With spring just around the corner, are you thinking of getting back into the saddle and maybe getting ready for the upcoming show season? Maybe you have more horses in your barn than you usually do, or maybe your schedule has changed and you won’t have as much time to ride. Whatever the reason, if you’re planning to lease out your horse this year, there are a few things you should know about finding the perfect person for the lease.
Be Honest About Your Horse
Start by making an honest assessment of your horse. What are his strengths? What are his limitations, whether physically or in terms of training? What type of rider does your horse need to keep him safe and happy with the lease situation?
Now is the time to think about the amount of experience that you want a rider to have. You may also want to make a list of any other characteristics you want the rider to have, like soft hands, an independent seat, a passion for trail riding, or the confidence to reassure your horse.
Describe the Ideal Lease
Write down just what you’d want in a lease. Consider the following:
- The number of rides per week/days of the lease (if applicable)
- Any riding activities that aren’t allowed, like jumping, riding alone, etc.
- Whether showing is allowed, and the rider’s costs and responsibilities for shows
- Any other requirements, like if the rider must use your tack or if they’re required to take a certain number of monthly lessons with your trainer
Try to get as many details as possible sorted out ahead of time, including the cost of the lease, so the terms are clear to anyone interested from the very start.
Start Your Search
You can post your horse for lease online, but word of mouth is often the better way to find the perfect person. Start by letting your trainer and other riding friends know that you’re looking to lease your horse out. You may also want to mention it to your vet. You never know who may know the perfect rider who also happens to be looking for a horse to lease.
Ask Plenty of Questions
When you do find a rider who’s interested in leasing your horse, be prepared with a list of questions to ask. Think about details like who the rider has trained with, how long they’re ideally looking to lease a horse, what their horse care experience has been, and more.
If a rider sounds promising, then it’s time for a trial ride. Be sure to have the rider sign a liability release, and consider having your trainer present to help assess whether the rider and your horse are a suitable match.
Use a Contract
When you’ve found the rider who’s the right match, be sure to draw up a clear and detailed contract. Specify details such as what happens if the horse is hurt while under the rider’s care, what financial responsibilities the rider holds, and how the contract may be ended by either party.
The right fit for you and your horse is out there, but it may take some time to find them. Be patient and persistent, and you should be able to find the perfect person to lease your horse.