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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(Not sure where this goes, so I'm plunking it down here.)

I love riding, but I can only do it once a week, at my hour-long lessons. I'd love to be able to ride more regularly. (I really need to build my confidence, which I think enjoyable rides would help with and help tone my anxiety down, but I digress.)

I'm sure I'm in this for the long haul. You horse people have brainwashed me. I am one of you. :'D That said, I really do wish I could ride more. So my question is, how do you do it? Do you lease? Board? Own?

A full lease at my barn is $300, full use of that horse, 7 days a week. Half lease is $150, 3 days a week. 6 month minimum lease, so I would probably lease during the cooler months. (We average the 100s in summer, which is not good for horse or rider.)

Boarding is either $300 or $350, I don't remember. Can't really do the $300/m, so my only option would be a half-lease, really, unless I was to buy a horse and keep it on our property. (About an acre - probably not enough, just daydreaming here.)

How do you do it? Just looking to see what all of my options could be here.
 

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(Not sure where this goes, so I'm plunking it down here.)
Half lease is $150, 3 days a week. 6 month minimum lease, so I would probably lease during the cooler months. (We average the 100s in summer, which is not good for horse or rider.)

How do you do it? Just looking to see what all of my options could be here.
That's a fantastic price for a half lease!! Why not start there? Talk to your instructor and find out if they think you're ready to do it. You can/should still take lessons as well.

I'm in a similar position: can't afford to own, and I know I wouldn't get out to ride any more than I do now, even if I did own the horse. So I take weekly lessons and then just get out as much as I can in between, and I pay per ride.

Once you get good enough, and people trust you, you can probably find some free riding time by exercising people's horses, or by being a trail riding buddy. That's worked for me! Even my coach, with whom I pay for most of my riding, lets me ride a couple of hers at no charge, just to keep them tuned up and in shape.
 

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Once you are confident enough to start working on your own a bit, the half lease option doesn't sound bad at all.

I currently also take riding lessons once a week and am lucky enough to have parents who live in a rural area and have enough space to keep my horse on, and mom loves horses. (Although I wish more of it was fenced. I may have to look into learning to put more electric fence up myself in the future.) But I will soon be moving her to board for a few months at my riding instructors' family ranch to continue taking lessons on their horses once a week but also be able to work with my mare with their supervision and help, and later have access to their trails, etc.

If there were more facilities that both taught lessons and leased horses here, that would honestly probably have been the better option for me to start with. But here we are and I love it :lol: As I mentioned with the parent's property, I grew up in a pretty rural area, where people just had land and owned a horse or they didn't, not any really local leasing options that I've ever heard of. It's a bit different for me now as I live closer to a university and there are a few more options within a reasonable distance but it took me a while to figure that out.

If you have the option to lease, even if you know you're in it for the long haul, it can help you learn how to handle different situations with horses and learn what characteristics you might want to look for in a horse if you do ever come to a situation where you'd like to purchase to own one.

EDIT: I also meant to add something else about the "how" I do it... I will be perfectly honest that the only way I am about to afford my lessons and boarding fees simultaneously is that I finally got my first decent paying job out of grad school, I split all living costs like rent and bills with my partner, we don't have kids, and my minimum student loan payments are still pretty low. Just four months ago, I might have been able to afford my lessons but there's absolutely no way I'd have been able to board her anywhere. So that is another thing that makes a half-lease extremely beneficial.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
(Not sure where this goes, so I'm plunking it down here.)
Half lease is $150, 3 days a week. 6 month minimum lease, so I would probably lease during the cooler months. (We average the 100s in summer, which is not good for horse or rider.)

How do you do it? Just looking to see what all of my options could be here.
That's a fantastic price for a half lease!! Why not start there? Talk to your instructor and find out if they think you're ready to do it. You can/should still take lessons as well.

I'm in a similar position: can't afford to own, and I know I wouldn't get out to ride any more than I do now, even if I did own the horse. So I take weekly lessons and then just get out as much as I can in between, and I pay per ride.

