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The tack room

Any point putting my 3 yr old up for loan?

30 replies

Bailaconmigo · 28/02/2023 08:29

I've had him since he was ten months old and he's got excellent ground manners, fine with shoeing, loading, clipping, etc. Easy to catch and just an all-round calm, steady gelding. But he's unbroken.

I've just had a baby and that, plus other reasons, mean that I simply do not have the time to dedicate to him that I had planned.

He's currently on full livery for £500/month.

There's a lady at the yard who loves him and has repeatedly offered to buy him but he will never be for sale and she knows that. So she would be my first port of call for a loan. Questions -

Is it reasonable to put an unbroken rising 4 year old out for loan? I envisage the loaner putting in a lot of effort to break him in and bring him on and then having to hand him back to me; is that fair?

I don't mind if he's loaned for cuddles! But I'm imagining that people who are interested in that are thin on the ground.

What are the standard terms for putting a horse out on loan in terms of ongoing costs?

TIA.

OP posts:
JustHavinABreak · 28/02/2023 08:41

😂Oh dear God...I clicked into this wondering how I'd go about lending my 11yr old, 8yr old and 6yr old. Is that really a thing??? Didn't realise this was the Tack Room...I'll keep the kids so 👍

SpottyBumPony · 28/02/2023 08:43

I don't think many people would pay to break in a horse that wasn't there's.

Have you looked for full livery grazing, maybe a retirement place, and then bringing him in to work in a year

minipie · 28/02/2023 08:43

Same JustHavin!! Would have loved to loan out mine especially at age 3 😆

gogohmm · 28/02/2023 08:45

Will you really have the time in a year? Would it be kinder to your horse to sell?

JustHavinABreak · 28/02/2023 08:47

minipie · 28/02/2023 08:43

Same JustHavin!! Would have loved to loan out mine especially at age 3 😆

I was composing the ad in my head....free to good any home!

Greatly · 28/02/2023 09:50

I think it's hugely unfair to get basically free breaking livery for a couple of years. I'd sell.

Lastqueenofscotland2 · 28/02/2023 12:07

Greatly · 28/02/2023 09:50

I think it's hugely unfair to get basically free breaking livery for a couple of years. I'd sell.

Yep I agree and I think you’ll really struggle unless you’re willing to let them go long term.
If it’s just a time thing I think far too many horses are broken at 3 just because their three and waiting till 4 will do them the world of good, could you chuck them on grass livery for a year and see how the land lies then

AwkwardPaws27 · 28/02/2023 12:16

If the other person loves him & is truly interested could you work out an agreement? Maybe a part rather than full loan - or full loan for one year, with a part loan afterwards if they want to continue the arrangement - so you both get benefit from it?

Bailaconmigo · 28/02/2023 12:17

Thanks everyone. He's almost 4 - in May, so breaking in is imminent.

Just to clarify - he has a lovely life! Lots of interaction and looked after superbly by the yard during the week and me at weekends.

OP posts:
OrlandointheWilderness · 28/02/2023 12:20

Either you loan him to someone who does a good job backing and bringing him on, then have him back which seems incredibly unfair, or (and more likely tbh as anyone who really knows what they are doing wouldn't loan a youngster knowing their hard work is for someone else's benefit) you loan him to someone who fucks his training up, leaving you with problems to fix.

Definitely don't loan out a youngster.

Honeyroar · 28/02/2023 12:21

Are things going to change in the future so that you will have lots of time to give him and his future? If you’re likely to be tied up with baby etc perhaps it would be better for the horse to be sold to the lady that loves him? (said kindly not judgingly)

TangledWebOfDeception · 28/02/2023 12:21

JustHavinABreak · 28/02/2023 08:41

😂Oh dear God...I clicked into this wondering how I'd go about lending my 11yr old, 8yr old and 6yr old. Is that really a thing??? Didn't realise this was the Tack Room...I'll keep the kids so 👍

Heheheh my immediate thought too...there’s a mother who needs a good rest!

@Bailaconmigo Sorry I can’t give any advice, but the title did give me a chuckle.

OrlandointheWilderness · 28/02/2023 12:22

Does the lady who wants him have any experience with bringing on young horses?

Bailaconmigo · 28/02/2023 12:22

Greatly · 28/02/2023 09:50

I think it's hugely unfair to get basically free breaking livery for a couple of years. I'd sell.

See, that's what I feared. It is unfair isn't it?

OP posts:
BreviloquentBastard · 28/02/2023 12:22

Fully thought you were wanting to loan a 3yr child lol.

I'm going to go against the grain and say there might be someone out there. I loaned an unbroken 4yo a few years back as a favour to a friend who was struggling and had a lovely time teaching my daughter the ropes of breaking in and early training. He went back to her in early 2022 (there were some tears from DD as obviously she bonded with him) but it was overall a positive experience and has made the decision for DD that she definitely wants a youngster of her own to work with.

