Leasing Horses - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 12-02-2015, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
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Question Leasing Horses

Hey there!
A short while ago i posted a thread asking if i would be ready to own/lease a horse and most of the replies said yes to leasing. Mum has agreed to listen to me babble (bribe, inform and show my knowledge) to her about it. i have been doing alot of research but i keep finding that the info is very unreliable since everyone is different. So i am asking if you guys can help me by replying with anthing you know and just a quick overview. Also if you lease a horse or have in the past, if you can tell me your experience that would be awesome!
Thanks Bea,
P.S.
Im in Australia if that means anything! :)
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post #2 of 16 Old 12-02-2015, 10:52 PM
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Leases are very individual arrangements IME, so it's hard to give a lot of details. Generally, you'll find two classes of leases- partial or full.

Partial leases give you use of the horse only on certain days (with some being more strict about sticking to a schedule than others). Usually with these the horse will stay at the barn he's already in. Most of the ones I've seen the financial commitment is for a set amount each month and doesn't vary no matter what care the horse needs, though sometimes you'll split costs with the owner as they come up (for example, you'd pay a regular monthly fee for board, then when the horse sees the farrier you'd pay part of that cost to the owner)

In a full lease, you are the only one riding the horse, and you may be able to move it to your barn of choice (or home if you have space). You usually pay all regular costs of care, including board, farrier, vet, etc directly to the service provider. You might pay nothing at all directly to the owner (often called a "free" or "care" lease) or you might pay a small lease fee in addition to all the normal horsekeeping costs (especially if the horse is show-ready).

Some owners put more stipulations into their contracts than others. Before I bought my own horse, I did a few partial leases through the barn I was taking lessons at, and one full lease from a private owner. The partial leases through the barn were very loose with a short one-page contract. The barn arranged all care for the horse and I had access to their schooling tack, so I really could just show up and ride. If the horse was lame or had health issues, they'd let me ride a different horse of theirs. With the full care lease, the owner was a little bit pickier (understandably, since I moved her horse to my barn). Her contract stated some things she cared about- like she wanted the horse to be shod in aluminum shoes. It also specified who paid for vet bills in case of an injury/illness (in this case she carried a major medical insurance policy on him and I was responsible for the $250 deductible only) and allowed me to be released from the lease if he was unable to be ridden for 30 days or more.

IME, a clear understanding of who pays for all expenses (routine and emergency) and any clauses that allow you to terminate the lease early are important. You don't want to end up paying for a horse that you can't ride, and you certainly don't want to be the one to foot a $10k colic surgery bill! My full lease contract was a one year commitment, but had a trial written in; I could terminate the lease within the first month with no penalty. After that I was on the hook for the entire year unless (like I mentioned earlier) the horse was unable to be ridden due to injury/illness.

Overall, leasing was a very positive experience for me, though I was certainly ready to buy my own horse after a few years of it!

“The horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you might not like what you see. Sometimes you will.” - Buck Brannaman
"Nothing forced can ever be beautiful." - Xenophon
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post #3 of 16 Old 12-03-2015, 08:04 AM
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In Australia things tend to be a little different from the US. Since, at least out of the major cities, full care horse board is rare, leases are often what we call free leases which mean you're responsible for all costs but don't pay any set fee for the owner. This means you'll pay to keep the horse somewhere, to feed it, pay for the farrier and dentist etc. On top of that you are responsible for all care, which either means you pay a facility to care for the horse or you go out daily or as required to feed and care.

The costs can vary wildly, from $30 a week to over $100.
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post #4 of 16 Old 12-03-2015, 10:01 AM
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As verona points out, leasing agreements vary widely. Have you found some in your area that might be potential candidates? If you present more concrete information to your parents, they will be more likely to take you seriously. So other than the cost, you will need to explain to them what the responsibilities will be to you and them (do they have to drive you to the barn? Do they have to supervise you?). Also, talk to the people offering their horses up for lease to find out what is included. For example, do you have access to tack and an area in which to ride?

We did lease a horse a couple of years ago for my daughter. For 100$ a month, she got to ride him once a week between her lessons at a specified time (this was a part lease, obviously). We had to work out a time that was mutually convenient so we could have access to the arena. While it was fun for a while, we had a number of issues. The barn owner had too many horses and not enough stalls, so she would often use the arena as a shelter for her excess horses. This meant I'd have to catch the horse in the arena and move him somewhere else before we could use it. Once it was a colt in the arena so that was challenging! The barn owner wasn't present during our leasing time so we were on our own trying to problem-solve. We also got there once to find the tack room locked so my daughter did a bareback lesson on the lead rope that day. In the end, I didn't feel she was getting enough out of it for what it was costing. At the next barn we paid for an extra lesson a week instead (bringing it up to two lessons a week) at a cost of about 80$ per week. We could have leased for that price, but I felt it was better for my daughter to get more instruction than what basically amounted to "free time" on a horse. She now has her own horse and is taking lessons once a week on him, and riding him in between.

I'm not trying to discourage you from leasing - on the contrary. Leasing can be a great way to feel like you have your own horse without all the responsibility. I'm just saying that it's a good idea to find some actual horses to lease in your area and working out all the details of who pays for what, and what your lease actually buys you. THEN present it to your parents. Any chance you can pay for some of it yourself?
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post #5 of 16 Old 12-03-2015, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Hey Acadianartist,
Thanks for your advice, I have been saving up money for quite some time and although what I have is not enough to pay for all of it, I will be able to pay for some. I was talking to mum yesterday and she said that it would be better to wait until we have moved to a big property and then lease a horse on my own property then later buy a couple of horses of my own. So I guess for now I will keep property hunting and stay thankful that I even get one lesson a week.
Thanks again,
Bea
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post #6 of 16 Old 12-03-2015, 06:32 PM
Green Broke
 
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Keep in mind that many people are reluctant to lease horses when they will be kept on the leasers property.
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post #7 of 16 Old 12-03-2015, 07:14 PM
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Enjoy those lessons Clydesdalerider! Maybe you can spend extra time at the barn to help out with chores and such. Ground time around horses is also very beneficial!

Kudos to you for saving up a bunch of money! That would impress me as a mom!
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post #8 of 16 Old 12-04-2015, 02:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saskia View Post
Keep in mind that many people are reluctant to lease horses when they will be kept on the leasers property.
^^Especially if they are newbie owners/leasers that have never had full care of a horse before. I am currently looking at leasing out my pony, and will not lease her to people who have not owned before if it is to be at their property.
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post #9 of 16 Old 12-04-2015, 04:53 AM
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You will very rarely find two leases that are alike.

I have two horses currently, on free lease. Both have very little to no limitations of what I can and can't do with the horses.

The owner of one of the horses had me sign a piece of paper that said I would care for the horse to the best of my ability for as long as I want him, and the owner drove the horse 4 hours to deliver him to me. I have had next to no contact with this owner since. This owner knew a friend of mine, so I guess you could say I had a 'reference'.

The second horse has no signed paperwork about our agreement. He was delivered by the owners from one hour away, and the owners keep up to date about our exploits via Facebook. The owner didn't know me at all and only met me once. They want me to check in before changing farriers etc, but otherwised aren't fussed by what I do.

On the other end of the spectrum, I have a friend who is currently looking to lease out a fantastic dressage pony for $100 a week, with a number of conditions.

Your best bet is to look around, ask questions, and wait until you find the perfect lease (and lease horse) for you.
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post #10 of 16 Old 12-04-2015, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Hey again!
if you read my previous thread you can see all the things i do at my riding school!
https://www.horseforum.com/new-horses...-horse-637738/
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