Leasing your horse out is a great option for many owners. It helps to minimize the financial demands of owning a horse, but allows someone else to enjoy your horse while you retain ownership. Check out these tips for establishing a successful lease situation.
Interview the Lessee
Before you agree to lease out your horse to anyone, have a conversation with the potential lessee. Ask them what they’re looking for in a horse, what their riding experience is, and what their intended use for your horse is. These questions alone can help to determine whether the lessee might be a good fit for your horse. If you think the lessee might be a match, then have them out to do a test ride on your horse. Watch to see if they seem to get along well, if the lessee can handle your horse appropriately, and how happy your horse seems with the situation.
Do Your Homework
When considering a potential lessee, it’s so important to do your homework. Ask the lessee for references and call those references. Be sure to get vet, farrier, and potentially trainer references. Do a Google search of the lessee’s name and see if any negative information comes up as a result. By doing your homework, you can help to ensure that the lessee is someone that you would want to care for your horse.
Make a Visit
If the horse will be leased off-property, then go and visit the farm where the horse will be living. Look at the condition of other horses present and make sure that they’re in good health. Be sure to keep an eye out for potential safety hazards. If you wouldn’t board your horse there, you shouldn’t let your horse go to the facility on a lease.
Use a Detailed Contract
Your contract is possibly the most important part of your lease. The contract needs to spell out financial responsibilities, emergency care for the horse, care responsibilities, and terms in which the lease can be broken. This information should all be detailed to avoid confusion if any situation arises. Make sure that you include terms which allow you to break the lease immediately if the horse is mistreated or improperly cared for. You may wish to consult a lawyer when writing the contract.
Once the lease has begun, make sure to check in on your horse regularly. Many lessees take great responsibility with their lease horses, but they don’t all. It’s important to stay present and check in regularly to make sure that your horse is happy and healthy.
Have you leased out a horse before? What tips would you have for an owner looking to lease out their horse for the first time?