Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
• Horses: 0
In short, yes there are people that lease their horse out in exchange for all the horse's needs being taken care of by the lessee - this is most commonly referred to as a "free lease." As with any lease, the terms would depend on your exact contract with the owner.
Some things to consider:
- Many "free lease" situations are free for a reason; the horse can't be leased out for money.. i.e. there may be a problem that needs to be sorted out. Not always, to be sure, but it's something to bear in mind.
- Your contract has to be in writing and it must be bulletproof. Even the nicest seeming people can turn tail if something doesn't go exactly right. Get EVERYTHING in writing, even if it seems silly or that you can trust the person.
- Make sure there is a clause for you to terminate the contract early, and get the penalty, if any, in writing. In return, make sure there is an 'out' for the owner as well - usually a 30 days' written notice is sufficient.
- Be clear on who pays for what; i.e. Who pays for: routine farrier work (and does the horse just need a trim, or shoes?); routine vet work (and what does this entail - yearly shots/coggins/teeth float); emergency veterinary care; regular worming; tack and equipment, etc etc etc... The big one is vet care. What if the horse injures itself on your fencing and needs emergency care as well as puts itself out of commission for a few months? What if it suffers a career-ending injury while in your care, whether it was directly related to something you did or not?
- Carry equine health insurance, with the owner as the beneficiary. This is HUGE. This will take a lot of strain off the lessor/lessee relationship. The owner must be the beneficiary from a mortality claim, of course, but it can help recoup costs of big vet bills. If the horse dies while in your care, then the owner is comped their insurance amount so you don't have to worry about ponying up for the horse's perceived value.
I am leery about leasing situations based off my last experience, but they can work out fantastic for both parties involved.
The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography cvlphotography.com