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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I have been considering leasing a horse for a bit now (but I still have a very rational head about it) and I happened to see a post on one of my local dressage boards on FB that really piqued my interest-- a sweet, been there, done that (according to the post) 16 y.o. OTTB gelding whose owner is a full-time student. She lives about 2 hours away, but would be open to letting me board him closer to me so that I could ride 3-4 times per week. We are talking over the phone later this week, but it sounds like I would responsible for his board and the replacement of his front shoes every 5-6 weeks.

I have been reading lots of stuff about leasing, but I was hoping to get some feedback from you all.

First and foremost- readiness. I have been taking lessons 1-2 times per week for about a year now and I am confident at the walk, trot, and canter. The horse's owner says he is beginner-friendly and was most recently leased by a very beginner young teen and did well. Obviously, I will be involving my trainer, but I'm curious as to your thoughts on this.

Additionally, my daughter is 8 and has been riding for about 2 years and is in a similar level. I would hope that she could ride him, too. My goals are to do some low level dressage, but mostly just ride for pleasure, companionship, and trails. My daughter would eventually like to jump. If this lease were to happen, I would find a boarding barn that has trainers available as I would still want both of us to take lessons on him 1-2 times per week. Unfortunately, I ride at a rescue ranch and they do not allow boarding.

I volunteer at a rescue every week and have been working through groundwork classes and am now doing shadowing hours to be a part of a groundwork team. I don't, however, feel entirely knowledgeable on feeding and much beyond basic first aid/care.

The second part of this is the logistics. I can't help but be skeptical. If I were to lease, I know that we would need to draw up a lease agreement- would this be overseen by an attorney? I keep going through the what-ifs- what if there is a huge vet bill that the owner refuses to pay? What if the horse is hurt while we're riding? What if there is underlying health problems? Should I perform some kind of vet check before leasing him? Honestly, it sounds a little too good to be true, so I'm trying to think of ways that it could be some kind of scam. She claims that she hates to see him sit but isn't ready to sell.

He has had a couple of leases in the past year and the owner said she is willing to give me the contact info for the previous lessees.

If you've made it through this, THANK YOU for reading! And thanks for any advice you might lend.
 

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In my experiences no attorney but a thought out and well written contract yes - and take your time to read it, too. If the owner by any chance is intimidated by making a contract you can even send a template. I do know some that have unwritten arrangements which I'd never agree to. The next biggest thing I would do is trial him. A month trial (paying like you would the lease) but not actually sign the lease contract until you're absolutely happy. Have a separate write out for the trial. Make sure who pays transport (or splits - when I've seen this happen the person leasing sends half to the owner who arranges it). Sorry if I put anything obvious you know how it is online - don't know what you know and all so I'll include everything that comes to mind.

Other questions:
1. who is in charge of doing faecal tests/worm counts? Make sure you know what worms and other parasites are in the area and seasonally an issue. When was horse last wormed/for what?
2. who will be responsible for teeth, when were they last done? (should be done annually at most, mine gets done twice a year)
3. does board cover both or just one of the following: bedding / feed / hay? (mine for example covered none of those and I paid extra)
4. is the horse insured (get proof)? If the horse is not insured, once you lease would you consider it or at least third party liability and riders insurance? (the other part is to cover vet bills / loss of use)
Some annual contracts I've seen the person leasing actually paid the insurance because the owner didn't want to.
5. Is the horse vaccinated and up to date? If due during lease period, who is responsible?
6. semi-related to my below comment, what rights and decisions do you have in regards to emergency veterinary treatment? If you can't get hold of the owner or their next best contact what is the most you can do? A call out to assess? Treatment options? We're talking maybe the horse is choking and needs tubing right there, for example. Or an abscess.
7. Tied above - what sort of vet bills are you responsibility and theirs? (if any)
8. assuming tack fits, what happens if it doesn't? Are you permitted to buy your own tack
9. what is the horse fed - is the owner very specific or is what you feed (after doing your homework, you can always ask on here) yours to manage?
10. if for a medical reason the horse has to be out of work, like half a year/for a long period is there a clause that you can terminate the lease? (if you wanted)

Make sure every activity, and potential activity, is listed in it too. If the owner will cover major vet bills but later says "Well I didn't write in the contract that you could ride him bareback over jumps or in just a headcollar so it was your fault this scenario happened in your care". They can have a contract given to you and you can staple & email the copy of what you will do with the horse to it so you can't say the owner wasn't informed before agreement. Just cover your angles.

I am over the top but I live in London UK and everyone will eat you alive for not leaving a wet floor sign even at the beach. Don't suggest things like "I'll pay half this etc" ask the owner first or you might get milked.

Google the following "sample share agreements horse" or "sample loan agreements horse" and you'll get results. Sorry more of a general response about if you should or shouldn't. I think you'd have to meet the horse, watch the owner ride. Both you and your daughter ride it there. Then trial it. Don't be put off by all the above so many people loan even just by word of mouth and it works out. Just cover your bases! :) I hope it works out!
 

