Hi - used to post here a bit and lurk a lot. Got out of riding for a while and I’m getting back into it. Kind of cool to see some old familiar user names on here as I scrolled through. Lost my password so I made a new account.
I have the opportunity to half lease a horse who is in a great training program with a very awesome trainer. The program/board is quite expensive, so there’s a fair bit of money involved even in just half leasing. I’m fine with the cost. There are some things in the contract that make me uncomfortable.
The owner wants me to pay half of the board (totally fine), and half of: farrier, teeth, vet visits other than “major” medical, injections, clipping, blanket maintenance. The owner will have full control of any vet decisions, I will be paying half the bill.
The half lease is for a 6 month term. As I said, it is not a small amount of money by any means for half the board (I don’t want to get too specific but it’s over $1000). There is a clause in the contract that says that if the horse becomes unrideable due to illness or lameness, after 60 consecutive days of the horse being lame/ill, I can then give 30 days’ notice to be released from the contract. In signing this, I could potentially be paying for an unrideable horse for 90 days. And according to the contract, the owner can terminate the lease at any time for any reason with no notice.
There are some other things in the contract that make me uncomfortable: I’m to pay for damages to the saddle (I will not be the only one using the saddle and it’s already damaged), “major medical” is not defined by a dollar amount. Additionally, she wanted me to pay for the whole month of October despite starting the lease several days into the month.
When I asked the owner some questions about this, I get vague or defensive replies.
How much do his injections cost? “They cost whatever the vet charges based on what injections he gets at that time.”
I’m uncomfortable potentially paying thousands of dollars for an unrideable horse if there’s an injury or problem, can we shorten the length of time I’m obligated to keep half leasing an unrideable horse? “This is a VERY generous lease. All the lease contracts I’ve seen wouldn’t let you out at all.”
So, more experienced horse people of COTH: are these red flags or am I being silly?