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Filling Out a Free Lease Horse Form

In the equestrian world, a “free lease” is an arrangement between a horse’s owner and another person to share the horse. With the significant expenses and health of an animal involved, it’s essential to have all the terms written down. A free lease horse form describes all the terms of the lease, such as costs and responsibilities, so all parties understand how the arrangement will work.

What Is the Free Lease Horse Form Used for?

In cases where a horse owner doesn’t have the time to ride very often, he or she can choose to lease the horse to another person. This can be a mutually beneficial arrangement: The owner can reduce his or her financial responsibilities, and the lessee can get more riding time without having to rely on lesson horses. Caring for a horse can require a certain level of expertise and financial investment, so a free lease form can help protect the horse from substandard care, and it can ensure that both the lessor and lessee share the financial burden fairly. A free lease form defines all the terms of the lease arrangement. It helps all parties involved to understand who is responsible for board, vet, and farrier expenses. A comprehensive lease form can also designate specific riding days for each person. If the owner boards the horse somewhere other than on his or her own property, the stable manager may require an official lease form to be signed and filed before allowing the lessee to ride the horse. Leasing a horse should be treated as a legal agreement, and having a written and signed form helps make the terms official.

Who Would Use the Free Lease Horse Form?

A free lease form should be used whenever two or more people enter into an arrangement to share the care and use of a horse. There are numerous different options for free lease agreements: — An owner can split the horse’s expenses and riding time equally with a lessee in a “half lease.” — In a “full lease,” the lessee pays for board and all other fees, such as vet and farrier bills, in exchange for full-time use of the horse. — An owner can lease his or her horse to an instructor for use in lessons. In all these cases, the owner/lessor and the lessee would utilize a free lease form to make the agreement official. Depending on the exact terms of the lease agreement, the parties may be able to use a standard free lease form. In more complicated situations, the standard lease form may need to be customized to ensure all aspects of the agreement are clearly described in writing. For example, an owner and lessee may need to add additional language about whether the horse can be shown, trailered, or ridden on trails.

When Should You Use the Free Lease Horse Form?

If you are an owner thinking of beginning a lease arrangement, it’s vital to make sure all the paperwork is signed before the lease officially starts. For example, if you have already completed informal discussions with a potential lessee, you should make sure to sign the form before any money is exchanged for board, vet care, or farrier bills. Additionally, if the stable where you board your horse only allows owners or lessees to ride on the property outside of scheduled lessons, you should make sure the paperwork is signed and filed with the stable manager as soon as possible. It may make the most sense to begin a lease on the first day of the month when board fees are typically due. In this case, it’s a good idea to meet with the lessee and stable manager (if necessary) to sign the free lease form several days in advance of the intended lease start date. This extra time allows the lessor and lessee time to negotiate all terms. If the horse is required to pass a vet inspection before the start of the lease, make sure to allow enough time for this to happen before signing the lease form.

What Are the Consequences If You Don’t Use the Free Lease Horse Form?

Entering into a verbal free lease agreement can have severe consequences for the owner, lessee, and even the horse. Without an official agreement, the owner and lessee may disagree about riding days and conditions, vet and farrier expenses, or even which tack to use. An informal lease agreement can be financially expensive for everyone involved and may lead to problems with a boarding stable if fees aren’t remitted on time or required tasks (such as blanketing or shoeing) aren’t accomplished. There are even some cases of lessees taking advantage of the lack of lease paperwork to claim ownership. Liability for injury can also be complicated if there is no paperwork documenting the free lease agreement. Without a lease form describing the limits on how the horse can be ridden, trained, trailered, used in lessons, or shown, an owner has a hard time maintaining control of how his or her horse is treated.

Steps for Filling Out the Free Lease Horse Form

Fortunately, a free lease form is fairly straightforward to follow.

  1. Find the free lease horse form you want to use. Most include similar fields for information about the horse, lessor, lessee, liability, and insurance.
  2. Read through the form carefully, and add any additional terms you and the lessee feel are necessary.
  3. Fill out the form with accurate information. Make sure to include the horse’s official name and registration number (if applicable) and thoroughly as well as accurately describe physical appearance, color, and markings.
  4. Make sure to clearly and completely describe all acceptable ways the lessee can ride the horse, such as in lessons and/or competitions. Clearly state any limitations, such as how the horse can be jumped or whether lunging is acceptable.
  5. If you and the lessee have agreed to a potential sale or first right of refusal at the end of the lease, include this information in the lease form. 6. Sign an attach an additional liability release, if necessa

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Quick Questions

Yes. It’s extremely important to assign specific days to each rider so each person can ride when it works for his or her schedule. Assigning riding days also helps prevent the horse from being overworked.

No. Lessors and lessees shouldn’t assume that a lease form automatically defines liability. Many free lease forms do include a liability clause, especially if state law requires such language in equine-related documents. However, owners may want to have lessees sign an additional Waiver of Liability.

Yes. Make sure the form clearly states the start and end date for the lease. It’s also important to designate which conditions, if any, can break the lease before the initial end date.


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