Possible Lease for first time leaser - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-02-2017, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Possible Lease for first time leaser

Hi all,

Just recently, I attended a summer camp, and I rode an AMAZING quarter horse around 13-15 years old named Boomer. He was super sweet, and extremely fun to ride. I rode him twice a day, six days a week, for two weeks. My camp lets us take home the horse (with their approval obviously) from September until June, and I was wondering if it would be a good idea to take him home.

For a little bit of background on me, I've been in the saddle for 6 years (this would be my seventh year), but I have never owned or leased a horse. I ride once a week, as an english rider, but if I did end up getting Boomer, I would be at the barn as often as needed. I just worry that as I haven’t had a horse before, I could end up accidentally harming Boomer.

Now, more about the Booms! He used to be a western game horse, but now he is an english jumper! He is heavy on the forehand, but I'm fine with that as when I ride him, I make sure to not go down with him. XD. He can be strong when he is excited but I'm not fazed by that. He is also not extremely easy with the farrier. I know before, he was an un-chill dude, and now, he does bang on stalls when left alone for upwards of 30 mins. He lives 24/7 outside in his herd. If I free-leased him, he would be outside during the day, and inside during the night. He is super fun to jump (he over-jumps every single jump!), and is amazing on cross country. I am thinking of introducing him to dressage.


I love him so, so, so much, but I am just worried about my lack of ownership experience. I really don’t want him to come back to camp unhealthy, and I really don’t want to hurt him in any way. So what are your thoughts on this? How do I gain this experience? Would it be a good idea to try and free-lease him? How do I prepare for him? And most important of all, am I ready for him?

Thank you all so much!

Last edited by jumpingtothemoon; 08-02-2017 at 07:51 PM. Reason: Attached some pictures :)
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-02-2017, 08:36 PM
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I completely understand! While I only have two years of riding experience, I am leasing on-site, and watching my mare's owner taking care of her horses and realizing just what is involved makes it abundantly clear to me that I am not ready to take on responsibility for the care of a horse. From the skills involved to the time commitment - I am just too clueless about so many things, and every day I go there and need to ask a question tells me again and again: No, I should not be the primary care giver for this horse. I am ashamed to say that several times I completely missed a swollen joint or limb on one of her horses that she spotted right away. I'd need to live on that farm for a year and be intimately involved in everything that goes on in taking care of the horses to maybe feel confident to watch them for a week or two while the owner is on vacation, say.

Having said that, you may well have sufficient resources at your disposal to take care of him properly. Would he be living with other horses? Are there experienced horse people on site with you? Is this an all-or-nothing deal, or could you see how it goes and pull the plug if things to sideways with him? Since you like cross-country, I'm assuming you got places in mind to go with him.

It sounds as though you two get along and you can handle him. If you are confident about his nutrition, the amount and kind of exercise you give him, and you can handle basic medical issues (e.g. handling appropriately the difference between disinfecting a small wound, giving the horse the day off, or calling in the vet), I'd say you may be in good shape for this adventure.
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-02-2017, 08:59 PM
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Sounds like a heck of an opportunity to me. It's not often someone can get so much experience with a horse before deciding to take him home! Do you have a good-sized pasture? Fence? What about a playmate/partner for him? I assume you'll be paying for the farrier, do you know a good one? My guess is that any injuries would be your responsibility to take care of - do you have a good vet?

I was hesitant to own my horse and boarded her for 4 years before I brought her home. I didn't think I could take proper care of her. Then I was amazed at how easy she actually is to take care of. I had to get her a buddy, and we do have plenty of grass and only have to buy hay in the winter. Do you have someone you can get hay from? A good place to ride nearby, or a trailer to go riding?

When you ride him now, do you ride out alone or with a group? Hacking out alone can be a whole different ball game.

The camp gets a good deal when someone takes a horse home for the winter. It's a little pricey to take care of horses over winter. How cold does it get where you live? Wil you be able to ride in the winter? Do you have a hose and trough and all that?
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-02-2017, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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I am sure my camp would take him back if it doesn't work out, (they've done it before), and there are experienced horse owners on site. I have talked to the girl who took him home last year, and apparently he is a really good boy. He just gets a tad bit spunky in the winter - bucking, pulling, running to jumps, etc. But he does try VERY hard! (You can see it here, when I lost both my stirrups going over this jump)

Boomer will be at a boarding facility, where he gets daily group turnout. The facility has cross country and trails on site. Yes, injuries would be on our bill, we do not know any good vets but are hoping to find one if the camp agrees to let us take him home. Again, the barn takes care of feeding, so he will get his hay from them. When I rode him, I rode him on the group. I am not too confident taking him on trails by myself (or at least not for now) as he tends it gallop along and without someone to ride with me, I'm not sure I would go on the trails by myself, as I have never ridden him alone. Maybe after a couple months, though! I live in Canada, so it gets a little bit chilly, but I will still ride him in the winter.

Thank you all for your opinions! They're realyl appreciated.
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-02-2017, 10:33 PM
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Well, heck - in that case why not?! Sounds like a blast! You'll have a lot of other experienced people around.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-03-2017, 12:45 PM
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I say go for it. :) Leasing can be fun, and you will get to know him even more. Just make sure if they have a contract (I hope!) you read it through before you sign anything.

