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Should you OWN a horse?

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  • Can i afford to own a horse

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    05-03-2011, 11:03 PM
  #221
Green Broke
A few months ago I was offered to have the horse that I lease. This horse is insanely important to me. The problem was that we could hardly afford the lease. I was so disappointed when we had to turn down the offer. But in a way I guess it's better if I just stick to leasing until I'm older and I have a job (well I work at the barn but that's to pay for some of my lease because otherwise it's too expensive). I mean, if I owned her and something happened to her I would never be able to forgive myself and I'd somehow blame it on myself even if I had nothing to do with it. Also I guess I get the same benifits leasing as I would owning. I mean- I get to ride her whenever I want and do pretty much anything with her and her owner takes us to shows and all that sorta stuff and I don't even have to pay for trailoring or board.
So if you can't afford a horse or you aren't expirienced enough then I totally recommend leasing a horse. It sure has helped me out a lot!!
I just wanted to say that. Just a suggestion to anyone who can't afford to own a horse.
     
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    06-20-2011, 12:54 PM
  #222
Trained
I have two horses that I pay for myself on a cashier's wage.

We don't pay board (we live on 10 acres, we don't need to), and we do our own farrier work unless there's a problem that isn't resolving, or if we suspect an abscess. We feed simple, high roughage feeds. Our horses are in fantastic condition and very very shiny.

This week, I could only pay $100 off a debt I have, because I had a vet bill (my adult horse's teeth). I had a month to pay the vet bill. I had it paid within days of the bill arriving in the mail. Why? Because the vet bill is more important than paying off a debt I have 2 more months to pay off, that's sitting at $550 at the moment and will be less in a couple of days when I get paid again, provided I don't have an emergency. Emergencies, by the way, are why I said I needed a lot longer than I actually did to pay off this current debt. If I have an emergency, I'll have some leeway.

Minor injuries (cuts, small lacerations), we can deal with ourselves. Mum was a vet nurse for years so she has very good first aid knowledge. We called the vet out for something once, and he gave Mum this look that was like, "and why did you call me out?" and told us that we didn't need to do anything different than the first aid we'd already applied. This was to a horse's badly skinned knees. We were using medical honey so the vet didn't even prescribe antibiotics because the honey has antibiotic properties and reduces the chances of infection dramatically. Magic stuff.

Vet care should ALWAYS be the highest priority of any animal owner, though we all know how much it hurts the hip pocket! More so for me than the average horse owner because I have a foal so the routine stuff is a thousand times more important for her long-term soundness.
     
    06-20-2011, 01:09 PM
  #223
Banned
I really think there is more to it than not having enough money... granted there are few people out there that have enough patience time or willingness to pull it off. And that's okay, just take that into account before trying to get a horse, too many kids just pick up a free one off of craigslists and their parents don't really stop them. See it all the time, and it's sad.
The weeks I can't afford food for my mare, I literally go out along the fields I have permission in armed with some scissors and buckets and pluck 20lbs of forage for her every day, sometimes this had to be done in VERY cold rain. But people can go back and look at her pictures, she's never been mistreated or uncared for. Thankfully we've found a hay dealer who really helps out now, and the colder months are taken care of.
     
    06-26-2011, 12:51 PM
  #224
Foal
I just want to add (and it may have been said before.. I didn't read all the posts) that a crucial part of owning a horse is KNOWING WHEN TO ASK FOR HELP. It's impossible to know everything about horses and their health, no matter how much research you do- and if your horse is doing something or has an injury you don't understand, HAVE THEM LOOKED AT! The forum is wonderful, but it doesn't compare to having your barn owner or vet actually coming to see your horse in person.
     
    06-27-2011, 12:18 AM
  #225
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmdstar    
Well, according to this I shouldn't own a horse. That sucks, but you won't see me selling my horse because a bunch of people on an online forum think I shouldn't. No offense to anyone here, just saying.

