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Leasing an upper level schoolmaster for a show season?

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  • Leasing an upper level schoolmaster for a show season?

    Is this done? I hate to sound entirely absurd but I was just reading about leasing a children's hunter for WEF in the H/J forum and it made me question a few things. For starters, do people do this very often with dressage horses? (lease them for a show series). Also, what would the going rate be for a 3-4 month lease then? The figures I was reading for the children's hunter seemed quite steep. Anyhow, just curious.
    A Native Floridian no longer lost somewhere in Clovis, New Mexico, but instead wreaking havoc in Reno, NV.
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  • #2
    In general, hunterland lease math for confirmed show horses is 1/3 the market value of the horse per year, pro-rated steeper if the horse is only being leased short term during prime show season. The expenses of the horse (board, farrier, insurance) are paid in addition to the lease fee by the party leasing the horse because they "own it" for that time period.

    As far as I understand people borrow horses to get their medal scores/judging scores quite frequently in dressage, but for whatever reason for the actual long term leasing of a dressage horse a lot of dressage riders don't want to pay anything over the horse's expenses, if that. Apparently everyone is doing the owner a huge favor in dressage! lol
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    • #3
      I let a friend "free lease" my 4th level gelding. She paid his expenses, it worked out really well, they did well in the show season, now he is retired with my other gelding in a field.

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      • #4
        I think you would have a much easier time leasing a hunter than a dressage horse. It seems to be more common and accepted in the hunter world.

        I also think it is a steeper learning curve to learn to ride someone else's trained dressage horse than it is to learn to ride a hunter.

        Personally, I would never lease even my third level horse to someone. I _might_ let someone I know very, very well, and who was a good rider, ride her enough (under trainer's supervision) to be able to take her to some shows - but she would have to live at my house. I would not let her go somewhere else.

        Most serious dressage people I know do not often let other people (besides the trainer) even ride their horse - much less lease them out. My husband, who does endurance, finds this very odd, since in that sport, people swap horses around, lease horses, and even just borrow/lease out horses for competiton all the time. But, as I pointed out to him, those horses are conditioned - but are not 'trained' like dressage horses are. I tell him most dressage people I know would be more likely to let someone else sleep with their husband/SO than ride their horse.
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        • #5
          Yes- pretty uncommon. I know trainers who have let students use older schoolmasters for lessons and shows, including students who needed scores to get their judge cards. However, an unsupervised sort of lease situation where the horse is taken off the property and put in another trainer's program is much less common in the dressage world.

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          • #6
            Having been in both worlds, it doesn't seem as common in dressage. I have a friend who leased out her PSG horse to a young rider who was trying to qualify and compete in the YR competition. There was no fee involved, though my friend was trying to sell the horse at the time.
            The Evil Chem Prof

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thank you all for the responses! I didn't think it was as common in dressage as it appears to be in the hunters. I know that I personally wouldn't lease either of my horses out and it's not like they're upper level or anything. It is nice to know though that under the right circumstances one might be able to 'borrow' an upper level horse for the purposes of getting necessary scores. Someday, when I escape Clovis, NM, I hope to more seriously pursue taking my horses up the levels and having the opportunity to ride a more schooled horse, even just for a lesson, seems like it would be helpful.
              A Native Floridian no longer lost somewhere in Clovis, New Mexico, but instead wreaking havoc in Reno, NV.
              www.theideaoforder.com
              www.xhaltsalute.com

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Ahahaha...

                Originally posted by cyndi;
                I tell him most dressage people I know would be more likely to let someone else sleep with their husband/SO than ride their horse.
                Shhhhh! No one tell my SO this!
                A Native Floridian no longer lost somewhere in Clovis, New Mexico, but instead wreaking havoc in Reno, NV.
                www.theideaoforder.com
                www.xhaltsalute.com

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                • #9
                  Having been in both worlds, it doesn't seem as common in dressage. I have a friend who leased out her PSG horse to a young rider who was trying to qualify and compete in the YR competition. There was no fee involved, though my friend was trying to sell the horse at the time.
                  Yeah, this happens sometimes in the FEI Juniors and Young Riders, when the rider leases a more experienced or 'proven' horse so they can qualify for their region championships, NAJYRC or Gladstone.
                  ponies! Ponies! PONIES!

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                  • #10
                    It is my impression that leasing a dressage horse is less frequent then a hunter. Part of it may be due to the odd theory that leasing ought to come at no fee.

                    I understand that when one falls on hard times it might seem like a good option, especially if horse stays with current trainer/program. However, the reality of the owner bearing the full burden of the risk should horse's training/soundness deteriorate with no compensation for taking that risk seems quite un-businesslike, if not foolish, to me. Why not give the horse away or sell quickly and not take a risk of having a "worthless" animal to deal with later on (if you are doing a free lease due to financial hardship)?
                    Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

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                    • #11
                      From my observations dressage riders even at the higher levels tend to have a smaller string of horses than H/J riders and they tend to keep them longer. In general, more of them tend to do more of their own grooming, tacking, handwalking, show prep etc. All of that extra time creates more personal attachments and blurs the horse/pet line. People free lease them out because the $ that they'd get from selling them or leasing them to the highest often off-site bider isn't worth the emotional cost of losing daily control over what happens to what has become a pet. And a lot of dressage riders are adults so the decision of what to do with an outgrown horse is their decision, not their parents.

                      In dressage, also, it's often NOT the horse holding back the pair, it's the rider so maybe there's less "outgrowing" in general. It's not really a catch riding sort of discipline.

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                      • #12
                        I lease 2 dressage horses. One started dressage w me. I got to take him to his first schooling show. Lots of fun!
                        The other is a L2. Owner has 3 horses.
                        I was leasing a solid L4, schooling PSG. It does happen. I thought it was pretty generous, esp since I am a L1-L2 max rider. I have seen a few people lease out their mid level horses, but typically not a schoolmaster.
                        Usually they require at least weekly lessons w the trainer the horse is familiar with.
                        That is just here in SF Bay. Lots of dressage here : )

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                        • #13
                          Have seen it happen a bit at my barn with schoolmasters and some nice dressage horses. In the situations I've seen, the leasor has known either the person or the trainer and all horses have been kept at the barn. Some owners required the horse to stay with certain trainers. Others were more flexible but they always knew their lessor and circumstances were somewhat controlled.

                          All situations have been owners who are no longer seriously competing the horse, needed money or help caring for the horse and did not want to sell the horse.

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                          • #14
                            I've known a couple of leases on semi-retired horses; I took my trainer's ex-PSG horse Training/1st. BUT... it's always in barn, same trainer, under owner's supervision...
                            "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

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                            • #15
                              I believe lease horses are widely advertised in the hunter world (where horses frequently change hands) but they are not in the dressage world. However, upper level horses are not infrequently available for lease by word of mouth.

                              Three to four months is not long enough to learn how to ride upper level movements on even a trained horse. Owners and trainers of such a horse may allow you to ride the horse with a trainer but not allow you to show before you are ready because it negatively impacts the record of the horse.

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