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Half-leasing options - owner/rider input?

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  • Half-leasing options - owner/rider input?

    I am toying with the idea of part-leasing my mare - right now, it's just an inkling, but I tend to over-analyze everything and wanted some input. I have no immediate plans to do this but if I should decide to do so, I want to be prepared. I have also been on the other side of the fence and have half-leased prior to purchasing my mare, so I have a decent sense of the positives and negatives. I'm just not certain whether it will be the best option for me in the future.

    The backstory is I just received a promotion at work that I've been working very hard for. Currently my hours aren't very crazy but they could certainly become so - and my promotion will likely also involve more extensive travel. I currently try my best to get in at least 5 riding days per week, but it's a lot to juggle.

    I'm also juggling selling my house (though we'll actually be moving closer to the barn for once) and time with a husband who - while very supportive - I'm sure would like for me to start coming home at a more reasonable hour eventually...especially as we look to start a family.

    Finally - the other piece of the puzzle is we've been working toward 3rd for a while - mare is confirmed in everything BUT the changes. Showing isn't my be all, end all, but I've told myself if we just can't get the changes completely confirmed, I'm happy to keep riding as is (we were champions at Second Level at our local series last year and I don't have the desire to go out at Second again this year).

    Mare is 22 years young and feels like a 10 year old - I put a lot of pressure on myself to keep her ridden and in shape. Love the mare and enjoy actually riding but putting everything together is a lot - I can do it, but it often means stretching myself thin over the week.

    So...long story short - playing with the idea of half-leasing isn't so much about the financial aspect but more about the time and keeping my mare in shape. Not sure my husband is big on this idea but the worst thing I can do is let her drop off in riding time, thus the pressure I put on myself to keep it up, which probably takes a little of the fun out of it, to be honest.

    Does this situation sound like a good scenario for half-leasing? If I did pursue this avenue, what is a reasonable half-lease fee? Mare is a second level schoolmaster, has the 3rd level work down except for the changes and is a solid citizen - she is forward thinking though and has a lot of suspension, so is best for someone who has a good understanding of connection. Do most people seek out a month-to-month lease, etc?

    I appreciate any input/thoughts...
    Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

    A Voice Halted

  • #2
    I have never leased my horses but have traded work for lessons.

    #1 consideration - rider will most likely NOT be good enough to work horse at level she is currently working. So although cardio will be good for her with new rider, topline muscling may be lost. Worst case - rider could suck and allow horse to be ridden without real contact, on forehand, etc.

    Could you live with that?

    On the other hand you could luck out and get a rider who is better than you to ride the horse - maybe a high level rider who can help with changes - perhaps someone whose horse is temporairly out of commission? The correct rider for your horse and your expectations is the key.

    #2 - would it be better to have trainer ride horse once per week - during middle of the week, freeing you up to only ride 4 days (weekends and 2 other days)? If money is no issue I'd go that way. More likely to get changes confirmed and horse ridden correctly without adding any stress on your end from wondering what leasee is doing to horsey.

    #3 - liability insirance. Trainer should already have insurance, leasee probably will not.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Now in Kentucky


    • Original Poster

      When I part-leased before, I never considered insurance - I actually am not sure I know anyone who has part-leased before who has. Aren't riders covered under the barn policy or is this just something that gets ignored (not saying that's a good thing, but it seems the horse world is notorious for ignoring things like that...and written contracts!).

      Certainly the ideal would be to have a rider of my level riding (though I'm certainly not fabulous or anything!) - but I'm comfortable with a training level rider going around IF they have a decent understanding of connection. Mare doesn't have to be going around doing second or third level stuff - she just needs to be kept in work. I'm a firm believer the older guys need that consistent work. Her continuing on doing the "higher" level stuff is less important to me if I put showing her at 3rd on the backburner. What I definitely don't want to do is let her sit in the field if I get too stretched...

      I should have clarified that finances aren't an issue in terms of "needing" to half lease, but I'm also not sure the husband would go for paying a trainer to ride her once or twice a week, so that's why I've been toying with this idea.
      Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

      A Voice Halted


      • #4
        If money really isn't the issue how about letting a student of a trainer you respect take a couple of weekly lesson on her.

        That way you know she is being worked properly, but it doesn't cost you any money. The student would have to pay the trainer's lesson fee but have use of your horse.

        I would love that kind of opportunity.


        • #5
          letting a student of a trainer you respect take a couple of weekly lesson on her.
          You & your mare will be happy.
          If your mare is as good as you say, I would've loved to lease her for my kid for the last year - kid has been riding her own "baby" & would've loved 1 lesson & 1-2 rides/week on an accomplished 2nd/3rd level horse: all I found (local to me) were barely 1st level despite stellar ads

          This sort of arrangement can work out very well if you go through a trainer that you like/respect.

          I think you are right to be concerned about allowing your older mare to just "sit"... unless you would be happy with dropping her down to just recreation & trail riding: not that this is a given, but it is more common with the 20+ horses than many will admit, & when you do bring them back, it needs to be done with a good understanding of which movement strengthens which muscle area & how long to practise at what stage of the rehab.


          • #6
            Originally posted by west5 View Post
            If money really isn't the issue how about letting a student of a trainer you respect take a couple of weekly lesson on her.

            That way you know she is being worked properly, but it doesn't cost you any money. The student would have to pay the trainer's lesson fee but have use of your horse.
            This sounds like the best idea.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks for the suggestions so far. We recently moved her closer to home so she is still settling into her new surroundings, and I haven't yet taken a lesson with the barn owner/trainer at the new farm, so I wouldn't feel comfortable quite yet bringing up this option. But, once we get into a routine then I can try to explore it more if that was something she'd be open to or not.
              Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

              A Voice Halted


              • #8
                letting a student of a trainer you respect take a couple of weekly lesson on her.
                This is an excellent idea, however having a competent lower level rider isn't a bad option either. I've got a 1st level rider half leasing my 3rd/4th level horse right now. She's a great rider, just fairly new to dressage (she's also a para rider so learning how to deal with some challenges that go along with that). It's wonderful because she gets to practice and show on a great horse and she puts in the light rides. I'm a bit Type A and I have a very hard time resisting the challenging work so it's nice to leave that to someone else and I can totally focus on the new/difficult work during my rides. She gets 3 rides per week and I ride 3 or 4 days a week depending on how many times she actually makes it out to ride. My horse is in extremely good shape between the two of us - best of his life for sure. The lighter rides certainly haven't been detrimental to his fitness or muscling - personally I think it's better.

                So far the arrangement has worked out great for us. She's on month to month - either party can end the lease with 30 days notice.
                Last edited by RedmondDressage; May. 10, 2012, 08:36 PM.