Lease or Buy – Important Considerations

Creative Commons License photo credit: Wouter de Bruijn

Are you considering buying your first horse?  Before you sign on the dotted line there may be other options to consider!  Leasing a quality animal is often an overlooked option.

 Lease or Buy?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Can I dedicate the necessary time to the horse?
  • Do I have the financial means to support a horse?
  • Can I afford to purchase a horse?

If you answer “NO” to any one of these questions then leasing may be an option for you.

Full Lease vs Part Lease

When considering leasing a horse there are two main options to consider.  A full lease means that you as the leasee have full rights to the horse.  This is important as the day to day care of the horse is your responsibility and the financial considerations that are associated with it. 

A  part lease option is when you share your horse with another person.  During a shared lease the riders are scheduled to ride on certain days of the week.  This options offers opportunities to people who are able to ride on a regular basis but for only a couple a days per week.  Likewise horse owners often offer leases to others if they are busy and unable to ride the horse on a regular basis.

 Lease Terms -Things to Include

When leasing have an idea of  what things you will be responsible for.  Veterinary care, board, riding 3 days per week, an other expenses should be outlined.  The length of the lease should also be identified.  Wheather it is 6 months, a year (or longer) or even month to month each should be outlined. DSC_0153-1Creative Commons License photo credit: genewolf

A free lease means that the owner will lease you the horse and you cover the cost of the board and general care, lessons and other maintenance items.  For a pleasure horse the usual cost is the price of the board.  If you want to get some show ring experience and want to show a seasoned show horse, be prepared to pay significantly higher monthly lease fee PLUS the cost of board, lessons, and show expenses.

How to Find a Horse to Lease

Looking for a horse to lease?  The best place to start is with your instructor or coach.  If you are currently taking lessons contact your instructor to see if there are horses suitable for you to lease right at your own stable.  Local classifieds and on line bulletin boards often have “horses for lease” options. 

Every one has heard of a situation that has gone bad, or a person that leased a horse that was totally unsuitable.  Make sure that there is a clause in the lease to prevent you from being held responsible for unsavory situations.

Have an experience you would like to share?  Let me know about it.

About Laura

Laura Kelland-May is the founder of Thistle Ridge Skill Builders Development Program. She more than trains horses, she trains people to train their horses. In addition she is a Sr. Judge and can offer insight into What the Judge Is Looking For. Follow her here and get more tips.
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