A lease contract for a horse can be written very much like leasing a vehicle. In exchange for a set monthly fee a rider may have use of a horse as if they owned it, but with less initial investment and less risk of loss. At the end of the lease period the horse is returned to the exclusive use of the owner. A lease may be written for any horse by and between the horse owner and the person who wishes to lease it (lessee). Sometimes an owner may be temporarily unable to ride or care for their horse, such as a student off to college, but may not wish to sell the horse. Owners may be willing to share a riding schedule in order to reduce the cost of caring for their horse.
Below, I have attempted to describe some typical lease contracts commonly used at Foothills.
Full Lease - Trades the cost of full upkeep, including board, vet, shoeing and usually insurance, in exchange for the full and exclusive use of a specific horse. There is often an additional fee added to the upkeep to offset the depreciation of the horse during the lease period. The industry standard for this is usually about 1/3 of the horse's current retail market value per year. The term of such a lease may be specified or it may remain open ended. A rider can often afford to lease a better horse than they could afford to purchase and they generally assume less risk for the animal.
Lease with Purchase Option - A lease may be written so that at the end of the term of the lease the lessee may have the first option to buy the horse at a previously set price. There may be a deposit charged for this, or a portion of the lease payments may be applied as a deposit. This is a popular contract for someone who wishes an extended trial period on a specific horse before making the commitment to buy it.
Partial Lease - Trades a set fee for a shared use of the horse. At Foothills this is a very popular option for many of our school horses. In our agreement, a current student may pay a set monthly fee which is equivalent to a portion of the horse's upkeep in exchange for the use of it when it is not scheduled in lessons. Foothills currently has several horses available to lease from $150 to $350 per month. This is very popular as a step toward horse ownership. These leases may be written with or without purchase options. The term may vary or be open ended. A boarder may choose to part lease their horse, exchanging a shared use for part of it's expenses, to help offset upkeep expenses.
Please visit the "About -> Horses" page to view some photos and brief descriptions of Foothills horses and lease availablity.