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Leasing Questions

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  • Leasing Questions

    I have questions about two different horse situations.

    First horse is a 17yr old, 16.1 hh TB gelding. Did 3'3" hunters at A shows for several years, possibly 3'6" as well but I am not sure on that. The past several years, he was doing 2'6"-3' local and some rated hunters and equitation due to his owner's and leasee's interests. He stayed within one trainer's barn the past several years. Due to racing five years, then heavily showing, he is now not 100% sound (servicably so) and wouldn't pass a vetting. Trainer he had been with gave him a little bute before lessons and after shows to help him out. I suspect he just has a little bit of arthritis everywhere. He starts out a little off at the trot, but after cantering and warming up, he looks fine at the walk/trot/canter and over fences. I recently started him on a daily joint supplement and have seen some improvement so far. The owner he's had for the past 7+ years has not ever had him on a joint supplement. The person leasing him the past couple years did hock injections once (I don't think they x-rayed though) but said it didn't make a big difference. He is fine for an intermediate and up. He is not at all "dead", sometimes has TB spunk, but never ever rushes a fence, jumps everything (if in doubt, add a little leg and you're fine), and has a 100% auto change. I think he'd be fine getting ridden 4-5 times a week (just not too hard...he knows his job so it's not like he needs hard schooling rides) and shown in one division at local one-day shows (we have some good ones). He would probably be a good 2'-2'6" horse at this point, especially as a move-up from a pony.

    He is at a very quiet barn that I'd like him to stay at with a lot of retired horses but he gets TONS of turnout in a huge field, isn't beat up anymore, and has a stall. I used to be a working student at the trainer's barn where he was for years, and he is SO much happier here than he ever was there. There is an outdoor ring, but it isn't huge and only has a couple of jumps. No indoor, and it is in MD (so it is cold and we have snow). The owner used to train kids on the A-circuit but is now retired from all of that. There's a possibility she would give inexpensive lessons to someone on a horse at her barn, but we can assume there is no on-site trainer. It would be a full free lease where they cover his board, shoes, and supplement so about $465 a month for four rides a week. Would I ask an extra fee to let them show him, or is that irrelevant since it's a full lease as long as they don't exceed four rides that week, including the show?


    Next horse. He is a 15yr old, 15.3 hh TB gelding. He is trained in lower level dressage, extremely well-schooled on the flat (has the buttons, you just have to ask, or he'll also go around on the buckle). For an intermediate up on the flat, but is okay for a timid rider (I would prefer they took weekly lessons though). He has shown dressage, hunters, and jumpers. He has schooled 3' courses (is currently doing 2'6" courses with 3' singles), has plenty of scope, good style and a big step, does his changes (but not auto- you have to ask unless you're doing lots of turns in jumpers), and is a good candidate for 2'6"-3' local shows. I put my timid-rider friend on him the other day that gets anxiety about jumping, and after instructing her to "put your hands forward, let him have his head, and put your leg on", they jumped several 2' jumps individually with him picking the distance perfectly everytime and quietly cantering afterwards. He is a good confidence builder for those instances, but he would require a more confident yet quiet rider over bigger courses and fences (he isn't difficult though).

    I would like him to remain boarded at a VERY nice facility where he is currently located. They have a heated barn/floors, hot/cold wash stall, large tack room, laundry/bathroom/shower, large attached indoor, two outdoor rings, plenty of quality jumps, and fields to hack out around....not to mention great other boarders. The owner breeds, trains, and give lessons for the eventing/dressage disciplines. He is currently there on field board, but if he is fully clipped it would probably be better to put him on stall board. It would be a full free lease, so board plus shoes plus joint maitenance would be $550 a month for field board or $735 a month for stall board. I think it would be fair to allow 6 rides a week if the leasee takes a weekly lesson from the barn trainer or an approved outside trainer, or 5 rides a week plus allowing me to ride him once a week to make sure he's tuned up (my ride would be free). They could show him if they wanted to. Is it realistic someone would want to lease him with these conditions?

    First horse can be leased until he's ready to be retired, but is not for sale. Second horse is my heart horse and is not for sale either. He is only for lease probably through the winter and maybe early spring. I have a 4 yr old at home that I would like to board over the winter to use the riding facilities to keep him in work, but also want to keep the second horse in work (it's just unrealistic to do that while he's at home and I don't have to money to board them both).

    What are your thoughts on this? Thanks for your patience in reading this, and in advance for your input!

  • #2
    A few thoughts:

    Horse #1:
    1) I wouldn't charge a fee for the horse to be shown as long as the show is included in the 4 days/week lease arrangement. If they want extra days, then just charge for those separately.

    2) Since you feel comfortable leasing long-term, I think it is very likely that someone will be interested in the situation provided the costs are comparable to what is normal in your area.

    Horse #2:
    1) The situation sounded like it might be a good confidence booster for the right rider. That is, until I got to the part about the horse only being available through the winter and maybe spring. Most people I know who want to lease a horse can be grouped into the following categories:
    a) Those who want to lease a horse for the show circuit
    b) Those who want to lease longer term, 6-12 months to move up a level or to have something to ride while they look for a horse to buy
    c) Those who need something short-term while their own horse is out of commission. Or those who have sold their horse and haven't found another one yet.

    People in category (a) probably won't be interested in this horse. It's the off season and depending on the area you live in, there may or may not be a ton of shows going on. This horse in principle sounds like a great option for people in category (b), except that your lease period is very short.

