The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 32
  1. #1

    Default Leasing - The Pros and Cons?

    I would like to get some opinions about leasing. I know that leasing is supposed to be a great way for a rider who does not own their own horse to ride more and show, but I am finding that the higher cost of leasing may not be worth while.

    What have been your experiences with the following: Riding lesson horses versus leasing? Lease terms followed or additional expenses added by surprise?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2001
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    6,740

    Default

    Well, first of all, a lease horse is likely to be a lot higher quality and more likely to be capable of jumping bigger. For example, my trainer only jumps her lesson horses 2'6"-2'9" and doesn't let them show above 3'. If you want to do more, you have to lease. That's the biggest reason to lease, in my mind. Additionally, you'll get more saddle time by having the option to hack your lease horse on days you aren't lessoning, etc.

    If you have a good trainer to help facilitate the lease, there shouldn't be any surprise expenses. Obviously, it's a big step-up, expense-wise, but if you're serious about riding and showing, it's absolutely worth it.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2013
    Posts
    125

    Default

    If I were looking to lease a horse right now (re: my current riding abilities and what I'm looking to do), I would be looking for something that was sound, relatively big, athletic, and if I chose to show, could be competitive anywhere up to, and including, 1.20m. Now if I were to try and buy a horse like that, it could cost me any amount of money well into the six figure range. I certainly do not have the money to afford a horse like that, but there are a lot of them out there whose owners are looking to part-lease them out to cover some expenses and keep the horse going while they're currently too busy to ride consistently (university, work, new child, family problems, injury, etc). On top of the fact you'd be getting a high quality horse to ride, given your type of agreement and with notice, if you find you can no longer afford x amount of money each month, you're not stuck with the horse until it sells or you can rehome it. Those are all pros in my book.

    As for cons... Well, a big one is the money (this goes either way). Each month you're still paying a few hundred dollars that could be going towards other things. Depending on how long you lease this horse for, you could be out thousands of dollars which you could have saved and put towards purchasing your own horse. The owner, too, at any time could decide to review the lease terms and change them, or pull the horse out from under you for any number of reasons.

    Ultimately, I think you need to decide whether you'd like to be on a horse where you could be consistently improving your riding and experience or if you'd like to stay on the lesson horses and stay at a certain level, but save that extra money.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 19, 2004
    Location
    Livonia/A2, MI
    Posts
    94

    Default

    I've had really good experience with leasing. Admittedly my leases were in-barn half leases, but in each case it allowed me to ride a horse with much more talent than the other lesson horses - as mentioned above, my trainer's lesson horses almost never go about 2'6", in order to save the horses but also because once-a-week riders are not really riding fit and shouldn't be jumping higher. By leasing, I can ride 3-4x a week and have a pony that can do the Low Adult jumpers without the initial cost output of buying (and I would not have been able to afford her!). Would I be better off saving the lease cost? Possibly, but I would have missed out on 2 years of progress - my riding has come a long way thanks to my mare.

    I plan to lease a High Adult horse in the future, which will probably be a full lease with a bit of a price tag. However, I believe it is worth it to try and find a horse that will help me learn the ropes at that height without scaring either of us! Since it'll probably be an older horse that will continue to step down, I don't necessarily want to commit to buying, especially since buying tends to come with a much larger cost. I see spending the lease fee as an investment in my riding that will pay off when I can buy a (hopefully cheaper!) prospect to bring up the levels.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2012
    Posts
    545

    Default

    In my opinion, the least expensive and most restrictive arrangement is a lesson program. You may be able to show and you will certainly learn alot, but your expenses and experience are limited to x number of lessons per week.

    If that's not working for you, the big question is lease vs. ownership. In my experience, the big advantage of leasing over ownership is the flexibility to change horses as your riding ability changes. Unfortunately, with this comes significant expense as a lease usually involves lease fee + training expense + upkeep. Sometimes, like someone else said, you can get a partial lease which will allow you to split these with someone, but, in general, leasing is an expensive proposition. Also, remember, the horse is not yours! This means any money or training you are putting into the horse is essentially building up someone else's investment. Further, the owner can make decisions (both good and bad) regarding the horse's welfare and you are more or less powerless to do anything about it - other than terminate the lease.
    ~ In the chaos of the showing, remember riding should be fun for all, including our 4-legged kids.

