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Questions About Leasing Horses

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  • Questions About Leasing Horses

    Hello all,

    Recently, like many others in these economic times, my purse strings have tightened, and I have been batting the idea around of leasing some of my horses to help with the costs of their maintenance.

    I have had some interest already from individuals I know who may be suitable candidates, but having never leased a horse before (either for myself or to someone else), I was wondering what sort of things are typical in and what should I most definitely include in a leasing agreement?

    I'm not interested in making money on the lease, so I guess you would consider them a "free lease," but the lessee would be responsible for their board, vet, farrier, etc - that is normal, correct?

    Currently, my horses are kept at my home where I have no training facilities really to speak of, so they would be off-farm leases at pre-approved locations. One of my main concerns is with the boarding barn agreement where the horses might be boarded during the lease, and I'm thinking of having the barn owner sign the lease also, so that they are also aware of the lease terms. I would also like to include some sort of clause that states if the boarder/lessee gets behind in board/vet/farrier/etc payments, that I will not be held liable, and that my horse cannot be seized for lack of payment on their part. Has anyone done this before?

    Also, one of the horses I may be leasing is a stallion, who would be on lease only to individuals I know and who are able to handle and ride him - it would not be a breeding lease. Is there anything different that should be included in an agreement should he find a lessee?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!
  • Original Poster

    #2
    *bump* anyone?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by starlitlaughter View Post
      Hello all,

      One of my main concerns is with the boarding barn agreement where the horses might be boarded during the lease, and I'm thinking of having the barn owner sign the lease also, so that they are also aware of the lease terms. I would also like to include some sort of clause that states if the boarder/lessee gets behind in board/vet/farrier/etc payments, that I will not be held liable, and that my horse cannot be seized for lack of payment on their part. Has anyone done this before?
      I had such a clause in my lease for Spy.
      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).

      Comment


      • #4
        I've been doing a lot of research recently into leasing, only I would be on the other side of it. I think these lines sum up what you're talking about in respect to someone not paying board for your horse:

        Covenant Not to Encumber

        Lessee agrees not to encumber said horse with any lien, charge, or related claim and to hold Lessor harmless therefrom.


        I would also add that you should give a lot of thought to what you would like to happen in a worst case scenario. What if your horse colics and requires surgery? What if they begin to show symptoms of an under lying illness that's been going on for a while? What happens if you visit the horse and see that its lost a lot of weight and you want the lease to end?

        I don't want to scare you off of leasing as I think it can be win/win if it all works out, its just good to have a plan. In my case I've found that its worked to have the owner come up with a monetary value of the horse. I then insure the horse I'm leasing up to its monetary value. If the horse needs anything other than routine vet care I cover it through insurance up to the predetermined amount, its the owner's choice to pay for more treatment after that. The decision for treatment is in the owner's hands therefore there has to be a limit to how much the leasee is financially responsible. There are also clauses in the lease agreement to state that the lessor is allowed to visit horse and if he/she determines horse is not being properly cared for they can warn the leasee once and if the problem isn't fixed horse can be taken back.

        I would give the boarding barns a copy of the lease agreement to have but involving a third party to sign the lease just seems to be making it more complicated and asking for trouble. JMHO though.

        Comment


        • #5
          I know that some people will do this type of a boarding contract, but in the past I have always required both the owner of the horse and the person leasing the horse to sign the boarding contract and I never have given up my right to put a lien on a horse for unpaid bills. Barn owners just don't have much leverage to get bills paid compared to other creditors.

          I'm not set in stone about this...for a longterm client I think I would be negotiable...but if the person leasing the horse abandoned it, at the end of the day I've been feeding, shoeing and taking care of YOUR horse. You can go after the person who leased the horse from you to get your money back, but I don't feel like having to do it.

          I think that one option would be for you to have a clause in your lease contract that automatically terminated the lease as soon as any bills for the horse became overdue. Then, you could also be included in the boarding contract and for it to specify that you needed to be notified immediately if the person leasing the horse became behind on any of their bills. This would at least limit your monetary risk.

          Comment


          • #6
            What I would do, is have the lease money paid to you and then pay the board & bills yourself.

            Example:
            Board is $400 per month
            Shoeing is $120 every 6 weeks
            Vet is $500 a year
            $6380 for the year / 12 months
            Full lease is $550 a month (little extra to cover your time)
            OR you can do 2 half leases for $275 per.
            "The Friesian syndrome... a mix between Black Beauty disease and DQ Butterfly farting ailment." Alibi_18

            Comment


            • #7
              One question about the stallion.
              Is he worth breeding? If not why is he not a gelding already. They live longer
              "The Friesian syndrome... a mix between Black Beauty disease and DQ Butterfly farting ailment." Alibi_18

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Vindicated View Post
                What I would do, is have the lease money paid to you and then pay the board & bills yourself.

                Example:
                Board is $400 per month
                Shoeing is $120 every 6 weeks
                Vet is $500 a year
                $6380 for the year / 12 months
                Full lease is $550 a month (little extra to cover your time)
                OR you can do 2 half leases for $275 per.
                That MIGHT be workable if the horse is at the same facility as you are. But even then, what happens if board goes up?

                And what if vet bills are significantly more or less than $500?

                But I don't see how it will work if the horse is at a different barn. You would have to show up at every shoeing and every vet visit to pay. (My vet and farrier expect payment at time of service. They don't bill execept in very unusual circumstances).

                If the person leasing defaults on the board bill (or vet or farrier), I will come and remove the horse. But there is no way I will permit the barn owner to put a lien on MY horse due to someone else's failure to pay their bill. Neither of the people leasing Spy had any difficulties finding a barn to board him under those terms.
                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).

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you lease the two key issues are: 1) find someone who thinks like you do and whose judgment you trust and 2) put everything and I mean EVERYTHING in writing.

                  Sharing your horse: The Ps and Qs of Free Leases
                  Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                  EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Send Curb Appeal a private message, I know she had a clause in her free lease on her old gelding.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Make sure you have a clause in your contract that allows you to end the lease at any time for any reason without notice. This clause saved my butt when I had to terminate the lease of my horse.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thank you to everyone who has replied - there's a lot of good information here for me to work with.

                        Bogie - that is a great link, I appreciate the help!

                        The "covenant not to encumber" clause is something I was really looking for, I just didn't know what it was called - thanks, Marengo! My issue is, if someone defaulted on their bill, I am not in a position to bail them out - otherwise, I would not be leasing in the first place.

                        Also, I don't plan to let them go very far away from me (a couple hours at most, and only to people I either a) know or b) have impeccable references), is there anything I should include about them going out of state for the lease, which is a high probability at this point?

                        I've heard all the horror stories about leasing, and I'm trying to cover all bases so that I can try very hard to avoid being in a bad situation.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The most important thing is to have good communications and shared expectations between lessor and lessee. That way, the written contract primariily serves as a reminder of "this is what we agreed to".

                          Relying on the lease contract to actually enforce behavior is likely to be an expensive exercise in futility.
                          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).

                          Comment

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