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  1. #1

    Default How to navigate leasing situation *long* but advice would be greatly appreciated!

    I am hoping to get some different perspectives and advice on how best to navigate a leasing situation without ruining any relationships.

    I've been taking lessons at a farm that I like for several months now. I am a beginner rider. My instructor is also the BO and the farm is a medium sized operation. I started half-leasing one of the BO's horses that I had been riding during my lessons. I pay half the going rate for board + farrier costs + the cost of my lesson packages. It is not an insignificant amount of money. The agreement was that I would have 3 set days a week to ride, plus I usually ride the horse during my lessons for a total of 5 days per week. I knew that I would not always be able to ride all 3 lease days due to work commitments, but wanted to have the option and can almost always do at least 2 days. This is not a horse that *needs* to be ridden every day.

    I have two issues. I assumed the horse would not be used for other lessons on my lease days (assumption - my bad). Part of my reason for leasing was so that I could fit in rides around work with some flexibility as to the time of day. It turns out the horse is being used for lessons on my lease days (it took me a while to realize this) and I've had 2 occasions where I've shown up at the same time that the horse was being/about to be used for a lesson. Once I was able to squeeze in a ride prior to the lesson and once I just left.

    The BO told me a few weeks ago that the horse may be going away and that I could lease a different horse (I have never met the new horse). I said I was probably OK with that, but I thought we might talk about in more detail and that I would have some advance notice. I found out on two days after paying the monthly lease fee for the current horse that this switch at the end of the week. I do not think I will have to pay a new lease fee, but the horse will likely need shoes and I believe will be used for a daily camp.

    So here are my questions. 1) Is it standard practice for a BO to use a horse for lessons on the same days as a set lease? In other words, is it going to be the same everywhere so I should just suck it up. 2) Do people usually pay full farrier costs for half-leases? And should I expect to pay for the new horse's shoes? 3) We never talked about how long the arrangement would last (i.e. no long term contract). If I am unhappy with the new horse, how much notice is appropriate to let the BO know I don't want to continue leasing?

    I really don't want to pay to lease a horse that is being used twice a day because I don't have enough advance notice in my work schedule to plan my ride times around other people. In my view, I've lost the advantage of leasing in that situation. I don't want to take more lessons because I like time to practice what I've learned. Unfortunately it will be difficult for me to find a different lease situation because I don't know many horse people and I am a beginner rider.

    I know the adult thing to do here is to talk to the BO. For some reason, the idea of this makes me really uncomfortable, and I don't know that the BO will have the capacity to make the days I lease off limits for lessons anyway. I'd like to keep a good relationship because I like the BO and learn a lot from them. I also plan to purchase a horse in the near future, so I need a stable situation so that I can continue to learn and get some support when I take that step.

    Your thoughts and perspectives would be greatly appreciated.



  2. #2
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    May. 4, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by alternately awful View Post
    I am hoping to get some different perspectives and advice on how best to navigate a leasing situation without ruining any relationships.

    I've been taking lessons at a farm that I like for several months now. I am a beginner rider. My instructor is also the BO and the farm is a medium sized operation. I started half-leasing one of the BO's horses that I had been riding during my lessons. I pay half the going rate for board + farrier costs + the cost of my lesson packages. It is not an insignificant amount of money. The agreement was that I would have 3 set days a week to ride, plus I usually ride the horse during my lessons for a total of 5 days per week. I knew that I would not always be able to ride all 3 lease days due to work commitments, but wanted to have the option and can almost always do at least 2 days. This is not a horse that *needs* to be ridden every day.

    I have two issues. I assumed the horse would not be used for other lessons on my lease days (assumption - my bad). Part of my reason for leasing was so that I could fit in rides around work with some flexibility as to the time of day. It turns out the horse is being used for lessons on my lease days (it took me a while to realize this) and I've had 2 occasions where I've shown up at the same time that the horse was being/about to be used for a lesson. Once I was able to squeeze in a ride prior to the lesson and once I just left.

    The BO told me a few weeks ago that the horse may be going away and that I could lease a different horse (I have never met the new horse). I said I was probably OK with that, but I thought we might talk about in more detail and that I would have some advance notice. I found out on two days after paying the monthly lease fee for the current horse that this switch at the end of the week. I do not think I will have to pay a new lease fee, but the horse will likely need shoes and I believe will be used for a daily camp.

