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Should you OWN a horse?

This is a discussion on Should you OWN a horse? within the Horse Articles forums, part of the Horse Resources category
  • Who shouldn't own a horse
  • "people who shouldn't own horses"

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    04-15-2010, 08:18 PM
  #31
Weanling
I don't think anyone has the right to say who can and cannot have a horse.
My horses have their basics. Feet, shots, wormer, teeth all that. But should something come up and its a couple thousands sorry i'm going to shoot my horse. Same with all my other critters. For what I spent on that one critter I could easily give another a good home.
     
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    04-15-2010, 08:37 PM
  #32
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimsonhorse01    
I don't think anyone has the right to say who can and cannot have a horse.
My horses have their basics. Feet, shots, wormer, teeth all that. But should something come up and its a couple thousands sorry i'm going to shoot my horse. Same with all my other critters. For what I spent on that one critter I could easily give another a good home.
I don't think the point of this thread is to say who should or shouldn't own a horse...I think it's more of an awareness for people who get a horse but are ill prepared for the responsibility. You hear that "I got a free horse" story all the time, but that "free" horse usually (not always) comes with a lot of problems.

The barn we ride at is boarding facility also. She just took in an apendix QH that was "free"...He was about 250 lbs underweight, had a huge gash on his leg, hadn't had his feet or teeth cared for in years, etc. The owners have spent $3000 in a year just getting him in riding condition, in addition to boarding fees. Some free horse. Now they are paying for training because he is not fit for a child to ride.

I personally am bothered by the "I'll just get a new one" attitude, but maybe that's just me. I think that when a person buys a horse (or a dog or cat for that matter) they are making a committment to that animal for the duration--either to keep it or find it a good home. I guess maybe that's because I get attached to my animals and when their time is up I'm distraught.
     
    04-16-2010, 01:59 AM
  #33
Yearling
Thank you for this topic. This is exactly why I don't own a horse right now.
I had a free-lease going for the last 7 years, and I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to enjoy my wonderful boy without having to worry about any of his expenses. However, he was put down over the winter, and as much as I'd love to get a "horse of my own" now, the fact of the matter is, I'm a broke college student. It drives me insane when people with about an eighth of the experience (or less), but relatively the same amount of money, go out & purchase a horse. I think people get into "I want it right now!!" mode, without thinking logically about the situation & truly taking the well-being of the horse into consideration, and I think that's sad. I wish they could be happy taking lessons or riding a friend's horse or working out some sort of leasing situation until they were realistically prepared for actual horse ownership.
I recently got a job riding some beautiful young horses for some wonderful people, so for now, that is going to have to satisfy my "horsey fix" until I'm financially ready to embark upon actual horse ownership. I'm very much looking forward to whenever that day finally comes.
     
    04-16-2010, 02:59 AM
  #34
Yearling
I hear you, luvmyperch. It definitely can be frustrating to hear the woes of people who shouldn't own horses. For me it's mostly because the situation was completely preventable. They get into trouble when they are not fully informed. If they did get advice, but didn't listen, then it rests on their shoulders. Someone who is willing to learn will have a much easier time to turn things around for the better. I pity the horse who's owner does not. But I also love the point that Maura brought up, about how we can use the HF to help educate people. Or at least people who will listen and use common sense.

This thread/topic did catch my attention, mostly because deep down my worry is that I am not doing the best that I can for my horse. I suppose that she was an impulse buy. My BO was selling and I didn't want to lose her so I bought her with the help of my parents. My parents still help me to pay for her and I work at the barn to afford to keep her there and to continue to take lessons. If something huge, health-wise, were to happen to her, I don't know that I'd be able to afford to give her proper care. I would do ANYTHING to take care of her, but I do not know 100% that I would be able to pull it off. Is that fair to her? I feel some days that I am a horrible owner and that she would be better off with someone else.
I learned how to rasp/file my horses hooves, but she was tender on all footing except for grass, so I got a farrier to give her front shoes. The first thing I did when I bought her was have her teeth floated for the first time in her life. I learned that she should get shots, so I had the vet out to give her her annuals, which I doubt had ever been given to her.
I do the best that I can, but is my best enough? Maybe it's not.
     
    04-16-2010, 03:01 AM
  #35
Super Moderator
This is an excellent thread!

