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Leasing out a Senior horse- advice needed

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  • Leasing out a Senior horse- advice needed

    Here's the scenario.

    I have an 18 y/o healthy TB gelding. I have owned him 7 years and he has evented up to Training level, done 3'3" hunters, and is trained to 1st level dressage. I have leased him out in the past with great success and the girl rode him Novice and placed high at every show. She recently had to end her lease due to finances and I am looking to lease him out again since I am in my first year of graduate school. The last lease went great, I free leased him to the girl, she paid all expenses and treated him like her own and took out insurance on him to cover if anything happened.

    This time is a little different seeing as he is now 18, they don't offer insurance that I know of. I am also now 2.5 hours away at school but he is boarded at a barn I know very well and trust and the family wanting to lease him is very nice and knowledgeable about horses. The daughter has ridden all her life and is a great rider, but is new to eventing so he would be showing her the ropes and doing BN max, mostly just combined training events at 2'6" and dressage shows. It would be another free lease in which they don't pay me anything but they are responsible for his care and maintenance. Typically the insurance takes a lot of the liability on both parties away if he does get injured but without it, what would you do? I have expressed that I would never expect any heroic measures to be taken, I would not expect them to pay for a colic surgery or anything like that, however I feel they should be responsible for his vet bills should anything happen while he is in their care. They suggested putting a clause in the contract stating that they are only responsible up to a certain dollar amount so that they don't feel so vulnerable. I think that sounds fair, but where do you name a reasonable price? At the end of the day, I acknowledge leasing out your horse is a huge risk on both parties but what are your suggestions?

  • #2
    My horse is turning 18 this year and his insurance was renewed without any issue for the year. You may want to call around and see -- I have EMO and Great American.
    The big man -- my lost prince

    The little brother, now my main man

    Comment


    • #3
      Buy insurance if you can, even if it's expensive. It will do the job you want done.... and a job that's hard to do another way.

      I leased out a horse whose circumstances were similar *except for the fact that he wasn't sound enough to do what interests me any more*. So while the horse still has value and I'm committed to taking care of him, his financial value to me-- the buck stopper-- is negative.

      All this is to say that I created clauses in the lease that reflected what I'd do for this horse. The "no colic surgery" sounds appropriate for you-- whether that comes from your horse's age, your wallet or your inclination. But your horse is sounder than mine, so he has more value-- whether you want to ride him in the future or you want to lease him out again while you give him a good life using other people's money to help you do it.

      The "dollar amount" limit is good.... except it's amazing how fast you can get there and also how much different people decide to spend on diagnostics. (Think of the person who would palpate a sore suspensory, treat and maybe turn out for a while vs. the person who buys ultrasound pictures or stem cell therapy and all possible veterinary yadayada).

      And then there's the problem of feeding the horse who does have a treatable injury that needs a long layup to be made right. Any lessee would want out of a lease that included, say, 9 months of no riding.

      My lease required that the lessee paid all vet bills for any injury she caused. Acts of God/Horse stupidity were not her responsibility. She also only had to pay while the lease was in effect. This meant that if Horseling got hurt and needed a long rest, she could give me 30 days' notice, lose a tad of money but not a ton.

      Another key part was that I (as the HO) got to choose the vet and the care. (No being cheap about it because the lessee was paying. After all, if the horse gets a half-a$$ed diagnosis or treatment, the HO loses more than the lessee.) But I agreed to limit diagnostics and treatment to vet care that was reasonable for a horse of this age and soundness. (Lessee was protected from me getting ultrasound happy.)

      There are three things that make leases work (besides what's written on 'em, which you never want to actually use):

      1. You know the people and the facility where your horse will live. That's the part that let's you be confident in limiting your lessee's liability to mistakes she makes, not mistakes of management.

      2. You ask for what is reasonable. IMO, those documents are a hell of a lot easier to have enforced because any judicial, non-horse spectator can "get it"-- You want the "everyman" to see what you asked for and why and that you weren't out to gouge anyone.

      3. Read the document with the lessee in person. Give her a chance to ask questions about how to carry out this-n-that condition or why it's there. Give her a chance to object and suggest an alternative.

      Hope this helps.
      The armchair saddler
      Politically Pro-Cat

      Comment


      • #4
        I had a senior (uninsurable) horse that I free leased out for many years. The arrangement was that the party leasing him would pay all ordinary vet costs (shots, worming, dental) all farrier costs and all board costs. If any extraordinary vets needs were to arise I would take over and make all decisions and incur all costs. It really was a moot point as he never was injured or sick until he died at age 39. ( Now if only the rest of my horses could follow that model!...Sadly not).

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks so much for responding. That was very useful information. I have found 2 companies that will insure him after emailing around, here are the quotes. I am not sure if these are considered normal or not.

          $5,000 Mortality @ 8.0% - $400.00 annual premium

          12 Month Extension - Included


          $2,500 Surgical - $125.00 per horse - annual premium
          $5,000 Surgical - $150.00 per horse - annual premium

          And the other company offered:
          $5,000 full mortality $575.00
          $5,000 Major Med./Surgical $240.00 ($275.00 deductible)
          $3,000 Emergency Colic Surgery (no charge)
          *
          Total: $815.00
          First installment due with application: $326.00
          2nd and 3rd payments: $245.00

          I know I will have to call the for specific info but does the major medical include if he went lame and needed a diagnosis or is it just for surgery like if he cut his leg open and needed stitches? Its been so long since I had to shop around.

          I appreciate the advice, again, it is has been very helpful!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by RnR View Post
            Thanks so much for responding. That was very useful information. I have found 2 companies that will insure him after emailing around, here are the quotes. I am not sure if these are considered normal or not.

            $5,000 Mortality @ 8.0% - $400.00 annual premium

            12 Month Extension - Included


            $2,500 Surgical - $125.00 per horse - annual premium
            $5,000 Surgical - $150.00 per horse - annual premium

            And the other company offered:
            $5,000 full mortality $575.00
            $5,000 Major Med./Surgical $240.00 ($275.00 deductible)
            $3,000 Emergency Colic Surgery (no charge)
            *
            Total: $815.00
            First installment due with application: $326.00
            2nd and 3rd payments: $245.00

            I know I will have to call the for specific info but does the major medical include if he went lame and needed a diagnosis or is it just for surgery like if he cut his leg open and needed stitches? Its been so long since I had to shop around.

            I appreciate the advice, again, it is has been very helpful!

            Outta curiosity which company gave you this quote? You can PM me if you would feel more comfortable.

            Comment


            • #7
              Major med usually covers both of the things you mentioned (less your deductible). They don't cover things like farm call fees and usually joint injections, but an injury requiring stitches/antibiotics, yes. I had a pretty dramatic giant laceration to deal with a few years ago -- they covered the treatment in the clinic (flushing joint with antibiotics, etc) but sadly (if understandably) did not cover the several hundred dollars in bandaging materials I needed (stack wrap, stifle to hoof, giant horse, 5 layers including elastikon, change every 3 days for a month.).
              The big man -- my lost prince

              The little brother, now my main man

              Comment


              • #8
                What major med covers varies based on the policy- so while we can say it generally or often covers x and not y, the only way to get a real asnwer is to ask the insurance agent or company offering the policy.
                Yes, they generally cover more than just surgery (although there are surgery only policies out there I believe) what diagnostics and treatments are covered and at what rate varies widely.
                There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)

                Comment

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