Whether you’re a veteran rider who is ready to take the next step in committing to the hobby more fully or a newbie who wants a horse to call their own, figuring out whether or not to buy or lease a horse can be a tough decision. If you’re a beginner, leasing might be a more plausible option until your skills and knowledge advance further. For more advanced riders, depending on your budget, buying or leasing a horse could be right for you.
Otherwise, if your time is short or you are unsure whether horses are for you and wish to try one out, leasing might also be a more affordable and reasonable option.
Here are the Pros and Cons of Buying V.S. Leasing:
Pros of Buying:
• Buying a horse allows for a lifelong bond with your animal.
• A horse is a great asset for your future if you decide to go professional or enlist in any future competitions or if you decide to buy another horse in the future.
• Owning a horse gives you firsthand experience with a horse’s behavior, needs and affections.
• Buying ensures you don’t have to deal with the hassle of following an owner’s rules and regulations while riding their horse in any given lease agreement.
• You can choose to do things the way you want to with your horse without asking the leaser beforehand.
Cons of Buying:
• The cost of buying a horse is often times very expensive and there are lifelong fees to handle in the future.
• Lifelong fees to pay for the horse including veterinarian costs, food costs, equipment and supplies costs, boarding costs and other unforeseeable fees.
• You are responsible for the wellbeing of the horse for its lifetime which can be costly if it gets injured or develops an illness which might rule out selling the horse later.
• If you decide you dislike the horse, you cannot simply return them for a refund.
• If you develop financial problems and need to sell the horse, you may take a financial loss.
• Elderly horses that cannot be ridden might be seen as a costly asset with little payout.
Pros of Leasing:
• The cost is often much less than purchasing a horse outright, making this option more affordable for those on a budget.
• You may be able to bypass paying boarding fees if you are leasing a horse rather than buying one.
• If you plan on only riding the horse for a short time, there are lease plans that accommodate short or long term plans, depending on your goals for riding.
• Leasing a horse allows riders and trainers access to many good show horses that have already been trained and/or established in shows if competition is your goal.
• Leasing allows riders to try out different classes of horses (hunter, jumper, etc.) without purchasing to decide which you might want to purchase in the future or to ride in a specific show.
• Leasing is a great option for someone whose child is beginning riding lessons and is unsure whether their child will stick with riding or not. This offers a test run to see how dedicated the child might be to riding.
Cons of Leasing:
• Leasing can be very restrictive if the lease contract has many terms and conditions to follow.
• Leasing can lead to complications in riding or cause issues for a riding career if a contract agreement is broken by the leaser.
• The owner of the horse may decide to withdraw your lease at any time, depending on the lease agreement terms.
• Since the horse is not really yours, bonding and affection with your horse may be very little.
• Some people prefer to own a horse rather than lease one.
• You may end up paying fees to the horse you are leasing, including veterinarian, boarding or supply fees.
Overall, whether you decide to lease or buy a horse is your choice alone. Both offer different pros and cons that may or may not suit your situation. If you decide to buy a horse, it is recommended that you or the rider who will be riding the horse is extremely certain you want the horse and that it is a good investment. When deciding whether to buy your child rider a horse, leasing is the preferred recommendation as children tend to change their minds on a whim. To understand whether they are truly committed to riding, leasing is a great affordable option.
When leasing, a contract is definitely recommended with simple rules and guidelines that suit your needs and the needs of the leaser and that will protect both parties. Share-boarding (a method similar to leasing) might also be a good option for you if time and money are both limited. Whichever you decide, there are many options out there to consider before you decide what is right for you.
Below are some great websites to find horses:
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