Should you OWN a horse? - Page 12

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Should you OWN a horse?

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    07-28-2010, 10:23 AM
Wow. I just registered to this forum, although I've been reading for a while, precisely because I want to learn as much as possible before buying our first horse. Now this thread has me getting cold feet about it all, but I can't specifically say why. I've been leasing for a few months and am out there 4-5 days a week 2-6 hours at a time, watching everything and asking lots of questions. The cost of basic ownership will be $100 more a month than what I am paying now, so I'm testing myself with the cost to be sure that it is OK to spend that $$$ on a huge hobby. I will board where I am leasing and there is a 16 yo brood mare, cutting horse trained earlier in her life, that I've taken to and owner has offered her for sale. Said I want to wait until late Nov. When I have a week off work to get her established. Not that anything will change with her situation, though. My BO is an expert and very generous with knowledge and according to boarders, with services. I know that when I was younger I waited forever to take in my first dog so that I knew I would have the time for it. I've spent thousands on my dogs who were sick before, at the expense of other things, so that is not the issue. I just see my life, along with my daughter, going to horses. My next vehicle next year will be a truck, then we will be looking for a trailer, etc. We have been learning/riding for a year now, and the interest has only gotten greater. So I feel that it is not a passing interest. Another issue is my daughter who is a special needs kid, who has found an interest that lets her forget her personal issues, which is how I personally got into riding again. We will be doing trail riding, although I wouldn't be surprised if she wants to train for barrel racing. Always having enjoyed hiking and backpacking, exploring the outdoors with a horse companion is awesome. It is my opinion that ownership is a very personal decision. I am a planner and organizer by nature, and not impulsive, so that helps with big decisions. All I know is that the time is not right presently, for some reason unknown to me, but I will trust the process and definitely be ready when the time comes to buy.
Just thought that sharing my feelings/experience might help some other newbie out there. I felt that this thread, especially the first several posts, was going in a mean-spirited direction.
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    07-28-2010, 11:07 AM
The thread raises the question of whether some people think carefully enough before they take on the responsibility of ownership of a horse. Horse ownership is both costly and time consuming. It is also a serious committment. It can be very rewarding. It is a way of life.

Many riders can get what they want from renting a horse in some way or another. We have an expression English: "to get a pint of milk you don't have to buy the dairy". We could have written that it is easy to buy a horse but often difficult to sell it.

If the thread made you think twice, then good. But if you have thought twice and fully understand what you are taking on - then go ahead.

Horses do wonders with some special needs kids. It looks easy from the edge of the ring but there is a lot of expertise being used by the handler. Some horses are better than others. It takes an experienced eye to judge the horse. There should be locally someone with the relative experience to help you choose the right horse. My previous horse, Joe, was magnficent with kids but he nearly killed me at the end of his time with me.

The key to a successful relationship is to buy a horse which matches your
Ability, your purse and your objectives. Never compromise on compatability.

What you need is someone knowledgeable, whose judgement you trust, to hold your hand.

Barry G
    07-28-2010, 10:58 PM
The key to a successful relationship is to buy a horse which matches your
ability, your purse and your objectives. Never compromise on compatability.

What you need is someone knowledgeable, whose judgement you trust, to hold your hand.

Barry, you are so right on again, as you always have been with your posts! You should write a book! My BO is precisely that person, who is knowledgeable, has good judgment, and doesn't hold my hand but allows me to take on what I feel ready for.... she is amazing. And she is half my age but hundreds years older in horse experience. I love it....
Today I caught my future purchase in the pasture for the first time, although she knew me because I had been out there to catch my lease horse for several months...and had to chase off her two buddies... brought her up and groomed her, which she loved. About the same time, my sister passed away from cancer... I don't know... is there another horse out there somewhere that needs me, needs human contact and a nice ride 5 days a week and once a month extended trail ride with friends, or am I tearing Nessie away from her buddies and pasture grazing, being a burden on her??? This is essentially what I am dealing with... am I being a positive or negative influence on the horse's life? I am probably way too philosophical about this. I am not, of course, going to make $$$ off of horses, just want the equine companion that wants the same thing I do. I do not want an equine relationship that is not mutually fulfulling. Now, I know, all you horsey people are rolling your eyes at me!!! Somebody, please get my head on straight again if necessary!
    07-29-2010, 05:19 AM
Quote; "now I know, all you horsey people are rollng your eyes at me" unquote

All horse owners keep horses for a reason. Mostly the reason is the horse offers a special brand of companionship. In this modern world the horse needs a human to provide its needs. In return the horse becomes a recipient of whatever the human decides to give. Only a dog can get mentally closer to a human but we don't rely on dogs to carry us safely. Sooner or later most owners come to realize that we have to trust our horse in the same way the horse has to trust us. Who else in life do you regularly trust with your physical well-being?

The price of ownership is high in terms of committment and time and emotion. The monetary cost is merely one other factor - but one which in some cases might limit the owner's ability to provide the care the horse might come to need.

Of course some horse owners do laugh at my personal interpretation of what horse ownership means but I suspect they have not yet enjoyed all the pleasure and comfort that the ownership of a horse can bring when the pair, equine and human, have a compatible relationship.

To me when choosing a horse to own - even to ride for an extended period - is a feeling which comes in my belly when I sit down in the saddle for the first time. Some horses make me feel at home -on others I feel nothing,
Indeed on some horses I feel distinctly edgy. I have come to believe it to be my brain - the bit of it that keeps me in the saddle - saying "this one will do" or "not this one". But you won't find such sentiments expressed in any riding manual.

Equally beware of "falling in love" - loving a horse which is unsuitable for your needs is disastrous - just as in the same way trying to live with the wrong human is fraught with anguish. It is very sad for an experienced owner to watch a horse and rider who are incompatible.