    So here are my questions. 1) Is it standard practice for a BO to use a horse for lessons on the same days as a set lease? In other words, is it going to be the same everywhere so I should just suck it up. 2) Do people usually pay full farrier costs for half-leases? And should I expect to pay for the new horse's shoes? 3) We never talked about how long the arrangement would last (i.e. no long term contract). If I am unhappy with the new horse, how much notice is appropriate to let the BO know I don't want to continue leasing?

    I really don't want to pay to lease a horse that is being used twice a day because I don't have enough advance notice in my work schedule to plan my ride times around other people. In my view, I've lost the advantage of leasing in that situation. I don't want to take more lessons because I like time to practice what I've learned. Unfortunately it will be difficult for me to find a different lease situation because I don't know many horse people and I am a beginner rider.

    I know the adult thing to do here is to talk to the BO. For some reason, the idea of this makes me really uncomfortable, and I don't know that the BO will have the capacity to make the days I lease off limits for lessons anyway. I'd like to keep a good relationship because I like the BO and learn a lot from them. I also plan to purchase a horse in the near future, so I need a stable situation so that I can continue to learn and get some support when I take that step.

    Your thoughts and perspectives would be greatly appreciated.
    I personally feel like you are being taken for a bit of a ride. While a half-lease would typically (IME) be three days per week total not five, it is still exclusive days. For instance, you would have 2 lesson days and a hack day each week, and the barn would retain the right to use horsie for lessons the other three days per week with the 7th day of course being horsie's day off. And as the person leasing, you have first right to show leased horse over other people who may just use horse for lessons on one of the other days but not be paying to lease. In exchange, you would pay 1/2 board, 1/2 farrier, and your lesson package fees. Plus any show fees but NOT a "horse use" fee to show as your lease should include the right to show the leased horse.

    If you are using the horse for 5 days each week, typically, I can see them charging you more of the farrier than just half as you are putting more than half the work on the horse. What I can't see being okay is anyone else using the horse at all on your agreed upon lease days. And this is where you have to have a contract, even if it is month to month. No contract, nothing you can have in your hand when you sit down with BO to discuss the ways you are getting the short end so to speak.

    If you intend to continue using their horse (even if it is a new horse) five days per week, you might wind up having to pay the majority of the farrier bill. But as far as putting shoes on a new horse you haven't ever ridden nor agreed to lease, that would be a big no.

    I would be upset, personally, if I had just paid for June's board/farrier/lessons and then two days later my horse is pulled out from under me to be replaced with an unknown animal you may not be comfortable riding. I would ask for a refund of the monies for June minus those two days, and re-negotiate a lease in a couple weeks when new horse has had a chance to settle in and you have decided if you are going to be compatible with new horse. During the couple weeks between now and then, I would personally only pay for my lessons on the new horse while we see if the partnership will work. What if new horse is awful for you and you cannot ride it? What if it is too hot for you, or conversely so dead to the leg you cannot get it to respond and you hate riding it? There was a horse at Pebble Beach named Ragtime that I would NOT lesson on, because I knew my entire lesson would be fighting just to get a trot or canter and no learning for me. I would ask for a different horse or scratch the lesson if there wasn't another free for me to ride. What if this new horse is like that?

    When you do your written lease contract on new horse, maybe starting 1 July, it should specify your exact 3 days to be absolutely exclusive to you unless in a one-off case they need to use the horse for a day and you are consulted first about your lost day for the week and a makeup day for you is agreed on.

    What is not reasonable for a half lease is for you to have three days agreed on and then 2 more days that you "usually" ride horse for your lessons. In this current situation, I can see BO thinking that you already have two lesson days each week you are riding your horse, and a hack day you are riding your horse. The fourth and fifth days you show up if someone else has ridden that horse or is about to, well, you aren't really entitled to 5 days a week unless that is what your contract states.

    Also, on the days that the horse is contracted to you, NO it does not get used for daily camp lessons or another lesson earlier in the day. On your lease days the horse should be ridden and used only by you.

