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HJALO
May. 18, 2010, 11:21 AM
Hey guys! After 15 years of non-horseownership I'm thinking about leasing a horse (finally). During my dry spell I've had a free lease on one horse and continued to ride through lessons, friends' horses, etc., but I'm definitely out of touch with what is reasonable to pay for a lease. Ideally, I'd like to find a jumper/adult equitation horse capable of 3' (best case, could move up to 3'6 when I can ;)). Can have some maintenance issues and could have some quirks as I'm a decent enough rider. Is $10K annually a reasonable amount to expect to pay for something that meets this criteria? I was told that was really, really low, but gosh, it seems like there ought to still be $30K horses out there! Would welcome your thoughts. Thanks!

Lucassb
May. 18, 2010, 11:40 AM
It depends a great deal on your location, I think, and what sort of shows you intend to do.

In my area, (Zones 1 & 2, admittedly a pricey part of the world) a competitive ammy friendly eq horse that can also do the jumpers at the A shows can easily go for 2-3x the number you quote. However, there will soon be people thinking about what to do with horses as children leave for college, and you might find someone who would be willing to lease their horse for a grand a month to get out from under the bills; I'd certainly try asking around and see what you can come up with.

HJALO
May. 18, 2010, 11:45 AM
I'm in the DC/MD area, so not cheap here either. My barn does pretty much only A shows too. Thanks for the tips - my time frame is later in the summer, so hopefully something will work out.

Limone
May. 18, 2010, 11:49 AM
good luck but I think it will be hard to find I currently have a horse leased out that is the 3' eq winner that can double as a hunter and a jumper and is hte star to start the 3'6'' on he is leased out for 6 months for 15,000 so I think a year at 10,000 will be near impossible

HJALO
May. 18, 2010, 11:51 AM
Wow - thanks. Clearly I had no idea. :(

Hunter Mom
May. 18, 2010, 01:12 PM
Gosh! In my area, you can BUY a horse like you described for under $20K.

touchstone-
May. 18, 2010, 01:17 PM
I think you could probably find something nice for about that price range, but it'll take some looking. As Lucassb said, you'll want something that the owners just want out from under. The winning 3' horses cost $$, but there are plenty for less that can be competitive at what you want to do if you ride well.

MR
May. 18, 2010, 03:55 PM
Why not do a lease within a barn, rather than finding a horse to support 100% and having to pay the yearly lease fee?

Most top barns have horses at your level (3' and improving) that you can lease without having to search around like crazy and bring a horse in. You just pay PER MONTH for the horse - at a percentage of the horse's cost (plus your lessons/training). Heck - I grew up doing that for 20 years before finally buying my own horse. :)

The cost per month will depend on how often you ride (# days per week), what type of barn you're at, & whether lessons/training is included. Full-training barns usually have some type of all-inclusive lease rate, so you just pay a lump sum each month for the horse + lessons. On the flip side, at our barn riders can part-lease private horses & then just pay for their lessons as they go. Since our facility is more geared toward boarders, the cost is ~$200-300 per month for a 2- or 3-day lease, and then the leaser pays for regular lessons on top of that. It's a lot less expensive, because you do your own care with the owner (which it sounds like you are fully capable of).

The other advantage to leasing within a barn is that you have WAY LESS liability. The horse's owner is still responsible for the horse's care & general upkeep. So, unless you were negligent and MADE the horse lame, the owner takes responsibility for the vet bills, etc (your share of yearly "regular" vet fees and such are already factored into the lease cost per month). Meanwhile, your trainer moves you on to some other horse for lease in the barn if original horse is unridable - and you aren't SOL having to pay $$ with no horse to ride!

BTW - I believe full-lease fees (to take someone's horse and keep them at your place 100%) are running ~30%/year of the horse's sale price (at least that's what's happening here on the West Coast for a "A"-circuit level horse). So, if the horse is worth $30k, you'd pay $10k for 1 year (plus all of the day-to-day expenses, of course).