Horses have a 'nature' in the same way as do humans have a 'nature' - and the two natures must match or compliment each other.

This equine/human relationship between species is either there or it isn't and it is you who have to make the choice not only for yourself but also the horse. Outsiders can help to steer you in the right direction but at the end of the day - yours is the responsibility for choice - so take your time and be patient.

I wrote this for you to read - but I do not know you nor your circumstances.
Personally I am now reaching the end of my riding career. I've been with horses for 35 years and I started late. I am no professional neither do I attempt to teach people to ride. Folks either agree with what I feel or they disagree. Many would say I am TOO emotional. Maybe I am.

Your own writing on the post leads me to believe you are lookng for a relationship with a horse rather than a partner in sport - you are not alone.
Just find the right horse for you. As I said before - take your time.

    07-29-2010, 11:59 AM
Your own writing on the post leads me to believe you are lookng for a relationship with a horse rather than a partner in sport - you are not alone.
Just find the right horse for you. As I said before - take your time.

Thanks for your response, Barry. I do need some reciprocal affection from a horse. It makes all the difference in the world when a horse is glad to see you and enjoys your company. We will be doing trail riding on weekends and just riding around the barn property or working in the arena on a daily basis. I think that if you need a horse to win competitions, it is a very different matter. I do go with my gut and have the barn workers and owner who help with their experience. Also understand the incompatibility concept. I began riding a gorgeous 12 yo gelding who is on consignment at our barn because I felt sorry for him, he seemed bored in his stall all day. He does very well with me, but he is not a social horse. Also I love his lope but hate his trot. So he is not one I would consider buying.
    07-29-2010, 01:37 PM
Another thing regarding horse ownership, that, other than my own post, I have yet to find anything about: PLEASE, if you have a horse and suddenly can not afford to pay for it's care and keeping for ANY reason, be responsible, and if you have to, GIVE your horse away to someone who you KNOW will take care of it. Have a gameplan for the unfortunate event that you can no longer afford your horse or no longer want it! (NO, I'm not saying give it to the first idiot who calls, or to your neighbor who will take as good of care of the horse as you are able to do at the point you should be re-homing). 5 horses have come through our barn with owners who paid initially then over time started paying late, then not paying at all. Apparently they figured their horse would be taken care of since they brought it to a boarding facility. :::rantrantrant::: One of the people was a new horse owner (if you read my other thread, the "newb" owner was the person who sent their friend out with the horse's registration papers and a note handing over ownership).

As a barn owner, the HORSES WE OWN are horses we CHOSE to own for a SPECIAL, SPECIFIC, PERSONAL reason (like you said, Barry - a relationship, matching personality, etc), and the horses we own by choice are the number of horses we can afford. Unfortunately, we have had to suffer when people leave their horses here because we feed the animals before we feed ourselves. Sooooo... just something else to consider before you get a horse. You can afford it now: what is your game plan in something happens that makes it so you can't afford it, OR you decide you do not really want to own a horse anymore?

It is selfish and irresponsible to say "well, I don't care" - if you are boarding it isn't just your horse whom you are doing a great injustice, it is a huge injustice for the people who care for it as well.

Sorry guys... rantrantrant
    07-29-2010, 02:02 PM
Thanks leonalee, and I have thought about this. In the event that I buy Nessie, I will ask my BO (tomorrow when I see her again) if that something happens to me, for example, I become sick or disabled, what the options would be to keep her with her buddies there in the same pasture. Just now realized, too, that since I am drawing up a will this month, directives for horses as well as for dogs will need to be included!
    07-29-2010, 04:24 PM
"Unfortunately, we have had to suffer when people leave their horses here because we feed the animals before we feed ourselves."

I need to elaborate on this: leaving horses here as a paying boarder = fine, leaving horses here, as in abandoning them = aweful.
    08-30-2010, 04:55 PM
The world seems to be squeezing out the horse at times. Right now there are SOOOOOOO many wonderful horses stuck in rescues and shelters simply because people got them not understanding the HUGE responsibility and $$$ involved. I have seen horses who have come out of situations where they don't eat for days, where the owners keep getting more and more. We bought a horse for $100 and it even came with a saddle from some people who live near us. When we got her she was 25. You could count every rib, and every vertebrete in her back, she looked more like a jersey cow than a horse. I asked my vet once what he thought when he went to farms where horses were treated so neglectfully, and he told me that everyone has different opinions on how to care for horses. The answer is NO not everyone should own a horse. I think in a perfect world, all of these unwanted, neglected, older horses would get retired to farms where people who think they want to own a horse, can go and ride...I didn't fully understand the expense involved, it feels like everyday I am spending money on something...feed, farriers, vets and all summer it is saving up to get the hay to get them through is never ending...I am fortunate to make a good living and so does my husband...but it is still a stretch for our budget.

You can look at someones horse and tell if they should own a horse or not. If the horse looks can't cover that up with show sheen. I hate seeing "skinny" horses...they are RARELY skinny because of health issues. Horses can bare a tremendous amount of parasites before they drop weight...I just think the whole thing is pathetic.

You had an excellent post...very well put together.
    08-30-2010, 05:23 PM
This has me thinking.......... i'm thinking about taking a horse named royal from my instructor she can't afford to keep him she feeds him but she can't get the farrier for him... I love royal SOOOOOO much but the thing is he threw me a while back and I haven't rode him in forever besides today today was the first day i've riden him... he stoped and kicked his back leg back to get a huge bug away from him and I almost paniked... ugh mabye I shouldn't take him.... idk anymore I rode him fine and he was good except there was some bug bothering him T^T so idk

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