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Speak to me about leasing out my horse. Fair amounts to ask?

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  • Speak to me about leasing out my horse. Fair amounts to ask?

    My daughter bought her first horse over the summer, he's a wonderful boy, solid paint, 12 years old, 15.2, good build, healthy, all around wonderful horse. He goes both english and western (although we ride english) Not barn or buddy sour at all, doesn't have much of a spook, and while he is an awesome horse for completely beginners (my daughter) he's got great get up and go for those who are experienced. He's a joy to ride too. Because my daughter is just starting out she doesn't do a whole lot with him just yet (she's very reserved for an 8 yo) so a typical ride consists mainly of walking all around with a few circles of trotting. I try to ride after her since she's more of a warm up for him but because of my health issues and my 7 month old baby this isn't always possible. If the weather is nice generally she gets on him once a week, sometimes twice but because it is getting darker out earlier it will most likely be limited to once a week again if even that over the winter.

    We do not have a riding ring but the pasture is divided so we lock our other horses on the other side and ride Red in the front part of the pasture. The horses are all fine with this arrangement. There is also a small (about 1/3 acre) of land that is wooded that you can ride in and still keep sight of the horses although he can go out alone without any issues and our neighbor has a Christmas tree farm behind our house next to the pasture that we have permission to ride in as well.

    Because Red was used to being ridden daily and because he's an all around great boy we are thinking about offering him for lease come spring but I've never leased out a horse before and I'm really not sure what is fair to ask for given that we are not a real barn of any sort. Obviously there will be contracts and liability waivers, I am fine if they want to show him but it would of course need prior approval and at their expense, I am not looking to give anyone lessons but they are welcome to have a trainer come out if they want to take lessons on him. I work from home so I can be flexible on when someone wants to ride him, not that I will be watching them but I don't want someone here unless I'm here and he has to remain on the property unless prior arrangements are made such as a show.

    I am not looking for them to cover any of his routine vet bills because that is something we would do regardless of anyone riding or not, I would look to ask for half of the farrier bill because more riding means more wear but I'm not sure what to ask for a monthly lease fee and how much riding time would be fair for the price. For example let's say 100 a month for someone who just wants to ride once a week or something like that? I want to make this easy and affordable for someone to take up the offer because we don't need to do this we are just looking to keep him exercised and happy and if possible help someone else get to enjoy a horse too.
    Last edited by JLMet; Nov. 22, 2012, 01:06 AM.
    The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to cringe.
  • Original Poster

    I should also ask, what would be proper protocol if let's say they paid but could only ride once or twice that month because of weather, should I give them half of the lease amount back? I would think if they didn't ride just because they didn't get out to ride that's on them but I would feel bad if it's because of weather or something outside of their control.
    The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to cringe.


    • #3
      You can really make any arrangement that works for you (and that someone will agree to ). That said-- I think $100 a month for one ride/ week would be fair, or something like $250- $300 for 3-4 rides/ week and the occasional show. I wouldn't return money if they miss rides because of weather, but you might let them reschedule for a different day even if it means riding an extra time per week once or twice. I would only refund money if the horse is lame or sick.


      • #4
        If its less then 2x a week I would just pay per ride. I leased a couple of horses with no riding arena and there was no way I was paying a fee and sitting around. It depends on your climate, etc.

        Honesty leases can be a pain and for 4 rides a month I'd just skip it.


        • Original Poster

          Thanks for the responses so far. I'm guessing whoever it will be will want to ride more than once a week, I was just using it as an example. I wouldn't be putting a cap on how many days, honestly the more they want to ride the better, I'm just trying to get a good handle on what's fair to ask depending on how much they are looking to ride since I don't really need someone to be leasing him I want to make it so someone can afford to enjoy him as much as we do. What would you charge if someone wanted to do a pay per ride?
          The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to cringe.


          • #6
            I think $100/mo for once a week is a lot, especially since you don't have a real ring, lights, etc. It sounds like a backyard set-up, and it looks like you're in a pretty rural area. I'd think for $100-150/mo I would offer 3x/week lease. Remember, in your situation, the lease is helping you as much or more than the rider.

