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How does one lease one's horse?

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  • How does one lease one's horse?

    Because of school and a lack of both time and money, I'm trying to find someone to lease Lulu. I asked the BO this past weekend to maybe mention it to some of her lesson girls, and she said there were a couple she had in mind who might be a good fit.

    So, assuming it does work out, what's next? How do I make sure it's a good fit and troubleshoot potential problems? Should I ask to see her ride in a lesson? I just don't know what steps I should take to make sure my bases are covered.

    Also, if neither of these girls work out, what's the best way to market a horse for lease? What information are people looking for in a lease ad?

    Any help would be appreciated. This is entirely new territory and I'm a little apprehensive.
    Roo & Lulu

  • #2
    I have been on both sides of a lease.

    When I had a horse to lease out (full lease) I ran it very much like selling a horse. I put adsa and notices everywhere. The one that came through was in my samll animal vet's waiting room.

    Just like selling, first we discussed the horse, his strengths and weaknesses, and ther rider's strengths and weaknesses,and what she was lookng for. I had a video to send out, and pictures.

    First I rode the horse to show what he could do, then she rode him. Before the lease started, I insisted on a PPE. The terms of the lease said that I was responsible for any vet bills and supplement costs related to pre existing conditions (in his case, primariky arthritis) and they were responsible for vet bills for anything that was not a pre existing condition (with some limitations). So the PPE was to protect them by clearly identifying the pre existing conditions.

    We discussed terms and conditions, and I wrote up a contract, whihc we both signed.

    The second time I leased him out (first girl got too big) it was by word of mouth, within a week of him coming home, but did the same process.

    On the other hand, when I was the one leasing, the owner was my vet, and she already knew me well enough, she just sent the horse over (a total of 3 different horses over about 5 or 6 years). There was no written agreement, but we were in frequent communication.

    The key to a sucessful lease is to make sure that everyone agrees on the expectations, and that there is good communications so that when something (anything) changes, you are all on top of it.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

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    • #3
      Very carefully! We leased out a horse to a "friend". Poor guy came back lame (threw a shoe on cross country, came up lame, she showed him the next day in show jumping anyway because "otherwise she wasted her entry fee"), lost 150 pounds and terrified of the world! We saw pictures of her at the show (cross country) yanking on his face over jumps (he's an ex-steeplechaser, fox hunter...just point and shoot.) Went to pick him up the next weekend! We will only lease him on property from now on. It's taken three months to get him back to where he was before he left!

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      • #4
        My pony just left for a lease today. I answered an ad in the giveaways forum. We emailed back and forth for a week or so, she gave me references (and i did check them!). She also was from an area I was familiar with and just by talking to her we knew of several of the same people (ex the trainer who taught her trainer is my best friend's current trainer). She will be taking him to a series of shows i am VERY familiar with (showed the series from 1995-2006). So i felt comfortable there. He will be a walk trot pony for a beginner with her older daughter doing tune ups. He's a very steady guy who's been used for beginner lessons so they'd have to work pretty hard to mess him up and i got good vibes from them so I doubt they will (not saying it couldn't be done though!). I had what I felt was a very tight lease contract and required them to carry mortality insurance on him. They also decided to carry medical insurance as a just in case. This is a free lease so I am requiring them to pay for all vet and farrier care (he has no pre-existing conditions).

        In the past I have done in the barn leases. In those situations i did it on a month by month basis and the rider HAD to take lessons with my trainer so I knew my horse would be taken care of and ridden correctly. If they wanted to move barns fine, great, the horse stays. In those situations I asked for board and farrier to be covered. I covered supplements and routine vet. I never had a written contract with those b/c in my trainer's barn his word was law, the care givers didn't change, and since it was month to month i could cancel the lease essentially at any time.
        Donatello - 12.2hh, 9 year old, pony gelding
        April - 14.3hh, 14 year old, TB Mare
        Ella - 12hh, 4 year old, pony mare

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        • #5
          I'm gonna be a little more positive (maybe) but it will depend on your relationship with your BO. I have half leased horses -- always to other riders in my barn who already rode with my trainer. Because my trainer was involved, I didn't worry about much at all. We had contracts, but since my trainer was involved and the person leasing the horse was under my trainer's instruction, it was pretty low stress.

