They're out there, but can be expensive or hard to find...it's been my experience that these horses are often not advertised, but found via word of mouth. Keep looking though...I had a great experience leasing some older experienced horses and really learned a lot! I did my first training on an ex-2-star horse and played in the 3'6" jumpers on an ex-3-star horse.
A girl at my barn has gotten free (I think) leases on a number of nice packer types, along with the ride on some green ones, from a local tack store owner who has worked with her and knows her. I have leased and been leased a number of horses at various levels of competitive readiness, including going Training successfully. These types of leases are definitely out there but are IME nearly always through word of mouth and/or personal connections between lessor and lessee.
Ditto the above. I had a reasonably priced lease for an onsite lease of a former 3* horse to do preliminary on and one of the horses DW mentions is my training packer if you can ride a bit. He's not a mug's horse. I found the first through a conversation with a trainer and have only ever "advertised" my posting on Facebook
We chose to sell our Intermediate Packer/Advanced horse for under $10K to a good home rather than lease him. We wanted him to be taken good care of, and with a lease I felt sure all we would get back was a broken horse. Also, for some reason everybody thought THEY were doing US a favor by offering to take him on a FREE lease basis. Love this horse and hope he is doing okay.
We wanted him to be taken good care of, and with a lease I felt sure all we would get back was a broken horse
I guess this could always happen, but with a lease you still get to "vet" the lessor and if you're unhappy at any point in time you get your horse back. With a sale, you're putting all your faith in the buyer, permanently.
I certainly broke scubed's horse a few times (well, he participated in the self-destruction) but also made sure he was fixed! Sheesh.
I have seen good leases in our local Potomac Valley Dressage Association newsletter. Not sure if you are in the PVDA area but I'd check there and if not, see if there is a local assocation newsletter you can check.
They happen, but usually are word of mouth, know the players type of deals, and often in-barn. I was lucky enough to free lease a simply lovely T/P horse for a year and he was absolutely wonderful. So grateful to his owner for letting me play with him for a year - he wasn't a total packer, but he wasn't complicated either. We may lease out my current older guy when he tells us he'd like to step down a level, but he'll stay in-barn for sure. Either way, expect in these leases to have a solid contract, and to be ready to assume responsibility to care for/pay vet bills on any major injuries if they occur (this can often be negotiated, but I always operated on a you-break-it, you-fix-it mentality and it's worked out ok).
I leased an older packer that had evented up to the 1* level to do novice/training on. I learned about the lease by my trainer who knew the owner. The owner was going off to college but wanted him to have a good place to live/be loved for at least two years and maybe four. I met him, rode, and free leased him for two years and then was moving on to college myself. He showed another girl up through the lower levels after me. I know you are looking for a horse to do higher levels then my awesome packer, but I have seen them out there.
Yep, they are out there, but they are a treasure and can usually be found by word of mouth. Check around and hopefully you are sucessful in your search.
I have to agree with Eventing Junkie, I would be worried about leasing my horse and it coming back broken. Anything can happen, even if the person leasing is a great rider that loves and cares for the horse well. Could get a bad jump and the horse is lame for life. Could be in a paddock accident and break its leg. It happens, so for many it is easier to just sell and cut your losses. It just depends.
I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.
In my expereince, leases for horses above Training level are rare, and virtually always paid and in barn (if not paid in cash, then paid by someone's operating as a working student).
Leases for packers at Training level and below are more common, and more common to be free/feed leases and/or offsite, but the situations are as varied as the horses.
I have two horses I offer for lease at Novice and below. They are on-site only. One is my retired one-star horse who has stepped down to BN and N (he's 18). The other is one who is topped out at Novice, but would do it with a monkey on his back. Both are mine, trained and loved by me, and they aren't going anywhere. I don't offer them as "free leases" but rather as part of a lease package which includes their care, plus lessons/coaching/showing privileges.They have introduced several folks to the sport, and they are very good at their jobs. And when I get bored of waiting for my baby to grow up, I'll take 'em for a spin. at a show. ;-)
Thanks all. We kinda figured word of mouth was the way to go. Thankfully we have some connections, so we're going to start putting some feelers out there to see what we get. Hoping to have find a horse like this for a youth.
I must be in the rarity then. Saw someone I know looking for a 1* horse and offered my guy for free lease. 5 star home, he is being looked after better than I would be able to provide!
I have 2 younger horses and can't ride and compete 3. I also wasn't quite ready to permanently part with my 1* horse as I was uncertain of what I would be doing this year. Now, with a change in circumstances, I will be offering him for sale at the end of the lease.
It doesn't hurt to put the word out there - in my experience such horses are found via word of mouth.