For many riders, part leasing, renting or sharing a horse is an affordable way to make horse riding possible. With the current turn of events around the globe, I think that many more riders will turn to this method of ‘horse ownership’ over the coming weeks and months.
However, having two or more people sharing a horse has its challenges. This is amplified even more if the riders are at different levels, have different styles or just different goals.
In this episode of the Daily Strides Podcast, you will learn a few simple processes you can use to make ‘part-leasing’ not only feel good for you. But also, use it in a way that allows you, the other rider and the horse to continue to develop and make progress in your riding.
Lay Out Your Goals & Communicate Them
The first thing I suggest you do is to get clear on what you are working towards in your riding. What is the end goal you’re progressing towards when you mount up each day? Knowing what you are working towards goes a long way to helping figure out how best to get there.
When you know what you want, make sure you communicate this to the other rider. Tell them, in as much detail as you can, what you are working towards and why. Have them do the same thing for you.
This will immediately expose any initial differences you both have that may potentially conflict with each other’s goals. It will also give them a better idea of what to do in situations that could potentially play out a few different ways.
For example; sharing a horse that you are trying to develop for graded dressage with another rider who simply wants to gallop across fields all day long will probably not lead to much happiness for anyone. Knowing things like this from the outset can help prevent frustration and feelings of ‘wasted time’ further down the line.
Create a Private Channel
The second thing I suggest doing in order to have a successful and happy part leasing surrounds consistent communication. A simple way to do this is by creating a private channel for anyone who rides the horse using any one of the free apps available on your phone. Voxer, WhatsApp or Telegram are good examples of places you can do this. The purpose of the channel is to keep a living record of what is happening with the horse, ride by ride.
After each ride, simply record what you worked on and how it went. Then post in the channel.
A great feature of most of these types of Apps is that you can record voice notes. I personally think they save a lot of time. And, an added bonus is that they usually allow you to record when you are out of signal. Internet connectivity can be an issue for many equestrians in the yard. This solves the issue by ‘saving’ the notes until you are connected again and then automatically upload them.
This method helps hold you accountable. It also allows you to learn from someone else experiences with the horse.
Choose Exercises that Are Beneficial for Everyone
While part leasing, each month, you and the other rider can agree on 4 or 5 specific exercises to work on that will help you to both to move closer to your goals. I’m going to strongly suggest keeping the exercises as simple as possible. The key to making this work for you both is the angle from which you approach the exercise.
Most simple exercises can be worked on from really any perspective or filter you wish to work on or focus on.
Take the serpentine. If you are working on contact and connection, this is a great exercise for that. Similarly, it is equally as good to work on suppleness, rhythm, relaxation, straightness and a whole host of other principles in riding.
By working on similar exercises and then combining your knowledge and insights regarding how it went, you can make double the progress.
Obviously you must apply common sense when using this method. No horse is going to respond well to the same exercise being riding over and over again for a month. However, if you have 4 or 5 exercises and then sprinkle throughout the sessions, this method becomes a powerful resource for making progress in your riding when part leasing or sharing a horse.
Create Time for a Monthly Review
If you do choose to implement some of the above ideas, the final piece is committing to improving it on a monthly basis. Make time for a monthly review. You can do this alone or with the other rider. Simply see what is working and what is not.
Then commit to continuing on with what is serving everyone – and making necessary changes to what is causing roadblocks.
This can be the exercises you are riding, the days you ride. It can also be the times or goals. Horse riding is an ever-evolving journey and it is foolish to expect the road to be straight all the way.
Realizing that assessing what has happened and then using this information wisely to adjust the plan will serve everyone involved.
Successful part-leasing, part renting or sharing of a horse will require constant communication between all parties. If done right, it can be a wonderfully beneficial and affordable way to develop, for riders and for the horse.
Additional Resources to Help with This Topic:-
- Free Full Weeks Riding Plan
- The FREE 2020 Equestrian Fitness Challenge
- Simplifying Your Plan when Working Two Horses (adapt to two riders!)
- ALL the Equestrian Fitness Challenges (2016 – 2020)
- Lunging for Riding
- Groundwork for Riding
- Returning to Riding
- The Clarity & Confidence Riding Program
- My free online Facebook Community
- The Daily Strides Podcast