    So to recap my novel:

    I Suzy Someone herby lease Herbie Horse for the fee of 1/2 board and 1/2 farrier cost. I agree that lessons are not included in the lease fee and are to be paid separately. In exchange for above listed fees, I will be entitled to exclusive use of Herbie Horse on Tuesdays and Thursdays for regular lessons and on Saturdays for my hack day. I will also have first right of refusal for any shows Herbie Horse may attend. On the days Herbie Horse is under contract to me, he will not be ridden or used by any other parties, except by express pre-arranged agreement. In the case that Herbie Horse is used on my lease day by pre-arrangement, I will be provided with a mutually agreed upon alternate day the same week or the following at my convenience in exchange.
    Should we attend a show, I understand I will be responsible for trainer's coaching fee, any grooming/braiding fees incurred by me, my own show entry costs, and trailering fees. In addition, I understand that I will be responsible for any per diem fees, gas fees, and hotel fees for trainer/grooms/staff, as well as tack stall fees - these fees will be split equally between clients attending the show based on number of horses attending the show.
    I understand Herbie Horse is to have one day off per week (the barn is closed to clients on Mondays for this purpose and to facilitate farrier and vet visits). I further understand that on the three remaining days per week I will have no say in who rides Herbie Horse and understand other riders may be riding Herbie Horse with a focus on a discipline other than my own. Should I desire to have exclusive use at all times, I understand I would then be responsible for the full cost of monthly board and farrier care, as well as assuming cost for routine veterinary care including but not limited to yearly coggins, monthly worming, and bi-annual innoculations. In exchange, I would have the right to use Herbie Horse up to six days per week, one time per day.
    Should I convert to this full-lease, in the case that the barn owner desires to use Herbie Horse for another rider or event through pre-arrangement with me and my express consent, I agree that since no "make-up" days would be possible I will instead be compensated by a reduction of the following month's board fee equal to the number of days that Herbie Horse was unavailable for me to use as per the terms of this agreement.
    Signed: Suzy Someone, 1 July 2013.
    Sorry to see xtranormal is gone
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    3 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
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    Dec. 2, 2007
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    1) Yes. When leasing a horse from a lesson stable, that horse still needs to be available for lessons. If you leased privately, the horse would likely be "yours" on your assigned days. If you are having issues with this, maybe you could ask for a schedule of the lessons so you could plan around them to some extent? Alternatively, if there is more than one horse available, maybe you could ask to ride a different horse if your lease horse was being used. Another possibility would be to call the barn prior to showing up on your lease days to maybe slightly adjust your ride time if the horse was about to be used.

    2) No. usually half lease would equate to half shoes. I honestly would not expect to pay any farrier cost on a lesson horse that was being used 2x/day outside my lease. New horse might be a bit tricky. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that he be shod to start and you would pay 1/2 maintenance. But if the arrangement is that you pay for shoes, I could also understand the barn owner expecting you to pay for shoes for the new horse.

    3) 30 days is always appreciated in the industry, and would be what I would do if I was intent on staying in the good graces of the barn. However, if the new horse is not to your liking, I don't think it's inappropriate to just tell them when you know that it's not working out and you won't be renewing your lease. They changed the conditions around on you, and I don't think they would be too surprised/upset by it. Without a written policy otherwise it sounds like you are on a month-to-month plan which would not require advance notice.

    As an aside, when I taught lessons and ran camps, we usually stopped leasing during the summer months. The horses were being used fairly hard during camp, and it was not fair to add leasing to their work load in addition to the heat, etc. if you want some time to think about it, just tell the barn owner you'd like to take a break during the summer and re-evaluate the lease in the Fall.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by alittlegray View Post
    I personally feel like you are being taken for a bit of a ride. While a half-lease would typically (IME) be three days per week total not five, it is still exclusive days. For instance, you would have 2 lesson days and a hack day each week, and the barn would retain the right to use horsie for lessons the other three days per week with the 7th day of course being horsie's day off. And as the person leasing, you have first right to show leased horse over other people who may just use horse for lessons on one of the other days but not be paying to lease. In exchange, you would pay 1/2 board, 1/2 farrier, and your lesson package fees. Plus any show fees but NOT a "horse use" fee to show as your lease should include the right to show the leased horse.

    If you are using the horse for 5 days each week, typically, I can see them charging you more of the farrier than just half as you are putting more than half the work on the horse. What I can't see being okay is anyone else using the horse at all on your agreed upon lease days. And this is where you have to have a contract, even if it is month to month. No contract, nothing you can have in your hand when you sit down with BO to discuss the ways you are getting the short end so to speak.

    If you intend to continue using their horse (even if it is a new horse) five days per week, you might wind up having to pay the majority of the farrier bill. But as far as putting shoes on a new horse you haven't ever ridden nor agreed to lease, that would be a big no.

