Thursday, September 16, 2010

On the Mend... and the Only Child contemplates sharing

I am writing this while eating a Healthy Choice (Ginger Chicken... not so good... pass on this if you ever consider it) and waiting for my work meeting to begin at 7 P.M. During my "dinner" break, I took the opportunity to go visit the big man at the farm. He galloped up to me (still thinks he is getting dinner and meds; silly man), then he bit Reno and met me at the fence.

I was pleased to see only a mild amount of dried snot in both nostrils! Yay for dried snot and not snotty snot! I haven't taken him into the barn since this debacle started (3 weeks ago!) and its really obnoxious to try to hold him and groom him while he grazes. He is certainly not much for standing like a gentleman when there is grass to be had. Loser. But I groomed the man and baby wiped his nosey wosey. By the time I took him back to the pasture, he has a little bit of CLEAR snot in his right nostril. Hell, I will take it! Only one side and its clear! That means he is healing and he can kick the rest on his own and without additional rounds of antibiotics! We have concluded that he got the flu. Yes, he has been vaccinated, but there are like 42 billion strains of flu and they are only protected from a few. I don't want to be over optimistic or jinx this bit of progress, but I am guessing (hoping, praying, thinking....) that I will get to get back on his back for a light hack on Monday. That is my aim if he continues to make progress. I don't want to push his immune system and I want him to have plenty of time to feel better before I ask for anything (not like he gets much work with me anyway since I work most weekday evenings and am off gallivanting on weekends these!). That leads me to my next topic...

The contemplation of sharing....
As I may have mentioned, I A) have an anxiety disorder and B) am broke. This leads to lots of dwelling on my precarious financial situation. I typically start to panic over it all (I'm talking job situation, what ifs, future housing arrangement, savings, loan debt, etc......) around noon every day. Most of the time when I go for my long runs, I think about job applications or other crafty ways to increase revenue and reduce expenditures. I will obsess over other things too-- but as of now, the finances are the most immediate pressing issue and thus the focus of my insanity.

ALL of the to say,
I went on a 4 mile jog after the barn on Monday and spent the WHOLE thing thinking of brilliant ways to solve my life problems. Usually, this practice proves fruitless and simply leaves me with a headache and a resolve to "let it be" (at least until noon the next day), but Monday I had what may just be a brilliant idea! waiiiiiit for it......


Ok: 1/2 lease the horse!

Here is my thought. If I am 'stuck' at my current job for a while, that means I am also stuck waiting tables. Which means on ideal (lightly scheduled, no rain or travel or extra plans) weeks, I can only ride 4 days a week. Once I get a solid and dependable W-T-C out of Granite, wouldn't it make sense to find a high school/ college/ young adult who wanted a nice quality horse to ride and even show at a great price?! They could ride 3 days a week, I can ride 2 or 3, we can work out a situation with them/me showing when he is ready. I would only ask for 1/2 of the board and I would do shoes and vetting. This way, he would get the attention and exercise he needs and I can't always give him. It will take that stress of being inadequate off of me. It will alleviate some financial burden from me and will even help to beef up Granite's resume if he shows a variety of divisions between the leasee and me.

 I mean there would be some concerns. With such a green bean, I would need to find an experienced rider and someone who was 'on the same page' as I am about his training and his future. I would also want someone I could trust and that I would be happy to encourage in their riding goals. This could be difficult as I am not at a big training/lesson barn. It would have to be a fairly independent person. And Granite's youth and training process will determine, to a great extent, when and if this idea is ever feasible. But, its an idea and it has some very real merits.

So... what do you think? Pros? Cons? have you experienced 1/2 leasing on either end? Weigh in on this one for me, as the idea is still in its infancy.


  1. I think it is a good idea. If you find the right partial boarder it could make your life so much easier and save you money. It will probably be really difficult to find that perfect person though. I would ask trainers for recommendations of riders they know looking for a project instead of just posting it somewhere.

  2. I say go for it if you find the right person. I could NEVER half lease my own horse out because I am WAY to controlling about care. Not that it matters since my own guy is retired. I have been on the other side though as a half leasee which is why I think it would work. When I started half leasing Phoenix (the Appy I showed up until last year) he was just about as trained as Granite is now. I had never trained a horse and his owner had no time for him so there he was at 5 years old barely able to walk and trot under saddle. Since she had no time or money for him and I had no horse it worked out great. She got free horse training (I am an experienced rider and would also take regular lessons and clinic) and I got a project pony. Since I have my own truck and trailer I could bring him to shows and get him tons of experience. She loved it because I made a name for her horse and she had to do nothing. The reason that lease ended was because it went from a half lease to a full lease to a "he is like your horse" situation...which was too much for me with a horse of my own already. The horse I half leased before that also worked out great. His owner had plenty of money, but no time! We would go to shows together and it was perfect. She loved to do all the prep work and was a fantastic braider and I didn't mind cleaning tack and putting everything away after shows. The one thing I would say is to have a contract. Any issue I have was because things were not laid out in black and white. Put an add out now and be picky about who you pick. You want someone who is going to make your horse better (my Phoenix went up $9,000 in value because of all the experience I gave him) and who is going to let you sleep at night.

