I can afford a horse. By loan I mean I wouldn't buy a horse but instead borrow one and look after it; I believe in America the term lease is more common. Financially I am in a secure position for both purchase and maintenance of a horse for now and the foreseeable future. I would still be able to afford to take care of a horse while at university for my final year. I would absolutely not be considering looking after a horse if I did not know I could handle the expenses comfortably.
This is my third year riding; I take lessons during the summers when I'm home from university. However, I am finding the experience of looking after and riding friends' horses much, much more rewarding than taking lessons. In comparison, lessons seem short, fleeting and boring. I enjoy catching a horse, working with them for more than half an hour, looking after them for more than the short time I am on their back. Yesterday I learned how to worm a horse and I'm spending a lot of time with a yearling filly who's improving every day I work with her. In comparison, lessons seem so very limiting, as I would turn up, get on, ride, get off, and only occasionally get to groom and untack the horse I rode. Not to mention riding horses that aren't dead-sided lazy schoolmasters is a totally different experience and I'm learning much faster with horses that are responsive to me!
However, the situation I'm currently in is something of a lucky fluke - family friends and my dad's work colleagues - and so it will not continue when I move in July. As I know no one in the area and am new to Oxfordshire, I do not have any contacts or local knowledge to facilitate loaning or anything else.
In terms of 'getting bored' - I enjoy horse riding. I enjoy working with horses. To be honest, I'm surprised at my current commitment; I willingly get up very early to see to the horses when I have no opportunity to ride them. I know that owning a horse is a long commitment and I feel that if I own a horse, they are my responsibility until a) they move on to a new, good home, or b) they die, either through euthanasia or after a well-earned retirement. I do not think I will come to dislike the commitment, but I do not know as I have not been in such a situation.
Logically I can always talk myself out of this decision, as no suitable loaning opportunity has presented itself to me. But it's tough, given just how much I enjoy my time with the horses, to always just say, "Okay, this isn't going to work." I do not make emotion-based decisions and I'm not about to just rush out and buy a horse on a whim, but I'm unsure how far I can go in exploring the possibilities. >< I always thoroughly investigate EVERYTHING before I do it, hence why I would enjoy a leasing situation, but it's just so frustrating to be stuck in limbo, wanting to pursue this, knowing it's a possibility, but having nothing going on to really shift me one way or the other.
If you believe everything you read, better not read.