This is just an idea I've thought of, if I ever have a child some day who is just as crazy about horses as I am, and wants one but does not yet know what it takes to own.
Its pretty much just a fantasy/musings type deal right now.
Basically, if I ever had a child who wanted a horse, I'd send them to "bootcamp". The basic idea would be that me and my trainer, barn owner, or whomever is a horsey friend and willing to help out, would take my child under their wing for thirty days. Or maybe a year... Dunno yet! And in that time would learn the ins and outs of ownership. They would be doing real work with approved horses (sane ones, who have perfect ground manners and the like), stall cleaning, bathing, administering medicine and aiding in wound care (under supervision) and the like.
If the child by that time has proven they can take the work load and are responsible and get a "passing grade" from my horse buddy, I would look into purchasing a horse for them.
When I was young, one of the reasons my mom never got me a horse was because she thought it was a fad. And to this day, I understand, and realize sometimes it is to young children. Especially to those who don't want to work. This seems like a pretty sane idea. What do you guys think?