Home » Renting a horse – What you should know

Renting a horse – What you should know

by Michelle Breitenfeld
0 comment

Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to afford their own horse right away. Often you don’t have enough savings, maybe you want to try out being a horse owner first and see if it could work. You will find everything you need to know about horse renting in this article.

Why renting a horse?

The reasons why one gets a renting horse are very different. But ask yourself: Do I really want to do this to myself? After all, renting a horse means a greater commitment than a shared ride or riding in a school. Both time-wise and financially. Riding lessons can be cancelled if necessary, if it doesn’t suit you and you’d rather go to the swimming pool. Or you don’t feel like cleaning the muddy paddock every day in winter temperatures. Such an approach does not work well with a rental horse! You must understand that the horse is like your “own” and must be treated as such. This can take anywhere between two and four hours, and perhaps much longer, depending on the effort. Simply stating, “I don’t feel like it right now,” is not appropriate. The horse’s owner wants to be sure that his animal is in good hands.

In addition, your riding ability is also decisive. Of course, this always depends on the horse and what you want to do. For a purely recreational horse that mainly goes off-road, this is not necessarily the deciding factor. If you can ride walk, trot, canter and stay on top, that is often enough for some owners. But especially for the more “demanding” horses with a certain level of training, you should also be able to show a certain level. It is of no use to anyone if you hobble around on “Samson Hit” every day and after a few months, thanks to your riding skills, he is no longer a “hit” and instead needs a rider and an osteopath. Unfortunately, many overestimate themselves and like to pretend to the owners that they can already ride “safe A-level”, although they often would not even win a prize in an E dressage level (Germany). Sadly, nobody benefits from this, least of all the horse.

If you have already had a riding partner, you already know that. With a renting horse, however, it is still different. You actually have the horse for yourself seven days a week instead of two or three, and you have to take care of it accordingly. In addition, you have a greater risk, especially if the horse is sick, or an accident happens, or the condition of the horse deteriorates during the renting time for whatever reason. Such a situation can quickly become a subject of dispute between owner and renter.

What is the cost of a renting horse?

Normally you take over the daily costs – i.e. stable rent, farrier, possibly additional feed. The rest can be negotiated. More about this below. There are also owners who demand complete coverage of costs. So you have to take over the insurances, veterinary costs, vaccinations, worming etc. as well. Depending on the region, stable, etc. you can expect a monthly burden between about 300 and 1000 € (in Germany).

Therefore, you should calculate well: Can I handle this financial expenditure without my other financial obligations (rent, living expenses, car, etc.) suffering? Once again: In most cases, a renting horse means the same monthly financial outlay as if you had your own horse. The only difference is that it does not belong to you. However, you bear most of the risk! Also, if the horse gets sick, depending on the illness, it can quickly bring you to the brink of ruin if you have no savings. Certainly, this is the absolute “worst case”, but something like this has to be considered as well! So be absolutely honest with yourself about that, because simply returning the horse as with a riding share is usually not so easy.

horse renting

The harmony between horse, owner and you must be right.

Where can I find a renting horse?

There are several possibilities. If you are already the absolute top rider with a lot of potential in your stable, it is possible that an owner will approach you directly. Alternatively, you may have a riding partnership and the owner offers to take over the horse for a certain period of time. Unfortunately, this rarely happens. The advantage for the owner is: he/she has already seen you ride a few times and can roughly estimate whether his/her horse would harmonize with you. On the other hand, you can also keep your eyes and ears open in your stable and just ask. Costs nothing and at least the stable mates will know that you are looking for a horse and can possibly ask around for you.

Another way to find a horse for rent is to post notices at the stables in your area. Just write a few lines about yourself and what you are looking for including contact details on the bulletin board of the stable. It is best to add your phone number. Especially older owners like to clarify such things over the phone and not via email/WhatsApp. It is simply more personal. Ask breeders, some make their horses available to good riders, for self or further training and / or for the show presentation.

