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Sticky leasing situation - advice wanted

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  • Sticky leasing situation - advice wanted

    Posting this for a friend as I am really unsure what advice to give her and she is getting a little frantic. My friend (call her M) has been leasing a trakehner/arab mare for the past year and a half, during which time relations with the owner (call her D) of said horse have gone from bad to worse. When she first started leasing the mare she was being fed a "custom" mix that wasn't fit for cows. Think "everything left over from making all the good grain." At that point in her life she was dull, and a very easy ride. M moved her to a super nice barn so that she could have access to trainer and an indoor. At this super nice barn the mare started getting fed a super nice feed mixed with a RB, nice hay, and turn out of nice green fields. She became shiney and a very firey ride. Nothing that my friend couldn't handle, in fact she had always loved more temperamental horses for whatever reason. That's when D came back in. D had said that she wanted to still be able to ride the mare from time to time, something that M had agreed to and really thought nothing of.
    However D was not a good enough rider to ride this new and improved mare. The first time that she rode the mare at the new barn she got bucked off. Second time the mare bolted with her while out in one of the fields and ran her the whole way home. Third time mare reared while in the indoor, took off, ran into another horse, knocked other horse down, and rider on other horse ended up with a broken wrist. M had none of these problems, in fact mare adored M and did whatever M asked of her pretty much.
    After the third time BO approached M and told her that if D was going to continue riding that M would have to move her horse, too much liability, and the injured girl happened to be the BO's niece.
    M begged BO to let her talk to D, maybe give her lessons on mare, lunge mare before D rode, etc, etc. BO offered her a "three strikes and you're out." M set up a schedule for D under the ruse of "not wanting to interfere with lessons at the barn" and has been lunging the mare before D gets on. So far nobody else has gotten hurt. D has come off a couple more times.
    Fast forward to now, D is accusing M or "training" her mare to hate D. D is convinced that M is conspiring against her to force her to sell her "baby." M has done very well this past year at dressage shows, she was showing first level and her trainer thinks that the mare has the potential to go "all the way" for M. M is super scared that she is going to lose the mare because D is becoming increasingly unstable shall we say. She will send poor M ranting and raving emails then call her crying and apologize and pull a guilt trip on M. I think M should get out while her sanity is still intact and before D gets seriously injured while under her care. That to me smells like a lawsuit. M doesn't want to lose the mare as she has invested a year and a half of her time as well as more money than I care to think about in lessons (think $60 a lesson once a week as well as board at $6-something a month).
    Has anybody else delt with an "unstable" horse owner that they have leased a horse from? What did you do? What should my friend do? Get out? Put the mare on a calming agent?
    Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
    The Blog
  • Original Poster

    Oh yes, M also has a custom Schlese invested in this mare.
    Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
    The Blog


    • #3
      Last edited by smokygirl; Jan. 2, 2012, 02:21 AM.
      "Sadly, some people's greatest skill, is being an idiot". (facebook profile pic I saw).


      • #4
        Very simple. Remove drama.

        Owner of horse gets to decide. BO gets to decide. Leasee does not. Unless she buys the horse.

        How the mare has been trained/changed/improved is not important. No matter how much the leasee wants X Y or Z ... the horse is not hers.

        The saddle makes no difference. Its just more drama.

        If the owner is becoming unstable -- so it goes. Sounds like leasee is getting pretty frenzied to match.

        Leasee is way too into this horse. And she cannot control everything in the crazy equation. Unless she can buy the horse.

        BO is correct. This situation should not continue.


        • #5
          While I realize that any time we spend time with a horse, we are investing of ourselves and it is hard to separate that from the "business" of leasing, the other posters are 100% correct. This horse belongs to D. M is paying for the privilege of riding the mare. M's choice to purchase a pricey saddle is irrelevant. M's affection for and apparent good working relationship with the mare is irrelevant. The horse belongs to D; D can end the lease or set whatever restrictions she wants. The BO, likewise, is well within her/his rights to limit activities at the boarding facility.

          It sounds like the horse owner is no longer happy with the lease situation. It sounds like the lease is causing stress for the lessee. From a distance, it looks like it is time for the lease to end and for M to either find another lease or purchase a horse of her own.
          Equinox Equine Massage

          In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
          -Albert Camus


          • #6
            M has "ruined" D's horse. D can't ride it anymore and I'm sure that was the furthest thing from D's mind when she leased it out.

            M and D need to end the lease or M needs to buy the horse.
            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
            Incredible Invisible


            • #7
              Lease is not working. M made her choices to do what she has regarding saddles, lessons, etc. D owns the mare and now the mare is too much for her. M needs to tell D she either needs to end the lease or buy the mare. Sadly leases often don't work for both sides and it is really why people need to buy a horse as leasing a horse is like leasing a car....its expensive and it is not yours.


              • #8
                Sounds like the 3 strikes have already happened and BO has every right to demand something be done with the horse (who frankly sounds a bit unstable as well...)
                Either your friend buys the horse or owner takes her back and ends the lease.
                "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."


                • #9
                  The mare isn't M's horse, so she gets no say in what ultimately happens.

