07-31-2011, 01:08 PM
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I've been on both sides..... a teen wanting a horse, and now I'm a parent of a teen that wants a horse. My main concerns with my daughter are:
Will her grades suffer/will she complete school work etc?
Will horse ownership cause her to not want to be as involved with school events?
Will I get stuck taking care of her horse?
Will I get stuck having to PAY for everything for her horse?
What happens when my daughter looses interest, am I going to be stuck with a horse and the expenses of a horse that I can not sell??
My advice is to begin answering these questions for your parents, not by words but by actions. Make sure you have some money saved up, maybe a couple hundred dollars to prove that you are serious about contributing to the horse's needs and have money to help out in case you need a vet or something goes wrong. Make sure you have GREAT grades, and get involved in something in school too. It is really important to have relationships with your school mates and teachers and be involved with what is going on there.
I think a next step may be to ask to find a horse to lease. I know it's not the same as your own horse BUT, a lot of times you can use the horse's tack so it wouldn't be a HUGE out of pocket expense for your parents all at once and you can slowly build up your own stuff for when you do get a horse. Also, in that way you can prove you can keep your grades up, outside activities AND take care of a horse and make your parents feel like there is a little bit of a safety net (all parents are scared of being STUCK with a horse their teen no longer is interested in). I would stick with this for at least 6 months or so. I also think asking to lease first will show some maturity as well as let your parents know you want to really try it out without them risking being stuck with a horse that you either won't take care of, don't have time for or lose interest in.
When all goes well with the leased horse for a while, then I would sit down with your parents and calmly, logically have a conversation with them and ask for their point of view on how it's going etc etc and that you feel you have proven you are ready for a horse of your own. If they say no, or not yet.... then ask them their reasons and try to calmly listen, and then take a few more months to work on those things so that they don't feel that way anymore.
You also need to remember, that these are hard times still. Parents are very very proud creatures and we like to shelter our children sometimes so that they may stay young at heart as long as they can, or may simply be too embarrassed that we can't afford to give them everything they want. I can't even dream of telling my daughter she can't have something because we can't afford it... sometimes it's easier to just say "no" with no reasoning behind it. I'm not saying your parents are broke, but please be sensitive to the fact that there may be circumstances preventing them from getting the horse that they don't want you to know about for whatever reason. You are getting to an age where part of showing maturity will be in showing sensitivity to your parents stresses and what is going on in their life too. It is one of the greatest ways you can show respect.