Questions re loaning a horse(22 Posts)
Looking for some advice please! Dd1, nearly 15, has been having weekly riding lessons for two years, plus spends time helping out at the riding school, mucking out, grooming etc. I think I need to say here that she is adopted and is immature, with some behavioural and emotional problems, but does seem to get a lot out of being around horses.
She's now going mad to loan a horse. I'm trying to put her off till next summer as she has GCSEs coming up, plus dance lessons (dance is one of her GCSEs so I'm keen for to continue with it for now). However next summer she can drop the dance, she will break up from school earlier, and from sept 2017 she's only likely to be at college three days a week, doing something to do with horses.
Anyway, when or if she does loan a horse, I see from searching online that some cost a certain amount per week while others are apparently free. How does this work? Is it that owners don't have time to exercise their horse and are willing for someone to come and ride it? If free, if there still an expectation there will be a contribution to food etc? How much time commitment is required? And what about insurance? I'm not sure I'm happy for her to go off hacking alone but perhaps there would be other people she could ride with.
Sorry for all the questions. I just want to get some thoughts really at this stage and although I had some riding lessons in my 20s, we are not a horsey family!
A share or a loan? A loan the horse is yours in all but name and all costs associated.
Shares vary, usually 2/3 days a week riding and yard chores
Ohhh. Well, the ones I have seen advertised state loan, and costs tend to be around £20 or £25 a week, but some say £0, which made me wonder what if any financial contribution was expected.
If they are around £20 a week then they are probably just a share, which will be allowing you to ride the horse a couple of days a week. Sometimes chores and contribution to things like shoes are required in addition to this.
A loan is where you take on all the costs of the horse (livery, feed, bedding, farriery, vaccinations, insurance, worming etc) and will do all the horse care (depending on livery type) and can ride whenever she wants (within reason!)
From what you've said I think you'll be looking for a share or a part loan. This means you pay X amount to ride a certain number of days a week. Usually somewhere between £10 and £15 per day you ride, but that'll depend on the area.
Key things are that in this arrangement you would usually be expected to do all of care for that horse when you ride. For example you ride Tuesday and Thursday evenings, you will need to look after the horse (muck out/groom etc) at that time too. The cost and obligation will be there irrespective of whether you actually can ride or not and the onus will be on you to inform the owner with adequate time if you are unable to make a day. Some horses are kept at yards where all the care is done for you, often you might have to pay more though to share these horses as there is no need to do anything but ride and it costs a fortune so the owner will want more of a contribution.
Sometimes you get horses advertised for free, it can be in situations like my own where I have 2 horses at home (so they don't cost me much) but not enough time to ride both. I think it's fairly uncommon to find them though so I'd anticipate paying at least a bit. There are no set rules though so best just to talk to the owner at the start and agree exactly what is required in terms of financial and time contribution.
Less likely but another similar situation is a lease. This is something we'd do if we wanted a horse on a short term basis (say to cover whilst one of our horses is recovering from injury). Owners - often breeders - will lease you a horse to have for, say, a year, but will get them back at the end of it. You've be responsible for all costs except you don't buy the horse and don't have the hassle of selling it at the end of the period.
Thanks, all. Blimey, there's a lot more to it than I imagined...will have to have a think but I'm fairly certain it's not going to be this year now.
I would also talk to the riding school to get an accurate assessment of her skills. There's a massive difference to running a brush over a pony and racking up to maybe being the only one to see it on a given day. Can she tell if it's lame? Can she feed and muck out safely? Can she turn a horse out or catch and lead in from a field?
She said the staff at the riding school were encouraging, but I'll have a word myself, as not entirely sure if she's being truthful. She does feed, muck out, turn horses out, and bring them in from the field, but under supervision. I'm really not convinced she's ready to have sole care of one.
I suppose you need to work out what your weekly/monthly budget for loaning the horse. Bearing in mind that she'll need to keep having lessons as well. Share horse == your to use for a set number of days each week, doesn't usually include cost of keeping horse. Loan horse == yours for the entire week, so you will pay for everything the horse needs - livery, feed, bedding, insurance, farriery etc.
Obviously costs vary a lot depending on where you are in the country, yard facilities, requirements of individual horses, but to give you a rough guide:
If your total budget is around £20-50/week then you're looking at a share, a budget of around £50-100/week for loan horse on DIY livery and around £100-200/week for loan horse on full livery.
