sounds like you need to get your own horse., so you can do things your way.
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leasing , new owner , training advice

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