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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm a new user, but I've been digging around a bit and I thought it was time for me to register and talk to some horsey people. Here's my situation:

I've been taking western riding lessons for a year and I've talked it over with my instructor and he thinks I'm capable of doing a half-lease on a school horse. It would be for 3 days a week, plus the cost of lessons. My goals through leasing would to gain more confidence both in and out of the saddle-- nothing fancy, just some extra practice.

Anyway, I've been doing a lot of research online, calling around to other barns in my area (Northern New Jersey) and it seems that the going price range for a half-lease is $200-$350. Which would be totally fine with me, except that I was informed to lease my lesson horse, it will run me $500/month + $140 in lessons.

I don't know any other horsey people and I was hoping that my instructor would guide me in my best interest, but I can't help but to feel like I'm getting screwed. Are you able to negotiate the lease of a school horse or is that bad form? Help.


Thanks!
 

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$500 is a lot, im 10 mins from jersey, for a 3 day lease (being able to ride 3 days a week) should be $200 plus lessons but it should be only 1 lesson a week. usually a half lease is half the board because your partially using the horse. hate to say it but $500 is much for a half lease, thats high for a full lease.
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I have half leased and full leased my WHOLE life until i finally finished grad school and was able to buy my own horse. You're in NY, and I ride out in NY every year so i'm pretty familiar with prices in the area. With that being said... a half lease should be: Half board, half shoes, half training, half vet care. Hopefully you're at a facility that is all inclusive where the feed is part of your board. Otherwise you're paying for half feed and even half shavings for stalls. Which can all add up very quickly. In my honest opinion, it is really great to half lease your trainers horses... and not some private person. But just make sure that before you sign any lease agreements, that you know exactly what you're paying for, how much these things normally cost (if you were paying for them in full), and whether or not it's really something you're ready to pay for. My BIGGEST suggestion is: Don't pay a lease fee. Ever!
 

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We are going to be leasing for my daughter in a month and her terms are 3 riding days a week with one of the days being a lesson day. $265 for a month.

$500+ does seem high
 

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Around here, a half lease of a school horse would be about 300. Then a lesson a month add another 60. Some places just charge the 300 and include one lesson in that price.
 

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I pay $250/month for board and $65/6 weeks for shoes for Dancer. I charge my leasee $150. She technically has set days but truthfully she can pretty much ride when she wants to.
 

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I pay $250/month for board and $65/6 weeks for shoes for Dancer. I charge my leasee $150. She technically has set days but truthfully she can pretty much ride when she wants to.

That's a sweet deal for her and you are pretty generous there. is it working out? is puddin liking the extra riding and benefitting from it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So the general consensus seems to be that $500+the cost of lessons is too high for a half-lease on a school horse. Is it worth it to negotiate, or should I take my business elsewhere?
 

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Sounds pretty high. I paid $265 for 3 three days, plus $200 a month for lessons. I also paid $50 per month for farrier services. I could take her to shows as well.
 

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I don't think I'd try to negotiate, because I wouldn't want to insult someone who's supposed to be teaching me, and she may truly believe the price is fair. I'd just tell her you can't afford that much and that you're going to look around and see if you can find something in your price range, but you'd like to keep taking lessons with her until you do. If your lessons are $35/lesson, it would only cost you $420 every 4 weeks to take 3 lessons a week, which would be cheaper for you than the lease situation she has presented. Perhaps that would be a solution for you?
 

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I don't think I pay that much for owning my horse, maybe if you factor in the vet stuff. Barely... I don't get lessons or the benefit of a schoolmaster type horse either though. I like the previous suggestion and just letting your instructor know that that is more than you are willing to spend and you will keep looking, though you still want to take lessons.

ETA: Nope, did the math. Barring veterinary emergency costs, owning my guy comes in under $500/mo
 

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I don't know your situation, but after a year of lessons do you really feel leasing is the best route? I was going to lease bc i was worried about how much i didnt know. Frankly, i pay less per month to own my own horse and ride on my terms. The initial cost was a hit to the wallet, but I only pay $85 a month for board and feed (pasture with hay) and $55 for shoes on a 6 week cycle. Unless you want to invest in a $10k horse, after a year of leasing that is a huge chunk of bye bye money.

