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How Much Does It Cost to Lease a Horse?

Generally, the cost of a full lease for a year will range from 25 to 30 percent of the horse’s value. It simply translates to about $2,500 for a horse worth $10,000. Echo Farm in South Salem, for instance, charges $1,300 a month per horse.

That includes hay and grain, cleaning the stall and turning the horse out into the field every day. Each horse owner will have their own arrangements for leasing, both in terms of financial responsibility as well as the amount of time that the leasor will be able to ride the horse.

When you are leasing a horse, you are simply establishing a contract between you and the horse owner that allows specific terms and conditions, about the care and obligations of the horse. In legal terms, the “lessor” is the owner of the horse, and the “lessee” is the person leasing the horse.

But note that the leasing options coincide with the costs and can vary from the agreements that you and the lessor have made.

Note that some horse owners lease their horses out for a set fee, and that allows the rider a certain number of days per week that they can ride the horse. Each will always have their own expectations. That is the great thing about leasing—the two parties can work out an arrangement that benefits both of them.

Also remember that most people who lease a horse usually assume all the responsibilities and ensuing costs as if they were the horse owner.

The list of expenses doesn’t end with the lease and board fees. Entry fees for competitions range from $500 for a one – day event to $3,000 to $6,000 for five-day events where the horses have to be transported, boarded and fed. There can also Interscholastic Equestrian Association events where competitors ride the horses at the host’s barn and don’t need their own horses to compete.

Also have it in mind that veterinarian to assess a horse’s initial fitness will cost $1,500 to $2,000, while annual shots would run about $400. There are costs for dental visits and new shoes, too.

However, these costs can greatly differ based on location and horse breed, as not all areas are as expensive as places like Westchester County or other horsy enclaves filled with well – heeled parents and high land costs. Outside Portland, for instance, it would cost $600 a month to Lease a horse.

Also in most areas, even wealthy ones, there are also opportunities simply to take lessons or buy time to ride. Horse clubs, for instance, defer costs further and still teach valuable lessons. In New Canaan, Conn., the New Canaan Mounted Troop strives to teach equestrian skills to children ages 7 to 17. The annual cost of $4,350 is not ordinary, but it covers one lesson and one barn day per week during the school year.

Different Types of Horse Leasing

Aside the length of the lease, location, and horse breed that typically affect lease costs, the leasing option is the major factor that will entail the cost of the lease and all other added incentives.

There are four main types of lease but there is also a horse share which, although not technically a lease is often said to be a leasing option. Have it in mind that with each leasing type there can be a varying range of conditions and clauses that will stipulate what you can and can’t do and in some cases when you can do it.

  1. Full Lease

A full lease means that you effectively become the horse’s owner in every sense except legally. You will probably have to pay the board, veterinarian and farrier fees as well as a monthly ‘leasing’ fee. In return for this, you will be able to visit, ride and show / compete whenever you want.

Also, depending on the type of board you have, you will also have to feed, turn out/bring in and muck out the horse, although some leases do also allow you to decide where to board the horse.

This option is almost like owning the horse because you would pay for 50 percent to 100 percent of the horse’s costs. Full leases usually include a lease fee of about 25 percent to 30 percent of the horse’s yearly value. This option is in exchange for being with the horse as much as you want.

  1. Partial Lease

This is almost like a full lease except you are sharing the horse with at least one other person. Normally a partial lease involves up to three people but, while any number of people can share the lease, two is the norm. One unique benefit of a partial lease is that the fees are shared between all lessees but the disadvantage is that you can’t just turn up and ride whenever you feel like it.

In this kind of lease, there’ll be a rotation plan in place about who can ride on what days, typically up to three times a week depending on the number of lessees.

  1. Half Lease

If you already have a horse but can’t really dedicate as much time and resource as you would like or if you want to reduce the cost of ownership then you might want to consider a half lease. This is where the owner will still ride and look after the horse but will only pay half of the fees and expenses.

The rest of the cost will be paid by a lessee who will be able to exercise the horse for half of the week. A half Lease, which resembles a partial lease in some aspects, is commonly used when one or more people lease the same horse. Riding days are divided between the riders.

If either party will be competing or participating in any off – site activities with the horse, arrangements for use need to be mutually agreed upon and included in the lease agreement.

  1. Pre – Purchase Lease

Pre – purchase leases are becoming more popular especially since they give you a chance to ‘try’ the horse out before you buy them. You will typically have a full lease agreement that lasts for at least three months, although they can last up to a year and even two on very rare occasions.

Note that the idea is for you get to know the horse as well as his quirks and foibles and whether or not the two of you work well together. However, at the end of the contract, you have the option to either buy the horse or, if you don’t feel the horse is right for you, walk away. Some owners can even let you continue to lease the horse but this is very rare.

  1. Horse Share

Although this is normally not a lease, but, if you think you are ready to own a horse but don’t want to invest fully, both financially and time – wise, then this could be the perfect option for you. Horse sharing is more like a half lease only that instead of leasing a horse and sharing the responsibilities with the owner, you buy a horse with somebody else. The two of you then jointly own the horse and share everything.


The exact prices of leasing a horse would be quite difficult to ascertain since every barn and owner is different. However, it is best to inquire about availabilities, but also noting what your main equestrian priorities are and the various options available.

Remember, leasing doesn’t have to be a forever thing. Using leasing as a stepping stone to horse ownership is a great option for everyone new to the horse world.