    ~ Loving mom of the world's biggest puppy, my draft-X Sirius Black



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2001
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    6,740

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sammicat View Post
    Unfortunately, with this comes significant expense as a lease usually involves lease fee + training expense + upkeep. Sometimes, like someone else said, you can get a partial lease which will allow you to split these with someone, but, in general, leasing is an expensive proposition. Also, remember, the horse is not yours! This means any money or training you are putting into the horse is essentially building up someone else's investment. Further, the owner can make decisions (both good and bad) regarding the horse's welfare and you are more or less powerless to do anything about it - other than terminate the lease.
    But, in defense of leasing, it often allows you to lease something much nicer than you could afford to buy outright. I certainly couldn't afford to buy the horse I lease. Additionally, the horse I lease is his mid-teens. I wouldn't ever purchase a horse that age, but he's still the perfect horse for me, so a lease just makes sense.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2012
    Posts
    545

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tha Ridge View Post
    But, in defense of leasing, it often allows you to lease something much nicer than you could afford to buy outright. I certainly couldn't afford to buy the horse I lease. Additionally, the horse I lease is his mid-teens. I wouldn't ever purchase a horse that age, but he's still the perfect horse for me, so a lease just makes sense.
    Very good point! In the end, I would say it the decision depends on what the OP is looking for in a horse.
    ~ In the chaos of the showing, remember riding should be fun for all, including our 4-legged kids.

    ~ Loving mom of the world's biggest puppy, my draft-X Sirius Black



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2008
    Location
    at work and the barn...middle of nowhere PA
    Posts
    247

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tha Ridge View Post
    But, in defense of leasing, it often allows you to lease something much nicer than you could afford to buy outright. I certainly couldn't afford to buy the horse I lease. Additionally, the horse I lease is his mid-teens. I wouldn't ever purchase a horse that age, but he's still the perfect horse for me, so a lease just makes sense.
    It can also end up costing the owner a lot if things don't go well for the horse in the lease, poor upkeep, poor conditioning, and poor riding are all factors that owners have to worry about. One of my horses is currently free-leased at my barn, but I have MY trainer to keep an eye on things and its in her best interest to make sure things go well, as it will be her job to help me clean up if things go wrong.


    Leases can be great or a night mare, depending on how well you prepare prior to signing the lease agreement!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2013
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by silver_charm View Post
    I've had really good experience with leasing. Admittedly my leases were in-barn half leases, but in each case it allowed me to ride a horse with much more talent than the other lesson horses - as mentioned above, my trainer's lesson horses almost never go about 2'6", in order to save the horses but also because once-a-week riders are not really riding fit and shouldn't be jumping higher. By leasing, I can ride 3-4x a week and have a pony that can do the Low Adult jumpers without the initial cost output of buying (and I would not have been able to afford her!). Would I be better off saving the lease cost? Possibly, but I would have missed out on 2 years of progress - my riding has come a long way thanks to my mare.

    I plan to lease a High Adult horse in the future, which will probably be a full lease with a bit of a price tag. However, I believe it is worth it to try and find a horse that will help me learn the ropes at that height without scaring either of us! Since it'll probably be an older horse that will continue to step down, I don't necessarily want to commit to buying, especially since buying tends to come with a much larger cost. I see spending the lease fee as an investment in my riding that will pay off when I can buy a (hopefully cheaper!) prospect to bring up the levels.
    Did you find a horse outside your barn to bring in and lease or are you referring to lesson/lease horses at your barn? The lesson horses in my barn are the horses available for leases as well. So in my situation, choosing to lease doesn't get me a higher quality horse since the lesson and lease horses are the same. Although, I should note that the lesson/lease horses are all fairly high quality.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2008
    Posts
    1,699

    Default

    Leasing can be great depending on the situation. Like a lot of people, I started out riding lesson horses and moved on to leases. Why exactly are you looking to lease? Do you want more saddle time? Want to move up?

    I started leasing when I wanted to continue to advance my riding skills. Some trainers have very nice, A show caliber lesson horses, but I think most trainers just have lesson horses for beginner/intermediate riders and expect some kind of leasing after a certain point. Depending on what you're planning to do with the horse, what level of riding you're at, and how many connections your trainer has, you may be able to find a relatively cheap lease on a nice horse.

    Due to financial constrictions, I could never afford to pay a lease fee on top of board, shoes, vet, etc. That said, I free-leased some very nice horses. I started with my friend's nutcase horse, then moved on to an in-barn half lease on a wonderful hunter/eq mare. After that, I leased an older WB gelding, (who did the Maclay and USET finals in his prime), and finally a nice hunter gelding. With each lease, my riding progressed and I learned a lot, which I feel made what I was paying worth it. I wouldn't have been able to jump over 2'6 on lesson horses nor learn to do a lot of other things.

