How Much Does it Cost to Lease a Horse?

The education of the horse as well as your location will usually dictate the cost of leasing a horse. This article should give you a pretty good idea of the fees you will usually deal with when leasing a horse.

We should start off by saying that it is usually pretty hard to find a good horse to lease. It is equally hard or even harder to find a good horse to buy.

But if you’re set on getting into the world of leasing horses, you might be wondering: How much does it cost to lease a horse?

How much does it cost to lease a horse?

Leasing a horse will usually cost anywhere between $7,500 and $60,000 annually, depending on your location, the education of the horse, as well as whether you go for a half lease or a full lease. There are people who offer free leases but keep in mind that, when getting a free lease, you will take on any expenses of the horse, which will bring your costs up to about $7,500 to $14,000 per year.

Here are the 3 basic kinds of horse leases and the fees associated with them.

Free Lease

Yes, there is such a thing as a free lease but keep in mind that free will only mean that you won’t have to pay the owner for riding their horse. You will still have to take over all of their expenses for that particular horse and it will be as if you owned it yourself.

Among the most common expenses you will have to consider are vet bills, supplements, shoeing, and board. Sometimes the owner will already have tack that you can use, as well as blankets and other essentials required for properly taking care of a horse.

You might also like our articles about the cost of a Clydesdale horse, an Akhal Teke horse, or horse lessons.

Considering that you will have to take care of all of the expenses of the horse with a free lease, the yearly bill will depend on your geographical location. Here are some average prices, so that you get an idea of what each of these would cost:

  • Shoeing: ~ Every 6 to 8 weeks you will have to pay around $200 on shoeing, unless you need special shoeing for your horse, in which case this can get a lot more expensive.
  • Board: ~ When it comes to the board, you will likely spend between $600 and $800 per month. When talking about board, we usually refer to the feed, turn out, and stall or stable, as well as general care like feeding the horse and mucking out the stall. There are barns that have additional fees for blanketing or alfalfa.
  • Supplements: Most horses need to take certain types of supplements. And this is the case for older horses especially. Depending on the exact needs of the horse, these supplements will differ. Expect to pay between $100 and $300 per month on supplements.
  • Veterinary expenses: Routine care and shots will cost about $600 to $900 per year. If the horse were to come down with a disease and need vet visits outside of this routine care, the price would go up.
  • Lessons: You should be taking lessons with a professional at least once per week if you aren’t a really good rider. Even seasoned riders choose to take lessons to improve their skills. There’s always something new you can learn about horses and proper ways to ride them. The cost of lessons is between $90 and $110 for 45-minute sessions, although the exact price will depend on your geographical area.
  • Different Horse Supplies: The owner should be able to provide you with essentials like blankets, bridle, saddle, and everything else you need to ride and take care of their horse. You can still buy your own saddle if you don’t like theirs. The same can be said about other things they provide as well.

A leased horse won’t need a trainer most of the time. If you are told that you will have to get a trainer, it might be a good idea to look for another horse. Most horses ready to be leased have already developed the skills needed to be good partners to people.

Annual costs related to a horse lease agreement

Expense Cost Per Year Cost Per Month
Shoeing $1,200 $100
Board $7,200 – $9,600 $600 – $800
Supplements $1,200 – $3,600 $100 – $300
Vet $600 – $900 $50 – $75
Lessons $4,680 – $5280 $360 – $440

Total Annual Cost: $14,880 – $17,480 per year

Full Lease

Trained Horse LeasedA full lease agreement is a type of lease on a horse that implies that you will take over all of the expenses listed above and in addition, you will also pay the horse owner a fee to ride their animal. The training the horse has received will influence the cost a lessee will be expected to pay in a significant way.

  • A raining horse, one with proper dressage, or a properly trained hunter jumper will easily cost $15,000 to $45,000 or more per year just to lease. Although this seems a lot to the untrained eye, many horses at this level would sell for 5 and sometimes 6 figures. Most of the time, the appraised sale value of a horse, or how much is the horse worth, will dictate the set lease price.
  • A walk, canter, or trot school horse or trail horse will usually cost less, around $1,000 to $2,000 per year, although sometimes it might cost slightly more.

Total Annual Cost: $14,880 – $17,480 per year as well as a lease fee of $1,000-$45,000+ per year.

Half Horse Lease Agreement

A half lease will mean that you will split the costs listed above with another person who leases the same horse, and you also split the riding time. Although sometimes there are no additional fees when riding the horse, it will depend on each individual case and owner.

Total Annual Cost: $7,440 – $8,740 per year and half of the full lease fee.

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