Types and terms of sharing and lease arrangements
vary as much as the horses they serve. For Jana
Marquardt of the San Francisco Bay area, sharing her
gelding with lessees o;ered her a chance to pass along
her knowledge of horsemanship and dressage.
Marquardt honed her skills on borrowed horses
as a working student throughout high school before
getting her own horse. When she added graduate
school to her schedule, she knew the most beneficial
decision for her—and her horse Binki—was to team
up with someone. She asked for referrals from her
network of trainers and friends and entered a half-lease with a young woman learning dressage.
“I had limited time, but I wanted to keep [Binki]
moving and healthy,” says Marquardt. She regularly
coaches her lessee while continuing to ride Binki
three times a week herself. She believes this sharing of
expertise adds value and focus to lease arrangements.
Binki’s current lessee, 15-year-old Maya Desai, agrees.
“It’s a great way to learn from another person,
especially when that person is more accomplished,”
says Desai. Her lease terms include not only riding the
20-year-old gelding, but also providing an equal share
of his maintenance costs, including supplements,
blanketing and care.
More important for Marquardt than a lessee’s
riding expertise or preferred discipline is how much
that person can contribute to the horse overall. “The
question I ask is, ‘Does the rider maintain or enhance
the horse’s mental and physical well-being?’
“I’m pretty picky. I’m very upfront with my
expectations. I’m looking for that thoughtful, caring
person of any age, and I think you can get a good read
on someone by watching them interact with your
horse for a while.”
Marsha Heiden of Garrettsville, Ohio, agrees that
leases or co-ownerships can produce win-win benefits
for riders and owners along with optimal well-being
for the horse.
This led Heiden, a former dressage instructor at
Lake Erie College, to involve co-owners in two of her
young Andalusians, which meant sending the horses
out of state to live and train. This arrangement is
working for everyone involved.
Heiden’s experience illustrates the possibility
that achieving a horse’s full potential might require
teamwork. “I buy, breed and start young horses, but
I can’t ride all of them or attend to them the way a
single, fully engaged co-owner can do,” she says.
“My goal was to get my finest horses into the hands
of great riders with great trainers that would allow
the horses to get the opportunities that I alone can’t
provide.” In cases like these, Heiden’s partners are able
to train on horses they might not otherwise get to ride.
Meanwhile, Heiden can rest assured her horses are
getting the care and consistency they need.
Since last year, Stephanie Boyles of Boulder, Colo.,
has co-owned Kyra, a 5-year-old Andalusian mare,
with Heiden. The collaboration has fulfilled Boyles’
interests in learning how to develop a horse’s potential,
and she values the knowledge that Heiden brings to
Jana Marquardt leases her horse Binki to Maya Desai,
and enjoys mentoring her while having someone to help
care for Binki.
Marsha Heiden brought in co-owner Stephanie Boyles
to help get quality regular riding on Kyra, her 5-year-old