Jumpthemoon16
May. 18, 2010, 04:02 PM
Why not do a lease within a barn, rather than finding a horse to support 100% and having to pay the yearly lease fee?

Most top barns have horses at your level (3' and improving) that you can lease without having to search around like crazy and bring a horse in. You just pay PER MONTH for the horse - at a percentage of the horse's cost (plus your lessons/training). Heck - I grew up doing that for 20 years before finally buying my own horse. :)

The cost per month will depend on how often you ride (# days per week), what type of barn you're at, & whether lessons/training is included. Full-training barns usually have some type of all-inclusive lease rate, so you just pay a lump sum each month for the horse + lessons. On the flip side, at our barn riders can part-lease private horses & then just pay for their lessons as they go. Since our facility is more geared toward boarders, the cost is ~$200-300 per month for a 2- or 3-day lease, and then the leaser pays for regular lessons on top of that. It's a lot less expensive, because you do your own care with the owner (which it sounds like you are fully capable of).

Agreed! Lots of barns that have active sale programs will also have in-barn leases for very nice quality horses that you can compete & train on. The lease itself is a lot cheaper, and you aren't responsible for care costs as well, which if you are at a top show barn (as I'm sure you know) can get very pricey.

HJALO
May. 18, 2010, 04:35 PM
Thanks, guys! Yes, I have done sort of what you're describing before - paid like $350/month to come ride whoever was available whenever I wanted (usually later in the evenings - I work long hours) and then had lessons on the weekend. That was great for getting back in riding shape and just getting more time in the saddle. Right now, there are not many horses available at my barn that I know of that would be available on a regular basis as you described. I'm looking for a more solid situation, I guess, and I have definitely not ruled out sharing a lease with someone if that is more affordable, etc.

Phaxxton
May. 18, 2010, 04:46 PM
What are you looking to do? Be competitive on a local circuit? Be competitive at the AAs?

If it's the former, you could buy a nice 3' eq horse with maintenance issues and quirks for the $10-20k range these days, even in my expensive neck of the woods.

If it's the latter -- and you're looking for a fancy, superb moving, always in the ribbons, with a show record horse, then you're going to have to shell out 3-4x that for a year-long lease.

HJALO
May. 18, 2010, 05:05 PM
I'm looking for something in the middle, really. My barn does mostly A shows, so I'd like something that could be relatively competitive but I do not expect to have a top-level horse or anywhere near that for what I am able to spend. I thought that a $30Kish horse ($10K lease) would be realistic for a jumper - I have no misgivings about hunter prices, just had never looked into jumpers before. I assumed that jumpers would be much cheaper in the 3' range. I am definitely not looking for something top of the line. My barn has plenty of those and I know they are way out of my price range! Just looking to see if I'm way out of the ballpark of what $10K will get for the year. I'm ok with a horse with quirks/maintenance issues and would expect something along those lines for my price range.

Hunter/JumperMom
May. 18, 2010, 06:11 PM
you say your at an A show barn, have you spoken to the trainers/owners? you would be surprised what you can find. Sometimes the people you think are loaded are the ones trying to unload or have their horses covered for just expenses.

HJALO
May. 18, 2010, 06:17 PM
you say your at an A show barn, have you spoken to the trainers/owners? you would be surprised what you can find. Sometimes the people you think are loaded are the ones trying to unload or have their horses covered for just expenses.

I spoke briefly with one of the trainers but have not officially made the ask yet for them to find me a horse - wanted to educate myself a bit (via you guys :) ) on what would be reasonable to help manage my expectations. I think you're very right - that there may be some opportunities within the barn to check out. I just would not want to make a lowball offer or appear too far out of it in terms of what I'm wanting for what I can afford. I appreciate all of the great comments.

sar2008
May. 19, 2010, 10:45 AM
Sent you a PM.

