Lauren, I completely understand what you're going through. Growing up, we never had enough money to care for a horse, and I understood this. I fell in love with any and all things horse from the day I was made aware of their existence...just a typical horsecrazy little girl. I collected Breyer's, read Pony Pals religiously, lowered windows when we drove past stables to just take in their glorious smell...and then my mum did the most amazing thing: she paid for riding lessons at a humble hunt/jump operation. I learned so much from my trainer, even though he was a bit of a spaz and had me on a different horse every week...but I trusted him. More often than not he had me on a horse who was my first true teacher, a spooky chestnut gelding (breed unknown!) who had tie up problems and flipped over in his stall when some tarps were flapping in the wind, the very first day I met him...I miss that guy.
I continued taking lessons with him and then later at another facility before we moved, and once again I was horseless. I dreamed about them, I saw them in my mind running in the pastures alongside the road as we drove, and I perfected the imitation of snorts and hoof clops with my mouth and hands from a very young age.
I joined the horse chapter of a local 4-H...but the girls were effing spoiled ridiculous little brats and basically ran me out of the group on the account that I was horseless. I had no backbone back then, lol.
Later I met a wonderful friend whose mum bred minis, and she had two "big horses". Those were good times, but I admit to being jealous when she would go off to riding camps with her gelding...and I tried to imagine what that would be like. Glorious no doubt! Throughout the years I volunteered at various stables, doing everything possible in my power to just be around them, even if I was rarely allowed to ride due to insurance issues. :/ Being around them was enough...but I still yearned for a horse of my own, someone to be my companion and adventuring buddy, someone who's mane I could braid with silly little bows and whose thick, fuzzy neck I could just wrap my arms around and hug. Not someone else's horse. My own.
So, I am 20 now, and finally...FINALLY...the dream is going to be realised. Even if I am sharing the dream with my mum. :p It is almost unreal. It started off with me pointing out a scam ad for a cheap Friesian to my mam...then one thing led to another...we began searching, got in touch with people, and for the first time in memory my mother was like, "You know, we can do this." (She had horses as a young girl but was forced to leave them when they moved off the mainland, and loves them as much as I). We searched...some things fell through/horses were too expensive/had too many issues. One morning I rechecked Dreamhorse.com for new ads and voila, there was Lilly, the 9 yo arab who will be at our boarder's place this Sat.
Naturally this happens JUST as I am getting ready to go out of state for college, but at least I have another year.
If you read all of this, that's crazy. :p
Lauren...you'll get your horse. I have no doubt. Envision it, breath it, believe it. It'll happen. Talk with your parents and be earnest...perhaps even show them the post you first wrote in this thread. I'm sure they are aware of how dedicated you are (you certainly sound like it!) I have absolute faith in you!
Do talk with your parents about this first, but one thing I did (and got a lot of responses from) was to post wanted ads on these sites clearly stating that we were looking for a good horse for a forever home. You'll find people will be more willing to negotiate price if they know their animal is going to a good home. Visit local feed stores to check out the public message boards...hell even strike up a conversation with the cashier or whoever else is working. Chances are good they may even know of horses who are in such dire need of a home their owners are willing to give them away for free. You never know.
Keep us posted...