Thanks, Britnay, I think we'd be looking at a share. But it might still be a push financially. I have a younger dd too, and already feel guilty that oldest dd's horse riding costs more in terms of both money and time. And I'm a single parent who can't really work at the moment due to their complex needs. I will ask around in the meantime to see if any local stables need any help over the summer, to give her a taste of it.
OP is your daughter small enough to exercise small ponies? If her riding is good and she's small enough she could be very much in demand to help out with ponies owned by small children.
She is fairly short, around 5ft, and about eight stone, so not small or light enough to ride anything much under about 14hh, I guess?
I'm 5ft3 and 10st and my welsh pony is 13hh standing on his tippy-toes...
Oh gosh yes, at 8st she would be ideal to exercise a little pony (12hh) as long as she's a balanced rider.
Ahh, ok, thanks. They always seem to put her on fairly big horses at the riding school, but I guess that's probably because Saturday is their busiest day and they keep the smaller ponies for the smaller kids.
I'm 5' 7" and 9 stone and will ride strong 12 hand ponies. She'd be ideal for sorting out ponies if she's capable. Would give her experience and if she charges a bit, could contribute to lessons.
You've got a lot of thinking and research to do, Papergirl, and there are loads of different ways for your DD to progress both with her riding and her equine care experience and, over time, many of these options would also give her the opportunity to increase the level of responsibility she has over the animal(s) in her care.
You will absolutely have to consider your budget. The only cost that loaning (or leasing) will save you is the actual purchase price. You will (likely) be responsible for all other costs, so livery (or a place to keep it), feed, farrier fees, vet bills, dental treatment, insurance, etc etc. These costs can vary widely according to area, type of pony, it's needs etc, but you have to assume you possibly could face them at a high level.
Sharing saves you a lot of that. Again, different levels depending on the share, for example, some owners look for a sharer (or more than one) to take on 50% (or more) of all costs; others are more concerned that they have someone to share the workload and exercising, and charge a nominal fee.
The British Horse Society (and others) can give some helpful information, so (as I said at the beginning of this rather long post ) you have lots of research to do.
A couple of sites to start you off, are ...
Do you have any 'horsey' friends who could advise you?
Brill, thanks, Dish.
Will have a look at those.
We don't really have any horsey friends but they are pretty approachable at the riding school.
She threw a massive tantrum when I told her it didn't look feasible for this summer, but I'll be in a better position to counter her pleas when armed with a good grasp of the facts.
To give you an idea from an owners perspective- I have two ponies at the moment - our little 12hh which is my DD I probably wouldn't consider your DD for (although she is not to big for 12hh) as she is so much bigger than my daughter. But really it would depend on what she looks like next to DD pony. I am currently looking for a sharer for her. My d is on lead rein but would love to find a small capable rider to exercise her off lead rein.
My sons pony is 13 2 . He is a lovely competition pony who can be abit of a handful, needs a confident but kind rider. Anyway we have just taken on a sharer - she gets 3 days and pays £40 a week (which is nowhere close to his upkeep) she pays our instructor to have a lesson on him once a fortnight - I would prefer that once a week but they can't afford that.
It's a pain for my son over summer when he would love to ride every day (he will take his pony on a small hack on the days she has had a lesson - he can cope with that) . But it's great when he is at school and only rides 4 times a week.
The yard we are at has a lot supervision (competition yard - not a riding school) and as the sharer is a student of the owner, (she wanted to have lessons on her retired Grand Prix horse but she is simply not big enough yet) the yard owner supervises everything quite closely,so I am happy with this.arrangement- does that help?
Thanks, MrsL that's really helpful. Apologies for the delayed response - been away and had no wifi.
Your post has made me wonder how much riding my dd would get in during the winter, when it's getting dark at 4.30pm and she has school.
I guess it's the same for most riders. Unless there are floodlit facilities at the livery, riding is realistically pretty much weekends only.
I know this hasn't been written on for a while but there could be another alternative for your daughter. I was in a similar situation at her age and my parents knew nothing about horses and weren't in a financial position to pay even for a loan or share, and looking back they were right, I knew basic symptoms of illnesses and ailments but I probably would have overlooked the start of colic or laminitis for instance which obviously would not be good for the horse.
So I worked with horses for a while and learned more, if your daughter is going to go to college then some hands on would be great experience but she'd be supervised and taught at the same time, it certainly taught me an awful lot.
I worked at the local riding school, and got work for rides in effect, so my knowledge and riding came on together. Could you try there? Volunteering is great for a CV and you could make a deal with her that if she sticks it out for a year, does a year at college and gets a qualification then you will consider a part loan/share horse?
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