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Leasing a Horse

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  • Leasing a Horse

    I am considering leasing out one of my horses to a student, but am not sure how this type of lease is usually done. My only experience with leasing has been broodmares, and it has been "first foal mine, next foal yours". Here is the situation:

    The horse in question is my heart horse. He is 13, third level, and also jumps. The only reason I'm considering a lease is that I have several young horses who need my time for awhile, and I need to free up some time and resources. I'm not sure I could go to the barn and not see his happy face greeting me, but I'm trying to be practical. Practical does not extend to selling him - I don't think I could ever do that.

    The student in question is 14 and I've been teaching her for several years. She's become a good little rider and has been doing lessons on said horse and rides him very well. He's a little quirky to ride and she does a great job. She would take him to her home and use him for lessons, light showing and Pony Club.

    What kind of arrangements have you on this board had in a situation like this? I presume they would take over his expenses and insure him, but do most people also have a monthly or annual lease fee? What would be reasonable? He's a very, very nice horse and very well trained.

    TIA!

  • #2
    Have the horse vetted before it leaves to establish a baseline condition.

    Ideally they would pay a lease fee. I would want one for a Third Level horse. General math is 1/3 the value of the horse per year.

    However, people have been pretty cheap and want everything for free. They think they are doing YOU the favor.

    If you want to broach the subject, I would ask her to describe how she sees the deal going. So, "Hey Susie Q, since you're interested in leasing my horse, tell me, how do you envision the deal going? What are your thoughts on how to work this? I'd really like to hear you out and discuss this and see where you're coming from."

    I find it is MUCH better negotiation wise to get people to tell you what they want. If THEY come up with it, it is their idea and all you have to do is say "OK." Also, it puts the ball in the correct court: they are asking you for something, not the other way around.
    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
    Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
    Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
    The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm presuming the prior post was really suggesting a discussion w/ mom or dad and not the 14 yr old - lol
      In addition to the baseline vet exam; the lease agreement should limit the horse's location - ie he will be kept only at xyz farm. To be ridden only by Susie Q and/or her trainer. Doesn't sound like an issue w/ this horse, but when I leased out my schoolmaster who is now 21, I limited the level at which he could be shown - (he's very local, so I can track this)
      Last but very important, you should have a liability paragraph in there that indicates you are not liable for injury to riders, or any damage the horse might do while on lease.
      We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't think most folks expect to pay you extra for a lease if they are paying board, etc. My barn owner leases her horses on site for about half their board -- so every situation varies.

        A contract detailing how you expect him to be kept, what to do in case of a medical emergency, and anything else you can think of is imperative.

        You are going to have to let go of a lot of control. She isn't going to do everything the way you do, but that doesn't mean he isn't getting good care. Just visit often and keep an eye on things, and I am sure it will work out.

        I think if you can work it out where the horse is kept on your property, and she rides and shows from your barn, would probably be a better arrangement. Do you need the stall space, or don't want a boarder? Otherwise, keep him at home and let her ride -- much better for you imo.
        Last edited by Kwill; Feb. 22, 2011, 09:08 PM. Reason: additional comment

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          The rider would be bringing the horse here for her weekly lesson,so I'd see him once a week. She would want to keep him at home so she could ride him more often since she is a bit of a drive from here and her parents have to drive her. I also could use the space here right now.

          I appreciate the advice and would definitely have to draw up a detailed contract so that any situation that could come up had been discussed. It does seem to me that a horse of this level and caliber would be worth more than just paying his expenses, but maybe I'm out of line.

          Comment


          • #6
            What an amazing opportunity for a young rider. A horse like that will shape her as a rider and create lifelong memories.

            Lease situations come in all shapes and sizes, and you can tailor things however you like. The key IMO is good communication. I'd sit down with the kid's parents and talk through this stuff, maybe a few times even. Get a feel for what each party is looking to achieve, where responsibilities will lie for different aspects of the horse and it's care.

            Whatever you decide, definitely write up a contract. Visit the horse regularly, if you can, and stay in touch with the people leasing. As the kid is already your student, I'm guessing you have an idea of how they care for their horses and you must approve or you wouldn't even be considering this. So that alone puts you ahead of the game, as opposed to leasing to a total stranger.

            Leases can be really beneficial for all involved, horse included. But make sure you have everything in writing, and that the lines of communication stay open!

            Good luck and again, how exciting for the kid and how generous of you to share.
            We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

            Comment


            • #7
              Just keep in mind that while they get to ride a nice horse, you are also benefiting in this situation. Horse owners often forget that they are benefiting as well. So, asking a lease fee may be greedy. Lets look at it from the leasee side... you need the space, and dont have the time. The horse is also quirky and you trust this girl to ride him and they are still doing weekly lessons and paying his bills. They are probably seeing it as a way of helping you out, while you help them out.

              I guess what Im saying is that both are benefiting from the situation. This girl is the "right" girl to lease him. Good for your horse, good for you (taking lessons and paying his board/farrier, etc) and good for her. If you didnt have her lease him, you would be trying to find the time and space for him, not to mention paying his bills.

