Owning a horse can be an amazing experience but sometimes it just isn’t the right fit for your life right now. Money and commitment come into play when thinking of owning a horse. Read on to learn some advantages to leasing a horse instead.
WHAT DOES LEASING A HORSE INVOLVE?
Leasing a horse is basically renting a horse. You don’t own them, but you can ride and care for them part-time. Leases typically involve paying the owner a small amount or paying all the horse’s care costs in exchange for getting to ride them.
There are a few key things to think about when creating or signing a lease:
- Who is responsible for monthly expenses such as board, farrier, vet, worming, training, feed, etc
- Is the horse insured and who pays for the insurance?
- Are you allowed to take the horse off property?
- Can you show the horse?
With a full lease, a rider generally assumes responsibility for a horse for a fee. In most cases, she also pays some to all of his board either at the barn where his owner normally keeps him or elsewhere as well as the cost of routine farrier visits and veterinary care. In return, she gets unrestricted use. A full lease usually does not specify when or how much a horse may be ridden nor does it limit access for competitions and shows.
In the case of a partial lease, you agree to cover a portion of a horse’s expenses usually half of his board at the barn where he resides in exchange for a certain, usually proportional, amount of riding time. The horse’s owner pays the balance of the bills and continues to have a role in his care and use. Sometimes referred to as a half lease or share lease, this arrangement generally requires ongoing contact between owner and rider to avoid conflicts, especially with regard to scheduling riding and training times and participating in competitions and clinics.
YOU DON’T HAVE THE TIME TO CARE FOR A HORSE
If you work a lot, have a family, have a lot of commitments, or just plain don’t have much time, leasing or partial leasing may be the right thing for you. Horses require a lot of time, energy and money so if you don’t have time available, leasing can provide you with a horse part time while someone else takes care of the horse.
YOU DON’T HAVE MONEY TO OWN A HORSE
Owning a horse can get expensive. Between the monthly cost, training for horse and rider, miscellaneous expenses, and keeping up an emergency fund for the inevitable time that your horse gets hurt, the costs add up quickly. If you don’t have the money for horse ownership but would like more freedom and ride time than just lessons, leasing is a great next step.
YOU NEED A HORSE WITH MORE EXPERIENCE THAN YOU CAN AFFORD TO BUY
If you are progressing up the levels and want a more experienced horse, buying one can be unexpectedly expensive. Many high level horses are far too expensive to purchase. Leasing one could cost you a couple hundred dollars a month and teach you enough to become a better rider.
YOU ARE LOOKING TO BUY BUT DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT YET
If you would like to purchase a horse, but aren’t sure what you want or haven’t found the right fit yet, then leasing is a great first step. If you find the perfect horse while leasing, you could end up in a lease to buy situation as well. Leasing can allow you to ride different types of horses to see what you like too. You may find that you like how a certain breed or size of horse rides versus what you believed before riding them.
YOU WANT A CONSISTENT RIDE
If you are tired of your lesson horse changing and having to change your riding style, you can keep things consistent by leasing a horse. If you do a partial or full lease, you can consistently ride the same horse, which will likely help you progress in your riding.
If you are trying to decide between leasing and buying, leasing can give you a taste of ownership without the commitment. Also read.