Questions to ask when potentially leasing?
I've been getting back into riding after some problems I had a couple years ago, and have been looking for a horse to lease over the summer to get in some more time to really work on my riding. I've had someone invite me out to their stables to look at their potential leases, and i want to know what to ask them, and how to do so politely. I know the basics: UTD on shots/coggins, any soundness/behavioral issues, and i figure i should ask what exactly would be required of me in way of upkeep of the horse and barn, but other than that, this is uncharted territory for me, and i would really appreciate some tips and help on how to not sound like a complete idiot, and get the information i need.
Lots. first is the $, are you responsible for a portion of the board? or feed ? and or supplements? Are you responsible for farrier or portion? tack ? yours or whoms? times available for riding ? able to compete on the horse / show it ? who is responsible for Vet bills ? vaccines ? blankets ? cleaning stalls ? cleaning equipment? can you use an outside trainer or instructor ? (you would pay for that) . Is anyone else allowed to use the horse ? get days and times when you have use of the horse . Is this a full lease, board lease, partial lease ? where will the horse be kept ? Can the horse ever be moved ? Look up lease agreements for horses or equines.
Depending on the type of lease, ie free lease, full lease, half lease:
Tack use, will they provide, are you expected to, if its theirs, what type of upkeep they expect, what if something breaks etc.
Taking horse off property, are you allowed to for shows, trail riding, clinics, do they require notice, do they want to approve the hauler
For anything but a free lease, how many days of riding are allowed, are there other people who are also riding/leasing the horse, do you need to schedule days ahead or can you go as you please
I've seen half and full leases where if shoes were required the leasee paid for part or all, or where lessons with a specific coach were mandatory.
Learn the barn rules for where the horse is boarded, ie, if boarders are only allowed to ride at certain times, or use certain facilities
For a free lease, you pretty much need to learn everything about the horse that you would if you were buying it.
oh .. and what can the horse be used for ? trail riding ? limits on level of activity? western pleasure ? jumping? is the horse only able to do light riding ? or moderate or heavy activity ? How well trained is the horse ? beginner safe ? or green ?
Definitely find out what all is included in the lease price. Are you responsible for regular farrier & vet visits? Are you responsible for emergency care if something happens to the horse while you are working with it? What's the horses' agreed upon value should, heaven forbid, it die while you are working with it? If you have an issue (he's lame, he's bleeding, or you find a jagged tooth interferring with the bit, he threw a shoe) what's the protocol - do you call the owner, the vet, the barn manager?
When, where & how much are you allowed to ride? Are you allowed to show, jump, trail ride, trick train, trailer, feed, clip, bathe, blanket, use spurs, use snaffle bit, use curb bit, use splint boots, tie to a picket line, tie in cross ties, ride bareback, run barrels? Is the schedule of availability or any of the other specifics negotiable?
Is anyone else co-leasing the same horse or will they be letting their cousin's neighbor's nephew's best friend ride it when he visits on his birthday? Are you using your equipment or theirs? Where does their/your tack go? How is it cared for, what happens if their saddle goes missing and you were the last known to use it?
I recently finished a lease where I had pretty much free rein over what I could do with the horse. The owner and I texted or spoke regularly and I think communication is the major key to a successful lease. Have fun!
Thank you everyone who replied, I've got a much better idea of what to ask. Hopefully all goes well!
The biggest problem I've seen is the understanding/agreement of what happens if the horse is not rideable for an extended period, e.g. lame. Most owners I know see this as a normal risk for someone leasing, but if it happens most folks leasing feel it is unfair to be charged for an unuseable horse.
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I could see why the owner would want to still collect on the lease if the horse went lame/unrideable for an extended period, particularly if the whole reason for the lease is to help with cost. However, as a previous leaser and now owner, I couldn't imagine holding my leasor to a contract if my horse was unrideable. To me, lameness and illness is the risk you take as an OWNER, not as a LEASOR. Also, as an owner, I have the option, if my horse goes lame for an extended period, to move her to a basic pasture board with bare minimum facilities to save on costs, instead of a place with arena's, access to trails, tack storage etc.
Agreed, the last horse I leased before buying had a lameness clause where I could return him if he was lame for more than 30 days. I never used it but was glad it was there :-)
When you go to look at a lease horse, it's just like if you were going to buy plus figuring out all the contract details!
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