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NowOrNever 12-03-2012 10:30 AM

Need advice....
A while ago I posted about leasing a mare that rode western, while I'm an English rider. Unfortunately that ended up not working out :-( The horse was beautiful and perfect for a beginner to intermediate rider, but the owners and the facility just gave me a bad vibe. Apparently the horse hadn't been ridden for a few months (something I was NOT informed of before I rode her), she was actually 3 years older than I had been told, and the facility was nothing like the ad they had posted. The whole situation screamed NO at me from the second I went there, so I got out quickly before I could fall in love with the horse. But that's not really what I need advice about....
So basically I can't find any other horses for lease anywhere near me. I live in Georgia south of Atlanta, but every time I find a lease that looks promising, it's located north of Atlanta somewhere like Alpharetta or Marietta. With school there's no way I can drive an hour to ride a few times a week. My parents don't approve of me posting an ad, which I can understand. I even contacted a few boarding stables to see if they leased horses, but most require you to be 18 or older and the couple others didn't include tack.
The only thing I've been able to find were a couple of free leases. But as I understand, this is the same as buying a horse, but without the initial cost. I have some money saved up, and I do have a job, but it's a seasonal thing and what I get paid depends on several different factors. In other words this type of lease might work for a while, but I might not be able to keep it up for more than a few months.
Do you think an owner would let me free lease for just a few months? A lot of them just don't have the money to keep up their horse right now, so they're probably looking to lease their horse out for longer than that. There are a few places I know where I could board the horse for 50 to 75 dollars a month. I also think a free lease would be a great way to see if I could afford (or if I'm even ready) to buy my own horse. The only thing that scares me about a free lease would be vet bills. Would it be my responsibility to pay all vet bills? Not like normal ones, shots and Coggins and such. Like injury vet bills. I swear I have nightmares about vet bills....
What do you think I should do? Try a free lease for a while, or keep looking for a lease? If you think I should keep looking, WHERE should I look? I had been taking lessons, but I stopped a while ago to save up for a lease. Those of you that read my other post know that I wanted to have a little more freedom with the horse to just ride, instead of strict English lessons where you have to spend every second riding watching your posture to make sure your sitting straight....
So sorry for the long dialogue, but I don't really know what to do here. I don't have any horse connections to go to for help, since my riding instructor moved, so I thought I'd post this here. Thanks in advance for your answers!

Nightside 12-03-2012 10:38 AM

If I leased my horse on a free lease and he got injured, I would expect the person leading it to cover the cost
Basically I would want my horse returned in the same condition I leased it in. I'm not really sure how it would work if the horse went permanently lame or was killed or something like that. That's why I've never leased a horse.
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NowOrNever 12-03-2012 10:41 AM

Nightside, that's pretty much what I'd figured, but what about something like a recurring lameness issue that the horse had had before the lease? Would that be my responsibility too?

NowOrNever 12-04-2012 09:09 AM

Oh, and also what exactly is a lease to own? Is it where you pay off the horse and call it a lease until the payment is done, or is it a trial to see if the horse is right for you, or what? Thanks

flytobecat 12-04-2012 09:20 AM

A lease to own could go either way, it could be situation where you make payments and keep the horse until it is paid off, or they could ask you to put down a deposit, let you have the horse for a few months with the understanding that if you like the horse you intend to buy it.
I would call the people wanting to feed lease, and see they would agree to a flat lease. You will probably have to agree to lease the horse for a certain amount of time. See what they are open too. You never know until you ask.
Whatever you do, make sure everything is spelled out on paper. Are shots, feed, supplements, shoes, etc... included in the lease price. Carefully define what is your responsibility and what is theirs. If the horse is injured permanently while you are riding what do they expect from you, things like that.

Nightside 12-04-2012 09:23 AM

Basically I see a leased horse as yours and your responsibility if you are the only one riding and maintaining the horse. Each one will probably have their own contract so it can vary a lot from person to person.

And yes, a lease to own you make payments until it is paid off. The only lease I did also had a section where if I ever wanted to sell the horse, the person leasing it would have the first opportunity to purchase it.
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NowOrNever 12-04-2012 09:46 AM

Yeah, I would definitely make sure to get everything in writing, I've heard some horror stories about that. So you think I should just wait and keep looking for a lease? Or try a free lease for a while if the owners allow it? I MIGHT be able to afford a horse, but I'm not positive, and I would NEVER buy one if I wasn't sure. So this might be a good way to find out.

SlideStop 12-05-2012 12:54 AM

Your young. Many, many, many people have to wait a very long time to be able to afford horses. It sucks, I'm one of the oodles of young people just waiting to finish school. If something right comes along, take it! If not, hang in there! There are plenty of other ways go be involved with horses without owning or leasing. Therapeutic riding barns, rescues, or barns/backyard barns that will allow you to do stalls, water, tack, etc for some time in the saddle. That's how I got my break. Still don't own or lease but I have several horses I could go to tomorrow, toss tack on and ride like they are my own. It's not easy but its not impossible. It might feel like your sentenced to a life of misery but everything comes in time. Especially when you have a car, can have a job and (yay) graduate from college and actually have a big girl job!
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SimpleEventer 12-05-2012 09:25 AM

I wouldn't do the free lease. They can be very very costly. I would look for someone who maybe doesn't have the time to ride there horse and needs someone to maintain the horse (half lease).
And some of your reasons for wanting to lease are really good, however wanting to lease so you can just ride without thinking about your posture is not a good reason. Especially when riding English where you should be riding from you're seat bones. Its basically untraining the horse to be sensitive to your seat. I would look for a horse that you can learn from and just half lease it. Riding (especially English) isn't about being slouchy and relaxed. Sorry if it sounds like I'm being hard on you but I hate seeing people trying to buy their own horse (or lease) because they are tired of taking lessons or learning orbeing stiff.
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NowOrNever 12-05-2012 09:53 AM

Slidestop, I actually do have a car, but not my license yet. I'm turning 16 this month actually. And I actually did volunteer at a therapeutic riding barn, but I couldn't go to the volunteer training on the date that they set up, and they told me to email them and they would set up something. Well, I've emailed them 3 or 4 times since then and they haven't replied back yet, so I gave up.

And SimpleEventer, I don't want to make it sound like I'm a whiny little girl that "doesn't wanna do what their told" or "doesn't wanna work" so they don't want to take lessons. I've been taking them with the same instructor for 6 years, and gone on maybe 2 trail rides in that entire time. I don't mean I want to get my own horse or lease just so I can slouch. I just want to do some riding without the pressure and criticism of an instructor. I want to feel more of like what it feels like to own your own horse, instead of showing up at a lesson just to tack up, ride, and leave. There's so much more to horses that you just can't experience at a lesson.

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