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

This is a discussion on Is it worth it to buy a horse for 2x a week? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        07-23-2012, 01:05 AM
      #11
    Green Broke
    I too think your best bet would be to keep doing the lessons and save up your money for fencing. If you do that, you should think about getting two horses since they are herd animals. Yes, one can do fine on their own but I think it is better for them to have another.

    If we had thought about the cost of boarding vs riding, we probably wouldn't have gotten our first two. The wife's horse was barely green broke if even started and mine was only 6 weeks old. We didn't get any riding time in hardly. The stable we moved them to was also 30 minutes away so we only could go there on the weekends. There wasn't an indoor arena but there was an indoor round pen. So if we were to look at riding vs cost, it was very spendy.

    Fast forward 6 years, we really don't do that much more riding having our horses outside our door. A lot is because of the weather. Way too hot! It is a lot more work on our part taking care of them but it is nice not having to drive to see them.

    Would I do it differently if I could? Would I have waited? Probably not because of the friends we've made and we wouldn't have had the horses we have now.

    Even if you have the room for a horse, it might be better to board. You could meet more people. Your horse could be around more horses. Another big thing is if you need to go somewhere, you don't have to worry about finding someone to take care of your horse(s). Just saying, there are pros and cons either way.
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        07-23-2012, 03:41 AM
      #12
    Yearling
    Quote:
    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. 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.
    EXCELLENT ADVICE...I agree 100% with above!
    Wish I LIVED on horse property, would do EXACTLY THE SAME! :0)
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        07-23-2012, 07:20 AM
      #13
    Yearling
    Yup, I'd say "lease".

    Considering the cost of boarding, etc. as a price-per-ride is one perspective, and it's an important one. It's not just the boarding, though - it's the vet and the farrier and the dentist and the vet some more and the supplements and the tack and the and the and the and the...

    Beyond the question of $ there's a question about the horse. I know that they're all different, but one thing that seems to be a common thread when I talk to vets and trainers is consistency. The horses do better if they're getting ridden and handled and trained frequently and consistently. Right now, I'm not in training for any show or event - I'm just working on improving my riding and my relationship with my horse and his physical condition...and getting that stuff to a good place and keeping it there involves riding about *five* times per week. If I don't do it, I need to conscript someone else to do it.

    Last winter, I had his shoes off and the ground was icy (these two things are related) and I didn't get to ride him at all between early December and the middle of March. I *still* needed to go to the barn four times a week or so and handle him, groom him, do groundwork with him, etc. This is a horse that's on full board, so it's not mucking and feeding, it's maintaining his mental and physical condition. Even so, he was getting very shirty and developing some undesirable behaviors by the end of the winter, and I'm going to have to find a different solution this year. YMMV, but *my* horse really needs to be in work. I may even need to keep shoes on him this winter, and ride him in studs when the ground gets hard.

    Horses are like kids. You *can* have them cared for by the babysitter or nanny, and they'll get their basic physical needs answered, but you've got to put in the parenting time if you want a happy, well-adjusted kid (horse).

    It's really great that you're honest with yourself about the amount of time you can spend with the horse. This is so important!

    Half-leases or mini-leases, now, were invented for people in your situation - you want to ride a little more frequently than you can get lessons, but you don't have the time to keep a horse full time. A half-lease sounds like it would be perfect.
         
        07-23-2012, 07:36 AM
      #14
    Showing
    It always seems that the right horse comes along at the wrong time and that when the right time comes, all you find are the wrong horses.

    IMHO, if this is really the right horse for you, and even though there are many good horses around, I would find a way to make this horse work. Since you can't lease him from his owner, maybe you should buy him and share board (semi lease) him yourself. That way you can afford his board while still saving for your fencing and own the perfect horse.

    I have always had a knack for finding a way to make things work that I really want. That is the way I would do it if that was the right horse.
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        07-23-2012, 07:51 AM
      #15
    Green Broke
    I think leasing is better for you.

    As to having a horse on your property, you may have to give up lessons unless you have a trailer to haul in or can find someone to come to you. You'd also need riding space - especially if you're taking lessons. Do you feel confident enough to go without lessons? I've known more than one person who has ended up bringing a horse home then basically gave up riding because of a lack of arena or lack of confidence to ride alone.

    A lot of people have very busy lives and for horses in. You may be able to fit in more horse time by shifting things around. I'm at the barn 6 days a week. I could go the 7th day but I think a break is a good thing though sometimes I will go on the day off and just feed him s axle and love on him. To give you an idea of my schedule, I work a standard 40 hour week, I take belly dance class once a week, go to the gym 4 days a week and do Zumba at least once a week but also on days where the weather is not good for riding (I don't have an indoor either). I'm also taking 2 college classes , 6 away from my degree!
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        07-23-2012, 08:02 AM
      #16
    Green Broke
    Lots of great input.

    My thought is, if you have to ask the question, the answer is "no".

    There's a lot of dedication that goes into owning a horse that does not include riding.

    I haven't "ridden" in the real sense of the word since 2007; a fifteen minute hack down the road every several months, doesn't count.

    It never has been just about the riding for me and I am fortunate to have my horses home so I can enjoy them. There was a point in time where I had to board for about five years (three of these same horses) and couldn't ride much because I took all the OT I could get at work, had a home and was a single mom. Somehow I also managed to muck enough stalls at that boarding barn so I was paying board on two horses instead of three; I didn't sleep much back then

    I agree with those who support putting money aside to build your fences and shelter and continue your lessons/interaction with someone else's horse. Once you get your own property set up, then start looking.
         
