Generally, leasing a horse for one year will cost you between 25% and 30% of its market value. So, if it were worth $10,000, then you should be prepared to pay about $250-$300 every month to cover the costs.

Did you know there are many lease options to consider when leasing a horse?

Understanding the costs associated with each option is important before you make your final decision.

Let’s dive in!

Is Leasing a Horse Worth It?

Leasing a horse may sound funny, but it is one way for people to be able to have access to one.

Pros of Leasing a Horse

  • Lower cost for access to a high-quality horse
  • No need to own a lot of land
  • Access to riding facilities in many cases
  • Ability to try out different kinds of horses without having to rehome ones that don’t work for the rider
  • Low commitment for an animal that can live 30 years

Cons of Leasing a Horse

  • You don’t always know how other riders are treating it
  • What care it is truly receiving
  • You have no control if the owner chooses to sell it

Leasing vs. Buying a Horse

Buying a horse enables you to build a greater relationship with one. You are able to get to know the horse better. Your horse could grow in value as it gains more experience and training, and you can do things with the horse without having to ask anyone.

horse lease cost

However, there is a much higher upfront cost to buying a horse, especially a quality one. You either have to own a lot of land or pay a couple of hundred dollars a month to board it somewhere on top of their feed, medical and farrier expenses.

For some people, the pros of leasing a horse outweigh the pros of buying one. However, there are some more factors to consider before making your final decision.

Things to Consider Before Leasing a Horse

Before pulling the trigger, some things to consider are your goals with a horse, if you can make the payments for the term of the lease, and the type of lease that works best for you.

Here are a few guidelines that will help you decide on leasing a horse.

Understand Your Needs

First off, you need to be honest with yourself on what your needs are when it comes to a horse.

Are you an avid equestrian who is needing a high-quality horse to give you an edge in competition? Are you a beginner who needs guidance? Are you a breeder who wants to produce a superior foal out of money-earning mare?

Don’t be afraid to ask yourself questions and consult other professionals to understand what kind of lease horse will fit your needs best.

Additional Costs of Leasing a Horse

Next, you need to consider the additional costs associated with leasing a horse. Yes, you have a monthly payment in most cases, but you need to know what else your lease will cover.

For instance, if the horse gets injured while under your care, are you responsible for the vet bills?  Or, are you in charge of the horse’s feed, farrier care, and board? Also, will the owner require you to carry insurance on the horse?

Sometimes there may also be training and competition costs associated with a lease horse if you are leasing one in the competitive end of things.

Lease Duration

Finally, you need to look at the duration of the lease that works best for you. Different lease durations can be more cost-effective, depending on what your needs are.

For some people, only leasing in the summer for a few days a week may be more cost-effective than leasing a horse for the whole year for one day a week.

Also, what lease duration will help you accomplish your goals?

If you are an avid competitor, you will want a lease that allows you and the horse to get in sync with one another and hone in your abilities so you can compete at a higher level.

Or, if you want a lease for your kids to learn on a good babysitter-type horse while they are out of school in the summer, a shorter lease during the summer months may be exactly what you need.

Types of Horse Leases

This brings us to the next topic, the various types of horse leases.  While some lease types give you a ton of freedom, others have very rigid restrictions and requirements for you to follow through with.

Here are the different types of horse leases, along with a general idea of what they entail.

Full Lease

More like owning the horse than other lease types.  With this type of lease, you have no restrictions on when you can ride or use the horse.

Recommended for: breeders and competitors.

Half Lease

You are allowed to use the horse for a certain amount of time on certain days.

Recommended for: avid horse enthusiasts.

Quarter Lease

Usually only gives you access to the horse one day a week for a certain amount of time.

Recommended for: casual horse enthusiasts.

Free Lease

You don’t pay to use the horse but are required to pay for the horse’s care and any expenses that come up.

Recommended for: horse enthusiasts.

You pay the owner to use the horse along with whatever costs the owner deems necessary.

Recommended for: horse enthusiasts, breeders, and competitors.

On-Site Lease

The owner chooses where the horse is to be kept.

Recommended for: horse enthusiasts.

Off-Site Lease

You get to choose where to keep the horse.

Recommended for: breeders and competitors.

Cost of Leasing a Horse

With the various types of leases, there are going to be various costs for each lease.

For example, a well-bred competition horse that has won a lot of money will cost a great deal more to lease than an old lesson horse that teaches kids the basics of riding.

Although some leases have a higher upfront cost, sometimes they may end up being more cost-effective in the long run because of what they include.

Here are some ballparks for the upfront cost to lease a horse.

Competition HorseOld Lesson HorseBroodmare
Per Day$75$40N/A
Per Month$1000$300 N/A
Per 6 Months$5500$1500 N/A
Per Year$11000$3000$2500


How do you know if you’re ready to lease a horse?

If you can be honest with yourself on your skill level when it comes to horses and can live up to the terms of a lease, you are ready to lease a horse.

Most success happens in leasing a horse when you find a horse that fits your skill level and lives up to your agreement terms.

What does a horse lease include?

You can find a lease that includes just about anything you want in it, but in general, a horse lease will always include a horse for a specified amount of time.

Some leases will also include the tack and equipment for the horse, which could save you thousands of dollars, while others only include a horse and require you to purchase insurance along with all care the horse needs.