  3. I completely agree with OnTheBit! Do the contract for sure. Two of my best friends at the time decided to do a 1/2 lease and it basically ended in disaster and me and the one girl are not friends with the other because she sketched out and lied and made a huge to-do about the lease. If there had been a contract it wouldnt have happened.

    But I honestly think its a fabulous idea if you can find the right person!!

  4. I've actually half-leased Tucker before. One of the girls that rides at my barn has a college-aged sister, and I half-leased him to her while she was home on Christmas break, and then for a month or so when she was home for the summer. It worked out well for that period. Then she wanted to show more, which wouldn't have worked well since I show pretty often, but luckily there was another horse in the barn in need of a ride and they clicked perfectly. I would have had more reservations I think about doing it when he was younger, but I still think it can work out well so long as you find someone who is a good rider and gets along with him. Definitely watch the potential leasee ride him a few times before you make any commitments. If you found the right person, it would definitely ease the strain of time and finances. I know it helped me out a lot. I think this brain storm was a good one!

  5. I think it's an awesome idea. I'm pretty sure you will be choosy about who it is, and perhaps you may have to compromise a bit. I think this is certainly worth a try. GOOD LUCK!!! :)

  6. OMG I've experienced that lean cuisine disaster.. its officially off my emergency-freezer-dinner list...

    Half leases. Yes. I've done lots of them, on both ends. Usually I've been the one leasing since until Miss P I had a 10 year hiatus on horse ownership, but I was a pretty great leasee if I do say so myself. I agree with the idea of coming up with a contract. Things that are worth thinking about include whether or not rides have to be "scheduled" or are they more loosey-goosey, any training requirements (if it's a green rider, maybe a weekly lesson is a decent requirement). Terms for canceling the lease.. etc etc. In my experience if the owner and leasee get along well, you don't need the contract and you can mostly ignore it. But if you get into hot water, or want the rider GONE, it's nice to have some leverage. For me, if I'm letting someone else on my horse I want to know that they have some serious horse sense. I don't care about show skills or even that they have the best equitation, but I want to be sure that they aren't going to bow a tendon with a crappy wrap, and that they are sensitive enough to know if my creature is having an "off" day or if something is up.
    Lord knows that my riding skills aren't that sharp at the moment, but the Pony Club brain has never faded and I examine my mare's legs with scrutiny every day..

    Horses are smart, a part time slouchy/bouncy rider won't ruin him, but you can do some damage if they don't recognize problems as they start..

    All in all, I think leasing is a great option to reduce your stress, get granite moving more and keep you happy. Good luck rider hunting!!

  7. GPG: I'm not really sure about references from instructors simply bc he wouldn't be used out of their barn, and that may create territory issues. BUT I was thinking of getting suggestions through my farrier??

    OTB: I should email you if/when I get closer to actually leasing him. I'd like your opinions on the specific inclusion of a contract. I am hoping for a relaxed agreement, but I do want to protect myself and mostly Granite.

    Ash: YIKES! I don't think I'd consider leasing to a friend, I guess you proved my thought to be valid.

    Marissa: At this point, I'd be excited to show with or go to shows with the leasee... I can't really afford to do it myself (considering Granite is ready for that by spring, which he very well may not be). I may contact you for a some professional lawyerly opinions on what to include in a lease agreement (lets not kid ourselves and call it a contract since i wont be paying to have it drafted) hehe.

    JJ: Glad you think its a good idea, and I will totally be selective. You all will hear all about the candidates (lets hope they dont find the blog!)

    Gingham: I pity you for the lean cuisine disaster-- last night was bad. I'll still with protein bars. I'd love to hear more details on your thoughts about leasing experiences and how you would create a near-perfect scenario. If I do end up pursuing this, I want to have researched it thoroughly.

    Everyone-- Feel free to email me if you have more input/suggestions on the issue! I really appreciate the advice on this topic!

  8. I think a lease or part lease is a great idea! The most difficult thing is finding the right situation. Once you find it I think both parties are usually pretty happy. My oldest horse is full leased to a family and it has been an awesome thing for us! It's allowed me to keep him yet not pay his daily expenses (which we all know add up quickly).

  9. I think it could be great with the right person. I leased my friend's Missouri Fox Trotter which lead me to finding Laz. She was a stranger to me when I started..found her on craigs list of all things, but we quickly connected and ironed out what we wanted, etc. Obv when I rescued Laz, I ended up moving him so we dont see each other often but stay in touch and have that friendship still. I've also seen girls come in 'wanting to lease' but they basically want a horse to ride the piss out of and then leave. Not cool. Be patient and careful of who u choose and you will know if it's a good set up or not. It can for sure ease the $ strain end of it. GOOD luck :)