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How does a Free Lease work?

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  • How does a Free Lease work?

    I've decided I need a change of scenery and an adventure, so I'm moving this summer. While I settle into my new routine and locale, I have decided leasing out my pony would be a time and financial burden lifted. There is a woman locally who tried the pony Friday and loved her. She wants to start the lease immediately. This is great. I know the woman, I know the boarding barn, and I know the pony will be well cared for. My question is as follows: how does a free lease really work?

    In my mind, a free lease is one in which the person leasing the horse/pony does not pay anything for the lease, yet pays board. Since I am still the rightful owner, I would still pay for annual veterinary expenses (vaccinations, coggins, deworming) and farrier expenses (just trims for the hardy pony hooves.)

    Is there anything glaring I'm missing? For instance, who pays for emergency vet bills? I am considering taking out an insurance policy just in case.

    I still have to draw up a contract. Is there anything important I need to specify, or is a generic lease agreement sufficient? I have done a search on here and have garnered bits and pieces of what I'd like to include, but want to make sure I am not making a huge rookie error. This is the first lease agreement I'll be entering into and I want to try and make it a smooth transaction for all involved.

  • #2
    Who will carry insurance on the horse?

    Who will pay for injuries which occur while in the custody of the woman?

    Who decides on colic surgery, etc?

    There are lease agreements for sale on some websites. You might want to spend a little money to buy one or two of those to determine what you want in your lease.

    And of course, there's always the issue of "what if the person you free lease to sells or gives away your horse?" While she may be a great person, she could also be a person who deceives you. Put a monetary penalty in the lease just in case she breaches by harming, selling, or giving away your horse.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by WildandWickedWarmbloods View Post
      Who will carry insurance on the horse?

      Who will pay for injuries which occur while in the custody of the woman?

      Who decides on colic surgery, etc?

      There are lease agreements for sale on some websites. You might want to spend a little money to buy one or two of those to determine what you want in your lease.

      And of course, there's always the issue of "what if the person you free lease to sells or gives away your horse?" While she may be a great person, she could also be a person who deceives you. Put a monetary penalty in the lease just in case she breaches by harming, selling, or giving away your horse.
      I would carry the insurance policy on the horse.

      I am asking for opinions on who pays for injuries occurring under the woman's care.

      The pony is not a colic surgery candidate.

      I will do a Google search and see what I can find by way of pre-written lease agreements for sale.

      And I'm not concerned (I don't know if I should be) about this woman selling or giving away the pony. She owns a boarding stable in town. I've known her for five years. I've boarded with her, taken lessons from her, and have attended the shows she puts on for even longer. I really don't think she's trying to deceive me. She's older and is looking for a nice, quiet pony to enjoy as a personal riding horse.

      What monetary penalty is acceptable if she breaches by selling/giving away/harming said pony?

      What are ways to protect myself in the event of such a thing? The pony is a plain bay with no markings. She is AQHA registered, but no tattoos, no brands, etc.

      Comment


      • #4
        It's basically what you 2 agree on. That could mean splitting costs of vet, farrier, etc, or having either the lessor or the lessee paying for it all.
        And yes, getting insurance and having a written contract is the way to go.
        "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

        Comment


        • #5
          Make sure you specify conditions under how you each can terminate a lease!

          Comment


          • #6
            WildandWickedWarmbloods raised some important questions. I have personal experience with this, as one of my horses is under a free lease. I used the standard lease paperwork freely available on equine.com (all sorts of agreements are available here).

            I was able to add other terms to the lease. For my situation, we agreed that any normal medical and farrier costs were to be covered by the lessee, but any major medical decisions would be decided by me. My horse is covered under the farm's insurance policy because he is being used in a lesson program. So far, we've had the agreement in place for 2 years and no issues. We both have a copy of the agreement just in case anything should happen.

            Definitely discuss any possible issues/situations with the lessee and include those in the lease agreement if they aren't in the standard agreement. You never know what may happen...
            My May boys: Beau , Neon, Criss

            Comment


            • #7
              The free leases I have seen-- most of the time leasee pays all base expenses (farrier, dewormer, vaccines, stitches, scratched eyes, initial lameness exam etc.) Owner makes major treatment decisions and generally takes horse back after 30 days notice if not earlier should horse become injured/ unsound.

              Comment


              • #8
                The free lease I took on is pretty hazy. It was handshake deal on a 20+ year old horse. We agreed that I was responsible for pretty much everything. We agreed that in the event of a major/catastrophic injury such as founder or colic, he'd be put down and we agreed that I wasn't to sell or otherwise rehome him without her consent. He's just a pasture puff, really.
                Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                Incredible Invisible

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                • #9
                  A free lease is all about what you agree upon. Every one I've known, the leasee paid for ALL base care (board, shoes, annual vet visits, etc.). However, if you'll still be riding the pony sometimes, I think your earlier statement is fair.
                  Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks for the responses. I have verbally agreed to pay annual veterinary and farrier expenses, so I will honor my word on that. I have also received quotes on insurance. It looks like a $5000 MM/M policy is going to be about $350 for the YEAR so I don't mind covering that as well. Is $5000 coverage enough?

                    A contract is in the works!

                    ETA: I can get up to $15000 MM for only $780 annual premium. Is more MM the way to go?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LEL View Post
                      Thanks for the responses. I have verbally agreed to pay annual veterinary and farrier expenses, so I will honor my word on that. I have also received quotes on insurance. It looks like a $5000 MM/M policy is going to be about $350 for the YEAR so I don't mind covering that as well. Is $5000 coverage enough?

                      A contract is in the works!

                      ETA: I can get up to $15000 MM for only $780 annual premium. Is more MM the way to go?
                      I think the answer to this question is simply your own personal comfort level. For instance, a horse requiring surgery or a hospital stay is going to be close to or over the 5K limits really quickly.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Well she is leased out. Thanks to a generous COTHer, I had a wonderful contract to edit to fit my needs. The only part of the process that gave me a sick feeling was the removal of the "Replacement" clause. The lessee did not want to sign because the lessee did not feel they were responsible for replacing the value of the horse in the event of euthanasia. Not a deal breaker, but definitely not ideal. The mare is insured now and I am praying nothing happens to her in the next year.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LEL View Post
                          Well she is leased out. Thanks to a generous COTHer, I had a wonderful contract to edit to fit my needs. The only part of the process that gave me a sick feeling was the removal of the "Replacement" clause. The lessee did not want to sign because the lessee did not feel they were responsible for replacing the value of the horse in the event of euthanasia. Not a deal breaker, but definitely not ideal. The mare is insured now and I am praying nothing happens to her in the next year.
                          LEL, I hope it all works out for you. I can sympathize with the sick feeling. It's good that you got insurance coverage.

                          I am currently letting someone free lease one of my mares that she bred to her stallion. (Foal is due this month.) She is responsible for replacing the value of the mare in the event that the mare dies due to her negligence. I has another mare that she was interested in leasing, but she was not comfortable signing due to that clause. (That mare was twice as much and she was going to be away a week or two on vacation at some point.) I did not allow her to lease that mare without that stipulation in the contract.
                          Mary/New Horizons Haflinger Sport Horses
                          Standing Stellar TVR, 2013 N.A. Stallion Testing/lifetime licensed WE, RPSI, AWS, AHR
                          www.newhorizonshaflingers.com

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