Noble Life

Leasing. Is it right for you?


Leasing provides an opportunity to ride regularly while limiting financial obligations and without the commitments of horse ownership.

“Leasing a horse is a good fit for me at this point in my life because it allows me to ride almost every day without paying for a lesson every time,” said Veronica Branca a recent college graduate,  “it fits nicely into my budget and I’m not responsible for those “sneak-up” expenses that comes with owning.”

Branca pays a flat monthly fee in exchange for a specific number of rides per week.  In other situations, the rider may pay for a portion of the board, farrier work, veterinarian care or other expenses.

Take a test drive

Riders undecided on the breed, size or age of the horse they would like to purchase, can experience a variety of horse types and personalities before buying. “This [leasing] is helping me narrow down the kind of horse I want to buy in the future,” Branca added.

“I leased my mare for about eight months before making the commitment to purchase her,” said Kristina Kleeh.

Kleeh’s mare had foaled twice and was an unproven, fairly green seven-year old. “The owner was open to me putting some time into her via a lease, for which I paid half her board and farrier expenses.”

Knowing she could walk away if this mare was not the right fit, alleviated the stress that can come along with purchasing a horse.  “[I got] to know the mare in various situations, and assess her soundness, and overall attitude. I was able to see her personality both on and off the farm,” she added.

Participating in a lease introduces riders, especially first time horse buyers, to the responsibilities of horse ownership.  “[It] allowed me to learn more about the ownership side of horses, not just the riding and general maintenance,” Kleeh said, “I had always taken lessons, ridden others’ project horses, etc., but never had the responsibility for day-to-day care and maintenance.”

Formalize an agreement

Formalize a written lease and include the value of the horse, which is different from its sale price if it is a sale horse.

Ask questions and be sure you fully understand which party is responsible for which expenses. Discuss the ‘what-ifs’ of injury or illness and the potential for taking the horse off property to participate in events.

Talking through the specifics ahead of time will eliminate any anxieties or questions that may arise down the road.

“Eventually, I want to buy a horse, but for now I’m happy leasing because when it comes down to it I just want to ride as much as I can and leasing allows me to do so,” Branca concluded.

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The Author:

Katie Navarra has been riding since she was 8 years old. As a youth she competed in local, regional and state level 4-H competitions and open shows, and also rode on the Intercollegiate Riding Team at SUNY Geneso. After a few years away from horses, she purchased a dun Quarter Horse mare in July 2012 with the goal of competing at breed shows in Western performance events. Katie currently lives in upstate New York and has over 300 bylines to her credit, including articles about general horse care and event coverage.

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