We can't afford to call the vet out everytime our horses have a sniffly nose or a cough. Our horses get their hooves done when they need to be. They get yearly shots. They are fed and cared for. They don't go without anything they need and they are watched for carefully - when something is up we watch them until they are better or until it's time to have the vet out, so no, I'm not going to go run and list my horse for sale because I can't afford thousand dollar vet bills - if it happened, we would figure something out, but it hasn't. I am aware that someday it will and when that day comes, we'll figure it out.
You have made a good point. :)
     
    06-27-2011, 10:58 AM
  #226
Foal
I know what you mean OP. My grandfather has two horses just to have them and say he has the biggest team of draft horses in the area. Yesterday he got their feet done and as soon as their hooves were picked up, you could smell them... Thrush, hoof rot, you name it. It was nasty. They had cracks, flares, bruising, long toes, no heels, piss poor frogs. It made me sick. He said, "wow he needs some work doesn't he?" I looked at him and was like, "Well if his feet were done every 6 weeks and picked out every night, then he'd be fine." My grandfather turns his horses out in a mud hole, so of course they're going to need their hooves picked out everyday and are going to need proper hoof care. Not to mention that they get about 6 quarts of grain a day and are so fat I'm sure they're going to both founder anytime. They're big horses, about 18.2hh and should weigh about 2000lbs at a healthy weight. If they were being worked that amount of grain would be ok, but they're just pasture ornaments and the most exercise they get is the walk to and from the barn. It's ridiculous.

My horses get their feet done every 6-8 weeks, the vet comes out once a year for shots and check ups and I take riding lessons and also have a trainer help me with Koti now that she's 3 and we've started her under saddle. I'm blessed to be able to keep my horses at home and not have to board. But it isn't easy by any means. We bale our own hay so that saves on expenses, but we have to buy our grain and supplement for selenium because Maine's soil is deficient.

I've had my share of emergency vet bills. My ex husbands horse cut it's leg open in the pasture one day when messing around with my mare. It was a deep cut and I could see the bone so I called the vet. I can handle small cuts and lacerations on my own, but this one needed stitches. The bill was $200 and with all the other bills we had I didn't have it all at once. So I gave the vet half and he billed me for rest which we paid when the bill came. I had a dog come down sick, stopped eating and started throwing up. Took her to the vet, they couldn't figure out what was wrong with her and tried to save her, but her kidneys and liver shut down so we put her to sleep. $1500 later we were on a payment plan again. When I picked up Koti to bring her home, her previous owner thought that beating her over the head with a stick would get her to load. Needless to say it knocked out her tooth and once I got her home I made two calls. One to the animal control and another to the vet. The vet came out and took out the other half of her tooth, gave her some meds and gave me a bill of $250 which I gave him half of and paid the rest when he billed me.

If my horses need something, they get it. If I don't have the money at the time, the vet bills me on a payment plan and I always make my payments on time. Just because they get hurt doesn't mean I'm going to shoot them in the head. Now if one of them were to break a leg, it might be a different story, I'd probably have the vet humanely euthanize my horse and have my heart broken at the same time. I've been riding for over 10 years and a horse owner my whole life, so I have enough knowledge to be able to handle minor injuries and behavior/training problems. Otherwise, that's what calling the vet or my trainer is for. It's pretty simple.

If your child were to come down sick or break a leg, you'd take them to the Dr and you take them to the Dr and the dentist regularly. The same logic should apply to your horses.
     
    06-28-2011, 01:36 AM
  #227
Green Broke
This is a great thread
     
    06-28-2011, 03:12 PM
  #228
Weanling
I think that people should go and volunteer at a horse rescue to learn why horse ownership is such a big deal. Most of the horses there were never meant to be mistreated. It is sad to see people get in such a mess and have animals suffer when that was never their intention. If you don't have the time to do some volunteer work a day or two a week at a rescue, you really don't have the time to own a horse...in my opinion. I burn up several hours of my day just doing the maintenance end of horses, and that's what makes the rare leisure time I get to spend riding or playing with them so nice. Horses are a lot of $$$, time and work...just sayin.
     
    06-29-2011, 12:19 AM
  #229
Weanling
I agree to an extent.

However to answer 'Should you OWN a horse' - YES I should!
     
    07-02-2011, 01:16 AM
  #230
Weanling
I honestly at this point really don't think I own any horses...they all own me...they own my property...my paycheck...my time...I just run around with buckets and hay and making phone calls for them when they need something outside my scope of practice like the vet...and occassionaly they let me climb up on their backs and have a little fun...yeah they have me whipped but I love it or I wouldn't do it.
     

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