Once you get good enough, and people trust you, you can probably find some free riding time by exercising people's horses, or by being a trail riding buddy. That's worked for me! Even my coach, with whom I pay for most of my riding, lets me ride a couple of hers at no charge, just to keep them tuned up and in shape.
My instructor introduced me to a horse she thought would be a great fit for me to own "if you're (me) in the market", so I think she would be okay with me leasing, haha.

It really is a good price, and I think it could be doable - maybe she would even give me a bit of a discount or extra ride time in exchange for helping around the barn, who knows.

My problem with leasing is honestly the horses I could lease - there are really only three options for me.

#1 - Sandman, my current steed. I've done all but two of my lessons on him. He doesn't really respect me, but he doesn't really respect anyone but my instructor either, so I don't think it's just me. Who knows.

We have some....issues. He's kind of a bully on the ground, has his own sense of direction under saddle, and he spooked and threw me just a few weeks ago. All of the above has led me to be a little anxious around him - enough that I've requested to just work on walk/trot until I feel more comfortable.

His stifles constantly slip, which throws me off balance, and while 95% of the time he doesn't do this, he'll sometimes jump from a trot to a canter without being cued (like he did 4-5 times today on a lunge line. Sigh.) It just makes me hesitant, because while he's a good horse, I also feel like I can't predict him. Sometimes he's lazy and sometimes he spooks and tosses me overboard.

#2 - Donnie, I've ridden him twice, he's a good boy. Likes to go, pretty fast trot. He has a bouncy canter that I don't sit well, but he's a dream on the ground and never has tried to bite or kick me.

#3 - Izzy, never have ridden her. She has to be ridden half-seat at the canter, and that just seems uncomfortable. :'D

If anyone read all that, you're my hero and I'm sorry for going on for so long. Didn't mean to. :')

I won't really ride again until fall anyway, I'm just thinking ahead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Once you are confident enough to start working on your own a bit, the half lease option doesn't sound bad at all.

I currently also take riding lessons once a week and am lucky enough to have parents who live in a rural area and have enough space to keep my horse on, and mom loves horses. (Although I wish more of it was fenced. I may have to look into learning to put more electric fence up myself in the future.) But I will soon be moving her to board for a few months at my riding instructors' family ranch to continue taking lessons on their horses once a week but also be able to work with my mare with their supervision and help, and later have access to their trails, etc.

If there were more facilities that both taught lessons and leased horses here, that would honestly probably have been the better option for me to start with. But here we are and I love it <img style="max-width:100%;" src="http://www.horseforum.com/images/smilies/icon_lol.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Laughing" class="inlineimg" /> As I mentioned with the parent's property, I grew up in a pretty rural area, where people just had land and owned a horse or they didn't, not any really local leasing options that I've ever heard of. It's a bit different for me now as I live closer to a university and there are a few more options within a reasonable distance but it took me a while to figure that out.

If you have the option to lease, even if you know you're in it for the long haul, it can help you learn how to handle different situations with horses and learn what characteristics you might want to look for in a horse if you do ever come to a situation where you'd like to purchase to own one.
I'm 99.9% (because who's 100% confident?) confident at the walk, and about 97% at the trot, haha. I just have a history with my current horse, so I'm a bit anxious with him. He's my best option for learning to canter, though, because he's the smoothest.

I live rurally too, but not really in a big horse community. Really the only people that own horses around here are ranches or breeders. (My neighbor moved across the street and breeds champion Arabs now. I gotta visit her one of these days. 😉 )

My mom thinks we could potentially keep a horse on our property, but I am way too shy to inquire further, haha. Plus, then you've got the vet, feed, farrier costs, and then some.
 

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I'm 99.9% (because who's 100% confident?) confident at the walk, and about 97% at the trot, haha. I just have a history with my current horse, so I'm a bit anxious with him. He's my best option for learning to canter, though, because he's the smoothest.
Understandable lol.

I read your other reply about your leasing options as well. Perhaps your relationship with Sandman could improve as you learn how to earn his respect? But if you prefer Donnie's demeanor better, you'd probably get used to the more difficult canter.

