Horse sharing helps to divide up the responsibilities and the pressures of owning your own horse. It gives a horse lover who may not be able to own their own horse, the chance to care for a horse as though it is their own and it also helps the original horse owner provide the horse with all the right care that it needs.
This article will tell you all about horse sharing and what the benefits are to both sides of the agreement.
Horse sharing is becoming increasingly popular due to the expense of owning your own horse. You will still be expected to commit a certain amount of time and money to share a horse, but this is a lot less than if you were to own your own. There are very few negatives to horse sharing but it still needs to be given much thought and consideration before signing an agreement.
Things To Think About
The variety of horses to share will be much more limited than the selection on sale. Think about what your requirements are and the type of horse you would feel comfortable taking on.
The location of a shared horse is another factor that could make caring for the horse harder. For example, if your shared horse is located an hour away from your home are you going to be able to drive this far every time?
The owner that you are sharing the horse with needs to be able to rely on you to take care of your part of the agreement.
Although the costs are massively reduced by sharing a horse, looking after a horse is still expensive. The owner will want you to contribute so you need to make sure that it’s affordable for you. The amount varies per agreement so it could be anywhere from a 50/50 split to being asked for a contribution for feed or shoeing.
Getting your horse sharing agreement to run smoothly is down to the owner trusting you with their horse. It’s important that they feel comfortable with leaving their horse in your hands. Some owners may suggest a trial period which is always a good idea for both of you, to make sure it’s something you can handle and that the owner is happy.
You will need to have good background knowledge of the equine industry and show enthusiasm. The horse's owner is likely to want to share with someone who has some experience with horses in order to share some of the responsibilities and work.
How Does Horse Sharing Work
Essentially a horse share is what it says on the tin. A horse owner is looking to split the costs and responsibility of owning a horse with someone who is a keen horse lover.
In most circumstances, the owner is looking to horse share due to a shortage of finances and time able to be spent with their horse. Responsibilities such as mucking out, feeding and exercising would usually be shared with the individual entering the sharing agreement.
The extent of the responsibilities for both parties of the agreement can be as complex or as flexible as the owner sees fit. Sometimes horse share agreements are arranged to provide an inexperienced rider with some exposure to the hobby and an insight to all the responsibilities that owning a horse comes with.
Although the owner will take the best part of the financial responsibilities on board, it’s not unusual for the owner to expect some financial commitment from the individual entering the share. It’s often a good idea to have agreements in writing that state what is expected of each person.
Make sure you have done your background checks on anyone you are considering horse sharing with.
Horse Share Benefits
There are a number of benefits involved in horse sharing for both the owner and loaner.
A horse share scheme means that the horse will receive around the clock care and affection from whoever may be looking after them at the time. This is good news for the owner who may be struggling to devote the time and attention to their horse and also for a loaner who may be looking to gain experience in caring for a horse of their own.
The owner will also benefit from the costs of their horse reducing and being somewhat split between both parties. It also benefits them by reducing the time they need to spend taking care of their horse as this will also be shared with the loaner.
There are also benefits for the people on the other side of the deal who will get to experience what owning a horse would be like without the full-time responsibility and costs.
If you’re thinking of taking part in a share scheme as a less experienced owner, you’ll need to take a look at our Horse Health Ultimate Guide for everything you should know about how to provide the best care for a horse.
You could also look at Horses for Loan as an alternative option.