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What is a Fair Half Lease Offer?

I have been riding for just over a year and have really taken to it. My instructor has a 23 y.o. 3/4 thoroughbred, 1/3 Swedish warmblood mare that she is looking to lease. I want to say she is about 16 1/2h or so. I am up for doing a half lease with her, but am not totally sure what to offer.

My hesitation on the amount comes from the fact that the horse is a bit older and has been recently ill, although sound now. She is a very experience hunter/jumper and dressage horse, with many ribbons and certifications under her belt.

I love my instructor and really like the horse, but I also want to be realistic in what I am paying. Not only is this my first time leasing, but I am very green in the horse community. Any thoughts on what I should offer?

Your instructor didn’t name an amount?

Nope. She asked me to send what I had in mind. That is why I am asking around; I don’t want to low ball her as I think she is just looking for someone to ride her more and help with the cost; however, I also want to be realistic about the value.

Kind of torn between heart and mind, as I am a fan of both of them.

Your instructor should have an amount for the half lease. At my barn, the half leases on lesson horses are basically just half training cost, then splitting every other cost down the middle. A lease fee is usually attached only to the privately owned horses, although my trainer does have a couple of very nice “lesson” horses who she could easily get lease fees on.

When you say recently ill, what exactly was wrong with the horse? I might be wary if your instructor is anxious to lease in order to get major vet bills off her payroll.

1/2 lease has been half board, shoes, and routine vet in my case. whatever you decide, get it in writing.

Your instructor should tell you how much. It will typically be 1/2 of board plus 1/2 of shoes plus 1/2 of other expenses - such as insurance, supplements, vet, etc. If this is all you are charged, it would be called a ‘free’ or ‘care’ lease - meaning you don’t pay anything above the upkeep costs.

Then, depending on the situation, there may be an additional charge for use of the horse. This is normal for show horses.

I would offer to split board, shoes and routine vet down the middle.

In the H/J world many people ask for a fee on top of the above routine expenses but that’s typically more for privately owned show horses in their prime.

The hunter/jumper world, and some situations in the dressage world typically require a fee in addition to normal operating expenses. IE you would pay XX dollars/month or 1/2 year or some other time period. You would also pay board, vet, farrier, training/Lessons and showing.

Then there are also many situations where owners “free lease”, ie look only for coverage of normal operating expenses on the horse. No additional fee.

Given the horse’s age and recent history, I would HOPE that your instructor is thinking about just the free lease.

Then if you wanted to do a 1/2 lease, it would be 1/2 normal operating expenses, PLUS whatever lessons you want to take.

What is board at your facility - take that amount plus whatever farrier expenses run in your area for her shoe situation, throw in say $50/month for general veterinary/dental care. That should give you an idea. Then you would agree to probably 3 days per week for you to ride.

I agree with Tab - instructor should give you an amount. But the info here will help you put it into perspective.


I think it would be a half or free lease and one where I would want the terms drawn that I am not to assist with vet bills and not liable for injury unless it can be reasonably found it was due to my negligence. I want to offer a set fee, outside of my lessons, plus half (maybe all) of the farrier costs.

She stated out right, it made no sense for me to full lease her or buy her, because her timeline is not known.

There is no one else currently riding her. My instructor turns her out maybe one day a week.

The recent illness was a tangle in the fences at the barn that cause some muscle tearing. She also took a wicked spill after a deer spook while grazing, but that was right after the fence incident. It was all about 3 months ago. She has since then done some jumping and looked good.

I would also make sure this is a month to month lease where either party can end the lease with 30 days notice.

[QUOTE=french fry;7666245]
I would also make sure this is a month to month lease where either party can end the lease with 30 days notice.[/QUOTE]

YES, this^^^^ Then you aren’t stuck for long if the mare has another tangle of some sort.

I would say most half leases of lessons horses are a set fee that are in no way related to “half expenses” ie shoes, vet, etc, other than what is calculated in as “normal.” You should in no way enter into any contract on this horse that involves any kind of “floating” costs.

Aside from a set price for set rides, and really, I’m serious about that, how many days a week do you plan on riding? How many free rides and how many lessons? Will your lessons be included in the cost of the half-lease or separate?

I pay $250 a month to ride 3 days a week. I pay separately for my lessons.

I think this is a pretty great deal. Obviously it will depend on the horse, location, owner.

I think the trainer should be the one throwing the number out, not you.

This is a good way to figure it:
What are the monthly costs for the horse: board, feed, plus a little extra for vet/farrier, etc. Whatever that amount is, figure that would be an approximate amount for a full lease. Halve it. That’s a half lease amount.

In my experience, I’ve done half and full leases. Half leases entitled the person leasing to 3-4 rides/week. Full got full use.

Half leases split half of board, farrier, routine vet (shots, coggins), worming, etc. Full covered all. I actually had a girl leasing my horse once that wanted him to have injections. She was full leasing him and assumed the cost of those injections.

In your case I’d offer to cover half of routine expenses. If you’re concerned about ‘floating costs’ then tally up about what those routine costs are month to month, and take half of that and offer THAT figure as a months figure.

I’m slightly concerned that the trainer isn’t the one that is coming up with the costs. That is absolutely backward, IMO.

What will you be getting out of it? How many times a week do you ride/lesson now? What is the additional ride time worth to you? If, for example you only ride 1 day a week in lessons and you ride this horse that day anyway, what is the benefit to the lease? However, if you ride 1x a week in exes sons but are able to ride 2-3 more days per week then it would be a better decal to you as you could get more practice.

Totally agree with other posters who say the trainer/owner of the horse should set the tone here and give you a price. I have leased oldsters in the past and it was always a very inexpensive part lease as I was keeping the old horse going when no one else really wanted to. (Longer warmup, potential lameness and time off, etc.) I don’t think the standard half board, half shoes, half routine vet applies in this case and the trainer probably knows that which is why she’s leaving it up to you. Bad form, IMO, but you can always simply ask her what she’s hoping to get and negotiate.

Nobody rides her and she only gets turn out one day a week!!!

This is not a program I would want anything to do with.

The horse could very well get hurt while you are riding her and it might not be negligence as accidents do happen. I would expect a lessee to pay for anything that happened to the horse while they were working with or riding the horse.

Nobody rides her and she only gets turn out one day a week!!!

This is not a program I would want anything to do with.[/QUOTE]

Glad I’m not the only one who caught that. Yikes!

My boy is 1/2 leased out. He’s an older (21) WB jumper schoolmaster. My 1/2 leaser pays 1/2 board and farrier. It comes out to $150 a month and she rides him 3-4 days per week. It works out great for both of us since my job doesn’t allow me more than 1 day of barn time per week.

Nobody rides her and she only gets turn out one day a week!!!

This is not a program I would want anything to do with.[/QUOTE]

This in spades.