How much for a competitive lease?

Hey guys, I’m back and seeking your advice. How much are people paying in New England for a competitive 3’-3’3 lease right now? 3’6? Hunters vs Eq vs Jumpers vs horses that could go any way? Currently doing the whole horse search thing and BOY is it hard. Thanks!

When I say competitive, I don’t mean top 10 JHF material or impressive Big Eq ride. Something that could do it and be safe, quirks ok, doesn’t have to be a perfect saint.

I have a lease horse now and finding one absolutely sucks. I only got my boy because he needs a certain ride and patience. The rule of thumb I’ve always heard is 15-20% of th horses worth for a lease fee and expenses for a full lease.

So a horse that would be sold for 55k is $11k for the year, $900/month. And you cover all expenses. Adjust for half lease or 1/3 lease.

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Not New England, but there’s a real market for the 3’-3’3 horse in My zone (z3). I’d say competitive (ribbons out of 10-20 horses, but maybe not THE winner), safe/sane/sound is $25-40k easy for the 3’ job, maybe 40-50k for the 3’3+ job for a year. It is common rule of thumb lease is 50% of value where I am.

If it has quirks you can typically find one for 5-10k less, depending on extent of said quirk. If you want the winner in zone 3 in the 3’ children’s or adults, you might have to spend more. The hunters here are insane quality :slight_smile:

Not sure about the 1.0 jumper as I’m a hunter gal but I’d venture to guess the same. I realize I’m a bit south of you but I do think our markets tend to be similar.

Anywhere from $40-80k depending on quirks, rideability, record, color, etc.

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Seems similar to where I am. I was paying $20k for my last horse (3’, but he had many many quirks) and now we’re looking for something that is a bit simpler. I believe that up here the lease prices are 1/3 of the sale prices, though. Just hoping for some insight on what the average cost is, and if I can even afford to get the next step up.

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I’m in zone 2 and for what you’re asking there’s a real range.

Quirky/hot 3’ jumper could be $30k or way less, especially if older. (I’ve done it for $500/mo!) Safe and sound 3’ to 3’3 hunter puts you in mid to high fives, depending on how fancy/easy it is. Solid 3’6 hunter or big eq type could be close to 6 figures. A 3’6 jumper packer can be high fives too - maybe less if a TB.

Generally the less expensive types are 1/3 of sale price and pricier ones are 1/2 of sale prices, so looking at sale horses you like and doing that math could help. Prices in general are just crazy now - if you’re flexible on discipline and height, I’d set a budget first and then see what in that range most appeals to you.

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I’m also in zone 3 (not New England but very close price wise) and have junior hunter who is leased right now. I would say the floor is $35K for something competitive at 3’3", not gonna be getting ribbons at JHF but will take the kid around if they don’t make mistakes and get some ribbons. If its an exceptionally hard ride or a hideous mover or something, it could be lower, but that seems to be the bottom, and usually only to “the right situation” at that number. Probably more commonly in the range of 40-50K.

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50% of the value of the horse generally, not 15%.
For a 3’ eq, you would probably be looking at 30K a year and up.
Once you get to 3’3 - I’d say bottom would be 40 anywhere on up to 6 figures.


I’ve heard most often 1/4 - 1/3 value of the horse for a year lease, as high as 50%, either paid in full or divided into monthly payments. Based on the prices on BigEq, you’re looking at $30k+ per year.

I feel like the percentages have creeped up - I’ve been in the lease market a few times and haven’t seen 1/4 of a sales price/value in a while, unless it was an in-barn or friendly trainer-to-trainer deal. 1/3-1/2 much more common, and frequently just big round numbers! Almost nothing to lease below $20 anymore, and lots of people wanted more. I had someone quote me $30k for 6 months on a jumper just to do the .90’s!

Agreed, absolutely, 1/4 isn’t nearly that common anymore, but I have known of it happening when the owner knows the lessee and they have a good relationship. 1/3-1/2 is by far more typical. I can’t think of the last time I heard of only 15%.

$30k for six months! 3’ is that line, though. And people typically make the rate higher for a shorter period of time. A horse at $30k for six months might be $45-50k for a full year.

Gosh, people are asking over 50% for competitive show 3’+ leases in zone 10. Such as $50,000 lease on a $75,000 purchase.


Maybe as incentive to buy instead of lease?

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Yes, people definitely want a premium for the shorter than a year time period. They wanted $30k for 6 months, $50k for a year. I get it, leasing out a horse is a big risk, but safe to say I politely declined that opportunity since I was really just looking for a gap-filler to keep me in the tack while my horse gets over an injury!

$50k lease/$75k sale is definitely an “I’ll only lease it if you really make it worth my while” message!! I read that as someone who really wants to sell. But there is no doubt people have been able to get higher lease prices in recent years.

I get the sense that a lot of sellers are viewing lease options as basically payment plans, so they are frontloading a lot of the price into a high lease fee to encourage eventual purchase.

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Nothing is etched in stone in any transaction, negotiation always comes into play. Where you are, dare I say who you and/ or your trainer are and the specifics of the horse, term of the lease and what both sides want can affect the deal. So its hard to say any public “ standard” exists.

On top of that, advertised prices are just that, advertised prices. Unless you are in the room when the check is signed or see a copy of the wire transfer? Nobody knows what really happened. One side puffs up what they got, the other brags on their negotiation skills in driving down the price…and…we all know… actual cash received can be inflated to boost commission by less savory trainer/agents. As does reducing price if it stays in the barn, sometimes disclosed to outsiders, often not.

Overall everything with horses has gone up, yet another reason to deal only with those you know well and trust. Not just because if a recognizable name

OP never said if they were talking about Hunters or Jumpers. There can be considerable in the price for similar age, condition and level between these.

The 1/3 to 1/2 value thing doesn’t always hold true for the solid gold old packers either. When a horse has 1 or 2 competitive years left, and then likely 10+ years of retirement expenses, you might get a ‘deal’ on buying him because you’re assuming those retirement costs. Whereas, leasing him for his last year or two of showing and then giving him back might be quite expensive.

Absolutely. I full leased a well used 18 year old former Jr Hunter and Eq horse that needed to step
down on a one year contract for about 70% of their sale price…no way I could keep him past that year for various, very solid reasons. But I really needed a bona fide schoolmaster at that point in my riding journey.

This was 25 years ago but still not an unusual arrangement.

15-20 is the general rule I’ve always used because we say you could own the horse in 5 years, but in 5 years you’ll probably want a different horse.

But either way, maybe you pay a little more (a lot more, if what some of you are saying plays out) for not being responsible for the horse for the next 10+ years it lives, especially considering that a competitive show career is a lot of wear and tear.

THIS. I have not seen a lease horse go for less than 35% of it’s total sale price, but usually it’s now closer to 50%. Sigh… Times are a’changin…