Am I expecting too much? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 09-30-2020, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2017
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Am I expecting too much?

Don't be afraid to say yes! Basically, here's the story. I've recently moved back to my old city for a relatively short while and whilst I'm now settled enough to get horses back into my life I'm not going to be here permanently.

So far I've joined a couple of horse FB groups in the area to see what's out there. I've posted what I'm after which is broadly speaking a share. It seems that absolutely everyone expects a contribution which is fair enough. However, it strikes me as some people have more gall than others on this matter and I'm looking for opinion on this. As mentioned on a previous post, I had someone expecting me to retrain a very dangerous animal for which I was expected to pay for the privilege of doing so. I've now walked away from that situation thanks to the advice here confirming my feelings.

I've now started to follow up on some of my other responses from my original post. I've had someone else straight up demand £200 for just two rides a week right off the bat. Okay, irrespective of the amount what irks me is (now correct me if I'm misguided here) is the somewhat arrogant approach that assume I would get on with their horse enough to want to do that without even seeing it. Really. I mean, from my point of view it could be another monster despite your insistence that it's an angel on FB messenger! I simply don't know...It's as if they assume the other party (myself) knows their horse is perfectly suited via cosmic power or something! Likewise, I could be a complete nutcase without seeing me first. If I were them, I might suggest a trial first rather than just screaming £/$ XXX per XXX immediately.

Now what I have done is I've deleted my old post and rephrased it reminiscent of as follows - 'Looking for a share, happy to contribute for the right horse alternatively in lieu of this I'm happy to help you train up your green horse minus a direct contribution' I hope that seems fair enough? Taking into account it's a minimum 40 mile round trip for me to get to where there's any proper horse activity. So doing that commute 3-4 times a week (and that's a minimum for any basic progress with a green horse) is going to rack up a lot of diesel money on my part plus wear and tear on the vehicle.

Ultimately, all I want is just to be around horses. If there was another horse bloody rescue near me I'd be all over that instead and not wasting my time with this. Riding is lovely, but I'm more of a simple horse person if that makes sense. Just like some dog people are into say agility, and others just walking. Horses for courses dare I say.

Thanks and sorry if this comes across is a salty rant, it's really not meant to be!
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Last edited by fancydonkey; 09-30-2020 at 05:33 PM.
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post #2 of 20 Old 09-30-2020, 05:39 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
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Are you opposed to taking lessons at a barn & being able to ride?

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post #3 of 20 Old 09-30-2020, 06:34 PM
Join Date: Feb 2019
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I don't think you are expecting too much but the troubles you are finding are why I have so far avoided trying to find a share/lease (I live in a different country but feel it would be much the same). So I do lessons and then volunteer at a therapy riding place to get more horse time beyond the riding. Like you, I enjoy riding well enough but also just enjoy hanging out with horses, grooming, and feeding, and I even find mucking out a nice peaceful time. I am not good with social situations that do not have very clear set rules about how they are set up and operated, and I think trying to find a share/lease would just stress me out. I like lessons because they are very structured and set in what you get and what you pay, but then you don't get much general horse time, so that is why I volunteer as well. I hope you can find something suitable to share, or alternatively, somewhere to do lessons and/or volunteer.
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post #4 of 20 Old 09-30-2020, 07:24 PM
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I don't think you are expecting to much but how to go about it, yes.
First me how far away and how long it takes you to get to the barn where the horse is located is 100% on you...
You are picking the location so chose carefully.

You are the one wanting a horse to share board and ride.
No one that I know of is going to hand you carte' blanche their horse to do with as you wish unlimited.
So, 2x a week x 4 weeks = 8 rides per month.
Lessons in many locations for a semi-private are averaging $50 if you are lessons are often $40 each lesson. But you are looking for a solo ride experience so...$50 per is fair for a equation.
So use $50 x 8 rides = $ the cost asked of $200 it is half cost outlay. {At the $200 you refer to = $25 per ride. I can't rent a hack horse for a hour ride for that!}
When you look at it broken down into per ride x something tangible like a lesson...suddenly maybe it isn't outrageous a fee asked.
What I find outrageous is not meeting, greeting and having you try the horse for compatibility before making/offering a deal the owner should be demanding.
Not everyone gets along with every animal and not every animal meets the needs of every rider.
Putting costs upfront is honest and no surprises greet you...
You ride, you pay, you were told in advance of costs, done deal with the finances issue.

I think you are going to need to try several horses to find a match of animal and owner you will be dealing with that will allow you to ride and do as you wish with minimal limitations placed on your activity.
I would never give someone free-rein with my horse, they would be under watchful eyes as what you do in the "trial ride" and what you then do on your own can be very different.

So, yes upfront costs told before you ever go one more step to seeing a animal I think is being honest and transparent.
Meeting and trying, working within the limitations the animals owner will place on you is also smart...break the deal and get lost is my thought.
If you want to ride and improve, go take lessons....once many barns get to know you and your abilities they have horses for different leasing packages from privately owned to lesson and show string animals...
You can also find yourself a hacking barn and become a often client that once you get known, again your abilities often you get the string of horses seldom given to any but the very best and few restrictions as many of these animals have possibilities for other more specialized work but no one to do wet saddle blanket time with them...often deals are worked of ride and pay a pittance when you are putting seat time on prospects and bringing them along to a further potential...
But, as I said at the beginning of my book far and how long you travel is all on you to absorb not the issue of the person looking for a share-boarder.
I wish you luck and success in finding a arrangement that works for you.
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The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #5 of 20 Old 10-01-2020, 12:06 AM
Join Date: May 2020
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In my experience, these things just really depend on where you live.