    I would be upset, personally, if I had just paid for June's board/farrier/lessons and then two days later my horse is pulled out from under me to be replaced with an unknown animal you may not be comfortable riding. I would ask for a refund of the monies for June minus those two days, and re-negotiate a lease in a couple weeks when new horse has had a chance to settle in and you have decided if you are going to be compatible with new horse. During the couple weeks between now and then, I would personally only pay for my lessons on the new horse while we see if the partnership will work. What if new horse is awful for you and you cannot ride it? What if it is too hot for you, or conversely so dead to the leg you cannot get it to respond and you hate riding it? There was a horse at Pebble Beach named Ragtime that I would NOT lesson on, because I knew my entire lesson would be fighting just to get a trot or canter and no learning for me. I would ask for a different horse or scratch the lesson if there wasn't another free for me to ride. What if this new horse is like that?

    When you do your written lease contract on new horse, maybe starting 1 July, it should specify your exact 3 days to be absolutely exclusive to you unless in a one-off case they need to use the horse for a day and you are consulted first about your lost day for the week and a makeup day for you is agreed on.

    What is not reasonable for a half lease is for you to have three days agreed on and then 2 more days that you "usually" ride horse for your lessons. In this current situation, I can see BO thinking that you already have two lesson days each week you are riding your horse, and a hack day you are riding your horse. The fourth and fifth days you show up if someone else has ridden that horse or is about to, well, you aren't really entitled to 5 days a week unless that is what your contract states.

    Also, on the days that the horse is contracted to you, NO it does not get used for daily camp lessons or another lesson earlier in the day. On your lease days the horse should be ridden and used only by you.

    So to recap my novel:

    I Suzy Someone herby lease Herbie Horse for the fee of 1/2 board and 1/2 farrier cost. I agree that lessons are not included in the lease fee and are to be paid separately. In exchange for above listed fees, I will be entitled to exclusive use of Herbie Horse on Tuesdays and Thursdays for regular lessons and on Saturdays for my hack day. I will also have first right of refusal for any shows Herbie Horse may attend. On the days Herbie Horse is under contract to me, he will not be ridden or used by any other parties, except by express pre-arranged agreement. In the case that Herbie Horse is used on my lease day by pre-arrangement, I will be provided with a mutually agreed upon alternate day the same week or the following at my convenience in exchange.
    Should we attend a show, I understand I will be responsible for trainer's coaching fee, any grooming/braiding fees incurred by me, my own show entry costs, and trailering fees. In addition, I understand that I will be responsible for any per diem fees, gas fees, and hotel fees for trainer/grooms/staff, as well as tack stall fees - these fees will be split equally between clients attending the show based on number of horses attending the show.
    I understand Herbie Horse is to have one day off per week (the barn is closed to clients on Mondays for this purpose and to facilitate farrier and vet visits). I further understand that on the three remaining days per week I will have no say in who rides Herbie Horse and understand other riders may be riding Herbie Horse with a focus on a discipline other than my own. Should I desire to have exclusive use at all times, I understand I would then be responsible for the full cost of monthly board and farrier care, as well as assuming cost for routine veterinary care including but not limited to yearly coggins, monthly worming, and bi-annual innoculations. In exchange, I would have the right to use Herbie Horse up to six days per week, one time per day.
    Should I convert to this full-lease, in the case that the barn owner desires to use Herbie Horse for another rider or event through pre-arrangement with me and my express consent, I agree that since no "make-up" days would be possible I will instead be compensated by a reduction of the following month's board fee equal to the number of days that Herbie Horse was unavailable for me to use as per the terms of this agreement.
    Signed: Suzy Someone, 1 July 2013.
    THIS^^^^.
    But I would also have something in there for vet bills (who pays what) and agreement to terminate lease (time period regarding notice), and what happens if horse is injured thru no fault of yours and is unusable for say 2 weeks or longer. For example, say he bowed a tendon, or pulled a ligament. Do you pay remainder of month? Do you have to foot 1/2 the vet bill?


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  5. #5
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    Feb. 20, 2010
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    I had the same arrangement on my lesson horse (half-board plus lesson day).

    I paid half the board, period. No farrier fees, although 1/2 farrier fees wouldn't be unreasonable and I would've paid that too if asked. I had exclusive use of the horse for 3 days a week, and my lesson day was just scheduled normally with other lessons.

    The riding barn had a horse go lame and wanted to use "my" horse for some easy beginner flat lessons on "my" days (which I was fine with), but the BO actually contacted me re: the schedule and if I was ok with it.

    If they're still making money off the horse in lessons on the days I'm paying for, I should not be paying half the board. I certainly shouldn't be paying any farrier fees. (In my case it was a short time thing and ok'd with me so I didn't ask for any fee changes).


