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A somewhat unique lease situation - does this seem like an equitable arrangement?

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  • A somewhat unique lease situation - does this seem like an equitable arrangement?

    Before moving several states away, I was riding a friend's young, green horse for her. It started out as a hacking a couple/few times per week situation and progressed to more of an actual training situation as the horse matured, mostly bringing the horse along myself, but also (me) taking some lessons (on said horse) with other trainers.

    Turns out, this horse has a lot of potential as a hunter. Horse owner has always wanted the horse to go on to further training and see this potential put to use. For a few reasons, this has never really happened, one of which being that the owner is a bit gun-shy about the amount it would cost monthly for the horse to be in a program. Consequently, the horse has been standing in a pasture since I moved.

    So here is what I am thinking of proposing to owner:
    I bring the horse to where I am currently located, ride horse, and take lessons to develop horses potential. I would pay for lessons, any training rides, shows, clinics, etc. I would ask owner to pay at least the amount of board she is currently paying on horse, unless she is willing to cover more (board will be more expensive here). We would need to discuss other expenses, such as farrier, vet, etc.

    What I get from this deal: a very nice young horse to ride and show and the opportunity to advance my skills in bringing along a young hunter and become a better hunter rider.

    What owner gets from this deal: a trained horse being ridden and shown to her potential, at a much lower cost than would otherwise be possible, and the horse would be under the oversight of someone the owner absolutely trusts.

    I am a good rider (the assessment of several others far more knowledgeable than myself) and have brought along my own horses in the past, so the horse will definitely still improve in the proposed situation.

    The owner simply doesn't have the skills for the horse, and has admitted as much. She has also said in the past that whatever horse ends up doing, owner sees the horse doing it with me.

    Sooo... thoughts? Does this seem like a reasonable arrangement? Am I overlooking anything?

  • #2
    You can always suggest it to the owner... the only place I ser a problem is if the owner actually rides the horse and she'll have nothing to ride.


    • #3
      I was having the same thoughts as fourmares on this one. What are the owner's intentions with this horse. Does she ride at all, does she like to brush her horse, or just hang out with it?


      • Original Poster

        Owner almost never rides this particular horse (and spends a lot of time brushing/loving on other horse), but would still have free, anytime access to (more suitable) horses to ride.

        This horse and owner are not particularly well-suited for each other.


        • #5
          I did something similar many years ago. Owner had a talented young horse that she was scared to ride. I was young, not concerned about horse's quirks, needed a horse to ride

          She paid board, farrier, vet bills. I trained and competed horse (I paid for all entry fees, shipping, etc.) This met my needs and her needs just fine. Over time when it because clear that the owner was never going to ride the horse, I picked up half the board.

          I had a blast on the horse but was at the beginning of my professional career and couldn't commit to owning one. Eventually, I got a new job and had to move; she had a horse with 3 years of training/competition.

          Really, a lease can be anything providing you and the owner both feel your getting value from it.
          Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
          EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


          • #6
            Why should the owner pay board though? I guess I don't really get what she's getting out of this.


            • #7
              What happens if the horse gets hurt training/showing under you? Who would pay the vet bills on an unrideable horse?

              Since you say the horse has a lot of potential, I'm guessing the owner could sell it right now for $X, if it shows and wins she could sell it for $XX, but if it gets hurt all she has is $0, and she never got to ride/show the horse herself.

              Not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but leases can go bad VERY fast.


              • #8
                As things stand now, it's a nice deal for both of you.

                The HO is getting more than a fair deal in that her horse is being improved while she is paying no more than what it costs to keep him while he stands there and rots. If she has the money but doesn't want to spend it, why not start out asking for all expenses? Maybe you pay for the shipping. The negotiations should be friendly and flexible.

                I guess you need to figure out what she wants for the horse. Usually deals like this fall apart because the HO didn't want the improved horse bad enough... or much at all. They don't see the value of what you are doing.

