Weekly Feature

2017-07-13 / Editorials

Spindle items

East Aurora Editor

ON LEASING AND LOSS — As many of you know, I ride horses. Well, singular horse — his name is ElectricVRN, otherwise known as “Ricky.” He’s an Arabian horse who was bred right here in East Aurora at Strawberry Banks Farm.

Correction, I used to ride that singular horse.

I was leasing him from a girl out in Lockport. At the start of the lease, I told her I was not interested in riding English or showing Ricky. It’s too expensive and not my style. I enjoy the occasional stroll through the woods or a gallop across a grass field. This, the girl said, was just what she was looking for, and thought he might benefit from a change in routine. I moved him to an expensive barn of her choosing and quickly realized there was a lot of work to do with this horse.

Fast forward to Monday, when I received a text message telling me she was terminating the lease because someone else wants to show him. It’s what’s best for the horse, she says.

And just like that, I’m a girl without a horse.

It hurts, I’m not going to lie. You put your heart and soul into working with a horse, grow attach to it, and then to have the rug pulled out from under you, well, it’s devastating.

I hold no ill will toward this girl. It was her decision, and I respect that. The move may have been unprofessional, but that’s what you get when you sign a lease without thinking.

I would lease again in a heartbeat, and I would encourage anyone looking to dip their toes in the horse-ownership pool to do the same. However, I want to pass on what I have learned about leasing to others.

Rule 1 - Make sure both parties are ready for this. It’s not a cheap endeavor, and signing a lease is a commitment you need to be financially and emotionally ready to undertake.

Rule 2 - Read the lease and imagine a future scenario that would need to be addressed in the lease. I never thought this girl would change her mind, and unfortunately, our lease doesn’t have a penalty clause for her ending it early.

Rule 3 - Know New York State laws.

After this happened, my former trainer reached out to me with some great advice. She told me that if a lease isn’t notarized, it doesn’t hold any water. If I had injured myself on this horse, this girl would still be responsible, even though I signed off releasing her from any liability. However, Helen also reminded me that riding is an inherent risk sport, and in New York, anyone riding assumes the risk that comes along with it.

I have faith that everything will work out and that I’ll find another horse to ride. In the meantime, if you know of anyone looking to lease, give me a shout.

RECOGNIZING RESIDENTS — Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized? Do they go above and beyond for their community or maybe just have an interesting story to share? We want to hear from you.

Our “Someone You Should Know” column runs the first and third weeks of the month. We are looking to feature people who are making a difference in Elma, Aurora or East Aurora.

If you think someone should be featured, call 204-4918 or email me at KateP@Beenews.com.

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