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  6. #6
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    I think I would ask for a refund on the money I had put out for June. Tell the BO you would like to ride the new horse for a few lessons before you decide whether to lease again.

    And, NO, if I were you I would not put up with the conditions you describe above - arriving to find your leased horse in use or tired out is not really fair to you or the horse and being expected to pay for shoes for the new horse which you have not even laid eyes on yet is a bit over the top. You are being taken advantage of.

    It is good that you like this barn but they are showing they are willing to take advantage of you. I would not have the highest level of trust that they were doing right by me if I were in your shoes. BO's like this tend to get more entitled over time, not less...

    If you ask for your money back and have a break while you reevaluate what you want to do, it puts her on notice that you are not a total pushover that she can not walk all over you. You can then negotiate a fair agreement of you wan the next horse or you can choose to save your pennies to buy your own horse sooner.

    Also, start to understand the expectations and costs at this barn should you get your own horse. Do they require you to take lessons, do they let you ride your horse when you want or are they a bunch of control freaks where they determine everything you are allowed to do with your horse as has been mentioned on some other threads. Educate yourself on what it is like to be a boarder there...


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  7. #7

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    It is not uncommon for lesson barns and camp barns to half lease their lesson horses, and still use them, that is why it is called a half lease.

    decide what is important to you about the half lease, and be prepared to talk about it.

    Some times the barn owner will take advantage of the leaser, and at times it is simply a matter of communication, but each case is very individual, so it is somewhat up to you to negotiat yours.

    I wish you luck and happiniess, it is difficult to get attatched to your lease horse and have it sent away.



  8. #8
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    Feb. 20, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by chisamba View Post
    It is not uncommon for lesson barns and camp barns to half lease their lesson horses, and still use them, that is why it is called a half lease.
    It's called a half lease because the leaser gets the horse half the time, and the owner (lesson program) the other half (sounds like a 3/4 day split here, or 3/3/1 rest day). As opposed to a full lease, where only the leaser uses the horse.
    When the lesson program uses the horse the entire week and has someone pay half its board on top, I'd call it taking advantage


    9 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by InstigatorKate View Post
    1) Yes. When leasing a horse from a lesson stable, that horse still needs to be available for lessons. If you leased privately, the horse would likely be "yours" on your assigned days. If you are having issues with this, maybe you could ask for a schedule of the lessons so you could plan around them to some extent? Alternatively, if there is more than one horse available, maybe you could ask to ride a different horse if your lease horse was being used. Another possibility would be to call the barn prior to showing up on your lease days to maybe slightly adjust your ride time if the horse was about to be used.
    I totally agree.
    It is not going to hurt the horse to be ridden twice on your days.
    I think paying for a half lease and getting the horse five days per week (two are lessons I realize) is a pretty darn good deal for the rider. If it a privately owned horse that would mean only two days left for the owner.
    I think your best option is to call the barn (minimum several hours notice) to tell them when you plan to ride on your days so the BO can arrange around that. You yourself say you are not always there on your days and this is a lesson horse so it would be silly of the BO to not use the horse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coanteen View Post
    It's called a half lease because the leaser gets the horse half the time, and the owner (lesson program) the other half (sounds like a 3/4 day split here, or 3/3/1 rest day). As opposed to a full lease, where only the leaser uses the horse.
    When the lesson program uses the horse the entire week and has someone pay half its board on top, I'd call it taking advantage http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/im...ilies/wink.gif
    Using your math then the OP is getting more than a half lease and only paying half the board bill. She has five days per week, that leaves one day (and one day of rest) for the BO. Clearly someone is taking advantage and it is not the BO.


    Paying for all of shoes or not paying for shoes at all varies from lease to lease. Since you are getting more than half the ride days I do not see anything unfair about you paying for all of the shoe bill. The bottom line is that is what you agreed to when you leased. If you want to change it then by all means sit down with your trainer and ask to renegotiate.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by trubandloki View Post
    Using your math then the OP is getting more than a half lease and only paying half the board bill. She has five days per week, that leaves one day (and one day of rest) for the BO. Clearly someone is taking advantage and it is not the BO.
    I don't think the lessons are "OP days" under the lease. In my half-lease of a lesson horse I rode 3 days a week on my own, and also took a lesson outside of my 3 days - this was a scheduled lesson, paid for separately, and the horse was used in other lessons that day. On that day she was the school's, and I was just another riding student.