In the Netherlands (my home country), there are a lot more people who are looking for a horse to share than owners who are looking for an exercise rider. Paying 50-150 euros per month is to be expected (+10% to convert to dollars). As an owner, boarding is about 250-400 euros per month depending on where you live, plus all your other expenses. It's part of our equestrian culture to expect your exercise rider to contribute, unless they are professional trainers of course. If not, chances are you'll be expected to contribute financially.

Right now I live in the rural US, and there are plenty more people who are looking for an exercise rider than people looking to ride. Unless I want to lease a horse I don't have to pay at all. I'm exercising someone's show horse, and I'm also training another horse she owns. I don't have to pay for any of this, nor am I expected to help out (even though I do). I am even welcome to go to shows with her and show the younger horse (I pay my own stall and entry fees).
Because this would neve happen in my home country, I feel very lucky to be in this situation in the US. But I also understand that in Europe things are different, and I am assuming the UK (I think you live in an urban area right, not rural?) is more similar to the Netherlands. Prices are high, horses are scarce, so you end up paying. You cannot compare that to living in the rural US like me.

If I were to move back to Europe, I would probably agree to paying IF the horse I'm riding is a broke horse (not some fatty that isn't trained properly), and I don't have to do too many chores. But it really depends on where you are, what the availability is like, and what the local eq culture is like.
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post #6 of 20 Old 10-01-2020, 01:21 AM
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Look around for a local Hunt Kennels, race yards, they are always looking for riders to help exercise.

Might not be exactly what you want but it would be riding and you might even get paid for it!
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post #7 of 20 Old 10-01-2020, 03:28 AM
Join Date: Apr 2015
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I leased a horse once for my nieces to ride with me. I paid 200. per month and could ride as much as I wanted with him but in reality we only rode with him about twice per week. He was a well trained horse that my nieces could safely ride. No official training involved and we just went for nice quiet trail rides.

How much it cost for you to get to the horse really isn't the horse owners problem. Their needs are different. They are thinking about their horse. What it cost to maintain them and and keep them healthy is on the forefront of their minds, not your fuel tank.
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post #8 of 20 Old 10-01-2020, 10:12 AM
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In the Midwest USA, where I live, horse leases range from $100/month for 1-2 rides per week, all the way up to $350 or $400 for unlimited riding. In those cases you are always expected to pay some farrier costs as well and often half of the vet bills. In the case of 1-2 rides per week, some owners ask for farrier and vet costs as well. Almost no one offers "free leases" just to get someone out to ride their horses, unless it's a horse that needs some training and then they only want a professional level rider.

But I have NEVER heard of someone wanting you to sign a lease agreement and get paid, before they even meet you, or before you have ridden the horse at least once (for free--as an "interview" ride--usually short--30 minutes or less). But yes, it's also typical to know ahead of time, on the ad or listing for the horse, what the owner is charging per month. Or at least to know that in the first message.

I just found a little more unique situation--i'm paying per ride for a horse. It's just like a lease otherwise--I come on my own and get the horse out and tack it up and all that. I can spend the whole day there if I want and ride as long as I want (this horse is very fit). But since I'm only paying by the ride, I can miss a week and not lose money, I can go twice in a week without special permission or paying "extra". This is a new situation, but so far it seems really beneficial. I'm paying $30/ride. So if I ride every single week, it's $120 month. That's a little more expensive than some other monthly leases for 1 ride a week, but I love the flexibility and it's a private farm--no boarding--just the owner's horses and I like the place. I am considering asking one other person for a "pay per ride" option on their horse--but only AFTER I have met her at least twice (about 2 hours per visit)and ridden the horse. So, I wouldn't ask that without establishing myself somewhat as trustworthy and having a rapport with the owner. Most people won't go for that kind of arrangement and I totally understand why, but it doesn't hurt to ask sometimes.

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post #9 of 20 Old 10-01-2020, 10:39 AM
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That sounds like a lease or partial lease to me which usually has a monthly fee. Am I misreading?
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post #10 of 20 Old 10-01-2020, 04:00 PM
Join Date: May 2020
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Originally Posted by Animalia View Post
In the Midwest USA, where I live, horse leases range from $100/month for 1-2 rides per week, all the way up to $350 or $400 for unlimited riding. In those cases you are always expected to pay some farrier costs as well and often half of the vet bills. In the case of 1-2 rides per week, some owners ask for farrier and vet costs as well. Almost no one offers "free leases" just to get someone out to ride their horses, unless it's a horse that needs some training and then they only want a professional level rider.
This is so interesting! Are you in a rural or urban area?
I live in the northwest, but there are only a handful of cities in my area. It's rural, but people here grow crops. This is not a cattle area. I'm sure you could find places where you'd have to pay to ride, but generally these things are free (as long as you are helping out the owner by exercising a horse they don't have time for, not if they are giving up their their riding time for you).
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