I think I posted earlier in this thread to say this, but don't want to go find it. I just read MN Tigerstripes post and wanted to reiterate my point.
Having a horse or horses is not about the amount of money you have to throw around whenever. It is about being willing to sacrifice things to find the money if the need should arise. It's about developing that relationship with your vet, so that if something comes up and it is a bad situation, you have proven yourself trustworthy enough to make payments. I currently have about $1000 of vet bills that I am paying off slowly. My vet knows I'm good for it and therefore will still come to my horses if something happens.
And it isn't always about money either. Its also about being willing to admit when you have no idea what is going on, and having the humility to ask someone for help or to do the research so that you can make yourself a better horse owner.
I don't believe anyone is ever an expert at everything horse related. There is too much to know and opinions are always different. Having horses is one sure fire way to teach yourself that you know NOTHING in the grand scheme of things. And that applies to everyone. Even those with decades of experience around horses are always learning new things.
I've known people who subsisted on PB&J for a week in order to pay off vet bills.
We are not well-off but make enough money to comfortably care for two horses. No more. Yes, sacrifices can be made (for instance...no take-out or movies, driving long distances, etc..) but it also sucks to constantly stress over money/time which you don't have to care for your animals. Part of being a responsible horse owner also means knowing your limits.
As far as devoting all your energy toward one horse, I agree with this as well, if that's all you have time for. I know someone who has a very sweet and lovely teenager Quarab. When her old mare died, she stopped coming to the barn to mess with "Ginger". Ginger just sits now. Cute little horse with a lot of potential. Her owner works terribly long hours, however.
And yet...she recently adopted a 3/yo Morgan filly. Completely green, only halters.
Upon hearing this I was
You work terrible hours...you don't even bother working with Ginger as it is and now you've gone and got a youngster??! And the huge kicker is -- this barn (my old barn) doesn't have ANY space for exercise. It is a backyard operation and is past full capacity as it is. She won't have any room to work one-on-one with the filly.
This just strikes me as crazy. Why go get a baby who needs a ton of training when you don't even have time for your already well-trained (But quickly deteriorating in the manners department due to sitting for so long) other horse? I feel bad for Ginger, it's like her owner has basically abandoned her. IMHO she has a responsibility to Ginger to give her the time and attention she deserves, not let her rot in some paddock all because she desires a flashy young project. Either that or sell her, which isn't going to happen.