I can say though that I am guilty of this myself. Only not really intentionally, but I am guilty. I started working with Lacey (my trainer/BO does a lease a horse for a year, then decide to own it or not sort of deal like FowlPlay was talking about) 2 years ago. My every intention was to own her by the end of the year and ride off into the sunset happily, yadda yadda yadda. Well, last July (the end of the year) came around and I wasn't financially stable. I had no money coming into my possession and no prospects, really. So I told my BO that I'd like to half own Lacey in exchange for paying to get her hooves done on a regular basis and continuing to work with her. She agreed, but we didn't do any sort of contract (which we should of, hindsight is 20/20, right?).
Basically, long story short, I still have no money but now my BO says I own Lacey. She's put all Lacey's paper's in my name and everything so it looks like she's mine, but I know this isn't a good situation. I mean, for sure I'm going to make up a payment plan with the vet if Lacey goes 3 legged lame or colics or something, but I don't have the money to get her teeth done or her shots. Personally, those are two mandatory horse ownership things, in my mind, and since I can't do them, I shouldn't own a horse. But I do own a horse, and I couldn't ask for a better horse, but I really wish I didn't.

I bet that really isn't a super common scenario though... Not many people have a horse forced upon them, I would think... My plan for the summer is to save atleast half of everything I make, money-wise, for a safety net for Lacey, but that still won't cover teeth and such. It's a hard spot.

I thoroughly agree: I should not own a horse.
     
    04-16-2010, 03:05 AM
  #36
Green Broke
I agree!

I am not well off, by any stretch of the imagination, but you better believe my horses are taken care of. I just recently had a horse go down with severe colic, the vet was on the phone before you could say boo. Those bills are going to hit my bank account hard when they come, but my horse is still alive and well, so it's more than worth it. I don't understand the mentality of "he's my favourite, but I can't afford a vet". Ugh....I'm going to stop before I get nasty.
     
    04-16-2010, 03:05 AM
  #37
Yearling
If my parents didn't fund my horse, I would have to sell him pretty quickly. With my parents we have the money, but if they decided they didn't want to pay for him I would have to sell, no questions asked.
     
    04-16-2010, 06:59 AM
  #38
Banned
Crimson,

I don't think you're an irresponsible owner or someone who shouldn't own a horse, I think you're a realist. I once put a horse down because the alternative was a $5000.+ surgery, a year on stall rest and no guarantee the horse would be ridable at the end of it. I don't think that decision makes me irresponsible or a bad owner either.

Perch's original post was about uninformed novices who can't afford basic care, and post expecting solutions that don't cost money; not situations like the one you describe. Oh, and then get defensive when suggest a solution that costs money. I personally love the rationale that the reason my horses get/why I expect a better standard of care if because I'm wealthy....(So not the case!)

Island and Wallaby, same to you - I don't think you're the type of poster the original post referred to; you're horse owners struggling on a budget like most of the rest of us.
     
    04-16-2010, 09:12 AM
  #39
Showing
I go without so my horses and other animals will get the care they deserve. I'm not rich by any stretch of the imagination, and like everyone else, I have to budget my funds.

I haven't bought anything new in years, and that includes clothes. I shop at Goodwill for all my outwear, I drive a 12 y/o truck, I have a 35 y/o horse trailer, I don't have the interwebz or even a computer at home, I have an old, pay-as-you-go cell phone, I have my hair cut at the local beauty college, and I NEVER go out to eat.

That doesn't make me a martyr or better than anyone else, it just means when it comes to what's being spent, I'm the one who gets the short end of the stick because my animals are my responsibility. They don't have a say in where they live or how they're treated, so it's up to me to make sure they have what they need.

I won't spend $10,000 on surgery for ANY of my animals, even if they're still young and could have many years ahead of them. Everyone has a line where they can't and won't cross over, and mine is expensive, high risk surgery.

It's also irresponsible to bankrupt yourself trying to save one animal, and letting the others go without proper care. If you lose your home because you opted for an expensive treatment, how is that being responsible?
     
    04-16-2010, 10:00 AM
  #40
Banned
Great post, SR. Once again we prove that great minds think alike.

(Or is the correct aphorism "Fools seldom differ"???)

Irresponsible is buying a horse without any knowledge base beforehand or striving to gain the necessary knowledge base afterward, or ignoring the concensus opinion of informed horspeople for purely emotional reasons ("I don't care if everyone says it's too much horse for me, I *love* him") or buying a horse knowing you don't have the resources for basic care but engaging in magical thinking that it will someone work out. No one who's responded to this thread so far falls into those categories as far as I can tell.
     

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