I imagine people in a situation to take him on may be few and far between though.

Bailaconmigo · 28/02/2023 12:24

Honeyroar · 28/02/2023 12:21

Are things going to change in the future so that you will have lots of time to give him and his future? If you’re likely to be tied up with baby etc perhaps it would be better for the horse to be sold to the lady that loves him? (said kindly not judgingly)

Yes, absolutely, when LO starts nursery and then school it will be a very different story.

OP posts:
bravelittletiger · 28/02/2023 14:47

Is it financial help you need or just the time you don't have right now? If it's just the time then I would offer him out for loan to stay at current yard on the understanding you will still pay for livery (or at least vast majority of it) and just be clear what you're able to offer ie an opportunity for someone to break him in and then ride him. I bet you would find someone who is keen to learn would respond, especially if you keep him on livery.

maxelly · 28/02/2023 15:19

Bailaconmigo · 28/02/2023 12:24

Yes, absolutely, when LO starts nursery and then school it will be a very different story.

In this case I wouldn't bother trying to loan him, potentially unfair to the loaner as you say and too much potential for it to go wrong, e.g. if she cuts corners or rushes him knowing she only has him for a year you could end up having to do a lot of work to "fix" the issues. How youngsters are started and their early experiences are so important IMO. Also I can see her agreeing to this secretly thinking that you will sell to her in the end or at least let her loan him long term even if you are totally clear that's not an option, then getting really arsey when you take him back and are swanning around the yard enjoying your lovely horse and that creating a really uncomfortable yard atmosphere.

I'd do one of 2 things, finances allowing I might send him away for 6-8 weeks this spring/summer to be started and ridden away by a sympathetic pro, then give him a good long break at a nice grass or youngstock livery, ideally in a herd turnout situation where they're handled every so often to stop them turning totally feral but essentially left alone to get on with growing up and being a horse. Then have him back and restart once you are ready. Or, if thats too expensive, just send him away as is and break him yourself next year. It won't do him any harm not to do much until next year and might actually do him the world of good in terms of growth and maturity. Either way it should save you money and time compared to having him on full livery. You might even possibly find someone who has a lone youngster that they need a friend for who will take him on a year or 6 months loan as a companion. But I certainly wouldn't loan him out in the expectation of having him back broken and ready to go unless it was a very good friend indeed who was totally aware of the situation and cool with it (and even then I don't really understand why someone would want to do that, some people do love the breaking and starting off process but it's not too expensive to pick up a cheap unstarted youngster, start them off then sell on if not emotionally attached and they'd at least potentially see some personal benefit from their work?

MmedeGouge · 28/02/2023 15:28

Lastqueenofscotland2 · 28/02/2023 12:07

Yep I agree and I think you’ll really struggle unless you’re willing to let them go long term.
If it’s just a time thing I think far too many horses are broken at 3 just because their three and waiting till 4 will do them the world of good, could you chuck them on grass livery for a year and see how the land lies then

Good advice, in my humble opinion!

Bailaconmigo · 28/02/2023 16:42

bravelittletiger · 28/02/2023 14:47

Is it financial help you need or just the time you don't have right now? If it's just the time then I would offer him out for loan to stay at current yard on the understanding you will still pay for livery (or at least vast majority of it) and just be clear what you're able to offer ie an opportunity for someone to break him in and then ride him. I bet you would find someone who is keen to learn would respond, especially if you keep him on livery.

Just the time. Finances are ok.

OP posts:
Bailaconmigo · 28/02/2023 16:45

Maxelly - great advice, thank you. I'm definitely not looking for someone to break him in for me for free! I'd massively prefer him as a companion or similar.

I've never looked into professional breaking in, I'll explore that.

OP posts:
Mollyplop999 · 28/02/2023 18:30

Why not share with someone? That way you can keep an eye on him. Other people may not use the same methods etc as you, so if you shared you can make it clear how you'd like things done.

Floralnomad · 02/03/2023 16:39

Just send him away for backing / schooling although as you are not in a rush I’d wait until the start of next winter so he’s 4.5 and it also means that you get to enjoy him for the summer and then get the winter off !

Pasithean · 02/03/2023 16:48

If you had him back he wouldn’t be yours as in he has been broken in to another’s riding style and habits.

Poscapen · 02/03/2023 16:59

As you plan to have him for yourself then keep him and don't loan him. Physically and arguably mentally horses are much more ready to be started at 5 years old than 3 or 4. (Ref Dr Deb Bennet the Ranger article).
Personally over my dead body would I send a horse away for starting, there are so many horror stories. A good local person who will visit so that you can see what they are doing and be part of the process. Then you'll understand what your horse knows, and have on-going support when you take over.
Definitely not fair to let someone get a young horse started on loan then take him back. :-)

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