I take lessons on mustangs, my own mare is an Arabian mix. A trot on the mustang I've mainly been riding lessons on is more rattling than a trot on my mare. But it was a lot easier to learn on the mustang even though it's more difficult for me to sit because his training is better and I trust him more. (My mare has carried me away a couple of times at a trot when I didn't want to be trotting. Nothing too wild, but unsettling for a beginner. That's another reason I'll be boarding her as well, my instructors offered to work with both of us and tune-up her training a little since she wasn't ridden regularly for a while before I owned her.)

Either way, that would be the joy of leasing :) No long-term commitment if you decide you'd rather lease another after the 6 months is up.
 

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I started with weekly lessons. When my trainer/BO trusted me to ride unsupervised, she encouraged me to do a barn lease (pay to ride any of the lesson horses I had ridden already, on my own time outside of lessons). I settled in with a great horse that no one else liked to ride and over the next year, he taught me more than I had ever learned in lessons.

When I finally got to the point that I was financially and logistically ready, my trainer helped me find appropriate horses for our family.

I recommend taking your time, continuing lessons and adding a half lease for a while to see what it feels like to ride 3 or 4 days a week instead of one. Leasing also let's you start problem solving and building a relationship with one horse over time, without assuming 100% of the responsibility.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm 99.9% (because who's 100% confident?) confident at the walk, and about 97% at the trot, haha. I just have a history with my current horse, so I'm a bit anxious with him. He's my best option for learning to canter, though, because he's the smoothest.
Understandable lol.

I read your other reply about your leasing options as well. Perhaps your relationship with Sandman could improve as you learn how to earn his respect? But if you prefer Donnie's demeanor better, you'd probably get used to the more difficult canter.

I take lessons on mustangs, my own mare is an Arabian mix. A trot on the mustang I've mainly been riding lessons on is more rattling than a trot on my mare. But it was a lot easier to learn on the mustang even though it's more difficult for me to sit because his training is better and I trust him more. (My mare has carried me away a couple of times at a trot when I didn't want to be trotting. Nothing too wild, but unsettling for a beginner. That's another reason I'll be boarding her as well, my instructors offered to work with both of us and tune-up her training a little since she wasn't ridden regularly for a while before I owned her.)

Either way, that would be the joy of leasing 🙂 No long-term commitment if you decide you'd rather lease another after the 6 months is up.
I definitely prefer Donnie's demeanor most of the time, haha! He doesn't kick or bite like Sandman does. I would love to earn Sandman's respect, but in the meantime, I have to struggle with him, which leads to a cranky me and a cranky him.

It's totally scary to just be going along at a walk or trot and then BOOOOM, you're gone, especially for a newbie (or a spooker, like me). That's one of the problems I'm having now, being nervous that he's just gonna take off like he sometimes has.

6 months definitely isn't so long!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I started with weekly lessons. When my trainer/BO trusted me to ride unsupervised, she encouraged me to do a barn lease (pay to ride any of the lesson horses I had ridden already, on my own time outside of lessons). I settled in with a great horse that no one else liked to ride and over the next year, he taught me more than I had ever learned in lessons.

When I finally got to the point that I was financially and logistically ready, my trainer helped me find appropriate horses for our family.

I recommend taking your time, continuing lessons and adding a half lease for a while to see what it feels like to ride 3 or 4 days a week instead of one. Leasing also let's you start problem solving and building a relationship with one horse over time, without assuming 100% of the responsibility.
Oh, for sure. I don't really want to own, not yet, I was just laying all my options out.
 

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As a young, shy person, who is aware of her/ his anxieties, I do NOT suggest owning your own horse . . . . for now.


Consider a half lease. In all honesty, any of the three you listed would work. If you worked with Sandman more, and if your instructor, OR, a different person , could show you how to create more authority, and thus more respect from him, he would probably become a really great horse to learn on. if you can master him, you will have gained so much self-confidence, you will feel 10 feet taller!


But, either of the other two is good, too. Spooking happens. it just does. If the horse is terribly spooky, then that's no fun at all. But, every time you ride through a spook, you cut a notch on your confidence pole, and you know that you are THAT MUCH more able to do it again, when it next happens.
 