    People in category (c) who need a short term use of a horse, i.e. just for a few months, might not be willing to pay what you are asking. These days, at least in my area, there are a ton of horseless riders who are getting matched up with riderless horses. With the economy being what it is, there are plenty of people who have horses that need to be ridden but who can't necessarily afford pro rides. There are also plenty of good riders who don't have horses but who are happy to get free rides where they can just to be able to get on a horse.

    With horse #2 I think you either need to lower the price or extend the lease period to include the show season. If you don't, I think it might be difficult to entice people to consider this horse.


    • Original Poster

      Glad to hear horse #1 is a good candidate for leasing...he is the most important to lease out. The only reason I say 4 rides max a week is for his comfort. My friend owned him but after his leasee couldn't continue the lease, she didn't know what to do with him since she couldn't keep him but didn't want someone to take him and work him into the ground. I don't really have any purpose for him and it would be nice for someone else to take over his costs.

      It's not as important that I lease horse #2 out, but it would be best if he was kept in some sort of work. The total lease fee is just the total cost of his board, shoeing, and maitenance which is typical for a free lease. Depending on the rider, his lease could be extended past winter/spring and made into a half-lease so we can share for shows. We do have plenty of schooling and rated shows going on close by through the winter, though.


      • #4
        If you're going to limit Horse #1 to four rides/week, you should consider a half-lease instead. Personally, I wouldn't be willing to pay full board for four days...generally, 3 days is a half lease, so possibly I'd consider 2/3, but I wouldn't pay full lease price (or full board on a free lease) for a horse that the rides would be restricted on. Generally a full lease means the person leasing has unlimited use of the horse. If the horse isn't sound enough for that, you should lower the price accordingly, IMO.

        I agree with Snicklefritz on Horse #2. Not many people are going to want to spend the winter and spring working with a horse and improving themself and the horse and then have it taken away just in time for show season. Perhaps a half lease, where the person gets 3 days/ week and some showing (you each do one division, or alternate shows) next year for 1/2 cost of board would be a better option.


        • #5
          Not a comment on the lease, but if horse #1 has arthritis, these horses generally do better with a 6 day program rather than 3-4 days a week ... not that he should be jumping daily, but suitable flat work & hacking out are generally recommended. (you do want someone that knows how to warm him up/cool down appropriately & has a good feel for his soundness/comfort each ride)

          I'd sort out the lesson possibilities with the BO or have some short-listed trainers that the leaser might wish to use.
          I'd not charge extra for showing the horse - instead if it's important to you that he not show or only do limited shows, then put that into your contract.
          I'd be looking for a long term leaser for him rather than a series of short-term leasers & would be very flexible for the right person

          As there is no indoor, I assume the BO maintains the outdoor through the winter or there are trails etc, otherwise it would be difficult to have a leaser pay costs on a horse they cannot ride for 3-4 (?) months out of the year.


          • #6
            Originally posted by HenryisBlaisin' View Post
            If you're going to limit Horse #1 to four rides/week, you should consider a half-lease instead. Personally, I wouldn't be willing to pay full board for four days...generally, 3 days is a half lease, so possibly I'd consider 2/3, but I wouldn't pay full lease price (or full board on a free lease) for a horse that the rides would be restricted on. Generally a full lease means the person leasing has unlimited use of the horse. If the horse isn't sound enough for that, you should lower the price accordingly, IMO.

            I agree with Snicklefritz on Horse #2. Not many people are going to want to spend the winter and spring working with a horse and improving themself and the horse and then have it taken away just in time for show season. Perhaps a half lease, where the person gets 3 days/ week and some showing (you each do one division, or alternate shows) next year for 1/2 cost of board would be a better option.
            I agree with all this! 4 rides a week (especially including any shows) is not a full lease. However, do you have trails around? Can he go bareback on the buckle? Instead of being limited to 4 rides a week, can you limit him to 4 schooling rides a week and allow 1 or 2 trail rides and relaxed arena hacks that are mostly walk with some trot? I think this might improve your chances of the full lease. Also, is it likely they will be able to ride most days in the winter, or will the lack of an indoor prevent this? You might have to lower the price for this, especially if you want him at the same barn.

            I also thought horse #2 was great until I realized its only for a couple months. I would offer him for a half lease and just "throw in" an extra 1-3 rides a week until you want to ride again. If I went out to the barn every day during the winter and got the horse ready to go for show season (and paid for that), I would not want to give that up just as the sunshine comes out!

            I know this probably isn't what you want to hear, but that's my opinion on the situation.
            Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique


            • Original Poster

              If the first horse didn't get all hard rides/schools, lessee could do more rides. I just want to be careful so he stays comfortable. I would also be willing to let him move barns if it were a perfect situation and they did a full lease....I could offer a half-lease option if they kept him at current barn.

              Here's the deal with the second horse....if he isn't being full leased and having his board covered completely, he will come home and get mostly get bareback rides in my field for fun because I want to take my 4 year old (who is currently home) to the boarding barn to ride all winter and can't afford board on both. I would just prefer he stayed fit. In the spring, I could reduce it to a half lease or maybe let them continue with the full lease if it is a good situation. It depends if I can find someone good to lease him though. FWIW, we do have plenty of good indoor shows within an hour that they could attend all winter.

              I guess I'm pretty flexible though, for the right person.