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Leasing A Horse: How much it cost and what you should know

Last updated: March 23, 2023

By: Miles HenryFact Checked

You pass the beginner’s stage of riding and want to get a horse you can bond with and have continual lessons. But the cost of buying one can be scary and is too costly for many. Luckily, there are options like leasing, but how much does this cost?

Leasing a horse can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars per month, depending on the horse’s breed, age, and level of training. Generally, a lease is one-third of the horse’s value. This amount is payable annually or can be divided into monthly payments.

Leasing a horse is an ideal opportunity to have the benefits of riding the same horse every time, with the flexibility of deciding on a half or full lease. Leasing also gives you access to higher caliber horses for competing that are out of your purchase budget.

What does it cost to lease a horse?

Leasing a horse can be a great way to enjoy all the benefits of horse ownership without shelling out money to buy one. However, it’s important to know the costs involved in leasing a horse before you start. edited

The cost of leasing a horse can vary greatly depending on numerous factors. The length of the lease agreement may affect the cost. Short-term leases generally are higher per day than longer-term leases.

The type of horse you lease will also affect the cost. For example, leasing a sport horse or show jumper will generally be more expensive than leasing a pleasure or trail horse.

Finally, the location where you lease the horse can also affect the cost. Leasing a horse in a rural area may be less expensive than leasing a horse in an urban area. However, leasing is typically a cheaper option than buying a horse outright.

This cost of leasing a horse generally includes board and basic care. However, it is important to check with your lease agreement to be sure that all of these items are included. In addition, you may also need to pay for things like a farrier and vet care, which can add up quickly.

Overall, leasing a horse can be a great way to enjoy all the benefits of horse ownership without the financial commitment. Just be sure to do your research and budget for all the associated costs before getting started.

Picture of a trail riding horse.

Cost Of Leasing A Horse For A Day.

The cost to lease a horse for a day can vary greatly. The prices depend on the stables, the horse’s training, or the reason for leasing the horse. The cost of using a horse for a trail ride or taking a lesson for the day will depend on the stable.

Typically day rates to lease a horse start at 30 dollars and go up. I live in south Louisiana, and numerous riding stables in our area charge 30 to 50 dollars for trail rides. To get an exact figure in your region, I suggest you call or check online with your local facilities.

Cost Of Leasing A Horse For A Month.

The cost of leasing a horse for a month will vary depending on the type of horse, where you lease it from, and what is included in the lease agreement. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay around $500-$1000 for a month-long lease on a horse.

Some stables will provide a quarter lease contract to riders that provides them with exclusive access to a specific horse for one day a week. The costs depend again greatly on the horse and stables. However, a general guide you can look at is the cost range from 80 to 150 dollars a month for a quarter lease.

Suppose you want more time with the horse and want to consider a half lease, which means sharing the horse and the responsibilities with one other person. In that case, the cost can go up to 200 dollars a month.

Cost Of Leasing A Horse For A Year

The cost of leasing a horse for a year generally is 25% to 30% of the value of the horse’s annual fee. So, for example, if the horse is valued at $10,000, your yearly leasing cost is $2500 to $3000.

The cost can be required as a full payment or billed monthly. This depends on the owners’ requirements and the agreement in the contract.

Here is a YouTube video with some helpful information about leasing horses.

YouTube video

What are the benefits of leasing a horse versus owning one?

Leasing a horse has some great benefits compared to buying a horse outright. Perhaps the horse bug has bitten you or your child and piqued an interest in the equine world. Leasing a pony or horse is a great way to see if this is indeed the right sport for you and if it’s something you want to continue.

Entering a half-lease contract doesn’t require your full-time commitment to the horse if you have other obligations. You might be at a level where you have passed the beginner’s riding phase and need to improve your skill.

Leasing a horse that will be your steed on a more permanent basis allows you to hone your riding skills. It also allows you to better understand your horse to improve your communication skills.

You can lease a horse more suited to your riding level and move on to a higher-performance horse as your skill improves. For kids, owning a pony can be difficult and heart-wrenching when you have to sell them on when your child outgrows them.

So, leasing a pony allows you to move quickly onto a bigger pony when the time comes. It’s a way to ease into the ownership of a horse. For example, leasing allows you to ensure you and the horse are a good match before considering buying it. Or it’s an introduction to what owning a horse entails.

When we sold barrel horses, we offered potential buyers the option of leasing for a month. For example, if there was a horse someone wanted but wasn’t sure about it because of its age or temperament, they could lease it for one month. And if they didn’t want the horse at the end of the month, they could return it.

When leasing a horse, it’s easier to give up a lease than to sell it because it doesn’t match your riding ability. Buying a high-quality level horse is expensive. Leasing offers you the possibility to partially or fully ride a horse of this caliber at a fraction of the price.

Picture of a riding facility where leasing a horse is possible.

How can you find a reputable place that leases horses?

The most reliable way to find a good place to lease a horse is to ask around for recommendations. Talk to your friends who ride, your instructor, or other horse owners in your area. Once you have a few places to check out, schedule visits and take some time to get to know the staff and the horses.

Ask about their experience with leasing and find out what kind of support they offer during the lease period. Be sure to also tour the facility and see what kind of care the horses receive. Research allows you to find a safe and reputable place to lease a horse.