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My husband just decided I needed a horse and got Lulu for me so I didn't have time to learn about taking care of a horse. As a first time horse owner I can tell you that there is a huge learning curve when it comes to owing a horse. Lulu is at the trainer's barn and one of the things that I love is that I get to ask all the experienced horse people questions about horse care. I can't tell you how many times I pointed to a hoof (sometimes Lulu sometimes another horse) and asked, "Is that OK?" So I think a half lease would be a great way for you to spend more time with a horse and get to know him/her better and ease you into horse ownership.



And Lulu had horrible ground manners when I first got her! My trainer has been helping me and 99% of the time now she is a sweet horse.
 

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Out of those three horses, I'd go with Donnie and avoid Sandman. The problem with a horse with slipping stifles is you won't be able to predict what will happen with his gait because he can't predict it. His leg might drop out from under him or he'll be unable to get into gait easily. Even what feels like a spook might just be him jumping from the stifle problem. When my horse's stifle catches he will often leap forward suddenly.

A horse with good ground manners and a slightly rougher gait like Donnie would be something you could learn to adapt to. A rougher but predictable gait is something you can learn to ride without having to deal with the unpredictability of stifles slipping and the horse's related reactions.
 

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Weekly lessons are great. It never seems like enough time though!

The half-lease sounds like your best option for now. Choose the horse wisely, but if that one doesn't work out - you can always just lease another one I'm sure. :D That would give you more ride time, and you won't have nearly as many responsibilities as you would if you actually owned the horse.

I leased for years before I got my own horse. I enjoyed it a lot. There's nothing quite like having your 'own', but there's no rush to get there. Leasing is a great option. And cheaper. Just have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As a young, shy person, who is aware of her/ his anxieties, I do NOT suggest owning your own horse . . . . for now.


Consider a half lease. In all honesty, any of the three you listed would work. If you worked with Sandman more, and if your instructor, OR, a different person , could show you how to create more authority, and thus more respect from him, he would probably become a really great horse to learn on. if you can master him, you will have gained so much self-confidence, you will feel 10 feet taller!


But, either of the other two is good, too. Spooking happens. it just does. If the horse is terribly spooky, then that's no fun at all. But, every time you ride through a spook, you cut a notch on your confidence pole, and you know that you are THAT MUCH more able to do it again, when it next happens.
Like I said above, I was just laying out my options. Don't really want to own yet.

I know that horses spook. I've fallen from a spook and ridden through 2-3 others. I don't really think that's what bothers me, but the fact that he FEELS like he's spooking. His stifles slip, and he'll stumble and shoot forward, or knock me off my diagonal. Makes it hard to sit the trot, too. He'll also sometimes go from a trot to a canter without a cue, like he did 4-5 times on the leadline yesterday. That combined with his ground manners just make me feel edgy around him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My husband just decided I needed a horse and got Lulu for me so I didn't have time to learn about taking care of a horse. As a first time horse owner I can tell you that there is a huge learning curve when it comes to owing a horse. Lulu is at the trainer's barn and one of the things that I love is that I get to ask all the experienced horse people questions about horse care. I can't tell you how many times I pointed to a hoof (sometimes Lulu sometimes another horse) and asked, "Is that OK?" So I think a half lease would be a great way for you to spend more time with a horse and get to know him/her better and ease you into horse ownership.



And Lulu had horrible ground manners when I first got her! My trainer has been helping me and 99% of the time now she is a sweet horse.
Leasing does seem to be my best option, I was just laying everything out. 🙂 Don't really want to own yet!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Out of those three horses, I'd go with Donnie and avoid Sandman. The problem with a horse with slipping stifles is you won't be able to predict what will happen with his gait because he can't predict it. His leg might drop out from under him or he'll be unable to get into gait easily. Even what feels like a spook might just be him jumping from the stifle problem. When my horse's stifle catches he will often leap forward suddenly.

A horse with good ground manners and a slightly rougher gait like Donnie would be something you could learn to adapt to. A rougher but predictable gait is something you can learn to ride without having to deal with the unpredictability of stifles slipping and the horse's related reactions.
I think that's one of my big problems with him - not that he's spooking, but he feels like he is, because of his stifles. He'll jump forward to catch himself most of the time. It's just very unsettling when I feel like his hind end is falling out from under me. It isn't an uncommon occurrence, it's every lesson, over and over again. It makes me tense up, which I know is bad, but I find it hard to stay loose and flexible when he's slipping and shooting forward and knocking me off my diagonal.

