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Free lease/half lease questions

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  • Free lease/half lease questions

    so we have found a solution for our current horse who has lameness issues, we will still be the owners and have full responsiblity. We are trying to find a free lease or a half lease for my daughter who will be going to college in two years. (I don't want to, can't afford to own two horses). We're looking for something she can show in the summer. If we half lease, we'll keep it at it's current barn, but if we full free lease, we would like to keep it at our barn. We've never done leases at all so we don't what to expect.at.all! Can any of you who have experience in this give me suggestions or advice? What do we ask the person who's horse we would free lease....that's pretty much where my questions lie. I know what an on farm half lease would entail but I'm not sure of the ins and outs of an off farm free lease...except to say that I know i'm responsible for shoes and vet bills.

    Thanks so much.

  • #2
    My Experience

    I leased my older dressage gelding to a young high schooler earlier this year to use as a hunter. It was perfect for him since he loved the primping and pampering of being a young rider's horse and didnt like the hard work associated with being a 4th level/PSG horse.
    It was win/win. I earned a little money and got him off my feed bill, he was kept at her trainer's 3 miles from my barn, so I could go say hi to him every few days, and she won more then her share of blue ribbons in the fall show series (what a good horse ).
    In then end she and her parents ended up dropping the lease because he was a little too much horse for her (it takes work to keep them at the top of their game? I have to do flatwork to keep his topline? the horrors!). No hard feelings, since now I'm going to use him to try out the hunter ring...

    What I did to protect myself, the rider,and my horse was write up a contract (well, ammend one found online). My added stipulations were that I had to have written notice before he was trailered anywhere, and could only be trailered by the trainer or myself. All vet work was to be done by my vet (we have several in the area, but I think mine is the best... obviously). I, the owner, would pay for all routine medical expenses (coggins, vaccines), but the leasor would pay for all performance based expenses (abscesses, joint maintenence, etc). My final stipulation was that she take consistant lessons with her trainer...

    If you were in my area, I'd love to have another young rider lease my guy. He loved the one on one attention that I just cant give him every day with other young up-and-coming horses.


    • #3
      I've been free-leasing my pony for the past 6+ years. My contract states that the lessee pays for everything associated with regular upkeep up the horse (board, farrier, vet, worming, supplements, etc). I do have it in the contract that I am ready to pay for emergency care (except in the case of negligence on the lessee's part), simply because I want to make certain my horse will receive the treatment I want it to in those situations. I provide all appropriate tack and equipment for the horse as well. I do not require permission for the lessee to take the horse off of the property it lives at to go to shows or clinics or anything of that sort, though I know some leases require that. I wouldn't lease to a person who I didn't trust (or if they have a trainer I didn't trust) enough to make those decisions on their own.

      I would just ask to look at the lease contract and go from there. The contract should outline who is responsible for what and should be able to answer most (if not all) of your questions.

      Good luck with finding a horse! I am so grateful to have been able to find such great people to lease my pony over the years. He was my first pony and I refuse to give him up, so this allows me to still maintain ownership without the expenses
      "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


      • #4
        Leasing can be great! I have leased out several of my ex-eventers to Pony Clubbers over the years on a free lease, meaning they cover all expenses including most vet costs. The horse is at their barn. It has worked out well overall. They can return the horse to me with 30 days' notice.

        Right now I am horseless and so am free-leasing a nice horse. I am putting value on him for the owner who is sidelined with a baby. She will likely sell him in a year or so. I negotiated a deal where owner is covering all farrier and vet costs, and I cover board. A win/win for all.

        Whatever you do, have a very specific written agreement about who covers what and have an exit strategy. The one thing you have to watch is that you don't get stuck paying for unusual vet costs such as with a major injury or surgery or be stuck caring for a horse facing a long layup. Look into insurance.


        • Original Poster

          amm2cd...i wish you were around here too! Thank you guys for the responses so far. The one thing I did wonder about was the large vet bills (if there ever were to be any) for a colic or an injury at a show or something. I would assume that I would pay for the injury one but not for the colic? There are some good things about this but also some things that scare me. I will definately have someone draw up a tight agreement when and if we find the right horse.


          • #6
            Originally posted by pinkpolowraps View Post
            The one thing I did wonder about was the large vet bills (if there ever were to be any) for a colic or an injury at a show or something. I would assume that I would pay for the injury one but not for the colic? There are some good things about this but also some things that scare me. I will definately have someone draw up a tight agreement when and if we find the right horse.
            That's definitely something that varies from lease to lease, and should be outlined in the contract (request that it be added if it is not). In my lease, I would be the one covering colic care (unless my lessee did something stupid like feed them a bag of grain for fun, which is unlikely). An injury is more of a gray area. Definitely a good thing to inquire about.
            "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


            • #7
              Originally posted by mg View Post
              That's definitely something that varies from lease to lease, and should be outlined in the contract (request that it be added if it is not). In my lease, I would be the one covering colic care (unless my lessee did something stupid like feed them a bag of grain for fun, which is unlikely). An injury is more of a gray area. Definitely a good thing to inquire about.

              There are so many variables. It just depends on the owner, the horse, and what you all agree to.

              I've leased many times, and also been the leaser. For the most part it has always been a positive experience on both ends.
              We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


              • #8
                In my case- The person leasing pays for EVERYTHING except for expenses associated with a pre-existing condition.

                "Everything" includes:
                -Insurance, both mortality (payable to the owner) and major medical (unless the horse is too old).
                -This should address both the "injury" and the "colic" scenarios.
                -Feed, hay, and bedding
                -Vet fees (both predictable and unpredictable)
                -If the cost, after insurance was over $1000 (unless they caused the injury), or if there were "life or death" related decisions involved, I would pick up the vet fees so I could be the one making the decisions.
                -I also paid all expenses related to pre-existing conditions.

                chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).