            It gets confusing to ask them to cover a portion of bills, so just factor that into the monthly lease fee.

            In terms of weather, when I half-leased out my horse on my property, I wrote in a clause that if >3 rides/month were unavailable due to inclement weather, she could trade days to make up for it. If >5 rides per month were affected, I would trailer horse to indoor for her to ride for free.

            I'd think $10-15/ride if they're paying by the ride would be fair.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks Kate, that's exactly why I'm asking because this is a back yard set up so I'm going to bet the person showing interest will most likely be someone who just wants to be able to enjoy a ride here and there, I doubt anyone who's looking to do serious riding will take interest just because of my current set up but I'm trying to get a handle on what pricing would be fair because I do want people to respond when I place the ad and I want it to be affordable for whoever it is.
              The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to cringe.


              • #8
                Considering your setup I'd think $150.00/mo for 3 rides/week would be fair with no additional charges.

                I found your comment about the farrier to be unusual. My horse gets shoes based on his hoof growth. Anything is possible but I've never seen someone require extra farrier services due to "wear" for a pleasure horse ridden 3-4 times a week on reasonable footing.

                Be careful who you lease to. Your set-up may attract people with less experience than you really want. A good kind horse is worth his weight in gold and it might not be worth the risk to his good nature to lease him out.
                "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer


                • #9
                  I think that given the lack of amenities (i.e. a ring, jumps, trails, no trainer), this will be a hard lease to place. I know I wouldn't pay $100 per month to ride in a field. It might be possible to get a free lease to exercise ride, but again the amenities are not going to attract many takers IME. I just think the OP has a challenging task to lease this horse under this situation.

                  I guess I don't understand the need to lease this horse. He is a walk/trot horse for a little kid. He can be ridden more, but doesn't need it. Sounds like he is doing great in his current arrangement. I would leave things alone.
                  Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule


                  • #10
                    I don't understand the objections on this thread. I would LOVE something like your set-up! It's pretty similar to the set-up I had when I leased a horse for $500/month, but we were hacking distance from some great amenities and the owner rode with me and gave me pointers sometimes (amazing lady).

                    I also had a similar set-up years later where I leased (rode 2-3x/week) for free. The horse needed schooling and I was a broke student.

                    So... there's a huge range! I understand your desire to have him in regular work for his sanity and I think it's a good idea if you find a great lessee. I know in my area people seek out Pony Clubbers to do a lease like yours because the club is known for producing great horsemen.


                    • Original Poster

                      The reason we are considering leasing is because he needs to be ridden more than he is right now and because of my health I can't ride as often as he could use or I would like. He could sit forever and be perfect but he does like to work and I do not want him to ever decide to become lazy lol. I'm going to assume we'll get someone looking to just be able to hop on and enjoy a nice ride and I'm going to be very careful about who can lease him, even though he's safe for a first time rider I would not be offering a lease for that because that's a risk I wouldn't want to take. I get the objections if I were only looking for someone to do serious riding because our set up would not allow for someone to truly work in that fashion but it certainly would be okay if that kind of a person came along too. That's also why I want to get opinions on pricing because I want this to be a fair deal for someone should they decide to lease him. If things go well the people who rent the barn behind our house will be leaving sometime next year and I will have permission to use their indoor and outdoor rings which would create a more desirable situation too...if they leave when they say they are. I do appreciate all of the thoughts so far and I may look at the local pony clubs too, thanks guys!
                      The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to cringe.


                      • #12
                        If Red was my horse (and he does sound lovely btw) I'd be looking to do a free lease with lessee contributing towards farrier costs and maybe $$$ towards feed costs if he needs to be fed extra as a result of more exercise than what he is getting at the moment. For me it would be a win-win situation for owner and lessee in Red gets kept in regular work and someone who maybe can't afford to buy and keep a horse with all the attendant costs gets to ride a nice horse.
                        At the moment over here, the only horses that are getting a lease fee paid for them at the moment are good competition horses.
                        where am I, what day is it, am I still having a good time?


                        • #13
                          It has also been my experience that a too "tuned up" horse may not stay quiet enough for a young child to walk/trot on...