Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Tampa Bay area, FL
Yay for Leo's! I always go super in to detail and my friends tell me to stop over analyzing things, lol.
So, having a horse is a lot like having a kid. You can love them when your friends have them, because at the end of the day you give them back to the real people they belong to. To own a horse, you have to LOVE horses. You have to be able to put up with the smell (which I happen to love) of sweat, hay, poop, pee, shavings, and whatever your feed may smell like when ever you get around them. You can't be shy or timid or unsure, or you really will get walked all over. But you know all of this, since you ride already :)
Yes, the barn should, depending on what you pay for, do the hard parts like feeding two times a day, turn out and turn in, mucking the stalls, filling water buckets, etc. etc. Extra things like blanketing or applying fly spray according to the weather, as well as holding your horse for the vet and farrier may come extra, or they may not, it kind of just depends on the place you go with. As for the vet bills, unless its major surgery or long and lengthy treatment, often the sticker price on just having the vet come out to see your horse at all is a real kicker. This is why its good to be at a boarding facility, because then you can split the trip cost with how ever many other people may need their horses vaccinations or what have you, and save a lot of money. Same with the farrier.
For me, even though I am not riding at all currently, the joy does outweigh the work load (and the stress and anxiety). For me the joy is all coming from knowing what my boy is going to be some day....responsive, willing, just the "hop on and go" type. (He already has the work ethic, just not the training to back it up)
I also commend you for taking the route of having a healthy fear. If you've read all of those posts about people giving up, I'm sure you've read the other fifty thousand claiming that the poster will cease to exist if they don't get a horse.