You could buy a horse and use your horse for riding lessons, which is better in my opinion.

Something to think about if your only reason to not buy is your own intimidation. I found a great mentor and I've learned so much more and learned it faster on my own horse.

My barn owner does wormings and has been a great help with cuts and scrapes and diet. If you find a good mentor and you buy some books you will do fine. We make it more complicated than it has to be.

Good luck.
 

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$500 a month doesn't seem right . . . I live in NJ and I am currently looking to lease a new horse myself (I have been leasing different horse for four years), and the only time I paid that much was when I was with my old farm that was scamming me. This past summer I paid $400 for a full lease, with basically full access to the horse (who was a boarder, not a school horse).

Also, especially since this would be a half-lease, will the horse still be keep its same lesson schedule?
 

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It completely depends. Is this a show horse that you will be competing on for relatively large titles? Or is it a "putz around" schoolie?
Show horses can be leased for big, big bucks, so of this horse will take you places, or if you're going to learn at a greater rate because the horse is advanced and has a show history, then I would say that $500/month isn't bad. If the horse is a schoolie that you're just doing basics on (for now) then perhaps it is a bit steep.
Really though, if you can afford it and are seeing improvements and benefit, don't look at it as being "screwed over."
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't know your situation, but after a year of lessons do you really feel leasing is the best route? I was going to lease bc i was worried about how much i didnt know. Frankly, i pay less per month to own my own horse and ride on my terms. The initial cost was a hit to the wallet, but I only pay $85 a month for board and feed (pasture with hay) and $55 for shoes on a 6 week cycle. Unless you want to invest in a $10k horse, after a year of leasing that is a huge chunk of bye bye money.

You could buy a horse and use your horse for riding lessons, which is better in my opinion.

Something to think about if your only reason to not buy is your own intimidation. I found a great mentor and I've learned so much more and learned it faster on my own horse.

My barn owner does wormings and has been a great help with cuts and scrapes and diet. If you find a good mentor and you buy some books you will do fine. We make it more complicated than it has to be.

Good luck.
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Whoops, sorry for that weird reply post.

I won't be competing. This is just for me to practice my sitting trot and lope. It's just putzing around on a school horse for two extra days a week. I don't mean to sound bitter over it, but I feel like my barn owner is taking advantage of my naivete in the horse world. I'm trying to advocate for myself, but it's difficult to do. In my mind, the math just doesn't work out. I'm having a hard time reconciling $500/mo lease versus cost of lessons/board for the animal. It's as though 500 was just a nice round number.

I know I could find a suitable horse nearer to my house for less money per month, but I feel like I'm severing a relationship with my trainer and my barn. I think I will just have to be up front and honest. $500 is exorbitant for an ornery school mare and business is business.
 

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I don't think that there is anything wrong to ask the person to "break down" the lease fee, to give you an idea of what that includes.

That way you can see how much half board etc is and what the actual "fee" your paying for the horse is.

You have to also remember that this place is a business. Unless they have an excess of horses, by having someone lease out their riding school horse they are losing a certain amount of money (that horse would have made a certain amount in lessons).

I wouldn't pay that much to lease a horse, but look around and see what you can find. If you want to lease just as a trial to ownership you could always do it for a month or two, see if you like and then look to buy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Much thanks, everyone. I'll have to think on it some more and get over my anxiety about opening up the dialogue.
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I know you don't want to severe relationships with them, but, um. Sorry to ask this but

WHY WOULD YOU WANT A RELATIONSHIP WITH SOMEONE WHO WILL USE YOU!!??

If you bought a horse and kept it there you will probably still get used by this person but now at your horse's expense.

52 lessons to learn how to hack seems extreme, even if you never saw this end of a horse before. I wonder if she is not even prolonging your lessons? It does sound as if you are being taken advantage of.

How many other boarders and students are there? Are you the barn's cash cow??
 
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