Advice Needed for Leasing Horses
I am moving across the country this summer to begin my college experience and am looking into potentially leasing a horse at a barn near my university. Though I have 2 horses of my own (they are staying at home with the 'rents) and I train/ride TBs at a fox hunting barn...I am COMPLETELY new to the "leasing experience". I am looking at three 5-6 year old geldings that are greenbroke but need saddle time. I like working with young horses so I am really interested in these guys. I am looking into a half-lease which on paper allows me to ride 3-4 times a week but the barn manager (who owns these horses) is ok if I ride more. I am going to take a look at them in August. What kinds of questions should I ask? I will ask about their riding past and experiences and any vet/medical problems but is there anything else I should inquire? Any advice or experience from others who have leased horses?
Ask for a contract. Ask about tack, what's used, what's allowed, and who provides it. Ask about facility use, ie, are there times of day you are and aren't allowed to ride. Ask about liability, if the horse gets injured while you are riding/handling, who pays. Ask about taking the horse off property, ie to show or trial ride, or clinic or what have you.
That's all I have for now, I'm sure you'll get other great responses.
After owning horses for the last eight years, I can tell you leasing is strange for me!
As I currently have no horse of my own I asked around a barn where I have moved to; no lessons except private horses but thankfully someone was looking for a loan.
It goes to show how owners do things differently, and I feel like I am treading on eggshells to make sure everything goes right, as I know having been an owner you have your routines and if things aren't done its frustrating and time wasting when you have to re do it.
Contract, for sure. Who is liable for vet costs, shoes, bedding, worming etc etc. You need to get written down what you can and can't do with the horse.
You also need to look at insurance. Can they put you on their horses insurance? If not, can you afford to get your own insurance?
I am speaking to my new loan owner this weekend about a contract. The horse is prine to colic and has a permanent thick leg from an illness last year; I want to know what happens about paying if she has to have a month off.
What if she blames me for something? Well, another reason.
You also need to decide on how much notice you give if you decide to withdraw. Some say none, some say 4-6 weeks so they have time to find another.
Are you required to take a weekly/monthly lesson with their trainer, or can you use your own?
If I think of anything else will let you know :)
I agree with kenda. CONTRACT! And you should put how many hours/week, what you are responsible for, what if there is a medical issue with the horse and you can't ride it etc.
I was half-leasing a horse years ago from the barn, and she developed a bad hay allergy (bumps all over) so couldn't be ridden. I was not given my money back nor I was given a different horse to ride. So basically I just wasted money I could use for, say, month of lessons instead. Unfortunately I was stupid enough not to have a contract, so learned it hard way.
Another thing... find out what the sort of 'going rate' is for the same sort of horse, age experience etc and how many times a week from other advertisements.
I lucked big time with the mare I have on loan.. 11yo, well ridden and €50 a month for twice a week, more if I am on leave etc and want to do more.
But don't get hoodwinked by paying too much. Also, may not be the same out there, but here if you are offering a training service and putting rides on a horse then you won't pay as much as you are helping bring the horse on etc etc. May not be the same everywhere...
I know! I think it is because I am helping.. My riding level has been above what this mare has done, though I haven't ridden at that level for a few years.. Last weekend I bruised my tailbone! Others have expressed interest, with younger more talented horses. But if I show loyalty and get myself and this horse fit I think it will be a lot better than moving from one to another :)
As all have said get everything spelled out in contract. Cost, when payment is due, late fees if any, vet responsibilities, farrier responsibilities, tack that can and cannot be used and also what "extras" may be required such as boots, special saddle pads etc. For example, unless my horse was in the show ring he was required to be booted on all four at each and every ride. Are you allowed to take the horse off property for shows..what is liability there...are there required s"shipping items..ie boots, bumper, leather halter? Full lease with 100% primary access or partial lease with owner having priority...what days? Cancellation in event of injury/illness for which you were not responsible or if you just want to cancel. My terms were 30 days notice for basic cancellation but I would cancel immediately and refund pro-rated fee if horse was un-rideable for more than two weeks. I maintained my own insurance but had an even more inclusive release form signed by the person leasing the horse (and her parents as well since she was a minor at the time). Person leasing (or her parents) became fully liable for vet/farrier fees if horse was injured, took ill or had shoe issues off property at a show/clinic or due to trailering as well as any negligence on the home property. I also had specific instructions on how the horse was to be groomed post ride...while I wasn't a fanatic one thing I hate is sweat marks. A little damp from a bath/rinse down was OK but don't leave my horse's back crusted up with sweat.
It may sound like a lot but the terms were very reasonable and well accepted...the girl's father was a lawyer and it even passed HIS muster without any changes :)
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