Questions To Ask When Leasing A Horse

Last Updated on February 5, 2022 by Urska

Leasing is a great option for both seasoned and new horse owners alike. For a multitude of reasons, purchasing a horse might not be an ideal option at this point in your life. But even without the immense commitment of purchasing a horse, leasing can still be a large expense and major obligation. If a possible lease is in your future, check out these 8 important questions to ask when leasing a horse:

Most Common Questions to Ask When Leasing a Horse

1. What is your Reasoning?

Although this seems like an obvious one, it is important to ask yourself why you want to lease a horse. Thoroughly understanding the motive behind a lease will help you determine what type of lease will best suit you. Some exhibitors may be looking for an “upgraded” show mount for a single show year, while another rider may have a temporary residence and is not in a situation to make a lifelong commitment. Many parents opt for leasing programs (with an option to buy, yes, like a house!) for their children. Your specific needs will help pinpoint the type of horse and contract right for your personal situation.

What is your Reasoning to lease a Horse

2. What is “Inside” vs “Outside”?

Many expenses can be considered “inside” or “outside” lease expenses. This means the inside costs are within the least and the leaser is responsible for paying these expenses. Outside costs are expenses that will typically fall on the actual owner. Determining these inside and outside costs will better assist in budgeting and financial management of your new horse.

3. What is the Cost Split of Expenses in Horse Leasing?

Once inside and outside costs are determined, the contract should clearly state the split of expenses. Some owners will split the cost of inside and/or outside expenses. If a horse is an on-site lease only, meaning the owner requires boarding at their current or personal facility, they may offer to split the cost of the board. If a major unforeseen health issue arises that the leaser is not responsible for causing, the owner may take care of veterinary expenses or split the cost. This is an important area to pay attention to, especially if there is a major health issue that pops up. It may lead to major vet bills on a horse you don’t own if the contract states all vet bills are split or on the leaser!

Read more about How Much Does it Cost to Lease a Horse

4. Lease Length: Is the Lease Renewable?

A lease needs to have a specific start and end date both parties agree to. If there is a chance you may want to re-up a lease or maybe even purchase the horse, this needs to be included in the contract. It can be heartbreaking to fall in love with a horse and not have the ability to buy him/her or renew the lease contract. In the same breath, it is important to note what happens if a lease is broken by either party.

Lease Length - Is the Lease Renewable

5. What is Considered a Maintenance Expense you are Responsible for?

Most leases will require the leaser to cover regular maintenance expenses. This can include farrier, deworming, grooming products, etc. However, some horses require specialty shoes that may cost hundreds of dollars each trim. It is important to clarify what maintenance expenses are and if they are split, or how much they typically total. Some contracts will also require you to use specific feeds, de-wormer brands, farriers, or vets. Budget accordingly.

6. Who is Reviewing the Contract when Leasing a Horse?

Are you reading the contract and signing away? Or is your trainer assisting you? We recommend paying the small fee and have an attorney review any lease contract prior to signing. We also recommend both parties sign at a notary for documentation purposes. An attorney can help locate missing information or expense splits, as well as correctional actions.

7.  Is there a Trial Period?

Even with a leased horse, trial periods can save you a headache later on. Trials will allow you to spend time with a horse on your terms and see if there is a bond or working relationship between a horse and rider.

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8. Are there Restrictions for Horse Usage?

Some leases do not allow horses to be used at the leaser’s disposal. For example, leasing a broodmare (for breeding purposes) would require additional terms and conditions. Some owners do not want their horses in competition, while others may only lease out for competition purposes! The contract should clearly address any restrictions. If you are an avid trail rider or travel for dressage shows, it’s important to ensure the owner allows travel. Some owners may require an insurance policy to be taken out on the horse if frequently traveling.

Final Thoughts

Leasing is a big decision! For more information on leasing or the projected costs, click here. If you have friends with horses, be sure to share this article!

What does half lease a horse mean?

Half lease agreements are typically used when the horse owner wants to split the costs of horse care and riding time with a person who is leasing the horse. Horse owners can also choose to have their horse boarded at a boarding facility, where the horse stays overnight. There are several benefits to horse leasing, including: A horse leasing contract can help to reduce the cost of owning a horse. Horse leasing may be an option for people who are having financial troubles. If the lease payment is large enough, the cost of caring for the horse can be covered by the monthly fee. The lease fee can be used to cover the cost of horse boarding if the owner does not want to board the horse at the leasing company’s facility. Some people lease their horses out to professional riding instructors. This way, the owner gets a percentage of the fee as a lease payment, while the riding instructor receives a percentage of the fee as a riding instructor’s fee.

Do you need your own tack when you lease a horse?

That will depend on your lease agreement. Some leases include the tack while some others require you to provide your own. Some leases also include the extra payment for the farrier care while some leases only require you to pay for the farrier care if the horse is being leased as a show horse. If you are not sure about the leasing process, then it is a good idea to ask the horse owner about the terms and conditions that he will use. The owner of the horse will be able to give you more information about the leasing process as well . 

Is leasing a horse a good idea?

Leasing a horse is a very different thing than buying a horse. When you buy a horse, you are making an investment in a horse that you are going to be responsible for. When you lease a horse, you are not paying for a horse, but rather paying for the time and care that the horse needs. When you lease a horse, you are not going to have the same responsibilities that you would if you bought a horse.
There is a large market for equine leasing. Many of these horses are young, untrained, and need the extra time and care that a training stable provides. If you have the time and patience, horse leasing can be a good way to give yourself more time to do what you love without breaking your bank account. However, there are risks and downsides to horse leasing, so you should only consider leasing a horse if you know what you are getting into.

What do you pay for when leasing a horse?

You’ve likely heard about the perils of horse ownership. Even if you don’t have the time, money, or resources to be a horse owner, it’s still important to be informed. Whether you’re considering buying or leasing a horse, knowing the costs associated with ownership can help you decide which horse to buy or which horse to lease.
Normally the cost of a full lease for one year will be somewhere around 25 to 30 percent of the total value of the horse. That means that you will pay around $4,000 per year of leasing a horse worth $15,000.