Here are some more sources that are great to check out when looking for horses to lease:

  • Tack shops or feed store
  • Riding clubs and organizations
  • Equine publications and online forums
  • Horse shows

Asking people at your stables or trainers with outside clients is a great way to find out if there are any horses to lease outside your area. Tack and feed shops are another great way to find out, as people will advertise or speak to the shop staff.

Picture of horse saddle being adjusted for dressage or jumping.

Leasing a horse, step by step.

Leasing a horse can be a great way to enjoy horse ownership’s benefits without the long-term commitment or financial investment. But before you sign a lease agreement, there are a few things you should look for to ensure that both you and the horse are a good fit.

Step 1. Decide on the type of horse you need.

First, consider what type of horse you are looking for and your riding goals. Do you want a performance horse to take to shows or a trail horse to enjoy time out on the trails? Once you have a good idea of what you are looking for, start searching for ads and visiting farms.

Step 2. Vet check potential lease prospects.

When you find a potential lease horse, ask to see its medical records and have a vet do a pre-purchase exam. This ensures it is sound and there are no underlying issues that may crop up at a later stage where you could be held liable. Also, get all the relevant information on the horse’s deworming and vaccinations.

Step 3. Check out the horse owner.

Learn about the horse owner; finding one that is honest and that you can work with is essential. You will be dealing with this person during the lease period, so make sure you can comfortably talk and communicate with the horse’s owner. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous individuals in the horse industry that preys on people.

Step 4. Ensure the horse matches your riding skills

Next, take some time to get to know the horse and see how it reacts to you. Does it seem calm and willing to work with you, or is it skittish and difficult to handle? Always ride a potential lease horse before agreeing on the contract.

A lease horse should be one you feel comfortable working with and that matches your riding ability. You can also ask the owner to ride the horse for you to judge how the horse acts when it is ridden by someone it knows. If you’re considering a long-term lease, arrange for a trial period before committing to ensure that the horse is a good fit for you.

Step 5. Negotiate the terms of the lease.

Although negotiations can be uncomfortable, negotiate terms with the owner regarding what discipline you will ride and how often the horse will be ridden. Will it be used for competitions, and where will the horse be stabled?

Finally, get a lease contract in writing, and ensure you understand the agreement’s clauses before you sign. If unsure, ask an equine lawyer to review the contract and explain the terms.

Only sign a contract if you are comfortable with its terms. Ensure that every decision regarding the horse is stated in the agreement to ensure no miscommunication at a later stage. Pay attention to details such as who is responsible for veterinary care and whether you can call your vet or use the owner’s vet.

By taking the time to find the right lease horse and lease agreement, you can enjoy all the benefits of horse ownership without any of the hassles.

Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind when leasing a horse:


  • Ask questions.
  • Ride the horse.
  • Take your time finding a good match.
  • Get the horse vetted.


  • Accept a verbal contract agreement.
  • Sign a contract unless you understand the contents of the agreement.
  • Use the horse for purposes other than what was agreed upon.

What costs are associated with leasing a horse?

There are many costs associated with leasing a horse. The most obvious cost is the monthly lease payment. This is the amount you pay to the owner for the ability to ride the horse during the set contract period.

You may be liable for extra costs depending on the contract and lease agreement you enter. Depending on your agreement and the contract terms, you may be liable for the horse’s monthly bill’s half or full boarding costs.

Vet bills might be shared with the owner if that is agreed upon. However, if you fully lease the horse, you will be responsible for the costs of vets’ bills if the horse is ill or injured while under your care.

Farrier costs will also be your responsibility unless the horse has specific shoeing requirements and the owner agrees to part payment conditions. This must be stipulated in your contract.

Lessons and show entry costs will be at the lessee’s expense. While the horse is contracted to you, you will be responsible for the cost of vaccinations and deworming.


How do you terminate a horse lease agreement?

When terminating a lease agreement, you must follow the terms of termination set out in the contract. Generally, three months’ written notice of termination is required to terminate an annual lease contract.

Lease contracts should have an early exit termination clause in the case where the horse has become lame due to genetic problems or does not perform the task it was leased for. This early exit clause allows the lessee to give a month’s notice to the lessor and terminate the contract.

If a horse is not returned in the same condition it was received, the lessee may be liable for the vet’s costs of the treatment of the horse for the duration of the lameness or illness. 

At the end of your lease agreement, the horse must be returned in the same good condition as it was received. Failure to return the horse to the owner can end in lawsuits.


Leasing a horse can be a great way to get started in horseback riding or to have a horse to ride on occasion without the full responsibility of owning one. When leasing a horse, it is important to consider the costs of leasing as well as the responsibilities that come with leasing.

Overall, the cost of leasing a horse can vary depending on the location, the type of lease, and the horse’s training. In most cases, an annual horse lease cost is around 25-30% of its value. This means that if you were looking at leasing someone else’s horse valued at 20k, you should expect to pay between 5k and 6k per year.

For those looking for an option to take the next step in their riding lessons leasing a horse is an excellent choice. However, when leasing a horse, you must consider its needs, treat the experience as though it is your horse, and look after its welfare during your care. The benefit of leasing a horse is you get to build a bond with a horse and enjoy the partnership that comes from it.


Is half-leasing a horse a good idea?

Yes, half-leasing a horse can be a good idea. It is cheaper than a full lease and provides an opportunity for you to experience riding and handling a horse while also allowing the person who owns the horse to continue using it for riding and competition.

Does leasing a horse include lessons?

It depends on the leasing agreement. Some leases include a number of lessons, while others do not. Be sure to ask the leasing company what is included in the lease before signing up.