Is it worth it to buy a horse for 2x a week?

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Is it worth it to buy a horse for 2x a week?

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    07-22-2012, 10:23 PM
Is it worth it to buy a horse for 2x a week?

I'm 40 years old and been taking lessons for two years now. I know that I absolutely want to buy a horse in the future but I was very happy just taking lessons since I've never owned a horse before.

I started really thinking recently about how do you know if it's worth it to buy a horse.

While I definitely have the acreage, I do not have the money for the fencing and the run-in shed right now so I'd have to board him at the barn where I ride.

Aside from the initial cost of the horse, I'd have $200 for pasture board, plus my lessons total $200 a month. So we're up to $400 a month just for board and lessons. That's not including any vet care or other expenses.

The most I could get out to the barn is 2x a week. Maybe 3x during the summer when we have longer daylight hours. But I start thinking what if the weather is bad on my day off, what about when it's dark early (this barn has no indoor arena so dark=no riding. )

The barn is just over 30 minutes away from my house and my job.

How many days a week do you all get to the barn? Have you found that the cost is worth it? I'm really having second thoughts on buying until I'm ready to keep a horse on my property.
I'm really wondering how people swing work and home life and still get to the barn to justify the cost of boarding.
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    07-22-2012, 10:25 PM
I would look into a lease. There's a lot of great horses on leases right now. I have a dead broke gelding that I trained for show I just up for a free lease. I'm lucky, have my horses at home and work close now - I'm gone nine days and home for five, so every nine days they get worked for five. But I don't pay board, etc.

Once you are set up better, I'd buy away.
MelissaAnn likes this.
    07-22-2012, 10:55 PM
Maybe continue lessons and consider a lease that would fit you and your budget. And at the same time work on getting your place set up for your own horse. When you have your place setup then look into buying.
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MelissaAnn likes this.
    07-22-2012, 11:08 PM
That's a great question.
I board my horse, and I very rarely ride twice a week, I'd love to but it just doesn't happen.

If I were you, I'd put the money into getting your fence ready at home and keep having lessons.
    07-22-2012, 11:31 PM
Yup I'd start putting aside money for fencing and such as though you were paying board. Saying that it can be immensely helpful to start out with a support team.
iridehorses and HagonNag like this.
    07-23-2012, 12:20 AM
Definitely agree with Alex and Prinella! Continue riding, working your skills, and save the money as if you were putting it toward the horse board, and in a years time or less, you'll be ready to fence your property, keep any newly purchased horse at HOME (what a DREAM! Imagine looking outside every day and seeing your baby running up and down your property lines! Ahhhh...) Sorry! Got lost in my own momentary fantasy...Anyway, during the time you are saving and cont.lessons, can ALSO (if you don't already have this piece of knowledge) , be "prepping" on how to rotate pasture areas to keep everything healthy and green, as well as networking with whichever vet is the best for you, closest to your home/Farriers, your professional "team" will be in place the day you buy and bring home your new horse!
You are one very blessed person to be contemplating all of this!! Can I move in with you and do it all, too? Haha! That was sarcasm, not freaky stalker-talk, FYI! :0)

Absolute best of luck to you!!!! B2H :0)
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    07-23-2012, 12:31 AM
Leasing a horse will give you the some more experience that you don't get in lessons! I agree with everyone else, lease a horse and save money for fencing and shelter. At paying $400 a month for lessons and boarding, while only riding 8 times a month, you are essentially paying $50 per ride. That seems awfully high.
    07-23-2012, 01:51 AM
Thank you so much. I really needed to hear this. My husband is the most supportive person and he knows how long I've wanted a horse so he kept telling me to buy him.

I won't be able to lease this guy. I'll have to let him go which breaks my heart but it's the right thing to do. The barn where I ride doesn't really have any horses that would be a fit for me now. Mostly older lesson horses and then a lot of times I just ride one of the horses that board. (owner's permission of course)

This horse's owner doesn't want to lease him, just sell him. He's gorgeous and perfect for me. He's an appaloosa/quarter horse cross with a temperament to die for. Just so kind and willing. Total confidence builder.

The reason we bought this house is so I could get a horse some day. But I'll keep waiting. That's a great idea to take that money and put it toward fencing and a run-in shed, not to mention the 1000 other things I'll need to buy when I get a horse.
I felt a little put on the spot at the barn. I didn't want to tell them I wasn't sure it was worth it to pay board and lessons and possibly offend the barn owner. I know me and what will happen is every time I'm doing something else, I'll wonder if I should be at the barn instead. Going to other places, doing other activities, or even just coming home from work and vegging out will make me feel guilty like I should be at the barn with my horse, spending time with him,etc.

This is for the best. Thanks again everyone. I needed to hear it from horse people!
sandy2u1 and Back2Horseback like this.
    07-23-2012, 01:58 AM
Take a $100 or $200 every payday, whatever you can afford and put it in a special savings account or in a cookie jar, where ever you won't get into it and spend it. Ear mark that money for fencing first, then a shelter & tack room. Once you have that in place, keep on doing it until you have all your tack and grooming supplies. Then for a couple of months build up your hay, feed, vet & farrier fund. Then go looking for Mr. Or Ms. Perfect Horse. In the meantime, keep on taking lessons in your chosen discipline and keep on asking for different horses, so you get used to riding different personalities. Ask your trainer and barn owner to school you on all things horsemanship so you're ready to bring a horse home without any horse people for immediate back up. By the time your ready, your place should be awesome and ready and it will be seamless.
    07-23-2012, 02:02 AM
Originally Posted by MelissaAnn    
At paying $400 a month for lessons and boarding, while only riding 8 times a month, you are essentially paying $50 per ride. That seems awfully high.
Seems about normal to me, and I get less riding time than that.

Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians    
Take a $100 or $200 every payday, whatever you can afford and put it in a special savings account or in a cookie jar, where ever you won't get into it and spend it. Ear mark that money for fencing first, then a shelter & tack room.
Great advise, but I'd start on the fencing whenever there is enough money to do a section of it, so it's not such a massive horrendous project.

ETA - to the OP, it's hard that you have met a horse that you like, but there will be plenty more. If you are a little unsure, it's probably better to wait.

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