              Also, get everything in writing and get him vetted before he goes out on lease. He is your horse, so you still call the shots. Does he have to stay on the same feed, have the same farrier, who decides if the vet comes out for an injury, etc

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kwill View Post
                I don't think most folks expect to pay you extra for a lease if they are paying board, etc.
                Uh, yeah they do, especially for valuable competition horses.


                If somebody wants to just pay board on a horse without any upfront costs other than care costs, there are plenty of free horses on the COTH giveaways forum.

                If for some reason people would prefer to pay board money for and ride around on a made competition horse instead of the giveaways horse that is right there for the taking, the difference between the giveaways horse and the competition horse costs money.
                The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  LOL! I must say this is the first time in my life anyone has ever suggested that I am greedy! My problem is normally doing and giving things for nothing or too little, thus my post. The horse is not that quirky, just needs to be well ridden. He is correctly sensitive to light aids and will tell you right away if you are not right. The girl's present horse has gotten too old to work much any more and she would be buying a new one otherwise. She would not be in a position to buy a horse of this quality. I most certainly am not desperate to lease this guy - just thought it might be an opportunity for her and relieve a bit of my guilt for not being able to ride him as much as I should.

                  I'll keep thinking on it. Thanks for all your input.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My expectations for a "free lease" (where I pay the board etc bills but no additonal fee) would be a horse that matches my kid's level (did the whole improve someone else's horse version & that gets old pretty fast) or maybe a little better ...
                    For a 3rd level horse that is sound & fun & going to teach my kid something everyday, that is worth alot more than just his expenses.

                    Make a list of things that would be lease breakers for you & be sure to write these into the lease, eg,

                    - weekly lesson - what if the kid is too busy with school etc to make the weekly lesson, do you let this go for an extra week or a month? or does kid need to come out twice the following week (or do daily lessons when on break)
                    - what if you notice changes in the horse's way of going - at what point do you pull the lease? or require extra lessons? or do you just let it go cause you can fix it all when he comes back?
                    - how much jumping is OK?
                    etc

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      All my leases have stated:
                      -What I can use the horse for
                      -Who pays farrier/vet
                      -Where I can keep the horse
                      -Who can ride the horse

                      I have never paid a lease fee on my leases (nor would I). They have been free leases and 1was a PSG level schoolmaster. If I were you the fact that you trust this girl, you still get to keep an eye on him weekly and she gets along well with him would settle it for me that it works out for anyone but yes, I would ask her parents how they see this playing out...... maybe they expect to pay a fee.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think all the suggestions of having a good long talk with the parents are worth their weight in gold! The more details you hash out before making a decision about whether or not to lease the better the experience will be for everybody.

                        And I think it will answer the lease fee question for you. Before purchasing my most recent horse, I looked seriously at leasing and in my part of the country, the horses that had skill (and I'm talking a lot less skill than it sounds like your guy has) still had some lease fee attached to them on top of board, farrier, vet etc, etc. But obviously other posters here have had different experiences. Maybe this practice is community specific? Do a quick search of other lease offers in your area and see what others are doing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Lots of good advice.

                          A lease fee isn't the least bit unusual and should be expected on a horse with this level of training. If he (heaven forbid) is injured and unusable as a result of the lease, the owner has nothing to show for it but an expensive lawn ornament.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                            Have the horse vetted before it leaves to establish a baseline condition.

                            Ideally they would pay a lease fee. I would want one for a Third Level horse. General math is 1/3 the value of the horse per year.

                            However, people have been pretty cheap and want everything for free. They think they are doing YOU the favor.

                            If you want to broach the subject, I would ask her to describe how she sees the deal going. So, "Hey Susie Q, since you're interested in leasing my horse, tell me, how do you envision the deal going? What are your thoughts on how to work this? I'd really like to hear you out and discuss this and see where you're coming from."

                            I find it is MUCH better negotiation wise to get people to tell you what they want. If THEY come up with it, it is their idea and all you have to do is say "OK." Also, it puts the ball in the correct court: they are asking you for something, not the other way around.
                            This is the best advice ever - suggest you follow it.
                            Now in Kentucky

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Terms and conditions vary so much from one situation to another. For example, when I leased a WB from my old trainer, we paid all expenses, kept him @ our farm, lessoned with trainer/owner, and paid a lease fee. Now, my prelim horse is available (to the right person, she's a bit more forward than most like. ) for an on farm lease, pay a flat fee (covers most, but no all expenses), rider has to be in a program (with me or an approved trainer), no lease fee. Why not? Because if someone is paying attention to the horse, that I don't have time to, that makes the horse happy, and me happy. The horse is not and never will be for sale, will live out her days with me, so if someone can learn a bit from her, and have some fun on her, that's good enough for me. But that's just me and my own motivations. Which are different for everyone.
                              Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch
                              www.DifferentTimesEquestrianVentures.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                1/3 value of the horse per year on top of all expenses? YIKES!! I personally would never pay that. i have a half lease right now on a 2nd level school horse/former pony-clubber that is half the price of board and shoes, plus i take regular lessons with the horse's owner. she gets to defray a significant part of his costs, plus he gets regular, consistent work & tlc, and she earns money on my lessons. before i found this lease, i was offered a lease on another 2nd level horse, and i have to admit i was quite offended at the amount of money the owner wanted over and above expenses. now that i think about it, it was probably approaching 1/3 of his value per year. if he'd been a PSG or higher schoolmaster, then sure. maybe "greedy" isn't the right word, but it does feel a little funny to me when a horse owner is so focused on making money off of a horse that they aren't using and are having to put money into every month. if you don't have to pay any of the horse's expenses, you're at a net positive anyway, plus the horse is kept in condition and you have another space in your barn for a money-making boarder or training client.
                                "Winter's a good time to stay in and cuddle,
                                but put me in summer and I'll be a... happy snowman!!!"