        07-23-2012, 09:33 AM
      #17
    Foal
    I agree with all of these. However, I wouldn't have been able to purchase my warmblood had I asked this question. I currently have two horses, at a boarding facility. Which for the first year or so I would suggest boarding at one. You really should follow the barn owner around see what her day to day life consists of with the care of the horses. One of my favorite things about being at a boarding facility(which I'm about at the point of wanting my own place) is there is always someone to help you, go on a trail with, borrow something you ran out of. It's always nicer to have others there to step in if you really just don't know or to get a second opinion. I really couldn't afford Leon and to board him too. But I gave up literally everything for about 7 months and made it work. I wouldn't go back and change anything. Luckily my husband is extremely supportive which made everything a little easier. But I love both my boys! But I'm also out there 7 days a week... Good luck!!!!
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        07-23-2012, 11:41 AM
      #18
    Started
    I love the way iridehorses put it. If you truly think this is the one then get him.
    The initial cost of buying him and the first few months of having a trainer around to watch you ride him and give you pointers on how to best manage the horse is whats going to cost the most. Once you two figure eachother out you will be able to stepback from lessons and limit it to once amonth or whatever your comfortable with and continue discussing with your trainer the progress and or problems you have. Which will save you money to put towards fencing.

    I like the idea of also leasing him out or talking with your barn manager or whoever is incharge about using him in there lesson program for cheaper board and to guarantee he gets a workout. That way he gets ridden and cost of board is cheaper and practically your horse will be getting trained with and without you for no extra cost.

    Good luck :)
         
        07-23-2012, 01:06 PM
      #19
    Weanling
    I've read everyone's replies a couple of times. Thank you all again.


    Quote:
    It's really great that you're honest with yourself about the amount of time you can spend with the horse. This is so important!
    This is what I did this week. I sat down and thought about how much I time not just that I could give, but honestly, how much did I want to give. I want a horse for trail riding and overall just pleasure. I dream of walking out my back door and having a horse or two there. I could get in a quick ride when I have the chance. Our property opens up to trails so I could ride out from my property. I also wanted to have a round pen so I could do some work on other things. But the thought of riding 30 minutes every single time I want to see the horse just was unappealing. When winter comes, I will only be able to go on weekends since I'm not home until 6:30. So that means if I want to go 2x a week, I'm giving up my weekend. Which is fine for me, but how fair is that to my husband. We can never plan anything or do anything because I'll be at the barn.
    Where I used to live was perfect. I had to pass the barn on my way home from work and they had a huge indoor arena. Being dark outside meant nothing. I could pop in on my way home and get some horsey time. This barn is totally different.

    Quote:
    Since you can't lease him from his owner, maybe you should buy him and share board (semi lease) him yourself.
    I wondered about this but I thought what if I can't find someone to half lease and also is that something I could even do if I board? Meaning would the person who leases pay me or pay the barn owner? Would a barn owner care if I did that? If I could find someone to semi-lease before I bought him, I'd consider it. But I don't know much about semi-leases if they are something that can work out well or get hairy. Nobody at my barn leases or semi-leases so I would have to talk to her about that.

    Quote:
    As to having a horse on your property, you may have to give up lessons unless you have a trailer to haul in or can find someone to come to you. You'd also need riding space - especially if you're taking lessons. Do you feel confident enough to go without lessons? I've known more than one person who has ended up bringing a horse home then basically gave up riding because of a lack of arena or lack of confidence to ride alone.
    All good points! We definitely have the space here and our property leads to trails. The house itself needed a ton of work and that is why I wanted to finish up the house remodeling before thinking of getting the horse part set up. But as you mentioned I'd need a trailer along with the other things.
    What I want to do ultimately is have my horse home during extreme weather (summer when it's too hot and winter when it's cold, icy, dark outside) and then board him during nicer months. There are a couple of part time boarders at the barn who do this. This way it's kind of the best of both worlds. They keep their horses home during winter and board them from spring until fall.

    So I figured I'd keep my horse home from December to March maybe and then during July/August if it's too hot to ride. Winter concerns me most because of the short daylight hours. I feel like I'd get so much more out of the horse owning experience if I come home from work and I'm able to walk out my back door and see my horse.

    Great points about the social experience of boarding. I don't want to give up the socializing for me and the horse, the lessons, access to the awesome trails the barn has and just the overall experience. I know that so much of the riding ability and confidence comes from other people.
    Since I only trail ride, I was hoping to cut my lessons down to maybe once a month by next year.
    So while now I'd be paying for weekly lessons as well as all year boarding, I'm thining if I bought a horse next year, I'd only having monthly lessons and part time boarding.
    That's my plans anyway.

    Dancingarabian, your schedule is nuttier than mine! OMG.
         
        07-23-2012, 01:27 PM
      #20
    Weanling
    Oh also, My husband pointed out that getting our property set up for a horse will cost more than paying full board, but I guess this is where I feel the cost is justified.
    I didn't know if boarding full time was justified. Part time definitely, but I'm not sold on full time. I've read so many posts in the past where people complain that weather or their schedule has stopped them from getting to the barn and they feel stressed and guilty. I know that would be me.

    Sorry for this being long winded. I'm thinking out loud I guess.
    Why did this horse have to be so perfect! Ahhhhh, lol. I'm going to wait. I figure it can't hurt to wait. But If I go ahead with this, I might be saying to myself, "What did I get myself into?" 6 months from now.

    Thank you all again so much. Decisions like this need to be made with advice from horsey folk.
         

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