Stoney447
May. 19, 2010, 11:24 AM
5 years ago, when I was in tip-top riding shape, I leased a jumper from a top rider (ie. one who wears a red coat on Sundays) and ended up paying 30 K for only WEF. While the horse was fantastic and I had a lot of fun riding him I would never do it again. The expectations from the owner/trainer of the horse was way too much to handle. I felt like I was working for the owner though I was paying a fortune to ride the horse. (Rightfully so. THey were concerned about the development of their horse and I am an amateur. I was lucky to be "passable" enough to ride him in the first place.)

This year, while I have my own A/O mare (also low GP) and can 'borrow' my pro significant other's horses whenever I want, I decided I should lease a hunter for WEF to get back into the swing of things after a prolonged injury. I have never ridden the hunters before, so I looked within local barns, found a horse I loved, went and got to know really well the owner of the horse. Ended up leasing a horse in top USEF rankings for A/O last year at 3'3" (I rode in only the AA this year) for only $800 per month plus horse show fees and shoes.

Moral of story: Find a local horse you like. Meet and try to get to know a bit the owner of said horse. This tends to save you money, since the owner will know you, know you are local, and generally feel more comfortable with the horse being leased by you. THey may also be more agreeable to monthly renewable leases (so if something happens you can get out of the lease), or leases for a particular show season. Furthermore, it will be generally a better situation for you in terms of what they expect from you. If you are on good terms with the owner, leasing will go more smoothly for you.
These top horses generally have top owners who are concerned about the direction that their horses go in even when on lease.

Leasing a horse can be a great experience or a crummy one depending on the preparation you take before you lease. I second everyone who has said to try to find a horse to buy for that cost. Barring special circumstances (ie you want exposure to a sport you dont want to be in indefinitly (hunters for me)) it will save you money and headache in the end.

HJALO
May. 19, 2010, 11:30 AM
5 years ago, when I was in tip-top riding shape, I leased a jumper from a top rider (ie. one who wears a red coat on Sundays) and ended up paying 30 K for only WEF. While the horse was fantastic and I had a lot of fun riding him I would never do it again. The expectations from the owner/trainer of the horse was way too much to handle. I felt like I was working for the owner though I was paying a fortune to ride the horse. (Rightfully so. THey were concerned about the development of their horse and I am an amateur. I was lucky to be "passable" enough to ride him in the first place.)

This year, while I have my own A/O mare (also low GP) and can 'borrow' my pro significant other's horses whenever I want, I decided I should lease a hunter for WEF to get back into the swing of things after a prolonged injury. I have never ridden the hunters before, so I looked within local barns, found a horse I loved, went and got to know really well the owner of the horse. Ended up leasing a horse in top USEF rankings for A/O last year at 3'3" (I rode in only the AA this year) for only $800 per month plus horse show fees and shoes.

Moral of story: Find a local horse you like. Meet and try to get to know a bit the owner of said horse. This tends to save you money, since the owner will know you, know you are local, and generally feel more comfortable with the horse being leased by you. THey may also be more agreeable to monthly renewable leases (so if something happens you can get out of the lease), or leases for a particular show season. Furthermore, it will be generally a better situation for you in terms of what they expect from you. If you are on good terms with the owner, leasing will go more smoothly for you.
These top horses generally have top owners who are concerned about the direction that their horses go in even when on lease.

Leasing a horse can be a great experience or a crummy one depending on the preparation you take before you lease. I second everyone who has said to try to find a horse to buy for that cost. Barring special circumstances (ie you want exposure to a sport you dont want to be in indefinitly (hunters for me)) it will save you money and headache in the end.

All good advice - thank you. I would love to be able to buy, I just don't have a lot of buying power for where I'd like the horse to be based on all of the comments from folks much more in the know than me. :) I don't really have the time (or the nerve!) for a greenie as I work long hours and in a year or two will be thinking about having kids. Would love to get in some good showing before then!