    In this situation the barn seems to have full use of the lesson horse, to the point of the half-leaser even having to leave once because the horse was being used for a lesson, and they expect farrier fees? For what, exactly? For riding 2-3 times/week on days when lesson students also have use of the horse??? Remember, the 2 lessons don't count - lesson students aren't being billed for farrier fees, they just pay for a lesson.

    I agree that there needs to be more communication if the OP agrees to a half-lease contract where the horse would still be used for lessons during "their" days (a contract to which I wouldn't agree, personally, although I might agree to a 1/3 or 1/4 lease for 3 days' use where the horse would remain in the lesson program during those 3 days), but the onus for scheduling needs to be on the barn - they want to schedule lesson students during the half-leaser's days, they need to reach out to the half-leaser, sufficiently in advance, and ask if scheduling a student on x day at y time works with the half-leaser's schedule.


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  11. #11
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    You pay half board, that equates to only 3 rides a week. You admitted that you couldn't get your rides in because of scheduling problems, hence why you wanted to be able to ride 5 times a week. This is your problem, not the barn owners. If you cant commit to certain days how do you expect the barn owner to. This is a lesson horse, so you need to understand it will be used in lessons. It wont hurt the horse to be used a couple of times a day.
    You noted that you were a beginner rider, so I would say at this point you are not working the horse hard, so a couple of rides wont be to much.
    Have you tried to sort this out with the BO. Yes i would be mad if i arrived and horse was allready being used. You need to sit down with the BO and arrange a schedule that works. Communication is the key in a situation like this.
    Now, if you want a horse all to yourself, which would be 6 days a week, pay for a full lease. Problem solved.
    www.tayvalleyfarm.com
    My other home.


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  12. #12
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    Sep. 2, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coanteen View Post
    I don't think the lessons are "OP days" under the lease. In my half-lease of a lesson horse I rode 3 days a week on my own, and also took a lesson outside of my 3 days - this was a scheduled lesson, paid for separately, and the horse was used in other lessons that day. On that day she was the school's, and I was just another riding student.
    So to you it is OK for the horse to do multiple lessons on days that are not yours and you riding on those days does not count. But on your days it has to be only you and doing one lesson (so two rides, same as the days you take a lesson that you say does not count) is not right?

    The lesson barns I have been associated with the half lease of a lesson horse allowed you three rides per week. You paid for your lessons above and beyond, but if you chose to take a lesson on one of your days that counted as your day.

    Kind of like leasing a non-lesson horse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coanteen View Post
    In this situation the barn seems to have full use of the lesson horse, to the point of the half-leaser even having to leave once because the horse was being used for a lesson, and they expect farrier fees?
    The OP chose to leave.
    The OP had other options. Including telling the trainer ahead of time that she was coming. Talking to the trainer then about riding. Etc.

    I am guessing the trainer sees that the OP is not always there on her days so she has no way of knowing when the OP will come to ride. You make the trainer sound malicious in this.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by trubandloki View Post



    The OP chose to leave.
    The OP had other options. Including telling the trainer ahead of time that she was coming. Talking to the trainer then about riding. Etc.

    I am guessing the trainer sees that the OP is not always there on her days so she has no way of knowing when the OP will come to ride. You make the trainer sound malicious in this.
    But they are the OPs set, pre paid for days. If for whatever reason OP cannot make it, yes a courtesy call would be appreciated, but is not necessary because the OP has already PAID FOR use of the horse on that day. Regardless of whether or not its a lesson horse, on those days he belongs to the OP and should not be available for use by the stable IMO. The stable needs to plan not to use that horse for lessons on days OP is hacking.

    BTW, OP, you need to stop paying for the horses full farrier fees. Why should you pay these if the horse is ridden by barns other students as much, if not more, than you are riding him?

    You should definitely get a refund on this months lease. You need to try the replacement horse probably in more than one lesson before paying any fees for him.

    You are definitely being taken for a ride (I would consider a version of the letter alittlegray posted). I would be looking around for private lease options in your area. You may found those easier to schedule. Whatever you decide, make sure there is a contract clearly spelling every detail out and don't be afraid to refer to it if you think the other party is in violation.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


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  14. #14
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    Jun. 6, 2013
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Coanteen View Post
    I don't think the lessons are "OP days" under the lease. In my half-lease of a lesson horse I rode 3 days a week on my own, and also took a lesson outside of my 3 days - this was a scheduled lesson, paid for separately, and the horse was used in other lessons that day. On that day she was the school's, and I was just another riding student.

