Asking for a partial or full refund on a month of a partial lease?

I’d like some thoughts on this, trying to determine if this is a reasonable thing to expect or request.

I am partial leasing a horse. So far, I’ve only been able to ride him one or two days this month due to multiple short-term soundness related issues. One thing would get fixed, then something else would happen. Hopefully he is rideable for my days starting next week.

The owner and I have no contract or formal agreement in place regarding this type of situation.

Is it unreasonable to ask for a partial or full refund for this month, depending on how the next couple weeks ago?

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I suppose you can ask, but I would not expect the answer to be yes.
If you have a very generous horse owner they might give you a refund.

This is a situation where a clear contract would help both the horse owner and the person leasing. Why not take this opportunity to get all the terms in writing so everyone knows what will happen moving forward.


Unfortunately, this is part of owing/leasing horses. I would not ask or expect a refund. However, if this issue continued to occur then I would likely attribute it to either bad horse management or simply horse health issues and end the lease.


agree with Always. This may be a sign that the management or the overall soundness of the horse does not support the level of use.

with no contract you can try, but I suspect this is the sign the situation is not durable. It sounds like you would be better off taking lessons with a trainer with a good schoolie.


I guess the two above posters have more history than I do. I would not assume poor care unless this problem was happening regularly. If you have had months of no problems and then this month little things keep popping up, I would call it horse ownership. Horses seem to enjoy ruining all of our plans.


I would not ask for a refund of a month paid in advance. Especially when you have no written agreement about how things are supposed to work.

Time to get that done… or not, if the horse doesn’t seem to be working out, then end the association. If you really like the horse then let the owner know you’re willing to try again if the soundness issues are resolved. And get it in writing this time.


I am in an almost identical situation and I will not be asking for a refund. We do have a lease agreement, and honestly they would oblige if I asked but the whole arrangement is agreeing to share that risk. So I think even if you can get money back, IMHO it sort of violates the spirit of the agreement.


I think you need to decide if you want to continue the lease. Not a situation a refund would be usual. Because well … horses


Thanks for the input everyone! I was leaning towards not saying anything but someone else at the barn implied I should. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t being overly forgiving or something by not requesting any sort of refund.


I guess you could ask but I would seriously doubt the owner would comply. The costs of keeping the horse are the same whether it is ridable or not that week and I would assume your cost of leasing covers more than just riding.

Welcome to the wonderful world of horses!

Hopefully his soundness issues are resolved for good. If not you may want to look elsewhere for the future.

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I wouldn’t expect a refund.

But it would be reasonable to cancel the lease until the horse is consistently sound.


Being unable to ride due to short term lameness issues (abcess, hot nail, pasture mishap, etc.) is a normal part of horse involvement and I wouldn’t expect any sort of refund, especially without a contract explicitly addressing these sorts of downtimes.

A wealthy, benevolent owner might take pity on you, but a lease is almost never a pass to get all the benefits of horses without any of the negatives. It’s about spreading the costs and ensuring the horse gets the work it needs, and not having the lessor break the lease because they can’t ride for two weeks ( NOT saying this is what you’re doing.)

If the current reality of the contractless lease is unacceptable, then you should give 30 days’ notice to end the agreement.


I have a part Leaser and if this was to happen, I’d offer her a ride on a different horse (though obviously many couldn’t do that) or I’d do a partial refund.
But I’d have offered immediately. So the fact that it wasn’t offered means to me that you probably aren’t going to get any sort of refund.

In a full lease situation, you usually never get a refund. But a part lease can be a tricky situation


Something to consider… it the horse does have ongoing soundness issues it is quite likely the owner took this into consideration when pricing the horse. You may already be paying less than than the going rate to be leasing a serviceably sound animal.


Before asking, decide if you are willing to end the lease. If my part boarder asked for a refund after one month of minor issues, I would refund on the spot. I would also inform them that the lease was not working, and that they should commence their search as the horse is no longer available to them.


I’ve always relied upon the generosity of people to part-lease their horses in the kind of informal, month-to-month situations you’ve described. One thing to consider is that the owner has probably had pretty significant vet bills with an unsound horse. Not only isn’t there anything in writing saying you’re owed a refund if the horse isn’t sound, but unless you’re paying a hefty lease fee, probably the owner won’t be very sympathetic that she’s dealing with a horse she owns who is has been unsound and unrideable, and that she’s responsible for whether he can be ridden or not.

However, if this becomes a significant issue in the future, since it is just a lease, not a horse you own, I’d have a think about whether you want to continue with it, if the horse continues to have issues. Make sure to discuss with the owner well in advance so she can plan financially for the loss of the fee.

The only time I’ve seen compensation for a leased and unsound horse was at barns that leased as part of a “program,” where the horse would be leased to a rider for say, three days a week, for one lesson and two days of hacking. Sometimes the owner/trainer would allow the student use of another horse she owned for the lesson day (without charging a fee), but that was in her financial interest (so she didn’t lose income for the lesson).

This. I have a horse part-leased at the moment who’s been sidelined with an abscess the past few weeks. (I’m the owner.) My agreement makes it explicitly clear that the horse was accepted “as-is” at the start of the agreement and I made no warranty as to long-term soundness or performance. My lessee has been more than kind and understanding, and of course, I’ve been without the ride on him either. He’s back in work this week, and yes, the lost time is a bummer, but not something that means I refund them or that they’re entitled to ask.




I honestly can’t believe this question got asked.

Maybe you could ask for a refund if the weather is too hot to ride, too? Or if the arena footing wasn’t right? Or if your car broke down? Or if your trainer couldn’t make it for a lesson?

If this horse is not consistently sound, you terminate the lease. You don’t nickle and dime the owner. @chestnutmarebeware nailed it. Between stuff like this, and blatant disrespect for my very expensive equipment, I’ve always ended up regretting my shareboards I’ve allowed on my horse.


I have also always thought that one of the perhaps small advantages of a lease for an owner is that if the horse is unsound and the owner genuinely can’t be at the barn every day, the lease rider can at least take over some of the daily care. When I leased and the horse was unsound for riding, I’d always go on my lease days to do any cold-hosing, medication treatment, grazing, send a photo of progress, because the owner couldn’t be there on “my” days.