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Free leasing my horse?

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  • Free leasing my horse?

    Okay, so this is my first time posting
    I have a five-year-old TB gelding, and since I'm off to university in September, even though I'm not going to be very far from home (an hour or so commute) I'm definitely thinking I won't have much time for him. The thing is, I'm very lukewarm on selling him, which is why I'm considering free leasing him. Unfortunately, my parents and I aren't exactly seeing eye to eye on this. They say that it's not a real 'business-way' of thinking. So, now I'm a bit confused on what to do :S
    I guess my question is, should I free-lease him? I don't want him sitting around in a field while I'm at university, as much as he would enjoy it :P

  • #2
    Free leasing (the lessee pays all expenses associated with horsekeeping to the appropriate parties, but does not pay a lease fee to the owner) can work out very well, IF you find someone reliable to take on your horse.

    Writing up a very specific contract between you and the lessee is an important part of making the deal work.

    What specifically do your parents object to?
    Patience pays.


    • #3
      I had a big medical scare and resulting surgery in 2002 and sent the horse I owned at the time out on a free lease. It worked out very well and enabled me to keep the horse, while getting out from under his care (both in terms of cost and in terms of time and effort) for a year.

      I think that a free lease makes a lot of sense for the situation you describe.


      • #4
        Melissa. Hare. Jones: I think what my parents are most worried about is that someone may lease him for a couple of months, then decide they don't want to lease him for say, the winter, and then want to lease him again in the spring, when they don't have to pay for his upkeep throughout the winter.
        Also, I don't really think they understand why someone would free lease a horse - why not just buy their own? I think that's mostly where they're coming from.


        • #5
          Maybe if you explained how common it is in the horse world? Or showed them this thread? I am sure you'll get a lot of responses.

          Having a good contract will help a great deal, and a good contract will spell out duration of lease, etc. That being said, it is entirely possible that someone would still terminate the lease early. Then you would just find someone else to take over the lease. The person who bailed on the lease would be out of the picture at that point, and would have no right to reinstate the lease again if you chose not to reinstate.


          • #6
            We are currently leasing a wonderful large pony from a girl who is in college. My own daughter goes off to school in 2 years. In a perfect world, we will keep this pony until my daughter heads off to school and his original girl has a real job and can take over his expenses. I think that would make the girls and the parents happy. Maybe our little tale will help sell the idea to your parents.

            Also - a pony in work is worth more than one sitting in a field. Besides maybe the person you find will try things you never did and your horse will learn new skills so if you do decide to sell he will be worth more. For example the pony we lease has now foxhunted, evented and will be competing in show jumping at Pony Club Nationals.

            Hope this helps.


            • #7
              IdahoRider: I think I will. It's not like they don't care about him, because they do. Thanks for the suggestion


              • #8
                Originally posted by Anastasiya_93 View Post
                Okay, so this is my first time posting
                I have a five-year-old TB gelding, and since I'm off to university in September, even though I'm not going to be very far from home (an hour or so commute) I'm definitely thinking I won't have much time for him. The thing is, I'm very lukewarm on selling him, which is why I'm considering free leasing him. Unfortunately, my parents and I aren't exactly seeing eye to eye on this. They say that it's not a real 'business-way' of thinking. So, now I'm a bit confused on what to do :S
                I guess my question is, should I free-lease him? I don't want him sitting around in a field while I'm at university, as much as he would enjoy it :P
                While they might be correct that it is not a real 'business-way' of thinking, are you running a business? If not, it really does not apply. Either way, you have to weigh out the pro's and con's for both you and the horse and decide for yourself. Your parents will come 'round If the horse is being used however, his value will surely increase if not remain equal to his current value (assuming you choose a suitable lessee), which does make sense 'business-wise'. Furthermore, it removes you of responsibility for his expenses, which is also beneficial.

                Many individuals lease for the fact they cannot afford a horse of their own or wish to learn and ride without the responsibility (yet) of a horse of their own. There are a lot of great reasons to lease.

                I currently free lease two horses and love it. I won't consider selling because 1) I want to maintain that ultimate control of their ultimate whereabouts and care (I had to rescue the one horse from a lease last year when his care fell below par) and 2) I do want the option of 'getting the horses back' in the future, however far off that might be. I tried charging a lease fee but it did not seem to make a difference and not charging a lease fee has greatly convenienced my lessees, to my horses' benefits, so I don't mind. I have a thorough contract and otherwise allow the lessees the free rein to treat the horses as their own, within the realm of that contract. Free leasing however has relieved me of the financial burden of two horses I do not currently have time for, allowing me to focus on my two up-and-coming jumpers both in a financial and time sense as I prep both horses for competition. When I have had to work excessively or what in the past, I have also free-leased my other horses, which has also always proven beneficial. This allowed me to keep the (suitable, lovely!) horse for myself (ultimately) without allowing the horse's value or training to depreciate due to my lack of time.

                As a sidenote: it is very important to check in on your boy fairly regularly - please do not underestimate the importance.
                ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.