    If you would be leasing the same horses you ride now for the same amount of riding time, figure out which option is cheaper and go with that. Most leases tack on new responsibilities such as routine vet care, shoes, board, etc. so make sure you factor those in too.

    ETA: As far as lease terms being followed, I made sure I had a written contract with the owner for each lease. All of my leases went smoothly, but I did make sure to communicate often and very clearly with the owner about what was going on with the horse. My only surprise charges were when my last lease horse went mysteriously lame and we had to go on an expensive fishing expedition to find out what was wrong, (he's now sound as a low level dressage). If you have a clear, well thought out contract, I can't see why you'd have any surprise charges only than for vet, and maybe not even that if you have insurance.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2002
    Posts
    486

    Default

    I'm always a little skeptical of the "lease the lesson horse" programs- a lot of them don't end up being true leases, just a way for the trainer to get some extra money out of you without really giving you much more than a guarantee that you'll ride horse X in your lessons.

    Would you get to ride the horse outside of lessons? Take it to shows? Would other people still be riding the horse that you would have to schedule around?


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2013
    Posts
    125

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nwhunterjumper View Post
    Did you find a horse outside your barn to bring in and lease or are you referring to lesson/lease horses at your barn? The lesson horses in my barn are the horses available for leases as well. So in my situation, choosing to lease doesn't get me a higher quality horse since the lesson and lease horses are the same. Although, I should note that the lesson/lease horses are all fairly high quality.
    I wouldn't be crazy about leasing a school horse, especially if they come with certain limitations, unless you really enjoyed a particular one and wanted to spend extraneous time with it. There are a lot of owners (at least in my area) who are willing to relocate their horse to the barn of the part-lessee's choice if it's still within their locale and meets their standards in concern to facilities and safety. Most full leases will permit you to board the horse wherever you choose, so long as the owners approve of the facilities and your intended program.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2009
    Posts
    4,201

    Default

    I half leased when I first decided I really wanted to get serious about this whole jumping thing. Yes, the cost went way up but I was able to ride a very sweet, confidence building horse up to the 2'6" for about 7 months. After riding him, I desperately wanted a horse of my own, and looked for something I could "grow" into. Bought my current horse and have been riding her for almost three years. She didn't exactly turn out to be what I thought I was getting, and was recently presented with an opportunity to lease a 1.15 BTDT gelding to help me get more confidence at the higher fences.

    So I guess what I'm trying to say is a lot of factors can dictate the direction you could take. Riding as many horses as possible will only serve to make you a better rider, however there are quite a few perks to owning your own (like I am a bit of a control freak, and did not enjoy being at the whim of another owner). Also, for me being on one horse for two and a half years really improved my riding, however I didn't realize by how much until I sat on other horses. So possibly the best situation is to find a free lease/in barn lease just so you can get consistent, regular saddle time, and then always be the first one to raise your hand when someone else needs their horse hacked or your trainer has extras.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 19, 2004
    Location
    Livonia/A2, MI
    Posts
    94

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nwhunterjumper View Post
    Did you find a horse outside your barn to bring in and lease or are you referring to lesson/lease horses at your barn? The lesson horses in my barn are the horses available for leases as well. So in my situation, choosing to lease doesn't get me a higher quality horse since the lesson and lease horses are the same. Although, I should note that the lesson/lease horses are all fairly high quality.
    My current lease is technically a lesson horse, however there is a bit of background. Suffice to say she is an extremely nice pony, and I am the only one that consistently jumpers her 3'+ - that is what the lease gets me, more riding time and thus more opportunities to take advantage of what a nice pony she is. The others that ride her in lessons do not jump near as big.

    While others have pointed out that it can be limiting, my trainer only gives lessons 4 days a week. So I have one lesson day, and then the option of 2 of the 3 days she's not being used. Almost all of my trainer's lesson horses are half leased, and they are all A show quality at their intended level of use. The leaser is the one that gets to show the horse, the lesson kids get rescheduled or ride something else. It works really well for our barn and I'm grateful for all the opportunities I've gotten through my trainer's program.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2012
    Location
    NYC=center of the universe
    Posts
    1,869

    Default

    Leasing can be a lower-risk way to get a ride than buying. But you pay for that. You can also get a nicer horse than you could afford otherwise (sometimes). Again, you pay for that. If you want to pay a nice premium, you could serially lease one nice horse after another. You might not be able to afford such a nice horse outright. You won't worry about retirement and some other risks that come with ownership.

    But leasing a lesson horse? The price would really have to be right. Meaning, you shouldn't be double-paying for lessons (leasing and lesson fees), otherwise you're better off just lessoning a lot!!

