“Why would I lease a horse, shouldn’t I just buy one?” This is a common question I’ve heard throughout the years, and the answer is… It depends on the answers to a myriad of questions. I’ll touch on just a few of them. By no means is this a complete explanation.
*How much time do you have left?
— If you’re a junior with one year left to qualify for medal finals, especially if you have a limited budget, then paying to lease a seasoned, “been there/done that” Equitation horse is the most practical option. Horses don’t always sell as soon as you put them on the market, and juniors who are riding during their last eligible year, are often off to college soon after qualifying and sometimes even before medal finals take place. Parents don’t normally enjoy paying board and training on a horse that their college-bound rider is no longer enjoying.
— On the flip side, if you’re an adult who has all the time in the world, to enjoy riding without the worry of being rushed off to college, then buying can be a wonderful opportunity!
–If you have 3’6″ goals and are on a limited budget, but have some time, then buying may actually be the answer. Depending on your age and skill level, I may recommend importing a young, green horse from Europe. This is one my greatest passions. I find great satisfaction in selecting them, matching them to my students, and training them, to help my students reach their goals on a budget.
— If you’re just starting to ride, and plan to work hard at advancing quickly, then leasing may make the most sense for you. I love leasing experienced ponies, and even small horses for new riders. It’s essential that as a new rider, you feel safe and comfortable on your horse or pony. This will build your confidence and allow you to advance at a much more rapid pace. If you succeed at advancing quickly, then you will most likely “outgrow” or “advance in skill” beyond what your first horse or pony can do. Again, horses don’t always sell as soon as you put them on the market, and you don’t want to put your progress on hold while waiting to sell your first horse, so that you can buy your next one!