                You guys should talk about if/when she sells him. My advice to you: Don't count a piece of the possible sale as part of what you are getting. You are *only* getting the horse to ride, learn on and be seen on. Don't expect more.

                Also, what do you guys want to do about big injuries... but also the "little things" like a better farrier, a chiropractor or vet work that happens because your standard of soundness is higher than hers, or the show horse needs more help than the pasture horse? I can see the HO not wanting to pay these and their adding up for you.

                I hope you can work something out!
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat


                • #9
                  One of my boarders did this with her young horse who was too much for her at the time. It worked out very well (and her lease was with a stranger!). The lessee got a very nice horse to show a bit with and my boarder got a horse back with much more mileage under his belt.

                  In this case, my boarder has taken the horse back and is riding him now.

                  I think it is a win-win situation, though make sure to spell everything, especially vet bills, out in writing.
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                  • #10
                    sounds like a pretty nice deal and it's certainly worth proposing.

                    Originally posted by Tha Ridge View Post
                    Why should the owner pay board though? I guess I don't really get what she's getting out of this.
                    Owner is getting quite a lot, actually. Her horse is getting trained and getting show miles all on someone else's dime and only for the cost of the board she is currently paying. The lease arrangement would be increasing the value of the horse, rather than it just sitting and maintaining/decreasing in value.

                    OP: be sure you work out all the details so if accepted, the arrangement doesn't go bad. There are some areas as mentioned (Lameness) that can get sticky. I would think owner maintaining current expenses (board, shoes, routine vet) with you taking everything else would be right on target. However, owner might not see it that way, so be ready to negotiate.

                    Personally, if I had a young horse sitting in a field that I wasn't keen on riding...I would jump at a situation like this.
                    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


                    • #11
                      I guess I might be missing something, but I've seen this basic arrangement several times - including being part of it once. It's not that unusual, but I'm going to agree with Tha Ridge on this one in that the set-up the OP is proposing doesn't really make sense for the owner.

                      OP - Basically, you are asking to lease the horse from the owner. Now, because the horse isn't a "made" horse, you aren't going to pay a lease fee plus the expenses. But, I would expect that you are going to pay the expenses, including the board, vet, farrier, insurance, etc. If you decide to train and show the horse on your $ then that's great - in fact, alot of riders do that in order to get access to a horse they couldn't otherwise afford. For the risk and use of the horse, the owner gets a more experienced - and presumably better - horse when you are done. Again, though, the owner does not pay anything except maybe some annual fees like vaccinations, etc.

                      Just my two cents.


                      • #12
                        Agree w/sammicat.

                        Insure the horse or take over paying the insurance if it's already insured.


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks for the input, guys. I appreciate hearing your thoughts. A few relevant points:

                          - Owner has no interest in selling at any time. If she did, however, I absolutely would not expect a dime from the sale of the horse and I would not take it personally.
                          - Owner has no interest in competing/showing herself.
                          - Owner DOES want horse trained further, but doesn't want to spend a fortune. So in the proposed scenario, the owner gets what she wants (horse trained) for significantly less than would otherwise be possible.

                          I do have other options horse-wise, so it is not entirely a situation in which the owner would be doing me a favor by letting me bring her horse - we would be doing each other a favor. It really is a mutually beneficial arrangement... I think (but then, that's why I posted this on here - to see if I'm off-base!).

                          Horse is currently not insured, but I would plan on paying for insurance on the horse. Any major decisions (vet-related, etc) would (obviously) be made/approved by the owner. Our standards of soundness and care are very similar and we both have the horse's best interests at heart. At the end of the day, my view is that it is still her horse, and I would defer to the owner on any of her wishes.


                          • #14
                            Ask the horse owner - the worst she can do is say no!


                            • #15
                              GPSM- go for it!
                              I got to rode a lovely 6 figure PreGreen horse in the AAs because the owner had another horse campaigning in the 1st years and didn't want to pay for both. I paid my trainer to do the horse in the PreGreens & then came in on the weekends and did the Adults. It was a win, win, win.

                              Trainer got paid, I got a great horse to show w/out the cost of ownership, owner got show miles on her nice horse at no expense to her.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by GPSM View Post
                                Thanks for the input, guys. I appreciate hearing your thoughts. A few relevant points:

                                - Owner has no interest in selling at any time. If she did, however, I absolutely would not expect a dime from the sale of the horse and I would not take it personally.
                                - Owner has no interest in competing/showing herself.
                                - Owner DOES want horse trained further, but doesn't want to spend a fortune. So in the proposed scenario, the owner gets what she wants (horse trained) for significantly less than would otherwise be possible.
                                See, this is exactly why I don't think the owner should be responsible for paying board. She doesn't want to sell the horse and basically you're asking for her to pay a portion of you "using up" the horse.

                                If the horse were for sale, and thus you were putting equity into it in the form of training, rides, and showing, it would be easier to justify the owner paying some expenses. As it stands now, it seems like you're trying to have your cake and eat it too.


                                • #17
                                  I think it sounds like a great deal for both as long as the details are worked out.
                                  I give my trainer free board and she in turn helps me with my young pony. I love win-win situations.


                                  • #18
                                    The one thing that is being blurred here is that the OP is not a trainer. She is skilled, is going to take lessons, and will be riding the horse. She is not bartering a skill that she would otherwise make money off of for another service like board. Instead she is ending into an arrangement where she can get experience and learn on a horse that she would otherwise not have access to. From the owner's perspective, whether she chooses to make the horse a Grand Prix champion or a fancy lawn ornament is her prerogative asit is her horse. If the OP wants to take the horse without buying it and that's okay with the owner, there is no reason why the owner should still incur costs for something she doesn't have access to.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by sammicat View Post
                                      From the owner's perspective, whether she chooses to make the horse a Grand Prix champion or a fancy lawn ornament is her prerogative asit is her horse.
                                      Originally posted by Tha Ridge View Post
                                      She doesn't want to sell the horse and basically you're asking for her to pay a portion of you "using up" the horse.
                                      The owner is letting the horse sit around, which is her perogative, but has said that she wants it in a training program...just doesn't want to pay for it. Hrmm.

                                      OP's arrangement would put the horse in a training program without the owner having to pay for it. That's a SERIOUS win for her. Big time. Which is why I don't think it's crazy to see if she will continue paying the same amount toward board that she is currently paying to let the horse rot away in pasture.
                                      Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                      Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


                                      • #20
                                        Many of these deals look and sound good but...much can go wrong and they can end up with hurt feelings, outstanding board/ vet bills or on Judge Judy.

                                        What give me a bad feeling about this deal is OP is taking the horse several states away from the owner. Too many what ifs here and too much distance to make a quick solution to disputes possible.

                                        The deals I have seen work out are same barn or a barn well known and easily accessible to both parties and with a WRITTEN CONTRACT. But written contracts don't mean you won't get stuck with a big bill if/when the other side defaults. Been there, got the tee shirt and a call many years ago from a BO demanding 3500 or he'd sell the horse because my leasee skipped 6 months earlier-and, yup, I had moved out of state and it was hell to get straightened out. Yeah, you can sue but, maybe 2 years later you get a judgement if you can find anybody to serve. Then you have to find them and try to collect. It's a real swamp.

                                        Plus, here the owner would have to be the one to contract with the BO for the board payments unless she goes thru you every month-and that complicates things with your BO should horse owner default or get behind while you use the barns services. Could turn into kind of a mess. You might want to run that by your BO first, who do they want to sign the boarding contract? Some wouldn't do with with a third party free leasee when the owner/leasor is contractually repsonsible to OP for the board. Kind of confusing but hope you follow my thinking here on this board arrangement creating an issue.

                                        The long distance part of this means owner will have little or no contact at all and...that could be a real can of worms if she starts being late with the board payments or stops altogether and OP gets stuck with a big bill and no way to get out from under without a good sized shipping bill.

                                        If it were same barn or close by? Id say try it. Several states over? I think is asking for trouble.
                                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.