Free Lease or training rides in West Michigan... Is that a thing??

I’m an intermediate, young adult (am I still considered young?? :cool: 28yrs old) hunter/jumper rider. I rode and showed the local C circuit when I was younger but just got back into riding about 18 months ago. I’m wondering if there is a forum or website where I can find information about low cost leases or someone who may need some training hacks for their horse a couple of days a week. I take lessons at a show barn so anyone who needs extra rides for their horse has to go to the trainers.
I know in our sport you’ve gotta pay to ride, and I’m planing on half leasing a horse from my barn this fall. But in the meantime I thought I’d check to see if this sort of thing existed. Or if not, if anyone had any suggestions. While I’m a h/j I’m open to any English riding. I truly believe that having a solid flat foundation is the key to being a successful jumper (but that’s another forum;)).
I really just want to ride, improve my strength and become a better horsewoman.

Thanks in advance!!!

Could you ask the trainer’s if they need lesson horses hacked? That could be a possibility of free rides. You can occasionally find a free lease but they can be rare. Check Facebook horse groups and Craigslist for your area or state. A lot of opportunities are given through word of mouth. If you know a farrier in the area you can ask him/her.

I would work that angle through your current barn. Fig’s suggestion is a good one, You can also mention to your trainer that you’re interested in hacking - maybe he or she knows someone who has a horse that needs some exercise.

Unless you’re a pro, I would not refer to it as ‘training hacks’. Just ‘hacks’ is fine. Training might have the connotation that you are expecting to be paid.

Your best bet is to work through people you know and have seen you ride. I would be skeptical of letting a stranger ride my horse unless they were highly recommended by someone I trusted.

When I was in your shoes, I just started hanging around the barn after my lesson and watching other people’s lessons. Eventually the trainers realized I was really interested and started asking me if I would like to hack the school horses who didn’t get ridden that day.

One last thing…trainers aren’t really keen on having their clients ride at multiple locations.

On Off Course there is a Horseless Rider, Riderless Horse Thread up top. You can post there.

In my experience, most lesson/boarding barns have a hundred people who all want to ride for free. If you’re truly skilled and experienced, and can do a better flat ride than the other 99, your trainer should be able to find you some hacking opportunities.
Another avenue, if there are several skilled riders at your barn all looking for rides, is to ‘advertise’ yourself to the ‘private farm’ owners. In my area, there are fewer tradtional boarding barns, and more small private farms, some offering board to 2-3 others. These seldom have in-house trainers, and many of the owners/boarders are ammie adults who might not have time to ride Dobbin 6x/week.
Personally I let a local college student come hack with me. I have enough horses that it was nice to have one get a hack a few days a week, and sometimes we went out trail riding, which I prefer to do with company. I didn’t let her ride my horses without me there, and I wouldn’t likely take that risk unless it was a pro I was very comfortable with. But she got to ride 1-3 times a week, and it gave me a chance to get more horses worked. It was a win-win for both of us. To find something like that, the local FB page, flyers at local feed and tack stores, and word of mouth, are your friends.