I've only ridden Donnie twice and couldn't keep him in a canter (He was the first horse I cantered on, so I bounced around a lot, it wasn't his fault. I was just a newbie and he wasn't having it. 😉 ), but he's sweet and has a good trot. He also jumps, which is something I'm looking to eventually do. I was just hoping to get more comfortable with the canter on a smoother horse (Sandman) before moving on to Donnie, but my problems with Sandman have caused me to go back to walking and trotting to try and build my confidence on him again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Weekly lessons are great. It never seems like enough time though!

The half-lease sounds like your best option for now. Choose the horse wisely, but if that one doesn't work out - you can always just lease another one I'm sure. <img style="max-width:100%;" src="http://www.horseforum.com/images/smilies/icon_biggrin.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Very Happy" class="inlineimg" /> That would give you more ride time, and you won't have nearly as many responsibilities as you would if you actually owned the horse.

I leased for years before I got my own horse. I enjoyed it a lot. There's nothing quite like having your 'own', but there's no rush to get there. Leasing is a great option. And cheaper. Just have fun!
Hahaha, I know. Especially when you spend half your lesson steering your horse away from the water puddle!
 

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You will be astounded at the progress you will make when you start riding twice a week. . . and even more at thrice a week. I always find that riding 3 times a week has twice the value of riding 2 times a week. It's as if you go over some kind of threshold.
 

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I got back into riding about a year ago. I started taking some lessons on a friend’s horse and like you, it just was not enough. I wanted to practice what I has learned in my lessons. I wanted to be in the saddle more. It was ME time and has always been my dream to own my own horse.


I asked my friend if I could get more ride time on her ands he offered me a 3/4 lease. She has another horse but he is three and is stillin training. I could ride her when I wanted unless she was taking her on a trail ride or camping. It worked out great for several months but the mare has heaves and she is 24 so I there were times I could not ride due to her health. My friend decided to semi-retire her and I understood. I didn't want to put any extra strain on her.


She is a beautiful flea bitten grey with wonderful ground manners. Steady and calm. She was the PERFECT horse to get back into riding. She would make a wonderful lesson horse for people just starting out or for people like me that are getting back into it after MANY years away.


There was another horse at the barn that an elderly woman owns. She was looking for help so she offered me to lease her.


It is working out fairly well. I still take lessons, although it was like starting out all over again. Josie was a 15.3 hand QH and Stella is a 14.3 3/4 Arabian. She is smaller, a lot more athletic, and still green to the most part and a lot less horse under me but in the end I have improved my knowledge about horses and my personal riding skills.


I have her at a full lease for $110 a month (cheap I know!)and I can ride her whenever I want. The owner is pretty much absent, she is 87 and she does not ride her. She is eleven now but was a halter showhorse. She was not broke to ride until she was nine and pampered like a fancy pooch so I have to put a lot more miles in the saddle but she is a good little horse, even if she is a Diva and has a resting *&%$# face! LOL


I ride at least three times a week (if it doesn't rain, good Lord it rains every other day it seems!). Sometimes I work her in round pen, sometimes I work her in the arena and sometimes I just ride in the field or on the trail.

I still have my dream of owning my own horse, just not financially ready yet. Although I have put money into her, I know I know, we all do it!

She needed a winter blanket. Her old one was too large and was pretty tore up and had no legs straps. I bought her a new saddle pad and reins. And I needed a lunge line, lead rope and some grooming supplies. I could go on but I think you can guess the owner does not have much money. She is on a fixed income so I try to help out with the horses needs if I can. She does pay for the shots and farrier.


I am hoping maybe by next year I can own my own horse but in the meantime the lease works out perfectly! It is a win, win for all three of us! :)
 

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Although I could afford a horse, it just doesn't make sense, so I lease. I have a good horse that I lease for $250 a month, this gets me pretty much full access to her and the barns. I keep thinking I want to buy one, but in the long run it just makes more sense to do it this way.
 
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