View Full Version : Options for _not_ owning a horse
10th December 2009, 02:50 PM
After a few months of taking riding lessons from beginner I have been thinking about having more time to ride outside of my lessons next year. In my mind horse ownership is out of the question next year for a few reasons including my inexperience, the cost and time commitment required. I've heard and read about sharing/loan agreements, including on this site, but not really sure how they work. Are there any other options for me do you think? :)
10th December 2009, 03:01 PM
Loaning would be usually you are taking the sole responsibility for the horse [unless other arrangement, i.e owner may still pay horses insurance or livery, you pay the rest] you may or may not be able to keep the horse where it is. Some owners do allow for the horse to go elsewhere, but these days many dont. You basically get most of the 'perks' of horse ownership, you just dont actually own the horse. Loans can work brilliantly if you dont have the initial money to pay for a horse, but do have enough to pay for atleast basic upkeep.
Sadly these days there are many horror stories out there about loaning, and owners are put off, especially for letting their horse go to another yard as there have been many cases of the horse getting stolen.
Part loaning is very similar to sharing, sometimes slightly different agreements but is usually the same sort of thing. You will possibly share the cost of the horse [i.e you may pay for shoes and livery, the owner pays feed, bedding, insurance etc] and you will get a set amount of days a week with the horse. This can then mean you can look after a horse but still get time to yourself or be able to fit it in around work times. I personally would not share again, i havent shared my horses out but i have done the share thing with other people. It can work as long as you get on well with the owner, otherwise it could be quite awkward.
Another thing you may find is most owners if sharing or offering loan, will usually look for someone with atleast a few years riding and good horsecare under their belt...
How much do you know about general horse care?
Most riding schools these days offer horse care courses where you get to do all the basic horse care for a day. Maybe go on one of these when you feel you are ready?
10th December 2009, 03:20 PM
Horse care knowledge is very limited though I do plan to sign up for the school's courses in the near future. Just in that frustrating time where I would really benefit with lots more horse time but dont have the experience to allow for it.. d'oh !
10th December 2009, 03:43 PM
Do you have any horsey friends in the area who have horses who could help? or maybe able to have a 1 to 1 with someone on horse care? You may learn a bit more if it is more private and focused on you
10th December 2009, 03:48 PM
Friend of a friend possibly could... I see your point about something 1 to 1.. I'll investigate that route..
10th December 2009, 05:38 PM
i allow people to come and spend days working for rides, they learn how to handle the badley treated ones, how to back youngsters, and they get to go to shows. They just have ot pull their weight in the mucking out! other yards may do similar things...
10th December 2009, 06:27 PM
The BHS Horse Owners' courses are really good, I did mine through the local college so was taught in a classroom rather a riding school but you still learn about feeding, illnesses, field management, etc.
In my experience people tend to share/part loan their horses out for one of 2 reasons- lack of money or lack of time. I've had experience of both, my first share was because the owner was struggling money wise and it was very much a business agreement. I paid £110 a month and shared the horse for 4 days per week. It didn't work out because the owner wasn't getting horse shod so I couldn't ride, horse blew its mind out hunting, and generally was a nutter.
Now I'm not sharing as such, I help out a very kind couple with their 8 horses, they don't have a huge amount of time so I go up when they can't, normally in the evenings and bring in/ride (need to keep horses hunting fit)... they know that they can ring me whenever if they get really stuck and I will normally be able to do the horses. It's a fantastic situation and I couldn't be more happy with it (I hope they are happy too :) ), in return for helping they take me hunting, give me jump lessons etc etc. The horses are very much a team effort.
You need to be very dedicated even with a share or part loan, I am normally up at the stables most days (unless I'm forced to stay at home and write uni essays/dissertation, that's seriously bad times then!) and sometimes in the wind and rain you question why you do it... but I'd not have it any other way and treat the horses as if they were my own, and can't go home until I know they are tucked up in bed happy and warm, otherwise I wouldn't sleep!
Communication is key, not a day goes by when the horses' owners and I don't communicate, and you need to get on well with the people you share a horse with, or the agreement just won't work.
If you enter into a financial agreement with an owner, make sure you get a written contract drawn up detailing the expectations of both parties- e.g. horse must be suitably shod, money to be paid on X of each month.
10th December 2009, 08:54 PM
I share my horse. I have her half the week and another lady has her the other half . The owner has another horse that she rides. I got to know the owner as she was teaching my lessons for a while and taught my first few canter lessons.
Although I had spent a few days at the stables helping and learning to groom, tack up and muck out a few months ago but I have learnt so much more by actually having my own (part time) horse.
I got extremely lucky with Beth because I have only been learning to ride for about 9 months and my horse care knowledge is very limited, however her owner is very willing to put the time in to help teach me. She is great about my constant questions about silly things like a text to ask what rug to put on her each night, can I take her down to the field to have a munch on some grass, and is happy to come up to the yard and help me if I panic that there is something wrong with her or there is something I cannot do.
However I realise that a lot of loans/share agreements are not worked like this and that I got lucky, but it might be worth asking around to see if someone is happy to set up a similar arrangement.
11th December 2009, 12:59 PM
Just got back from my lesson and have signed up for the BHS Horse Ownership courses starting in January :-) Also my instructor is asking the yard re my doing a morning's work a week in order to build up some experience and hopefully get a ride!
11th December 2009, 01:59 PM
Sounds like you're off to a great start then :)
I helped out at a riding school/livery yard for a year when I first started riding, I did every saturday up there rain or shine, ended up pretty much taking care of the 20 liveries as the staff were too busy teaching on saturdays!! Was an invaluable experience, I learnt so so much, the yard was very big and we had everything from affiliated eventers to shetlands on it, and they had a equine spa which if we were really lucky got to see in action with injured horses using it for therapy, that was really interesting.
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