Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
People always say that horse ownership is a big responsibility - and this is because it really is, and at 13 I'm not quite sure you can quite grasp it.
Because of your age and your position this responsibility isn't taken on just by you, but by your parents as well. Even if you have the land to keep your horse on there are a few concerns. Such as feed (this costs me about $30 a week) and farrier ($40-$100 every 6-8 weeks). On top of this vet bills can occur suddenly and range from $100 to over $1000.
Additionally, even if they have the land that doesn't mean that the fencing is up to scratch and that the facilities are suitable and safe for horses. Horses also don't go so well alone, so having one horse might not be right for you.
Free horses are rarely great horses, and not usually suitable for beginners. In fact, very few horses are suitable for beginners - instead the best idea is to get lessons for maybe a year or two and then look at getting a horse. In addition to the horse costs, you'll need to buy a saddle, bridle, rugs etc.
Finally there is the responsibility. Daily feeding, sometimes more than once a day, rugging and unrugging when required. And this stuff isn't something that is flexible. If its snowing you have to go out, if its raining, windy, knee deep in mud. If you're sick, if you are on holidays, school camp, etc you have to find someone to care for the horse for you.
On top of this, many people have problems with horses when they first get them, especially inexperienced people. This means you could need lessons and a trainer, which are all rather pricey.
You don't have to be rich to have a horse, but you do need some money and you need a lot of time and a lot of commitment. As a 13 year old - its a big ask of your parents for that much money, time and commitment. Maybe do lessons for while - even if they are a little pricey it will be cheaper than horse ownership.