I’ve tried out a couple potential lease horses at two different barns and I can’t decide which to go with. For context, I’m an adult re-rider. Started taking hunter/jumper lessons again last summer so looking for a horse to lease or half lease that’s beginner safe, bomb proof, etc. I’m currently doing w/t/c and some cross rails.
One horse is a mare, definitely tested me at first but was good after a few minutes. The price is great but the barn is very bare bones. They give lessons but they don’t really have a riding ring, mostly open fields and trails. But I loved the vibe of the barn, very low key and friendly, horses very well taken care of.
The other horse I tried at the other barn was a gelding, been there done that type. The barn doesn’t have trails but they had both an outdoor and covered/lighted ring, which is great because in the winter it is hard for me to get to the barn before it gets dark. I liked the barn owner and I think I could be happy with the gelding but I’d be sharing him with the lesson program so it’d be a half lease. There’s no trails or open fields so I’m worried after a while I’m going to get bored with just riding in the ring.
I can’t get the mare out of my head. I really liked her and the barn owner. The barn was very laid back which is what I’m looking for but I’m nervous that once the days get shorter I won’t be able to get there during the week due to my work schedule. She’s looking for a long term leaser so I’d hate to commit now then back out once fall rolls around. (It’s technically a month by month lease but she’s hoping someone will ride the horse for at least a year)
So I’m looking for advice since this is my first lease ever. One, is a mare the best option for a first lease? Two, would the barn with the riding rings versus trails/open fields be better for someone who is still beginner/intermediate?