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hi i’m new to the horse forums and i’m not sure what topic this would go under but i’m hoping some people can help me out with the questions i have

i’ve been riding for almost 4 years, just did my first show a few weeks ago (hunter and equitation) i’ve recently gotten more serious about riding, i do 2 lessons a week. i normally don’t tack the horse i’m riding in my lesson, the helpers at the barn do it for me before i get there. i was wondering when a good time would be to start leasing a horse? i’m not very involved at my barn, i only come and ride. my trainer asked me this summer if i was interested in leasing but i’m too busy this summer. i was interested in leasing during the school year instead of doing school sports. (opinions?) should i be tacking the horse for my lesson regularly before i consider leasing? (i know how to tack) also when would it be a good time to get my own saddle? before i start leasing or after? thanks
 

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If you think you're going to be leasing, then wait until AFTER you get the horse to buy your saddle. The saddle needs to fit the horse you'll be riding.
 

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There are a few variables in which we'd have to look at.

-What's your budget? How long will you lease if money is a factor/non-factor
-WHY do you want to lease? To advance or to practice and care for a horse of your 'own'?
-Will you have the time and focus with school going on?

It is good to tack up horses that you ride regularly and to untack them. You get to learn a little about them and how they behave while being tacked up (some are saints, and some get cranky and may bite- you never know). This small little thing teaches you how to handle horses on the ground. It also gets you accustomed to the equipment in case you wanted to add anything such as different bits, martingales, etc etc. Riding and leaving imo is not true horsemanship, it's just, well...riding. But it depends on what you want to do. Ask why your trainer is so interested in having you lease? Does she have plans for you?

And I second that you should wait to buy a saddle. Buy the size that is most likely going to fit many horses. You don't want to end up with a saddle that can only fit a small amount of horses, nor do you want to ruin the backs of others. Depending on how long your lease is, I personally wouldn't buy a saddle if it's short term and has the possibility of being ill fitted for other horses.
 

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I began riding with twice weekly lessons. After about 3 months I was so hooked i decided to lease a horse from the facility. I did an unlimited package allowing me to ride whenever I wanted and have full use of the tack they had for the mare I was working with. This was a great option for me at the time because I really wanted to learn as much as I could about caring for a horse “of my own” without the responsibility and financial commitment that is actually required to own. I leased for about a year and a half before I finally decided to take the plunge and buy my first horse who I then boarded with the facility for over a year and now finally have at home with me on my small acreage. If you are considering buying a saddle for a lease horse, I would ask yourself first whether or not you plan to lease long term, or if this this just a stepping stone to you owning your own. Or perhaps there is a lease-to-buy option on the horse you will be working with? The saddle I used with my lease horse would have NEVER fit the horse I purchased, so I was glad I had waited to buy all of my tack until I was ready to buy my own horse.

Be prepared as well, you may find that you build quite a bond with your lease horse. I sure did, and she wasn’t available for purchase as she happened to be a favourite at the stables for the kids riding lessons etc. I hate to admit it but I haven’t been able to build that level of bond with my gelding yet and had, at times, wished I could’ve brought my lease mare home instead! Just some things to consider if this is going to be something long term for you!
 
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