    In this situation the barn seems to have full use of the lesson horse, to the point of the half-leaser even having to leave once because the horse was being used for a lesson, and they expect farrier fees? For what, exactly? For riding 2-3 times/week on days when lesson students also have use of the horse??? Remember, the 2 lessons don't count - lesson students aren't being billed for farrier fees, they just pay for a lesson.

    I agree that there needs to be more communication if the OP agrees to a half-lease contract where the horse would still be used for lessons during "their" days (a contract to which I wouldn't agree, personally, although I might agree to a 1/3 or 1/4 lease for 3 days' use where the horse would remain in the lesson program during those 3 days), but the onus for scheduling needs to be on the barn - they want to schedule lesson students during the half-leaser's days, they need to reach out to the half-leaser, sufficiently in advance, and ask if scheduling a student on x day at y time works with the half-leaser's schedule.
    OP here. Really appreciate the responses. Am on way to barn so this will be brief. ^^ this is my situation. I pay $60 per lesson two days a week so $120. On these days, specifically not my lease days, I would consider myself to be a student not a lessor. I just happen to ride the same horse. I pay an additional $490 per month in board and farrier costs, which works out to be roughly $40/day for 12 days a week. So while I can't say based on my experience that I think this is right or wrong, I *definitely* do not think I am taking advantage of the BO. Whether I am Ble to ride the horse or not on any given day shouldn't matter, I've already paid for that day.


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by trubandloki View Post
    So to you it is OK for the horse to do multiple lessons on days that are not yours and you riding on those days does not count. But on your days it has to be only you and doing one lesson (so two rides, same as the days you take a lesson that you say does not count) is not right?
    What the horse does on days that are "not mine" is not in my control. If they want to run her through 10 lessons/day, it's their horse after all (of course I wouldn't stay in such a barn; my half-lease was used mainly for beginners, the lessons were mostly w/t. Doing 2 or 3 of those for 45 min wasn't killing her).

    The point is, this is no different to me than a private half lease. I pay half the expenses, I get exclusive use of the horse half the time (3 days seems standard witha rest day worked into the schedule). The owner gets the other 3 or 4 days. If the owner happens to be a school barn, the horse will naturally be used for lessons on the "owner" days.

    I do agree that communication is key, but so is fairness. Why should a half-leaser pay 1/2 the boarding+farrier cost of a horse when the horse is in a full-time (all week) lesson program.

    Let's break it down differently: say the horse normally does 2 lessons/day, 6 days/week (1 rest day). OP wants to part-lease, lesson barn wants to keep the horse available through the week, ok: OP's lease cost covers 3 rides/week. Horse normally does 12 rides/week, so OP pays 1/4 the boarding costs. Seems fair, no?



  16. #16
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    Jun. 6, 2013
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    Default

    Sorry, 12 days per month not week. $120 per week for lessons



  17. #17
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    Me personally, I would try to renegotiate the lease. To pay half board on a horse that I don't get to use half-time and to pay for the full shoeing costs as well, I don't think that's a particularly good deal.

    I also wouldn't appreciate having the horse that I was leasing "go away" (and what does that mean, btw?) two days after I signed up for another month.

    IMO, the BO is using you as a source of cash to underwrite her lesson barn, and s/he is not treating you as a valuable client.

    Having said that, though, the BO can only enforce what you--as the leasee--agreed to. So now that the previous horse has been pulled, you have the opportunity to re-negotiate.

    Frankly, I would expect only to pay at most half the farrier costs, and I would expect to pay board on a pro-rated basis. The two lesson rides, I assume, you're paying the regular lesson fee, and they could be on any horse presumably, so they are not counted as part of the lease.

    So if you're riding 3X/week, and the BO is using the horse in lessons 9X/week (one lesson on each of "your" days and two lessons on each of the other days with one day off), then I'd expect to pay 1/4 to (max) 1/3 board for the horse.

    BO may not go for this, but then you'll have to decide what you want to negotiate away and get in return (like exclusivity, or whatever).

    Good luck.
    "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


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  18. #18
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    All other details aside, I don't see the problem with the horse being used in lessons on the same day as the OP's rides....IF the scheduling is clear and pre-agreed upon. This presumes that the work load for the horse is fair.
    The fee the OP pays is for an opportunity to ride on her own, practice, and enjoy some quality time with a horse she likes. There is a price per ride, and if she gets her rides she got what she paid for.
    I DO think that in this situation there needs to be good communication regarding scheduling so the pony isn't double booked...but this is a school horse, and the BO would give X number of lessons per day on her if if the opportunity presented itself. The OP's ride takes the place of one of those lessons....what's the beef?
    If the OP feels that the per ride fee is unreasonable, go elsewhere.