                                Trolls be trollin'! -DH

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by CatPS View Post
                                  1/3 value of the horse per year on top of all expenses? YIKES!! I personally would never pay that. i have a half lease right now on a 2nd level school horse/former pony-clubber that is half the price of board and shoes, plus i take regular lessons with the horse's owner. she gets to defray a significant part of his costs, plus he gets regular, consistent work & tlc, and she earns money on my lessons. before i found this lease, i was offered a lease on another 2nd level horse, and i have to admit i was quite offended at the amount of money the owner wanted over and above expenses. now that i think about it, it was probably approaching 1/3 of his value per year. if he'd been a PSG or higher schoolmaster, then sure. maybe "greedy" isn't the right word, but it does feel a little funny to me when a horse owner is so focused on making money off of a horse that they aren't using and are having to put money into every month. if you don't have to pay any of the horse's expenses, you're at a net positive anyway, plus the horse is kept in condition and you have another space in your barn for a money-making boarder or training client.
                                  But the lessee is using one year out of the life of a valuable competition horse, which isn't getting any younger or sounder.

                                  And if the horse has an accident three months into a lease that makes him unusable for the rest of his life, the lessee pins a note to the blanket and sends it back; they don't then pay the full value of the horse. That risk is on the owner while somebody else gets the use of the horse.

                                  Again, if I wanted a free horse, there are about eleventy billion I could choose from. There are thousands at the track and at local auctions and on Craigslist and in the COTH giveaways. I could fill up a 6 horse in time for lunch and have a little herd to play with, as long as I am willing to pay their board and expenses.

                                  But a trained horse that somebody else has spent years and tens of thousands of dollars maintaining and developing over time? A horse at Third Level or above?

                                  I am kind of amazed at the number of people who want to have these horses to ride around on for little or no money put toward the owner's investment over and above basic board fees. They want to ride around on $50,000+ worth of somebody else's blood sweat and tears without paying anything toward that investment and then return the horse a year older.

                                  But I guess I live in an area of the country where people aren't giving away the ride for a year of life of their upper level competition horses. If I want to ride an upper level horse I either have to pay board for several non-upper level years while I make it up myself, or pay a hefty purchase price upfront plus board. OR A LEASE FEE plus board.
                                  The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                  Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                                  Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                  The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Though in the past I've leased horses for myself both for a fee and free, here is why I opted to do a free lease. My PSG schoolmaster was 20 at the time of the lease. Sound and mostly healthy, but he does have a heart issue that at some point may cause problems. I DONT want to sell him. (and given his disposition and training, there were a couple expressions of interest in spite of the heart). I wanted him a) in a lower level program but still having a job. b) in one of two very specific locations, with specific trainers. In my area we have a number of people very interested in dressage, but suffering some from the economic woes of the last few years. The rider I found was a perfect match and has been loving on said horse for a year. That meant more to me than any lease fees...
                                    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      The thought hs been crossing my mind to do a half-lease on my 2nd level mare, and I will say that there is no way I would allow someone to lease her without some kind of lease fee. She's older and a bit complicated to ride, but she's a great teacher for someone who doesn't treat her harshly (she won't put up with that). She's very very very sound. There is just no way I would let someone else have that kind of control over her without me being able to set aside some extra money for the "what-if". Because you better believe that if the leasee injures your horse, they're not going to pick up the bills for the time period where the horse is a pasture puff. I've put tons of time and money into getting my mare where she is, and that's not going to be handed out for free.

                                      I think to expect a trained, sound, safe competition horse for nothing is pretty greedy myself. Put the time and money into making a nicely-trained horse and then see how you feel about turning it over to someone else to enjoy. The risks that the horse will come back injured or in need of remedial training are just too high.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        IMO, the more requirements you impose (request from) the less $$ is appropriate to request and strongly agree with all suggestions for a baseline vet check, insurance, and very thorough documentation!

                                        The nice little rider is going to trailer to you for lessons (income) and relieve you of guilt (major, IMO). She's going to continue her education with a horse that's suited to her with not-so-much commitment (buying an unknown).

                                        I would expect to pay some fee above the daily expenses, but probably not 1/3 the value in the dressage world. I wouldn't be offended if someone asked that amount, but I might have to think VERY hard about an extra, say, $20K a year. $150-$300 a month is enough to ensure she takes this opportunity very seriously.
                                        *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

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