How Much Does it Cost to Lease a Horse?
Leasing a horse is the process of “renting” a horse for a short period of time, similar to a car lease.
Since owning a horse can get rather expensive, many potential riders would love to own one, but most simply cannot afford it or don’t want the commitment.
Leased horses will generally stay at the stables where you can ride it, groom, and develop a bond as if the horse was your own. The cost of leasing a horse is going to depend upon the stables/farm offering the service, the type of horse you can lease, the type of lease, the amount of time needed and geographical location.
How much is it?
- Since it is going to the responsibility of the potential lessee to take care of the horse, most stables are going to want to lease them out on a monthly basis and will ask for at least a three-month minimum before you sign a lease. On average, it can cost anywhere from $55 to more than $500 per month. If you were to sign a shared lease, as we get into later in the guide, these costs may be half of the estimate mentioned since you will be splitting the costs with another owner. In conclusion, the more restrictions you have with your horse, the less you’re going to pay.
- According to equusite.com, most full leases are going to ask you to pay 50 to 100 percent of the boarding fees, and the total costs could be 30 percent of the horse’s value. For example, if the horse were worth $10,000, then you should be prepared to pay about $3,000 per year or close to $250 per month.
- The horsesenseridingacademy.com offers three options: a quarter, half and full lease. The quarter lease allows students to ride two days per week for $50 per month, while a full lease will allow students to ride for five days per week and will cost $200 per week; however, students will need to contribute to hay, feed and health care, which can bring the costs up.
- This Horse and Rider magazine article talked about someone who paid $220 per month for a half lease, and this included the horse’s arthritis medicine.
What is going to be included?
- With the lease, most of the necessary equipment such as the saddles and bridles will be provided. Depending on the stable’s rules, the rider may be able to come as they please when the stable is opened; however, part-time/shared-lease owners may be limited on the days when they can come visit the horse.
- There are two types of leases available: a full-time lease and shared lease. Most of the time, a full-time lease will allow you to treat the horse as if it were your own. You will, again depending on the stable, be responsible for all fees as if the horse were your own, and this will include all vet bills, the farrier and boarding.
- A shared-lease, on the other hand, will be slightly different than a full lease. In this situation, you will be responsible for talking with the horse owner whenever a problem arises. Usually, these details will be worked out in form of a contract before the lease begins. Also, unlike the full lease, you will be limited on when you can ride and a schedule will oftentimes have to be setup, depending on the owner’s schedule. For example, the owner may have to take their horse to a show; hence, it may not be available on that particular date.
- According to equusite.com, the most common place to find a horse for lease is via specialized classified ads, on the Internet or at local tack shops. The website also mentions checking with the stable you’re currently riding with or even asking your trainer if you have one as they may know of someone who may have a leasing option available. A lot of times, what you will find out, is that current horse owners will be willing to lease out their horse to cut down on expenses.
- Most stables will ask you sign a three-month minimum.
What are the extra costs?
- Horse riding lessons, while optional, will be offered at most stables. These lessons are ideal for those that do not have a lot of riding experience. Lessons can start at as little as $20.
- Additional fees may apply such as shoeing, trimming, as well as administration fees. These will all vary depending upon the stable.
- Be aware that some owners may pass down the vet charges if the horse gets ill. It is best to inquire about this before signing a lease. Keep in mind that most full leases will charge vet fees, and the fees can widely vary depending on the reason for the vet visit.
- Consider additional accessories such as a leather bag, grooming kit, and treats if needed.
- Theft and mortality insurance is highly recommended to increase your protection in case the horse died or was stolen. Depending on the insurance company, this could be a few hundred dollars per year.
Tips to know
- Just because you’re leasing the horse, it doesn’t mean you should go in blindly and lease the first one you see. Instead, pretend you’re investing in the horse. Test the horse to see how it reacts, have a vet check it for any potential problems, and if you plan on riding, ride the horse as if you were going to ride.
- A sample horse lease agreement can be seen here.
How can I save money?
- Negotiate your lease with the stable owners. Most stables will be more than happy to lower the prices if the season is slow.
- Discounts may be available to students who currently ride at the stables.
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