    In this situation, some of thenother conditions of the lease likke the shoing and vet fees seem possibly out of proportion to the number of lease days...that may be open for discussion/ revision.



  19. #19
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    I am with Posting Trot. Sounds like BO sees you as a bit of a gravy train and you are starting to feel like you're being taken advantage of.

    I don't think it is fair at all for BO to have you pay horse's full farrier bill. If this were a full lease, sure, but it's not. Half lease usually is half farrier and half vet bills (usually routine vet bills but sometimes all vet bills).

    As your half lease is separate from your lessons (you mentioned paying for a lesson package), I am not sure why the two are being conflated. If you were lessoning on a different horse, would you only get one day on the horse you were leasing?? Of course not. You are paying for two lessons a week (lesson package) and three rides a week (half lease). That's five rides. Surely the BO can figure out how to schedule her lessons such that you get your lessons and your half-lease rides without the horse being overused. If she can't, she has no business offering you a half lease. (As an aside, where do you live, OP? The numbers you're throwing out there for lessons/board are on the high side, though definitely not unreasonable if you live in certain areas of the country.)

    I am curious also about what your lease agreement says about vet bills and who might be responsible should something happen to your lease horse in turnout or during another rider's lesson.

    But the underlying issue here is that your BO is not being forthcoming with you, and you are a beginner rider. Don't ignore the little voice in your head. If you suspect you're being taken advantage of, do a little research. What are other barns charging for lessons? Are their trainers' backgrounds similar to the one you're using now? Do their students progress? Do those barns/trainers have good reputations? It never hurts to be aware of what else is out there.

    Let your BO know that you're open to the idea of leasing this new horse, but you want to ride it in lessons for a few weeks until you feel comfortable with the new horse.

    I think it was pretty crappy for the BO to swap horses on you with almost no warning right after you paid for another month. That's bad business. The least she could have done was say something like, "Hey, Dobbin will be unavailable, but I have another horse that I think would be a good fit for you. Why don't you try him out in your next lesson, and if you aren't comfortable, I'll refund your lease fee/apply it to lesson packages?" That at least makes it sound like she's interested in your continued progress as a rider and not just the continued progression of your checks into her bank account.
    Last edited by onelanerode; Jun. 7, 2013 at 10:01 AM. Reason: clarity
    Full-time bargain hunter.


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  20. #20
    Join Date
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    OP, the challenging thing about leases (and especially partial leases) is that there are no right or wrong ways to do them. It all depends on what both parties agree upon. Since it sounds like you didn't agree on much more than price, I agree that it's time to renegotiate your contract.

    1) Is it standard practice for a BO to use a horse for lessons on the same days as a set lease? In other words, is it going to be the same everywhere so I should just suck it up.
    Once again, it is challenging to say what is "standard practice." With an upper level horses I would say no. However, with a lower level horse that is most likely doing walk/trot and short canter work, it won't hurt him to work twice in one day. However, your ride times should take priority on those days. Is your work schedule fairly consistent? Can you say on x, y, & z days horsie must be available after 4pm? If not, can you email or post your approximate ride times at the end of the week for the next?

    2) Do people usually pay full farrier costs for half-leases? And should I expect to pay for the new horse's shoes?
    No and no. You should be paying half farrier at the most. If the horse is being used for other lessons on your days I would try to negotiate no farrier. You are paying half the board and the trainer is still making money by using him for lessons every day.

    3) We never talked about how long the arrangement would last (i.e. no long term contract). If I am unhappy with the new horse, how much notice is appropriate to let the BO know I don't want to continue leasing?
    30 days is industry standard and appreciated, but technically with no contract you can choose to just not pay for the next month. However, if you're concerned about the new horse (and you should be), the time to speak up is now. Ask for a refund for the rest of this month or ask that those funds are applied to lessons instead. Tell your instructor that you're excited about the prospect of leasing this new horse but you are not prepared to commit to him until you have a few rides on him under her direct supervision.

    Good luck OP! Now is the time to renegotiate your situation and get a contract in writing. It does not have to complicated, but everyone involved does need to reach an agreement.
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

    Fourteen Months Living and Working in Costa Rica


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