If you read our last blog, you got the lowdown on horse leasing in terms of finding the best leaser for your horse and some things to ask him or her.

Once you’re ready to meet a prospect, arrange for him or her to meet you at the barn in a public spot and fill out a liability release form in the office—with full name and contact info—before she ever meets your horse. This protects you and, frankly, everyone from the unthinkable and goes a long way toward ensuring that she is who she says she is.

From the start, pay attention: Does he or she show up on time? Does she seem reasonable, flexible and responsible? Does she ask thoughtful questions? Does she communicate in a timely way? (These are important qualities in a leaser!)

Think about whether you would feel comfortable with having her discover that your horse got injured while you’re out of town. Would you trust her, in your absence, to handle it well and alert barn management plus the vet, if necessary?

Next, watch her groom, pick feet, tack up and ride your horse. Make sure she wears a helmet and knows the basics that are important to you. It’s important that she handles your horse with respect and confidence and can manage any mishaps competently. This can demonstrate that she has the experience you need and will prioritize your horse’s best interest.

If you find someone who passes these tests with flying colors, he or she’s a horse leasing winner! But before the deal is done, both of you should complete and sign a lease agreement, so everyone is clear on expectations, price and terms. (We have those in the office, too.)

One last note: keep in mind that it’s easiest to find a leaser in the spring or summer. When winter comes, bringing its freezing temps, muddy mess and short days, riding is tougher for everyone. So plan ahead, if you can!