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Rights of a half-leaser

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  • Rights of a half-leaser

    So being a half-leaser is a politically tricky spot, since you only own half the horse's time, and the horses very much still I control of the owner. BUT, what are the few rights of a half- leaser leasing from their trainer? Can you protest about the amount of riders being put on your horse, or express discomfort with having other people ride your horse before or after you on day's you're supposed to ride? Basically, do you have any actual rights in this situation regarding more people riding the horse than you feel okay with? It is a lesson horse, but doesn't half-leasing make you a priority? Or maybe not? I don't know, share your opinions?

  • #2
    What does your lease agreement say? I would think that the days that you pay for should be your days - but if the owner has specified otherwise in the agreement, you're out of luck. As far as who she lets ride the horse on your days off - you have no say in that, whatsoever.

    To sum it up - It's not your horse, you have no rights. You can either suck it up and live by the owner's terms or move on and find another situation that is better for you. Always talk out and put in writing what is expected out of both parties in the lease.

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    • #3
      I think this depends on the contract & situation. If your "half-lease" is a guarantee of 3 or 4 rides a week, and you are getting those rides, then technically you are getting what you paid for. If you knew going into the lease that horse was a lesson horse and typically does 2 lessons a day, then I don't think you can necessarily complain about horse doing a lesson in addition to your ride. If your rides are added on top of the workload horse already had, and it's a detriment to the horse's health or soundness, then I suppose you could speak up. Depending on the attitude of trainer, that could fix the situation, do nothing, or result in the end of the lease. I do think part leasing a lesson horse is a different situation than part leasing a private horse with only one other primary rider. I would not expect the same level of exclusivity.
      Flickr

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      • #4
        Hmmm, yeah, that's what I was thinking, unfortunately.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Sigh. The lease agreement is only verbal, and doesn't address anyone else riding the horse. I just hate to see two other people ride the horse after me on some days, or me be handed the horse after somebody else already rode. I guess I expected those days to be MY days so I could work the horse as hard as I needed to improve, without feeling incredibly guilty about having somebody else get on right after. I feel like that messes up MY ride, and I'm very bonded to this horse so it upsets me also. It's a tricky situation. The cons of only doing a half-lease, I suppose.

          Comment


          • #6
            Personally I do think that a half-lease should guarantee you exclusive rights to the horse for that day. I don't think it is fair to arrive at the barn on your day and the horse is in another lesson or you feel you have to rush so the horse is available right after you are finished.

            However, those terms need to be written into the lease. I think it is reasonable to approach the trainer to discuss the issue, but a trainer this rude with a lease isn't likely to be sympathetic.

            I do think it would be ok if you are an evening rider that the horse was used in a lesson before noon that day. So there is some wiggle room. But having to fight other lessons students on your lease days is ridiculous.

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            • #7
              Sounds like a pretty informal "half-lease" if you don't even have a contract.

              If you want to guarantee you're the only one riding this horse on your days then you need to discuss this with your trainer and have a contract drawn up saying so. Although, I have a sneaking suspicion if you want this horse all to yourself on certain days the cost of the lease is going to change to reflect the income trainer will be losing on him. This is a lesson horse, after all.

              As for the "bond" issue, I'm just going to be blunt. If you're letting yourself get so attached to a lease horse, one that is actively used in a lesson program on top of it, you're setting yourself up for a bad time unless you learn to share. I've seen young girls make themselves absolutely miserable while leasing lesson horses because they let themselves get all possessive and cuckoo over the animal. I've seen them try to justify their emotions with "I have a bond with my speshul pony", "I'm just watching out for what's best for Dobbin" and all sorts of quasi-plausible excuses. Fact of the matter is, unless you are specifically contracting the horse for set DAYS (not hours, not vague verbal agreements), as long as the horse is physically capable of handling the work load, and as long as mentally the horse is fine doing the work then you've no reason to complain.