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I have been considering leasing a horse for a bit now (but I still have a very rational head about it) and I happened to see a post on one of my local dressage boards on FB that really piqued my interest-- a sweet, been there, done that (according to the post) 16 y.o. OTTB gelding whose owner is a full-time student. She lives about 2 hours away, but would be open to letting me board him closer to me so that I could ride 3-4 times per week. We are talking over the phone later this week, but it sounds like I would responsible for his board and the replacement of his front shoes every 5-6 weeks.
If you are leasing and moving the horse two hours away from the owner then the horse is essentially in your hands. Unless there is some prior medical issue that worsens or shows signs then expect to pay any at fault vet bill. You may be asked to pay any bill for injury as he is no longer accessible easily by the owner and no longer under her care. Paying board and shoes as you are riding and he has been moved for your convenience would be expected.


A horse is a horse and will respond accordingly. Each person brings their unique set of skills and confidence. Just because he worked for another beginner doesn't necessarily mean he will work for another or working for you does not guarantee he will work for your daughter. Having a trainer on hand is in your favor. Have your trainer evaluate you and your daughter on this horse if possible before committing to moving. Doesn't mean there won't be changes but you'll have a better idea of what you are starting with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In my experiences no attorney but a thought out and well written contract yes - and take your time to read it, too. If the owner by any chance is intimidated by making a contract you can even send a template. I do know some that have unwritten arrangements which I'd never agree to. The next biggest thing I would do is trial him. A month trial (paying like you would the lease) but not actually sign the lease contract until you're absolutely happy. Have a separate write out for the trial. Make sure who pays transport (or splits - when I've seen this happen the person leasing sends half to the owner who arranges it). Sorry if I put anything obvious you know how it is online - don't know what you know and all so I'll include everything that comes to mind.

Other questions:
1. who is in charge of doing faecal tests/worm counts? Make sure you know what worms and other parasites are in the area and seasonally an issue. When was horse last wormed/for what?
2. who will be responsible for teeth, when were they last done? (should be done annually at most, mine gets done twice a year)
3. does board cover both or just one of the following: bedding / feed / hay? (mine for example covered none of those and I paid extra)
4. is the horse insured (get proof)? If the horse is not insured, once you lease would you consider it or at least third party liability and riders insurance? (the other part is to cover vet bills / loss of use)
Some annual contracts I've seen the person leasing actually paid the insurance because the owner didn't want to.
5. Is the horse vaccinated and up to date? If due during lease period, who is responsible?
6. semi-related to my below comment, what rights and decisions do you have in regards to emergency veterinary treatment? If you can't get hold of the owner or their next best contact what is the most you can do? A call out to assess? Treatment options? We're talking maybe the horse is choking and needs tubing right there, for example. Or an abscess.
7. Tied above - what sort of vet bills are you responsibility and theirs? (if any)
8. assuming tack fits, what happens if it doesn't? Are you permitted to buy your own tack
9. what is the horse fed - is the owner very specific or is what you feed (after doing your homework, you can always ask on here) yours to manage?
10. if for a medical reason the horse has to be out of work, like half a year/for a long period is there a clause that you can terminate the lease? (if you wanted)

Make sure every activity, and potential activity, is listed in it too. If the owner will cover major vet bills but later says "Well I didn't write in the contract that you could ride him bareback over jumps or in just a headcollar so it was your fault this scenario happened in your care". They can have a contract given to you and you can staple & email the copy of what you will do with the horse to it so you can't say the owner wasn't informed before agreement. Just cover your angles.

I am over the top but I live in London UK and everyone will eat you alive for not leaving a wet floor sign even at the beach. Don't suggest things like "I'll pay half this etc" ask the owner first or you might get milked.

Google the following "sample share agreements horse" or "sample loan agreements horse" and you'll get results. Sorry more of a general response about if you should or shouldn't. I think you'd have to meet the horse, watch the owner ride. Both you and your daughter ride it there. Then trial it. Don't be put off by all the above so many people loan even just by word of mouth and it works out. Just cover your bases! :) I hope it works out!
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to this!
 

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I agree with what @QtrBel said about how you'd most likely be responsible for the vet expenses as well. Even if it's not spelled out in the contract. At the very least, they'd probably expect you to find your own vet and pay him, then they would in theory reimburse you. They're not going to be responsible for a vet for a horse that's that far away from them.

I'm sorry if missed this, but would you be boarding the horse, where there would be other horse people around to help you, or keeping it at home? I would recommend against keeping it at home. It sounds like you're in a good place with your riding, but it's not clear where you are in terms of horse care and health.

If you're not already, start devouring books on horse health and horse care.
 

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If you are doing a full lease, you are responsible for the Vet bills. IF the horse needs euthanized you would need the owners permission to do that. You are totally responsible for the health and welfare of the horse with a full lease.
 
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