The most common and widely used variant are classified ad portals. Also with us on ehorses you can find advertisements. You can decide if you want to create an ad yourself or just look through the ads of the horse owners and respond to them. The same applies here as with notices: do not lie! Don’t make up tournament placings or a level of training that you don’t have. This will come to light at the trial anyway. And yes, owners also google potential rider candidates. If you try to be better than you are, you will quickly get a bad reputation. The riding world is mostly a village anyway and it could be the case that the owner has an acquaintance in your stable or knows someone who knows you.

What you should pay attention to at the appointment to get to know the horse?

Pay attention to the first impression! This applies to the impression you make on the owner as well as what impression you get from the owner and the stable. If you come waddling in like Madam Flodder, no one will want to trust you with their horse. Of course you don’t have to appear dressed up like a model from the latest catalogue. No one is interested in whether your breeches match the saddle pad from “Samson Hit”. A well-groomed appearance and a friendly demeanour, on the other hand, do.

If you try out a horse in your stable, you at least know the facility, know where things are, how the horses are kept, etc. If the horse is in an unfamiliar stable, take a closer look: How is the horse kept there? Is the facility well maintained? How is the feed quality, what is fed? Does the horse need any supplements? Does it eat everything in principle or is it rather a bit “picky”? Look closely at the horse: Are the legs and the back in good condition? Does it have any crookedness (hips etc.)? Is it well muscled? Are the hooves in order, etc.? Everything you would/should look for when purchasing a horse.

Of course, the chemistry with the owner is also important. Can you imagine getting along well with this person? After all, it is (and remains) his / her horse and now and then you have to agree on certain things. If you have a bad feeling about the owner from the beginning, think again. There are other owners who also have beautiful horses.

The trial ride – What to keep in mind

During the trial, trust your instincts when interacting with the horse, observing its behavior, and assessing its condition. Maintain your usual routines in grooming, saddling, and riding. Seek guidance from the owner about the horse’s quirks and pay close attention during explanations. Ride in different environments to gauge the horse’s reactions. If the chemistry isn’t immediate, consider another trial ride on a different day. Be honest with yourself about the harmony, and value feedback from the owner. Having a knowledgeable companion for a second opinion is beneficial, and for serious considerations, a veterinary examination may be worthwhile. Remember, building a connection takes time.

horse renting

The test ride shows whether the riding chemistry is right.

Which conditions should/must I discuss?

Consider various factors when determining the conditions for renting a horse. Plan ahead by assessing your weekly availability, factoring in school, work, and budget constraints. Address concerns about vacations, illness, and potential job loss, ensuring the horse’s well-being during such situations. Research costs, particularly stable rent, which can vary regionally. Self-catering stables may be more economical but require additional time. Assess if riding lessons and clinics align with your budget. Keep in mind that having a renting horse doesn’t exempt you from continuing your education. Ensure that the arrangement suits both your needs and the owner’s expectations. Avoid committing to anything that doesn’t align with your preferences, whether it be related to riding, time, or finances. If uncertain, consider a “trial month” to assess the compatibility of the horse with your lifestyle.

Horse renting – Do I need a contract?

In any case you should set the terms and conditions in writing with the owner in a contract! Of course you can also agree verbally, but in case of doubt or dispute it is always better to have something in writing. There are already a lot of example contracts on the internet. Alternatively, you can draw up an individual contract. If you are unsure, it is better to have the contract checked by a lawyer. He can explain to you if there are any pitfalls. It is better to spend a few euros for this, but to have legal security in case of emergency.

What is the cost of a renting horse?

It varies. Normally you take over the daily costs. The rest can be negotiated. There are also owners who demand complete coverage of costs. So you have to take over the insurances, veterinary costs, vaccinations, worming etc. as well. Depending on the region, stable, etc. you can expect a monthly burden between about 300 and 1000 € (in Germany).

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

* Mit der Nutzung der Kommentarfunktion erklärst Du Dich mit der Speicherung und Verarbeitung Deiner Daten durch diese Website einverstanden.