              Comment


              • #8
                Without a contract, you really have no recourse and no rights. I know that what some BOs (particularly in busy lesson barns) call a "half lease" is really a series of prepaid "free rides". They cannot afford to take the horse out of lessons for several days a week, so there is not a standard, exclusive, lease contract.

                If you want exclusive use of the horse three days a week, talk to the BO about setting up contact that says so. She may not be amenable, however. I'm not sure what share of the horse's expenses you are paying, but from what I've seen...a prepaid free rides "lease" is less expensive than an exclusive part lease, usually just part of board or the price of three free rides a week. An exclusive part lease involves paying for 1/2 of board, 1/2 of supplements, 1/2 of farrier, 1/2 of any training rides and 1/2 of routine veterinary care...just as if you owned the horse. It also means you are paying for the horse, whether you can ride it or not (you are sick, horse is lame....).

                I half lease myself, as I do not have time to ride more than 3-4 days a week and am not in a position to take on the long term financial obligation of owning a horse. I far prefer to half lease a privately owned horse, where I'm only dealing with one other rider and am dealing directly with the owner of the horse. My previous half-leased horse is, at least temporarily, retired right now, so I'm looking for another. I've turned up five possiblities so far, three of them privately owned...it's highly unlikely I'd choose one of the horses in a lesson program. I "interview" and choose the owner as much as the horse, it's really, really important for everyone's happiness and welfare that the owner and I get along, communicate well and clearly about expectations and can work together.

                And, I agree with GaitedGloryRider, you cannot afford to become overly emotionally attached to a horse you lease, it's not yours and you don't have ultimate control over it, it's a recipe for heartbreak to do otherwise. You can certainly care about the horse...I care about my "part horses", but I KNOW they are not mine and don't get any ideas that I have some super special relationship with them. I treat them well, help the owner care for them when they are sick or lame and can't be ridden, do my best to ride them well and work on whatever goals owner, trainer and I have chosen together, but, at the end of the day, the horse is not mine, so I keep my emotional attitude toward the situation at a practical level.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Typically a lease for x days means you are the only rider on those days. But a lease can really mean anything and should be something that you've both agreed to. Did you trainer not make that clear at the beginning? I would speak with the trainer to let her know your concerns.

                  I would also think about the $ you are spending and whether you feel that's an appropriate price to share a horse on your days. If you don't wish to share, that cost will go up. If you feel you've agreed to the price with the expectation of having the horse to yourself on those days, that's a problem you will want to discuss with your trainer.
                  Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

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                  • #10
                    When/if you sit down with trainer to discuss this, do get a contract in writing. The contract is to protect the interests of BOTH parties in a lease. Make sure it clearly outlines what you are to pay and what you are to receive.
                    Flickr

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                    • #11
                      Before you talk to your trainer, look at what you are paying per month. If your fee approximates half of the horses board (or what would be board if it wasn't a lesson horse), half of shoeing, half of run of the mill vet costs (not emergency care), half of other incidental costs and perhaps an additional lease fee, then you have some basis to negotiate with your trainer regarding what happens with the horse on your days. If your monthly fee is significantly less, not so much.

                      Your rights are what are contained in the contract, even an oral contract. It sounds like this issue was never discussed though. You made an assumption and the trainer made a different assumption. If you want exclusive use of the horse on your days, you need to go back to the trainer, tell her that is what you want, be willing to pay for that right and then put it in writing signed by both parties. Of course if the horse is needed for lessons, this may not be possible.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It depends on the lease agreement you have. My contract states that I'm responsible for half the board and half the medical expenses. But I have a verbal agreement with the BO that I can go ride my boy whenever I want to, if he's not being needed for lessons. I have one lesson a week schedule and the other days I either show up when the school is closed or I have to give the BM some notice in advance to make sure that the horse is available. I don't get any saying in what kind of riders take lessons with him, but since he's not exactly beginner safe, nor does he have enough training for advanced riders, he's pretty much used when needed. He doesn't get over worked and it's good to keep him fit since I can't manage to ride every day.
                        Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.

