Neu Perspectives

Howdy Partner

Have you ever partnered on a horse? 

It’s a strange concept, I know. Questions race through the doubter’s mind. How does one partner on a horse successfully? What are the specifics? What if you both want to ride it at the same time? 

I have partnered on horses both happily and unhappily, and I’ve learned that every situation takes care, detail and a goal with a plan of execution. A plan B and a plan C never hurt, either. Honestly, I tend to shrink away from a partnership opportunity because it can complicate things, having to share decisions in an area as volatile as horse ownership. But with the right person or group of people, it can be a special chance to be a part of something you couldn’t otherwise afford to do alone.

Usually, a partnership on a horse is done for profit, although sometimes I’m sure folks work out a situation where they share a riding horse for leisure and pleasure riding. In any of my partnerships, I tend to focus on the profit side of things, as most of my horses would not offer my partner much leisure or pleasure since they are generally young and silly (until they are broke, seasoned and sold). 

Some partnerships split expenses down the middle, and training is included in that cost split. Some partnerships take turns riding and training the horse intermittently, and sometimes, the horse is purely in the care and training of one partner. Some folks may own the horse together and send it somewhere completely different to be trained. There is no wrong answer; it just varies in each situation. Often, the ultimate goal with a partnership is either a sale or competition. 

As with any partnership, it doesn’t work in the horse world to join up if your interests are divided, your goals are undefined or you join up with someone you don’t trust. Personalities that meld are key, as is someone who understands the risks and proper handling of situations that animals can throw your way. At best, it can cut costs, offer otherwise unattainable opportunities and make it fun when you’re joined up with the right person. And when a horse partnership goes south, it can be pretty lousy to navigate through. 

I’m not saying a person should or shouldn’t join up in a horse ownership quest. There are perks and risks, but it can work out really well when you have the right situation and a good collaborator. 

There’s certainly nothing wrong with owning half of a horse — whichever half that may be! 

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