Yeah - I'll tell you my story.
I started riding in Grade 4, my Grandma paid for my lessons and I loved it. I only got 1 perspective though.....riding. That was it.
I wanted a horse so bad I could taste it, but my parents never supported it. So - to those who have Mommy's and Daddy's who buy you a horse and pay for everything, you're pretty darn lucky in some ways.
Anyways - so growing up, I had to do everything myself. When I joined pony club, I had no horse of my own, so I leased. I worked my patootie off mowing lawns, babysitting, cleaning houses, walking dogs - anything I could to make my own money to pay for Pony Club, lessons, clinics and shows.
I did it though. From D to C3.
All those years, was hard work - and the horse never even belonged to me. ALL THE WHILE I still had no idea the costs of taking care of a horse. I never had to -the owners did that.
Of course I learnt first aid and proper care and how to feed and amounts to feed and all that good stuff you learn in Pony Club - but that was only book smarts.
Heck, I even compeated Preliminary on a lease.
Then I got my own horse. Woah - reality check!!! DING DING DING - it isn't all about getting on and going for a ride, there is a WHOLE OTHER WORLD out there full of responsibillities that come along with owning your own horse.
You know what - out of everyone I rode and compeated with for years in Pony Club, only a handful, including myself, are still riding and working hard. Everyone else who had their parents pay for everything, had no appreciation - and are no longer in the equestrian world.
SO - I feel this thread is directed at those who don't own their own horses, who take lessons and only see the riding aspect to being around horses. Or towards those who's mommy's and daddy's pay and take care of everything - to make one realize that it isn't all fun and games and the load of responsabillity that comes with the whole package.
So I can totally respect where JDI is coming from with this thread.