                        Originally posted by DottieHQ
                        You're just jealous because you lack my extensive koalafications.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It does depend on the lease, however if I had a half-lease you can be quite sure that I wouldn't expect someone else to be riding the horse before or after. What if you wanted to ride longer, or later, or earlier? What if the owner sells 15 half-leases!

                          Nope, that certainly wouldn't work for me! Sounds like you are renting a few hours rather than truly half-leasing.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Half-leasing a school horse IMO amounts to not paying for hacks/practice rides or having to pay to lease the horse for shows as well as being guranteed that horse as your mount for lessons.

                            If you were half-leasing a privately owned horse things would be different. But you are half-leasing a school horse who still has to work to earn the other half of its living.

                            If you want a horse you can ride 5-7 days a week exclusively you should be paying for a full lease.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GaitedGloryRider View Post
                              As for the "bond" issue, I'm just going to be blunt. If you're letting yourself get so attached to a lease horse, one that is actively used in a lesson program on top of it, you're setting yourself up for a bad time unless you learn to share. I've seen young girls make themselves absolutely miserable while leasing lesson horses because they let themselves get all possessive and cuckoo over the animal. I've seen them try to justify their emotions with "I have a bond with my speshul pony", "I'm just watching out for what's best for Dobbin" and all sorts of quasi-plausible excuses. Fact of the matter is, unless you are specifically contracting the horse for set DAYS (not hours, not vague verbal agreements), as long as the horse is physically capable of handling the work load, and as long as mentally the horse is fine doing the work then you've no reason to complain.
                              agreed

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Get it in writing! I'm not sure though, why somebody would pay to 1/2 lease a horse when others are riding it (on the same day no less). Why don't you just pay to have school horse lessons like everyone else? Sounds like you still would be riding the horse the same amount for probably less money!
                                Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by eclipse View Post
                                  Get it in writing! I'm not sure though, why somebody would pay to 1/2 lease a horse when others are riding it (on the same day no less). Why don't you just pay to have school horse lessons like everyone else? Sounds like you still would be riding the horse the same amount for probably less money!
                                  In my case, it's cheaper and I get to work with the same horse all the time. But when others ride in the same day it's usually in the morning and then I get my ride late in the afternoon (or the opposite). And there's the benefit of being able to ride on sundays or after school hours.
                                  It doesn't seem like the OP has the same advantages though.
                                  Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.

                                  Originally posted by DottieHQ
                                  You're just jealous because you lack my extensive koalafications.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Aria View Post
                                    I just hate to see two other people ride the horse after me on some days, or me be handed the horse after somebody else already rode. I guess I expected those days to be MY days so I could work the horse as hard as I needed to improve, without feeling incredibly guilty about having somebody else get on right after. I feel like that messes up MY ride, and I'm very bonded to this horse so it upsets me also. It's a tricky situation. The cons of only doing a half-lease, I suppose.
                                    So if I'm reading this correctly, your concern is not about inconvenience to your own schedule--it's about the workload the horse is getting.

                                    I sympathize with your feeling "bonded" because I was horseless for 15 years of my riding life, and it'll take you awhile to master The Art of Being Detached. But also, consider whether you are fairly and objectively appraising the amount of work this horse can handle. The owner seems confident that the horse can handle this workload. Possibly the owner is a nutter who overworks her horses and will ruin them. But many people underestimate the amount of work a fit, healthy lesson horse can handle if it's receiving appropriate care and consideration from the management. That "care and consideration" equation is complex and will vary for every horse and every program, but I've seen many programs that keep their horses sound and happy working 2-3 hours per day, 4 to 6 days a week.

                                    Either way, there's no reason you can't take your concerns to the owner if you phrase them in a non-confrontational, non-bossy way. Try something like "Hey owner, I've been wanting to work on X Y Z with Poopsie and wanted to check and see if that's cool. I know he's working a full schedule with other lessons and wanted to see if doing that sort of work would interfere with Poopsie's other commitments."
                                    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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