Weigh the Risks and Benefits
Before leasing your horse, evaluate what your goals are for you AND your horse. Consider carefully what you have to gain AND lose from a lease arrangement. Plan how you want the lease arrangement to work and consider carefully whether your plan is realistic and practical. As a planning tool, you may find it helpful to write down your goals and the key points of the lease arrangement.
Be Picky About Who Leases Your Horse
Your lease relationship can be a valuable partnership that benefits you and your horse, or it can be a nightmare. Just like selecting a roommate, you can control some of the risk by choosing your leasing partner carefully. Ask them lots of questions about their experience and what they want from the lease arrangement. Make sure they understand exactly what your expectations are for the leasing arrangement, and determine whether your expectations match up with the
lesseeís goals and experience. If the lessee will be riding your horse, make sure that you see them put your horse through his paces, noticing whether your horse seems happy with his new rider. If the
lessee will be taking your horse off of your property, you should schedule a time to come and inspect their barn BEFORE you agree to lease the horse. Donít be afraid to ask for references that include veterinarians and
farriers, and call them (donít assume all references would be good, as youíd be surprised how many people donít take the time to check their own references before they give them out!). You may even want to run a credit check to avoid leasing to someone who will not pay you. You may also wish to build a trial period into your lease agreement so that it is easy for you to cancel on short notice if the lease doesnít work out from the beginning. Donít worry about offending any potential
lessees, as experienced horse people should understand your need to take these precautions Ė if they give you a hard time at the interview stage, imagine what they would be like as lease partners! Trust your gut feeling about who would be best for you and your horse.
Put Your Lease Agreement in Writing
Unless you put the entire lease agreement in writing and have all parties sign it, you will have nothing to prove what your agreement is later when trouble arises. If you are leasing to or from a friend, having a good agreement in place will go a long way to help preserve your friendship by preventing misunderstandings. For example, what happens if the horse goes lame and canít be ridden Ė does the
lessee still have to pay the lease fee? Can the lessee take the horse off of the property, and if she can, who is financially responsible if the horse injures himself in the trailer on the way home? Your lease agreement should be comprehensive, addressing ALL of the elements of your agreement. ELS offers
lease agreements at an affordable