Great question, sometimes I doubt my sanity, but more often I find myself experiencing a level of living that I am very glad I didnt miss.
After buying my child a pony, I decided I needed my own horse, and now at 52 years of age, I own and am riding for the first time. I bought Tiger, a 12 year old foundation bred quarter horse gelding, and one week later, won a blue ribbon at our county fair, in the flag race!
Then I purchased the wife a horse, and we are working with a 7 year old Blue Roan Mare with good ground manners, but still much to learn towards finishing. In Six months, we have purchased three horses, two trailors, built two stalls, fenced two acres, and have gone on about 3 trail rides as a family.
I read in this forum about a woman who's horse was helping her deal with arthritus, and I can say that, my horses keep getting me up out of my chair, out into the yard, and into the fresh air. I have no regrets, thus far!
I have delt with two trainers, read numerous books about theory, and I pay close attention to Clinton Anderson's Method. Our horses all seem sound, healthy, and happy. Two are easy keepers, and one eats like a horse and hardly gains a pound. I have shoes on only my horse, and we have yet to need the vet.
This week I cleaned my pals sheeth for the first time, and even discoverd "the bean", so I would say my experience progresses, as does my enthusiasm. Its great to have these new additions to our life and small farm to care for and concern ourselves with. I am very fortunate to have the time required and the life energy to look after not only the horses, but my two girls, wife and daughter as well! And they LOVE their horses!
I don't advise jumping into horses as I have to anyone, and I also have the feeling that some people have so many horses, because that is what it took for them to find one they could enjoy. Out of my three purchases, I think the last was the most misleading. She is herd bound, has a tendancy to throw her head up and resist the bit, flexes poorly on one side, and is barn sour. But, she will follow my horse on the trail, and is kind and respectful of both my wife and daughter. And as told, she has excellant "Ground Manners" which does not mean, she is anything more than green broke! Each week she becomes more relaxed and enjoyable to have, Friday eve, we took her to a local gaming event, and the wife walked her thru the patterns, she behaved well, and the wife said this morning, that she wouldnt want to trade her for any of the other horses that showed up for the gaming.
I have met people, that fear, and even do not like horses, and I can say, that in our family we all share in our fondness for these wonderful creatures! Which makes having them a blessing rather than a nuisance!
It's better to stand in mud, than manure!