I think it would be a great opportunity. Nothing to lose!
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Ride more, worry less.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-03-2017, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Apr 2016
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I think this is a great opportunity! I've never owned a horse before (except when I was a teen) and also had the opportunity to lease from a barn with amazing desert trails right out of their gate. That was last November and now I not only own him (Doc), but have newly acquired a 2nd (Sierra). Luckily for me, the owner of the barn is very knowledgeable and supportive, and the vet on call is great too.

I did look into insurance in case of unexpected medical bills too high for me too be comfortable with, and they are available. I love the idea of leasing before buying, that way you can be sure you can handle the care and temperament without a huge commitment.
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-03-2017, 01:28 PM
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It sounds like an accident waiting to happen to me. Heavy on the forehand, over jumping and rushing jumps while they may be exciting are something you should work to correct and not encourage. That takes time and practice with an instructor that knows how to work with both of you. If he becomes a bully during his time off ("bucking, pulling, running to jumps") then the rider he is with is over horsed and too inexperienced for that particular horse. You know he isn't good with the farrier and that he doesn't like to be stalled and will bang on the walls when kept up. Either of those could lead to accidents to you, the farrier or the horse himself in the stall. I certainly understand wanting to bring him home. It creates a savings for them and opportunity for you but IMO this is not the right horse to take home. You say you have ridden every week for the last 6 years. Was this with an instructor? Could that instructor work with you riding him for lessons if you did decide to bring him home so that you can learn to correct his behaviors and get him to engage his hindquarters? Sounds like you need plenty of time riding poles and cavalettis to get him striding properly, collecting and extending in trot and canter. From there you could move to placing a pole before the fence to indicate to the horse when to take off. Grid work is also an excellent way to teach a horse rhythm, balance, striding and jumping. I think it would be beneficial to work on your flat work as that is the basis for good jumping. He has another month before he would need a place so you would have time to make sure of those things before hand. It sounds to me like he gets ridden hard all summer and even though he stays excitable ("He gets strong when excited") he is manageable. Bring him home where he isn't ridden twice a day (or more unless they only assign one rider to a horse) or even every day and he puts himself back in charge. My advice is to think long and hard. Being you felt you needed opinions from other horse people something I think is telling you the same.
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-03-2017, 03:41 PM
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You should make sure to take lessons with this horse and possibly pay for schooling of the horse with a trainer when needed.

I'm not sure how old you are, but my daughter half leases a horse that her trainer owns which is a much better situation for us than a free lease. We don't know much about horse care and I feel my daughter still needs a lot of instruction (she lessons twice a week) especially since her horse is still young and somewhat green.

With the half lease we are not responsible for vet care (or any care really) but we have gradually started getting more and more involved. We are learning a lot but we would still not be ready to take sole responsibility for a horse.

Do you know where you will be boarding the horse? Will you have knowledgeable people around to help you? Will you be able to tell if the horse is having lameness issues? I think it is doable, but think through it and realize it may be more expensive time and money wise than you are anticipating.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-03-2017, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your replies! Boomer is normally really good, he just gets his "winter spunk moments", but if you are firm, calm, and patient with him, he snaps out of it. Also, if you half-halt him, and ask him to stop, and collect himself, he will go really well for you. From my time with him, he was really good, and willing to please, you just have to be clear about what you are asking him to do. He tries so hard :), but sometimes he just gets too excited. @QtrBel , your point makes lots of sense, and I certainly don't want something to go wrong with him. As long as you are firm with Boomer, he will go for you, as he just needs that extra bit of encouragement. I have been with my current instructor for two years, and before that I was with another one for 4 years, but I am now moving to an eventing barn. Not the greatest timing, but I think I *could* make it work. I agree with you - the girl who leased him last year recommended gymnastics and lunging for Boomer. He is not ridden all summer, and he gets the rest of the year un-ridden, undisturbed by humans in a free running herd with 150 + horses on hundreds of acres, if no one takes him home. I came the first session, and the girl took him back in May, so no one rode him from that point on. My first ride on him was his first ride back at my camp. Believe it or not, he is actually a dream to flat! He can collect his trot so nicely that it feels almost like a walk, and I am working on his canter. He even knows his flying leads! (The girl who took him home taught him that). Last year's leaser also jumped him in gymnastics, and courses, I think her highest jump was 3'3" on him, but I am not certain... not extremely relevant anyway.

I am 13 :) I will be boarding my horse at an eventing barn about twenty minutes away from my house. I will have lots of horse people around to help me, if needed. Hopefully I will be able to tell if he was lame (that is one of my fears... him being lame and me pushing him), although he tends to "tell me" if something is wrong. At camp, because the farrier for whatever strange reason forgot to trim his feet, he became unsound, and as I was leading him to the barn, he kept stopping, not to graze, but just to stand there. I would be willing to work off some of my board, and make some money in other methods, for example, I am launching my business in September, and I am hoping to pay off some of my expenses using that.

Thank you all for your honest opinions, they are really appreciated :)
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