Due to the fact that the cost of good quality horse feed and/or boarding fees have gone through the roof in many areas, many horse owners are thinking about leasing out their horses rather than having to out and out sell them. People considering leasing out their horses need to read this.
LEASING YOUR HORSE TO SOMEONE ELSE
Today we will talk a little bit about Lease Agreements. That is when a horse owner decides to lease out their faithful friend to someone else. Perhaps they don't have time to ride right now or are on a tight budget and decide although they do not want to out and out sell their horse, they will lease him/her out instead. Here are some things to think about before doing it.
I am not fond of most Lease Agreements as they are inadequate. You must have a proper, written, dated, signed and notarized lease agreement. How long is the lease for? (Never make it indefinite, make it for, lets say 6 months at a time, then renew it if everything is going okay).
Where exactly will the horse be stabled? Do you really want to discover he has been moved hundreds of miles away by the person leasing him? What exactly will he be fed? Do you really want to find him half starved to death or Foundered from over feeding? Will he be kept in a small pen with shelter, a barn, a pasture, where??? Do you want to find him locked in a manure filled pen with no shelter or kept in a box stall 6 out of 7 days a week with no daily turn out time?
Who exactly is responsible for all Vet bills should a Vet be needed? Do you want to receive a Vet bill in the mail, in your name because he has been injured or is ill because of someone else's doing? Who exactly is responsible for hauling the horse? When he is to be returned to you for any reason, do you want to be the one paying out the money to have him hauled back? What exactly is the schedule you want for his feet being trimmed, vaccinations being given, etc? No schedule mentioned, so they don't ever have to trim his feet or deworm him or vaccinate him either?
VERY IMPORTANT: Who exactly is going to be riding the horse? Do you want to find out he is being ridden 12 hours a day by a dozen different people? Who exactly is responsible if the horse injures someone? Otherwise who is going to get sued? You must have a clause stating that the Lease becomes Null and Void should the horse show signs of being Neglected and/or Abused (generally will need to be Verified by a Vet). Is the horse being offered for lease for just the cost of caring for it (which is often the case) or is there a monthly charge for the other person getting the use of the horse on top of the expense of caring for it, (also often the case)? When is the monthly fee going to be paid? If payment is in arrears, for how long before the horse being returned to you? 30 days, 60 days, 90 days???
Before ever leasing out a living animal, horse owners must think of all these things!!! Both parties MUST sign the agreement. The owner and the person leasing the horse. If under 18 years old (may vary from State to State or Province to Province), then their parents or legal guardian must sign instead of them. The lease must include everyone's full names, addresses and contact numbers. Properly dated and Notarized.
Last but not least. Have the horse examined by your Vet for soundness, body condition, etc. before he leaves your yard. State his level of training.
This is only a general document on leasing out a horse. A person needs to make sure their particular "Lease Agreement" covers any and all things pertaining to their and their horse's situation. This document in no way is meant to portray that people who lease horses are not good and caring horsemen/woman as most of them are. It is simply to protect our friend, "The Horse" from harm.