10 Factors that determine the price of a lease -
1. Daily Care - A leaser should expect to pay a portion of the board rate. This is usually determined by a percentage of use - i.e. a "full" (100%) leaser would pay 100% of the board and other expenses while a "half" leaser(50%) would expect to pay about half. ($400-600/mo)
2. Other Routine Care - Farrier, vet, dentist. These are usually sporadic costs. Depending on the lease agreement, you may be responsible for a percentage, or it may all be rolled into one flat lease rate. ($100-300/mo)
3. Tack, Equipment, Supplies - The owner typically supplies things like a saddle (easily costing $2000+), bridle, girth, blankets, halters, etc. but they may also provide things like saddle soap, fly spray, supplements, etc, which can add up to over $100/month easily.
4. Insurance - many owners cover their horse under basic health and/or colic insurance. ($25-75/mo)
5. Emergency care - depending on the lease agreement, a leaser may or may not have a financial responsibility in the case of an emergency such as colic, injury (think suspensory strain, puncture wound, infection) or illness such as Strangles, Pneumonia, etc. These costs, if animal is not insured can skyrocket to well over $10,000 in a hurry.
6. Risk - The owner of the horse takes on an additional risk when someone is leasing their horse. What if something happens to their animal while in use by the leaser? What happens if the horse dies or is seriously injured? Typically, the leaser gets to walk away while the owner still maintains the costs/responsibilities of the animal.
7. Convenience - When leasing, typically you have a set time frame (i.e. one year) or a month-to-month agreement. Perhaps you have a young child who wants to lease for the first time. Leasing vs. buying provides you with the convenience of switching to another horse later on fairly easily - you don't have to go through the hassle of trying to sell, paying for the horse while they are on the market, etc.
8. Exclusivity - When a horse is leased, it is often unavailable to other riders. In our program, if a school horse is fully leased, it limits or prohibits his use in lessons, which requires us to have another horse available. While this may not be as much the case in a private owner situation, it does often limit the owners access to the horse as well.
9. Lessons/Training - Our particular lease program includes lessons. Paying for these lessons packages separately would start at about $185/month on it's own.
10. Quality - Often, leasers are able to afford a much higher quality horse if they lease verses buy. The owner had to incur the original purchase price plus all of the costs to maintain it above in addition to any training, lessons, clinics, showing, etc. to get the horse to the level and experience it is at when you lease it.
On average, ownership (assuming the horse is boarded and owner is enrolled in lessons) will cost between $800-1000 per month- depending on any unexpected costs, such as those outlined above.
A leaser, under our lease program, pays $425/month, which includes a weekly, private lesson and a minimum of 2 additional 'practice' rides. Leasers are not responsible for additional costs such as vet, farrier, dentist, emergency care, etc, easily saving them over $5,000 per year over ownership.
I personally encourage all of my customers to lease before they buy. It is like "practice ownership". I always say "make a budget - then double it". That may be a little extreme but the unexpected costs are just that - unexpected!! Ownership is a big commitment and should be entered with full understanding of the costs and responsibilities. I hope this article will help some of you understand leasing and ownership a bit more!