                  Frankly, if I had to deal with that kind of passive-aggressive nuttiness, I'd have deep sixed the lease long before now.

                  Doesn't matter how 'invested' emotionally M is, or that she bought an expensive saddle for the horse.

                  Either D is willing to sell the mare to M, or M needs to walk away from the situation.
                  Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by arabhorse2 View Post
                    The mare isn't M's horse, so she gets no say in what ultimately happens.

                    Frankly, if I had to deal with that kind of passive-aggressive nuttiness, I'd have deep sixed the lease long before now.

                    Doesn't matter how 'invested' emotionally M is, or that she bought an expensive saddle for the horse.

                    Either D is willing to sell the mare to M, or M needs to walk away from the situation.
                    Yeah, what arabhorse2 said...
                    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


                    • #11
                      M doesn't own horse. M chose to buy very expensive saddle for horse she doesn't own. M should either buy mare from D or walk away. This isn't really that "sticky"...
                      JB-Infinity Farm


                      • #12
                        I agree with this. If someone had my horse on lease that I was still supposed to be able to RIDE, and they changed the feed creating a batshit crazy horse that tossed me every other ride I'd have a conniption and end the lease if the feed was not changed back (weather you, the bo, or the leasee think the food is "crap" is irrelevant)! The fact that D has NOT done this yet shows just how permissive she is being truly.

                        Sounds like D does not want to sell the horse, so they should end it now.

                        Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
                        M has "ruined" D's horse. D can't ride it anymore and I'm sure that was the furthest thing from D's mind when she leased it out.

                        M and D need to end the lease or M needs to buy the horse.


                        • Original Poster

                          Well I am glad that I am not alone in this train of thought. I see what this "relationship" with the owner is doing to my friend. Its super stressful to her, I also understand that attachment that she feels. I leased a horse two summers ago and he ended up getting yanked out from under me. I was totally devastated. I am still to this day sad about it, lol. Guess its time for even more tough love for her. My main argument is that I am afraid that D is going to get seriously injured while M is supervising and she may find herself in some nasty trouble. The horse isn't so much unstable as she is a one person horse, something I have come to find from arabs and arab crosses. M and the mare have this mystical connection where she can get that horse to do anything and everything. D, for a lack of a better way of putting it, has a very rough personality, and that just doesn't work on this mare from what I have seen.
                          Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                          The Blog


                          • Original Poster

                            Yeah, selling the horse to M is not an option. D raised her from a bottle and its her "baby." I saw first hand the explosion that caused when M dropped a hint a few months back before things really started to get out of control.
                            Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                            The Blog


                            • #15
                              "Mystical connection" or not, M has turned the horse into one that the owner cannot ride. It may be that the horse was not being fed top of the line grain by D, but just from your description it also sounds like M has let the horse get a little out of control, and tried to legitimate it by saying that she's now the "fiery" mount she "really" ought to be, that it takes a "mystical connection" to handle her, that M is just a better horsewoman, yadda yadda yadda.

                              M either needs to buy the horse, or else give up the lease.
                              "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


                              • #16
                                There's no drama like horse world drama.

                                The only reason this is a "sticky" situation is because you have two people involved that are approaching this problem from an emotional rather than a rational point of view.

                                If I were D I'd summarily cancel M's lease and drop her like a bad habit. She ruined MY horse. Whatever that does to M, not my concern.


                                • #17
                                  Absolutely the lease should end ASAP.

                                  M does not own the horse, but has a "connection". D does not want to sell it.

                                  M has created a situation where D is no longer safe on the horse because of feed, training, or whatever. She has started to feel like the owner, which is always a mistake in a lease. Just because (or even if) M is a better rider, she doesn't "deserve" the horse more than D.

                                  If I were D, M would have been gone a long time ago.

                                  The BO is on target that this mare is a liability in her barn. I'm actually surprised she hasn't asked for the mare to leave already.

                                  Horses don't care if they "go all the way." Buying a $5k saddle for a horse you lease is, well, kind of silly unless the money doesn't matter to you. The good news is that Schleese saddles can be adjusted and it's likely to fit another horse.

                                  M should find her own horse. I actually feel sorry for D who know has a horse she can't ride, but then again, she also let the lease continue.
                                  Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                  EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
                                    M has "ruined" D's horse. D can't ride it anymore and I'm sure that was the furthest thing from D's mind when she leased it out.

                                    M and D need to end the lease or M needs to buy the horse.
                                    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.


                                    • #19
                                      I fail to see what part of the drama was created by the owner.

                                      She's the OWNER. She has every right to demand whatever she wants regarding her horse. The lessee obeys or leaves.


                                      • #20
                                        I agree with pretty much everything said so far...but have one question:

                                        Was D really able to ride the horse prior to the lease? If D is one of the terminal beginner rider horse collectors, it is possible that D would fall off of the 25 cent Walmart horse if it did more than jog. To lease a horse out and expect that its training will stay permanently stagnated a year and a half later seems a bit unrealistic, especially since it sounds like the horse was quite green at that point (currently first level). What does D think of the horse when M rides it?
                                        "Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them."
                                        -Richard S. Bach