          Make sure you state who is responsible for routine vet care, emergency vet care, and shoes and board and training. If it's a half lease, make sure riding amounts or days are set. Consider insuring the horse and it's probably easier to pay for the insurance yourself and then fold that cost into the lease fee.

          Having an in-barn lease overseen by a trainer (or BO in this case) who you trust does make things much easier, I think.
          Originally posted by tidy rabbit
          Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ExJumper View Post
            I'm gonna be a little more positive (maybe) but it will depend on your relationship with your BO. I have half leased horses -- always to other riders in my barn who already rode with my trainer. Because my trainer was involved, I didn't worry about much at all. We had contracts, but since my trainer was involved and the person leasing the horse was under my trainer's instruction, it was pretty low stress.

            Make sure you state who is responsible for routine vet care, emergency vet care, and shoes and board and training. If it's a half lease, make sure riding amounts or days are set. Consider insuring the horse and it's probably easier to pay for the insurance yourself and then fold that cost into the lease fee.

            Having an in-barn lease overseen by a trainer (or BO in this case) who you trust does make things much easier, I think.
            I agree. Also state in your contract whether or not the leasee can take the horse off the property without your permission.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by indygirl2560 View Post
              I agree. Also state in your contract whether or not the leasee can take the horse off the property without your permission.
              Yup.

              Our contract stated that she could take the horse to off-site shows as long as she remained under my trainer's care. It worked out well, and I didn't mind the few times she went to unrated shows with my trainer.
              Originally posted by tidy rabbit
              Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have been on both sides of leasing.

                I have also had mixed satisfaction with the folks leasing my horses.

                What I've learned through the experiences includes:

                - Put everything, and I mean everything, in writing. If your horse is off-site and is injured, should they call you when they call the vet? Should you get to choose the vet, farrier, trainer? Do you have any restrictions on what they cannot do (for example, jumping over a certain height?). Who pays for medical issues? How do you handle layups if your horse is injured and out of commission for a period of time?
                - Have a basic soundness exam performed by your vet before your horse leaves your property. That way you have a baseline of soundness that you both agree on.
                - Put in a cancellation clause (for both of you)
                - Will the person leasing your horse use your tack? If so, put in a replacement clause. I had a woman scratch the crap out of my eventing saddle when she fell off and the horse went into the woods. If they are not using your saddle, how do you make sure theirs fits?
                - Specify who can ride your horse if you don't want all their friends taking Bobbin out for a ride. I usually put in the contract that the horse is for the lessor and their trainer, for example.

                Basically, try to think of everything that could go wrong and make a contingency plan. Most of the time you don't get the worst case scenario but it sure is a lot easier to deal with it if you've already discussed (and agreed) how to handle it.

                Here are two posts from my blog that deal with these issues:

                Sharing your horse -- the Ps and Qs of Free leases

                Get it in Writing! The importance of contracts.
                Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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                • #9
                  What others have said, but I'll add...lease VERY CAREFULLY and spell out, ad nauseum, the terms of the agreement in contract form. This should cover what you expect as far a care, veterinary expenses, insurance, etc...and who pays for what and when.

                  The most important thing to have in any written contract is the Termination Clause, wherein you, as the owner, can terminate for any reason without notice. In other business contracts, 30 days is standard, but if you find your horse not being either cared, overworked or having anything else happen to it that is of concern to you for the well-being of your horse, this is a must in lease situations.

                  Of course you also need to stipulate if the lease had been paid beyond the date of termination, you agree to refund it.

                  Last, if it doesn't happen at your barn and you lease offsite, PLEASE make it near enough to you so that you can check on the horse frequently.

                  Many horror stories here...I had one of my own years ago, finding broodmare leased and new foal near death's door due to starvation (by a BNT, btw). If that immediate termination clause had not been in effect, both dam and baby would have been dead by the time we got them.
                  www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                  "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                  Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube

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