The Mane Point: a legal blog for smart horses and their people
By Allison J. Farrell of Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC on 03/01/2022
The Advantages of Leasing a Horse

Owning a horse is a childhood dream for many. We lived these dreams as children through common childhood play experiences, such as begging our parents for toy rocking horses, carousel rides, and having ponies at our birthday parties. For some, that dream never dies, but owning a horse can be costly. Leasing a horse is a viable option for both the beginner and the budget-conscious.

Photo of client enjoying having a horse, representing how leasing a horse can make equestrian activities affordable and secure with help from equine attorney Allison J. Farrell of Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC.

Comparing Buying and Leasing a Horse

Buying a horse is an investment with obvious advantages—the owner is in charge of all decisions related to the animal’s care, boarding, exercise, and breeding. On the flipside, a horse owner is also responsible for all costs and care for that horse for the life of the horse or until it’s sold. For those choosing this option, be sure to consult a horse buying checklist to protect yourself and your investment.

But boarding fees, veterinarian bills, accessories, and equipment costs—not to mention the expense of purchasing the horse itself—can add up. Many of these costs can be ongoing monthly expenses for care and upkeep. If buying a horse is not a financially feasible option for you, consider the options and advantages of horse leases.

Horse Lease Options for Lessors and Lessees

Leasing a horse in West Virginia (WV), Pennsylvania (PA), or Ohio (OH) requires a lease agreement to protect the lessee and the owner. Because both a contract and a substantial investment are involved, it is wise to consult with an equine lawyer to make sure that the agreement meets your needs whether you are the lessee or the lessor.

Horse leases can vary in terms and parameters. A lease agreement can transfer all rights and responsibilities for the animal to the lessee or limit one or both. Following are some common types of horse leases:

  • Full lease
  • Partial lease
  • Pre-lease
  • Lease-to-purchase

A WV equine attorney can help you understand the different types of leases and determine which type of lease best meets your needs.

Benefits of a Horse Lease for the Owner

Having horses can add up in time and expense. As a  horse owner, you may consider leasing your horse to help lighten the time and expense commitment. You benefit by allowing someone else to ride, exercise, and/or show your horse in exchange for payment for—or performance of—the upkeep and care for that horse.

With a carefully drafted lease, you can reserve certain rights under the lease, such as breeding rights. You can also set other limitations, such as how often the lessee can ride your horse and the extent of the care and upkeep expenses the lessee will be responsible for.

Consulting a WV Equine Attorney for Help in WV, PA, and OH

From riding a rocking horse as a toddler to horseback riding as an adult, the dream of having a horse can last a lifetime. But horse ownership is more complicated than the dream of riding off into the sunset due to the size the investment and length of the commitment. For an owner, leasing your horse can help you retain the benefits of ownership while managing its costs. And for someone chasing the dream, leasing can be a gateway to joining the equestrian world.

Whether you want to lease a horse or need help negotiating lease terms as an owner, equine attorney Allison J. Farrell of Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC can help owners and lessees evaluate their horse lease options and navigate the lease agreement process. To schedule an appointment with Allison, complete her online contact form or call (304) 521-6120 to discuss leasing a horse in WV, PA, or OH.