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Leasing a show horse...questions :)

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  • Leasing a show horse...questions :)

    I'm a working student at a private training barn for which I have an agreement to board my horse and lesson.

    I have come to the conclussion that between my full time job and my working student job that i dont have the time to keep my horse in full work and she's too nice to sit out in the field doing nothing. I'd like to lease her and might have found someone to do so, but need help figuring out what kind of lease to off and what most of you consider as part of "leasing" a horse.

    The horse is young, but not green, quiet, talented, hack winner, jumping around a 2'6" course and ready to move up (just havent gotten around to it yet), in the ribbons every time and is well schooled on the flat. Originally I was thinking half lease so that I can still ride her as well, but I've been approached with a full lease possiblity.
    Full lease would be up to 5-6 rides a week, one must be a lesson (at lessee's expense) and full use of facilities.

    What lease fee would you expect to pay for full or half lease on a nice horse in the Northern Va area at a nice facility with a legit trainer and training program?
    What else do you usually include as the terms of a full lease on a show horse with unlimited potential for any discipline? Do you make farrier and non routine vet care their responsibility? What about trailering expenses and show expenses? What do you include? Laundry service, grooming, etc?

    I'm looking to make a good deal out of the lease for both parties, with consideration that she isnt a "made" packer yet and the economy, but at the same time be able to cover the costs of keeping her in the program where I am a working student.

    Any suggestions or ideas, or experiences would be helpful! Thanks
    Crayola Posse~Aquamarine
    Love vs Money...for the love of my horse, I have no money!

  • #2
    Full lease would be all expenses. Essentially, you could offer a "free lease," with the assumption the horse would stay at current barn and new leasee would pick up all costs. IMO, this is a better option. You really have no monetary responsibility what-so-ever for your horse.

    A half lease would be half the expenses. I normally do 1/2 board + 1/2 farrier + $50 extra to partially cover any vet/dental/worming stuff that comes along that you are still responsible for paying during a half lease. They pick up all costs not directly related to the horse (ie horse shows, trailering to horse shows, grooming at horse shows, etc.) This is assuming they are riding 3x/week.

    Either way, please make sure you have a ROCK HARD lease agreement. I had a lease turn ugly when an Ex-Client tried to return me a dead lame horse....and stick ME with the vet bills...


    • #3
      IMO, the best leases spell out pretty much every detail.

      Mine includes a requirement that the horse be fully insured at the lessee's expense naming me as the beneficiary.

      In a full lease, the lessee is responsible for ALL costs - board, training, vet, farrier, showing, etc. I personally require that they use MY professionals (trainer, vet, farrier etc) but I only do in-barn leases so I can keep an eye on the situation.

      The last time I leased out a young but easy/nice animal I did not charge a lease FEE on top of the expenses - that is known as a "free lease" although obviously the expenses can still be considerable (board alone at that barn was over $1K a month.) It worked out very well for me since the horse was kept in a program I was familiar and comfortable with, and it worked out well for the lessee since it gave her the opportunity to have full use of a horse she never could have afforded otherwise.

      Other things to consider including: Whether or not you will let the lessee ship out for lessons, shows or clinics, and if so, how far. Whether or not you will place any restrictions on the use of the horse (ie, can the lessee jump him outside of lessons? Lend the horse to a friend for a week? Do an endurance ride on him for 24 hours straight?)

      You also want to carefully define the terms under which the lease can be terminated. Do you want the right to cancel the lease on 30 days notice if you feel the horse is not doing well with that rider? Can the lessee bail on the lease if the horse has a minor injury in turnout and is laid up for a few days? A few weeks? What if the lessee *causes* the injury through overwork, or even just crashing him over a fence?

      There is a lot to think about, and agree on before you proceed. I've been very fortunate and have had nothing but good experiences with leasing, but I've also always had the luxury of contracting with people I knew well, and like I said... they are always in the barn where I can keep an eye on them, under the supervision of a trainer that I trusted.
      We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


      • #4
        Well most of the time leasing a show horse will cost the lessee 1/3 of the horse's value, but since your horse isn't a totally made show horse and you're considering a half or full lease I'm going to assume you want to keep the horse in the barn and might be willing to forgo that price. I would, if I were you, insist that the lessee assumes all costs for the horse including board, lessons, farrier, and routine vet work. It's up to, to put in your contract, who would cover emergency vet costs, but you could certainly require that they pay that as well. I might also suggest you make them pay for insurance, but that's up to you.

        Since you're a working student obviously you don't pay the board, so they'd pay that to you and you'd essentially be getting paid for your work there instead of receiving the free board I guess. Also they would pay for all showing fees and such, I would require them to have their own tack if they were full leasing, but make sure it fits correctly.

        If you want to do a half lease then they would pay for half of the board, farrier, and routine vet work, as well as their lessons. I don't know if I'd make them pay insurance on a half-lease, but I would certainly still have a very good contract written up.

        Another thing that stuck out at me, I would put in the contract what he can be used for - hunters, jumpers, etc. depending on what you want to make him into in the future. I would not advertise or lease him out as a "horse with unlimited potential in any discipline" because, for example, if you don't want a dressage horse in the future, I wouldn't want someone taking him and riding, showing dressage. Not that it isn't a worthy discipline with lots to teach a horse and rider, but if it's not what you're going to aim the horse at, there can be some huge differences in the final outcome.
        "to live is the rarest thing in the world, most people merely exist."


        • #5
          One more thing to think about - is your horse insured? Is the lessee going to pick up the tab for that?

          Definitely iron out details on vet fees and lameness situations, as to who is responsible. I could see that getting ugly in a hurry.


          • #6
            When I leased my horse out for the year, he stayed with my trainer. The situation would have been different had he gone to another barn. I paid insurance and non-routine vet bills. The leasee paid board and full training costs and obviously all costs related to showing. It was a nice situation for me because my horse got great training and lots of show miles. His value increased significantly at the end of the lease when he came back to me.

            Good luck!


            • #7
              When I leased a hunter some years ago I had restrictions on how high he could be jumped ( he was 18). Given your horse's younger age, you might want to put some restrictions on height of fences, # of classes at shows, # of shows/month or whatever. Basically to keep him from being unnecessarily pounded. I did something similar this year when I leased out my old dressage schoolmaster.

              Second, but very important, make sure you have a liability clause in your lease agreement that protects you from any injury to rider, or anyone hurt when rider is handling horse, damage the horse might do to trailer, pasture fence or all of those things horses do.

              You can find sample lease agreements on the internet if you search around for "equine lease" for example. Look at several, they will give you some ideas on how to word.
              Having the horse stay at your barn is the ideal situation, as you can keep a better eye on things.
              We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


              • #8
                You could consider charging them an up front damage deposit, that is returned in full if the horse is returned to you in as good as or better condition than when they started the lease. This only really works if you have baseline flexions/soundness report before the lease starts, but can be a bit of a financial cushion for you in case the horse does get hurt during the lease and the person leasing cancels their part of the lease. It can be a bit of a motivator for the person leasing to be careful with the horse.
                Freeing worms from cans everywhere!