View Full Version : Leasing? Please explain how it works.

Sep. 28, 2010, 04:47 PM
Ok I have been searching and searching for a jumper to work with and take to in-state shows and well, I am thinking leasing is the way to go at this time.
I haven't ever leased a horse. I would like an off site lease. So can anyone explain how a lease works? or even a lease with purchase option? What are typical lease rates or what about free leases?

Thanks for any tips, things to look out for or other info.

Sep. 28, 2010, 05:00 PM
All depends on the arrangement you set up. Sometimes there are free leases where you pay nothing to lease the horse except board, and expenses such as vet & farrier and the owner may or may not ask you to pay their insurance. Often you might be asked to pay say 1/3 of the horse's value upfront + board and expenses, or you may expect to pay lease fee on the horse + board + expenses... and those fees are going to be dependent on the value of the horse or the nature of the lease. You lease a nice competition horse who has a successful competition record you might pay $1,000 per month to lease horse + board; or you may find a great horse w/ a super competition record and the owners just want to cover the horses expenses for awhile you might only be asked to pay board/expenses and no lease fee.. All depends.

Sep. 28, 2010, 05:03 PM
Leases in my area for a show horse with a good show record typically run 1/3 of the horse's value per year plus all other expenses (board, farrier, routine vet care, etc.). These are usually show horses that will be competitive on the A show circuit.

My trainer leases out her horses, but typically for a set price. For example - if board is $550, the lease may be $700 per month, depending on the horse.

If you look hard, I've seen some good horses available for free lease. In that case, you would cover all the horses expenses (board, shoeing, routine vet, etc.) but there is no additional charges.

The details all vary. Some will allow you to board at a barn of your choice, some require you ride with a certain trainer and board and that barn. Read the contract carefully - there are so many details - who covers costs if the horse gets injured? If the horse requires maintenance drugs, how much are those and who covers that? How often can you show the horse? Is there a limit to how high you can jump the horse? Can you ship horse to a show whenever you want or do you need permission each time? Does the lease include use of horses tack or will you have to purchase tack?

Sep. 28, 2010, 05:11 PM
Lease prices depend on the area you're in and the horse in question. Free leases typically mean you pay all expenses on the horse but no lease fee. I have heard of lease fees anywhere from $100 to $1000 per month.

Usually the way a lease works is you pay all expenses on the horse (vet, farrier, board, chiro/MT if necessary, dental, vaccinations) - all the normal expenses of upkeep plus a lease fee. As far as vet expenses go, I expect the lessee to cover any and all expenses of the horse's illness or injury, within reason. My contracts stipulate I am not responsible for any vet expenses and that any otherwise unexpected expenses are covered by the lessee however I always tell the lessee that if the vet expenses are excessive or involve long-term major injuries, that as the owner I obviously have the horse's best interests at heart and will obviously chip in - especially if it involves going above and beyond making the horse simply sound again. I am not going to leave the lessee high and dry at the expense of my horse - shit happens sometimes that can't be helped. I would expect the same of any lessor should I be leasing.

With lease to owns, you typically follow all the same rules of a lease (expenses plus sometimes still a lease fee) plus you put payments down on the horse over time.

Take a look at a bunch of contracts online to gain an idea of what one should look like and make sure the one you eventually sign is airtight for both of you. Ensure you cover aspects such as care (expected standards), riding (the manner in which the horse is ridden, what equipment is used, etc), and stabling (where, shows, etc). If you have any questions or concerns, stand up and say it and ask that the contract be modified or clarified. Don't sign contracts that dictate you purchase the horse in the event it incurs an injury (particularly if it is not clear and specific) unless you have a solid and thorough vet check done (even then, things can be missed). Most honest lessors are more than happy to adapt or modify their contracts to suit your needs as well.

Sep. 28, 2010, 06:48 PM
I was always told that the standard lease price is 1/3 the sale price.

Sep. 28, 2010, 09:11 PM
I think you will find as many options as there are owners and people looking to lease. While the top A horses may be on the expensive end of leasing options, I've run into plenty of people who can't ride everyday that just want to have part of their expenses covered. Different owners will vary on what they ask the leasee to cover. This may vary depending on whether you are boarding at their "home" barn or off the property.

I've leased horses several times over the years and in most cases I paid for a percentage of the board, shoes, and standard vet expenses such as regular worming. The percentage varied depending on what % of the time I wanted to ride (1/2 lease, full lease etc). I ran into some owners who wanted people to cover part of the insurance as well. I can understand that if the horse is off the property. However, in my case I was not only planning to lease on the same property but be in a training program with the same trainer they used. So I saw no reason to pay part of the insurance when there were other owners who weren't asking for that.

I agree with others that you should definitely look over the contract and make sure you feel comfortable with it. Decide what type of expenses you are willing to pay and make sure you and the owner are on the same page. You might have more flexibility if you can lease on the property, or perhaps find a trainer you like and lease a horse from one of their clients or perhaps the trainer themselves. If you are relatively advanced, you might be able to lease one of their sales horses. I used to ride with a trainer who used his sales horses for 1/2 lease programs. In that case he just charged a flat fee for the lease which also included lessons.

Personally, I don't think that people should have to pay the major vet expenses unless they take the horse off the property. If the horse is on the property and the horse sustains an injury that had nothing to do with the leasee, then the owner should be responsible for the bill. One example might be a pasture accident. Now on the other hand, of the leasee overworked the horse and it strained a ligament or came up lame, then yeah, they should pay the full vet bill...Off the property though and I think they should pay all vet expenses or most of them.

Sep. 28, 2010, 10:42 PM
I can see where the vet bill issue could get tricky. I am in Florida, by the way. I am not looking for a perfect A show packer, I was actually thinking that maybe I could find something that I could help finish (move up the levels) while I was leasing and maybe work that into the lease plan as part of the horses training. I am only interested in doing an off site lease, as I live nowhere near anything lol
(nearest gas station is 10 miles away) lol

I have been told this is the perfect time to lease, due to the economy.

I will take a look at some contracts online, I appreciate the help. I never want to walk into unfamiliar waters, so your tips are very helpful.
Guess now I just need to find a horse :)