    Leasing can also be good for a transitional period. Say, to work on your skills before you buy a greener horse. Or because you haven't found a good horse to purchase. Or because it's a great horse, but maybe an older one and you don't want that commitment.

    And obviously leasing allows you to experience more horses than if you owned.

    I moved to leasing when I couldn't regularly ride the most appropriate lesson horses for my level during my lessons. Or when the lesson program didn't have what I needed, I leased from outside.

    I purchased because I added up the cost of leasing and realized I could get something fancy for what I would spend on a few years' lease fees.
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2012
    Location
    NYC=center of the universe
    Posts
    1,869

    Default

    WRT surprise charges... If I were part-leasing a lesson horse, I would expect ZERO additional charges. No vet, no farrier, nothing. The lease fee should cover everything.

    Once you get into full leases, you'll likely need to cover routine vet and farrier bills. That may or may not be negotiable. Definitely anything beyond that is negotiable.

    To protect yourself, make sure this is covered in the contract.
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2011
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    2,473

    Default

    This biggest pro leasing when I was a junior was the lack of commitment. At some point, for all that we leased 6 months out of every year, it would have been just cheaper to buy and keep a horse. But for us, it was worth paying more to lease to know that the horse was going back and we were not committing to years of possible problems/lameness/not being able to sell. Of course these things can happen in a lease but there is an expiration date. Everyone has their own situation but that was the biggest advantage for us. The reason leased in the first place was, as other posters have said, so that I could progress past the 2'3'' height limit on a lot of school horses and to show more.
    Currently blogging for Chronicle of the Horse. Articles can be found here: http://www.chronofhorse.com/category...ryan-lefkowitz


    1 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2001
    Location
    Toronto, Canada.
    Posts
    6,122

    Default

    There are so many types of leases.

    Free leases are often offered on horses who are greener, or horses who arent fancy enough to compete at the A or B circuit. Part boards are also usually economical and you may be able to find situations where owners go away to school (or are busy working) and they have a good quality horse who needs some more riding time.

    Show leases do cost more, because you generally are getting a well schooled horse with proven experience/results in the ring. These leases are typially 1/3 the horses value for a year, as you are paying for a ready made horse.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2001
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    6,740

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jumper221 View Post
    I'm always a little skeptical of the "lease the lesson horse" programs- a lot of them don't end up being true leases, just a way for the trainer to get some extra money out of you without really giving you much more than a guarantee that you'll ride horse X in your lessons.

    Would you get to ride the horse outside of lessons? Take it to shows? Would other people still be riding the horse that you would have to schedule around?
    My trainer offers a "lesson lease" program, but it's just a flat rate (e.g., no portion of board or expenses) and it only guarantees that you get to ride the horse in your lesson, nothing else. You do have first priority if you want to show it, but you're definitely not the only person riding or showing the horse. Our lesson horses are NICE (we're talking retired hunters who have won at indoors and former high junior jumpers), so it's well worth the price for a rider who wants to be competitive in the 2'6".



  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2001
    Posts
    2,463

    Default

    My old barn owned both lesson horses and lease horses. Lesson horses were just that, and were not available for lease. The lease horses were a bit nicer and were for riders ready to take the next step towards horse ownership and have something available to ride regularly and show. Some of the lease horses were half-leased by two people, others were full-leased. The barn owner was great and finding good, reliable horses for both the lesson and lease programs.

    Depending on how much you lesson, a lease may be more cost-effective than lessons on a school horse. It also gives you the opportunity to frequently practice your riding, and hours in the saddle are key to improving. For many people, leasing is a very good option to be able to ride the horse they need right now to learn and progress so they are ready to move on to the next horse.

    I agree with others that it depends on what your needs are. I've been on both ends of leasing before, and neither turned out great for me. Both were long distance, though - I would lease my current horses to an in-barn lease only.

    I would compare each option and list out all specifics and expenses. A lease is generally going to offer quite a bit more to the rider than lessoning on school horses, but it will usually cost more, too.


    1 members found this post helpful.

Similar Threads

  1. Pros and Cons of breeding at Three
    By winter in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: Oct. 2, 2012, 11:43 PM
  2. Fly boots - pros/cons?
    By GreyStreet in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: May. 24, 2011, 01:16 PM
  3. Anyone ever used one of these? Pros - cons??
    By Mrsmph in forum Dressage
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Jun. 1, 2010, 04:46 PM
  4. what are the pros or cons
    By paintjumper in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Aug. 8, 2009, 07:28 PM
  5. Pros and cons of a dually?
    By lep in forum Off Course
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: Nov. 5, 2008, 03:20 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •