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Thoughts on half leases

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  • Thoughts on half leases

    I think have no business owning the horse I do. He's too nice for me. I can't afford to campaign a horse like him. I can't afford a fancy barn and two lessons a week and week long horse shows...I almost wish he was junk just so I would have an excuse to make him a trail horse! JK!

    So anyway, I'm thinking about half leasing. Do people do that? I mean, there must be someone out there who, like me, can't afford the fancy horse, but maybe half a fancy horse would be doable? What would a typical agreement be? Half cost? Of everything? What kind of trouble am I asking for? How do I go about finding my perfect leasee?

    TIA
    What I lack in preparedness I make up for in enthusiasm

  • #2
    Hello!

    Are you with a trainer currently? Typically they help you manage all of those details.....

    I'm a fan of half-leases - I've been both on the ownership side and on the lease side. I think the 1st step is to decided where you want your horse to live.... are you only looking for an "in-barn" half-lease (meaning they would have to come to you?) or would you be open to him going to a new facility? Are you going to require the leasee is in a lesson program? And with which trainer?

    It's up to you if you want to charge on top of typical care expenses - perhaps get this pony insured if he is super nice?

    Comment


    • #3
      Lease situations vary a lot and half leases vary even more. I would seriously consider what you want to get out of the lease. Do you want help with the finances? A good rider to show him at the high levels? An adorable kid to watch him show with? Knowing your goals will help you set up a lease to attract the right person.

      For example: (Since it sounds like you want him to show) Maybe they pay you a minimal lease fee but have to take 2 lessons a week, and you cover all the costs of getting him to a show (trailering, braiding, trainer fees) so all they have to do is pay the show as an incentive to get him in the ring more.
      Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

      Comment


      • #4
        Leases really need to go through trainers for the best on both sides. I have never leased before last month. I have a great green OTTB who I just didn't have time to ride. So my trainer mentioned one of the teenagers who recently lost her 1/2 lease. ( he was sold). I agreed only because he is such a talented boy who needed a job and I wanted show miles on him, ( we have been training him for eventing) the kid is an amazing rider. She also loves the chance to work with a green bean.

        The agreement goes like this- kid rides him 3 times a week and must lesson with our trainer weekly. I get the other 4 days. She pays 1/2 board and 1/2 shoes. If she competes him or takes him XC schooling then she pays all related expenses.

        My trainer also competes him so he gets 2 training rides a week and then I pay for any XC schooling and show expenses when she competes.

        So far it has worked out great. Although I don't really ride him since I get 2 days a week and he needs at least one day off. I have been taking him on his conditioning rides on Mondays with my trainer which is fun for me. I also have another horse so can always ride him if I wanted. He is semi retired.

        Comment


        • #5
          I, too, have a fancy horse that really outclasses me. I have her on a 1/3 lease to a much better adult rider. I only charge her 1/3 of expenses because that way it works for both of us - well, all three of us! I was pretty generous in determining expenses because I know my lessee couldn't afford more than 1/3 of board + shoes + supplements. I didn't include insurance and normal vet costs.

          The key will be to come up with a price that works for you and the lessee. You want a good rider. If you have to charge *a little* less so you get a good, reliable lessee, it can be worth it.

          Do get terms in writing. And be clear about how much the horse can be ridden and jumped - and anything else you need to add to ensure the safety of your horse. In my case, the lessee under works the horse, and I would rather have that.

          I also felt comfortable with another adult rider to reduce liability. Get a liability release, as well!!

          Frankly, your horse doesn't care about reaching his potential!! Really!! He wants food, safety, kindness, and everything else you give him. Maybe a nice break by going on trails (if he likes trails).

          We're not at a fancy show barn, either. I checked some out. Yes, they were too much $. But I also think my horse's like the nice, calm atmosphere and good care they get at our small barn.

          But lessons would be good for both of you, when you can afford it and especially if you can find a goo trainer.
          Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thank you everyone! I am not with a trainer right now. I'm in the market but part of what is holding me back is that I want to go to that fancy barn with the high class trainer, but can't afford the lifestyle. So I guess my next step is to take the plunge, talk to the trainer I've had my eye on and see if she knows of anyone. Excellent!
            What I lack in preparedness I make up for in enthusiasm

            Comment


            • #7
              My friend does a half-lease on her horse to help pay the bills. The horse is in full training so the other woman gets half of the lessons and they split the cost of training board plus farrier costs. My friend pays for supplies, insurance, vet, etc. My friend got very lucky because she already knew this woman and they were riding at the same barn and the fact that the horse stays with the same trainer makes it so much easier.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Anteup View Post
                Thank you everyone! I am not with a trainer right now. I'm in the market but part of what is holding me back is that I want to go to that fancy barn with the high class trainer, but can't afford the lifestyle. So I guess my next step is to take the plunge, talk to the trainer I've had my eye on and see if she knows of anyone. Excellent!
                Do that first. Or if you can't afford the Fancy Trainer, ask her and respected horse friends for leads to younger trainers who are talented and coming up the ranks.

                The rule of thumb for a lease is that you cannot expect to get back a horse improved. At best, you will get him fed and a little older and not much worse for the wear. Others will tell you that it has happened for them, but the bones of the financial deal don't promise that.

                The way to work around that is to find the trainer who wants your horse in her barn because of his quality. Let her hook you up with another client with a thin wallet and supervise the whole deal.
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've done it, though I will say that unless you are with a trainer with a lot of extras or the kid already has a horse, you should expect to ride a lot less than they do. I've half leased but been lucky in that it has usually been that I rode the horse almost all the time unless the owner made plans to come out, in which case I ceded that day.
                  However, the owner will probably have to expect to work around a lesson/show schedule for the lessee. For this kind of situation, I would expect the price to be full expenses (board+shoes+supplements), half insurance if the horse is insured, half vet for maintenance issues and no responsibility for unpredictable health issues.
                  If you really want to do three days and three days, then it would be board, shoes, and supplements split evenly and all the vet and insurance is still on you.
                  “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman
                  (}---{)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Just remember, your horse doesn't care that he's not in a fancy barn or showing at a higher level He'd be just as happy lounging in a field full of grass!
                    Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have half leased many horses and it's worked out great. It was always through a trainer, though, for connections, consistency, and someone who can kind of oversee what's happening on both sides. I was the less talented one for a long time, but improved with time and I am forever grateful for those owners who let me learn on their horses. Then it was the opposite on another horse; I was the more experienced one. That was a little more difficult as I felt some of my work was being undone, but that might have been that one particular situation and a greener horse.

                      Now I own a horse, but lease her out. She's half-leased between two ammies. It's working out well... She's a really well-trained, nice mare, but I know she has physical limitations due to a weaker SI and I've accepted that. So I'm okay with two ladies learning on her and kind of plodding around. The horse is happy to be healthy, she has no idea about the training side! I also found that situation through a trainer. Both ladies pay half of the expenses, and both ride three days a week. It is working out well for everyone! So in my experiences, I've seen a lot of half leases and they've been beneficial.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think half leases can work out well for both sides. I was on the leasee side of things and the only downside for me was that the girl who owned the horse often rode him the same days we had agreed would be "my days." Her reasoning was horse was out of shape (true) and needed the work, but I always felt bad if she showed up directly after me and a) I would hurry my ride, b) I felt like it was too much for the horse. Out of shape does not mean horse should be worked to the ground.

                        Anyway, moral of this story is when you agree to days both sides must stick with them.
                        "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
                        "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've half leased a horse and also half leased my horses to other riders. IME, half the time it worked out really well -- I had people riding my horse so he stayed in shape, I got a break on expenses and gave me some time that I needed. My horses did not get "trained" during those experiences but the person riding them also did no damage.

                          The leases that did not work out were when people did not respect my ride times (like the person above), where they did not follow the rules set out (such as not jumping my horse unsupervised) and once where the person started to act like it was her horse and not mine! The latter also taught my horse some very bad habits that I had to retrain out of her.

                          A lot of the success comes from setting expectations properly up front, making a detailed lease agreement which both parties understand and agree to uphold, and then sticking to it.

                          It's much easier when everyone is riding with the same trainer as then the program is consistent.

                          It also depends on your feelings about your horse. I half leased out my heart horse but to someone who just wanted to hack him. It was perfect because he was a very sensitive horse who didn't take well to being packaged up by an untactful rider but who would hack all day on a loose rein. My mare was a project horse and I didn't feel as protective of her. She was also more tolerant of different types of rides.

                          My current horse I wouldn't lease out.
                          Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                          EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm on the other side, don't have money for a full show horse (average is $1500 for full training, not including board and show), but want the experience, so I'm in the market for a half lease (I'm going through a trainer.) So having someone with a horse of that caliber, with an owner willing to share, is always amazing. Always go through a trainer! I've done leases before, and the ones that weren't in writing with a trainer ended horribly.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Anteup View Post
                              Thank you everyone! I am not with a trainer right now. I'm in the market but part of what is holding me back is that I want to go to that fancy barn with the high class trainer, but can't afford the lifestyle. So I guess my next step is to take the plunge, talk to the trainer I've had my eye on and see if she knows of anyone. Excellent!
                              Be very cautious with this leap - visit the barn frequently at various times, audit the trainer working with a range of horses & riders, maybe you can assist or groom for trainer at a show ... you don't want to get stuck in a financial situation that you cannot afford or lease with someone that you fall out with (esp. the trainer), remember that if horse is off for an extended time, you may lose your leaser & still have all the fees + vetting etc.

                              Definitely start with lessons with the trainer of interest, & develop your relationship from there.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                What Alto says...if you are half leasing for financial reasons, have a backup plan and be very careful about which leaser you choose. I am half leasing right now, and neither owner nor I could afford full-freight at the barn we are at. Horse was moved to this barn when the half lease started. I'd known the owner for several years prior to the lease and we are friendly, so we discussed the risk up front...I'd feel terrible if something happened to me and she didn't have a fall back situation for her horse. My plan is that I give her as much notice as possible if it's something I can plan for (moving, etc...), though lease says 30 days, to give her time to find another leaser she can work with. In an emergency (I lose my job, a family disaster...), she's left the door open at the much more affordable barn that the horse was at, she can move the horse back there if disaster falls either of us, or the horse.

                                The last horse I half leased, was a time situation for the owner, not a financial one, so what happens to the horse if I can't continue to lease wasn't as much of a concern.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  What Alto says...if you are half leasing for financial reasons, have a backup plan and be very careful about which leaser you choose. I am half leasing right now, and neither owner nor I could afford full-freight at the barn we are at. Horse was moved to this barn when the half lease started. I'd known the owner for several years prior to the lease and we are friendly, so we discussed the risk up front...I'd feel terrible if something happened to me and she didn't have a fall back situation for her horse. My plan is that I give her as much notice as possible if it's something I can plan for (moving, etc...), though lease says 30 days, to give her time to find another leaser she can work with. In an emergency (I lose my job, a family disaster...), she's left the door open at the much more affordable barn that the horse was at, she can move the horse back there if disaster falls either of us, or the horse.

                                  The last horse I half leased, was a time situation for the owner, not a financial one, so what happens to the horse if I can't continue to lease wasn't as much of a concern.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I'm currently half-leasing a very nice horse right now. This is my first half-lease/shareboard experience, previously I had full leases (shareboarding is not typically "done" at my barn). So far it's working out great! The horse's owner is pregnant, and not riding right now, so I split riding days with her husband. We went through our trainer, who approved the match. So it is not so much a financial reason for the owner, but a time commitment. For me, it was financial issue (too hard financially to do a full lease), and somewhat due to a varied work schedule.

                                    The owner put together a simple lease agreement, listing my riding days/lessons, responsibilities, what I could/could not do with the horse (ie, no jumping outside of lessons, where the horse would be boarded), and exactly what fees I would pay her. She was flexible and let me choose my days. She had put in the agreement that my missed riding days wouldn't be made up & no discounts for missed days, but so far, they've been very happy to switch even though I did not suggest it nor expect it. She also added in a 30-day notice clause for both sides, in case situations change, or the horse is injured/lame & going to be off for a while, etc.

                                    I think the key is to have the agreement in writing (keep copies! owner & I both have one & we keep a 3rd copy in the horse's tack trunk w/ insurance info etc). What I found helpful was discussing the expectations of what the owner & I have before making the agreement. It helped that the trainer and owner have both known me for several years & knew my abilities & horse care philosophy.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I half-lease a lovely mare and it is the best! She belongs to my trainer, but before I tried her out, my trainer found a few other horses available for half-lease for me to try. Definitely see if you can find a reputable trainer, most of them have a few people like me on the hunt for a horse to ride.

                                      We have a very clear agreement: I ride 3 days per week (specific days, so we don't need to talk about it every week), I pay a fixed rate directly to the owner, and I take one lesson per week. Every other horse I tried also required I stay in a training/lesson program approved by the horse's owner, which I was more than willing to do.

                                      I cannot afford to own a horse at this point in my life, and I could not afford a horse as nice as my lease. I love her to bits and take good care of her, and being able to ride regularly is awesome for me. Give it a try!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I half leased my horse out, I asked for half the board. I was responsible for the shoes and medical. I evaluated all the people who were interested and went with the woman who was working with a trainer, was taking lessons regularly and just looking for a nice horse to learn on. It worked great for me. We split the riding time evenly 3 days a week each and a day off for the horse. I did make stipulations such as no jumping without a trainer present. There was also an additional fee if she wanted to take him to a show.

                                        Comment

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