My first lease-advice please
First some background: I've been riding for about 1.5 years now consistently. I first learned the basics back in high school. I had a friend who had a horse and i went out a couple times to her place where she taught me basic w/t/c. I only rode with her maybe 10 times when I was 16 before stopping.
During my last year of university, I finally had enough money to start taking official lessons. I first started out at a barn that I hated. The trainers would just make you stand around while they talked. We got little to no instruction. The horses were all mean, lame or just unhappy. I really didn't enjoy my time there.
In October last year, my friend recommended a new place. This is where I ride now. I LOVE it here! My coach is a former Olympic qualifier and a great teacher. The horses are awesome and it's been awesome there!
Now that I've done one lesson a week for awhile, I'm considering upgrading to one of two options:
1) start taking two lessons a week
2) start leasing to get some extra rides in, but still only take one lesson a week
I can't afford to take two lessons and lease as this brings me to $350+ a month and for now that's not attainable. Both options would end up costing me the same (around $250 a month), but with the lease I'd get 2-3 rides plus a lesson while with the lesson I'd get 2 rides a week.
My first question is: at this stage, would I be better suited to leasing or taking more lessons? I can w/t/c (although canter could use some work for sure), I've done small jumps (under 1 foot) and I can't yet get a horse in frame. I still need to work on getting a nice bend from the horse as my turns tend to look like a city bus making sharp right turns! I'm aware of my weaknesses and I think I could fix them with more time in the saddle.
My other question is regarding the horse I want to lease. He is a big boy and fairly quiet. However, he is quite food pushy as his owners give him treats for simply existing and he has come to demand it. He is stubborn but with lots of persuasion will do as told. He goes w/t/c and can jump, but the owner was upfront with me that he will never be a show horse as he's not "pretty". I rode him and he was quite smooth although it was a little difficult for me as he is much larger in the belly area than most horse I've ridden and my leg kept wanting to slip forward to the narrower part of him. He is sound, although he does have some minor leg issues that keep him from jumping anything over 2ft. He is the first beginner friendly and well located horse I've found so far! Does he sound suitable?
Firstly..where are you?? $250 for a couple of rides a week... wow! My dad's loanee pays €80 a month and rides 2-3 times a week and doesn't muck out or anything unless she wants to.. to be fair she's really helpful and one of those rides is a lesson.
Apart from the ground manners, he sounds lovely. If you feel safe on him, and speak to your trainer to make sure he feels you are ready for it and its a horse you can develop on, then go for it. Make sure you get a loanee contract that covers you and they have the right insurance for a guest rider. For the treats, I looked after a Dales (like the English, hairy version of a fresian) who was exactly the same with the owner, but knew he wasn't going to get his way with nipping and nosing for treats with me, hopefully this horse will see the same. I'd advise to never feed him by hand, if you give him treats, put them in his food bowl. Praise for a horse can be vocally or a good wither scratch!
Good luck, sounds like you've landed on your feet here, let us know what happens :)
I'm in Canada. In my area, that's sadly about average. Most lesson barns charge $140-180 for once a week lessons.
You're joking!! I pay €10/15 for a half-hour lesson, and max I have ever paid wsa €35 using a school horse!
Wowsers! But like I saidm speak to your trainer, if he knows you, and knows the horse, he'll be the best judge of it :)
My trainer is at a different barn then the possible lease. I have mentioned it to her but we haven't really discussed it. I plan on discussing it with her once I've sort of mulled it over myself.
My jaw just hit the floor.. how do you afford it lol!
Maybe arrange for her to come and see you ride, and see if she can sit on the horse? I took my trainer to see Duffy before I bought to see if I was ready and she was suitable, its a good idea, especially as it seems you're so keen to develop!
Just where in Canada do they charge that much?
Those prices are totally normal for my area, NW United States. In fact, once a week lessons on a school horse would be closer to $200. A half lease would be about $250 US, that is for 2 to 3 times riding a horse a week, no lessons.
Everything is more expensive here. I am very surprised that Daffy says in Germany it is less. When I was in Germany, everything, and I mean everything , was very expensive. But, it's all relative to what currency you are paid and live in. Euro's vs Canadian or Us dollars and such.
There is no way it's that expensive for lessons.. holy toledo! I pay a dollar a minute right now ($30 for 30 mins) apparently that's how costly it is in the Maryland area.. but over 100 is OUT of the question!
As for leasing a horse.. It would be a very good idea for you so long as you find the right horse. You said "very stubborn but with lots of persuasion..." that tells me right away that he may be a lot more work than you may like. Are you willing to put up with his behavior? How he behaves around his owner? That's one thing you need to consider.
Find out what you will be paying for, ask them to have a leasing agreement. Do they have insurance for guest riders? Do they have you sign a liability release that says you consent to ride this horse and the owner is not responsible for any injury, etc.
How many days you are paying to ride him, do you have to be present for farrier/vet calls, are you responsible for buying your own treats to give him, are you allowed to use their tack or do you have to bring your own.. etc. Ask everything!!!
If I were you though, despite leasing being a wonderful thing.. I'd go for the lessons.. but man.. at least find ones that are reasonably priced!! I used to get 5 lessons for $255, 60 mins long.. roughly $51 dollars each... which was a bit steep but that's FIVE lessons, versus a few or just two!
Just keep in mind you want to find the right lease horse.. just because he's pretty or the owner says he can w/t/c or whatnot.. the horse needs to meet your satisfaction. If you want to ride a hunter/jumper, don't settle for a western pleasure horse. Sure you could take Hunter/jumper lessons on him, but then you'd be paying to train their horse and it wouldn't be as efficient as finding a hunter/jumper disciplined horse.. does that make sense?
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