Convincing my parents to let me buy a horse - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 07-11-2013, 03:22 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Edmonton, AB
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lease for now, if you can. it will give you a great experience and opportunity to 'get your feet wet' with horse ownership without having to saddle your parents with the financial obligation of buying a horse, paying board/feed/farrier/vet, etc. leases have a set cost per month, and you have the option of ending the lease if you feel you need to. alternatively, you can work in a barn in exchange for lessons or a partial lease, or at least work off some of the cost.

myself, i was a horse crazed kid. started lessons at 10 years old. started leasing when i hit 11 later the same year. worked my tail off in a barn for the opportunity to ride my 'barn mom's' horses for free. this situation still cost my folks money, as they had to pay gas to get me to and from the barn, buy me riding helmets and boots, and the odd few things like horse crunchies/cookies, etc.

then my folks split up, and my dad was the sole person supporting me. he bought me a horse and paid my board/feed/farrier/vet, etc.

we lived on kraft dinner and taco bell for a long long time so i could have my horse. we drove the same old 1970 something truck with it's much needed but unaffordable repairs for a while. i didn't have new clothes for at least a couple years so i could have my horse. we didn't go to movies or much anything else that was considered 'entertainment'. my dad made some huge sacrifices so i could have my horse. for that i am eternally grateful to him.

remember, it is your parents' money, and they will decide how to spend it.
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post #12 of 19 Old 07-11-2013, 03:44 PM
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I'm a teenager and yes, I own three horses, (Well, two minis and a Welsh Pony). But I had to work my butt off for all three of them. Fortunately, my dad is supportive of my passion for horses and moved us all to the country when I was 12 1/2. But we didn't just run out and buy a horse.... we couldn't afford it and still can't. I'm almost 17 now and I just got my pony. I have been around mini horses since I was 8 and have been riding since I was 11. I saved $400 to take lessons and at the age of 11, that was no easy feat. I paid for my lessons entirely on my own until my grandparents, fortunately, stepped in and helped me because my Grandpa got into horses for awhile. My own pony didn't come until around 3 months ago. After leasing my 4-H leaders pony (and paying for it myself), and using my Grandpa's horse (which was sold a year and a half ago), I finally got my own pony. But I paid for him entirely on my own. I had to babysit 187.5 hours to buy that pony (and that's because they came down on the price or it would've been more). I also had to buy my saddle. I now work at a fast food restaurant and it is NOT FUN but I do it anyway because I have a dog and three horses who have to have their needs met (I have other animals too, but my parents mainly pay for their needs). Farrier comes out? $60. Need more horse feed? $17. Hay? Depends on if it's been a good year for growing hay, what the quality is, etc. But the point is.... it ain't cheap! Then I buy him a new bit, boots for myself, a crop, show shine, etc. and all this money slowly leaks out of my bank account and it IS NOT CHEAP! I feel for you because I know how it is to want a horse so badly but it will come in time if you just wait it out. As someone else mentioned, you are lucky you can be around horses at all. I had to tell myself that a thousand times. Many, many horse-crazy teenagers can't get any closer to them then petting a mini at a petting zoo. Try to just be thankful that you have the opportunity to ride at all. Just keep taking lessons and learning all you can about horses. You will get that horse eventually :)

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post #13 of 19 Old 07-11-2013, 04:07 PM
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I taught and leased a pony to a little girl last year who just got her first horse last month even though her parents swore up and down they would never ever buy her a horse. She took lessons for a couple years, did pony club, stuck around for all the not-so-glamorous jobs. She went to pony club camps even though she didn't have her own horse and scrubbed buckets, cleaned stalls, groomed, held, etc. for everyone else and their horses. When she eventually got the lease on my pony she was always around even when she wasn't riding to pick paddocks, clean up around the farm, etc. she saved her money, was a perfect angel for myself, her other trainers and her parents and THEN after doing all the grunt work her parents decided that yes, she was ready and 'with it' enough to get her her first horse.

They're a HUGE obligation and I, personally, don't think that one years experience taking lessons is enough a ) to have the experience to care for your own horse and b ) to know 100% that it isn't just a passing fancy. Horses are a big investment financially and they aren't necessarily easy to get out OUT of.
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post #14 of 19 Old 07-11-2013, 04:12 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: North Texas
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There are some other good points here. The challenge is whether your parents have any interest in a horse.

The most successful families at our barn/on our show team are the ones where one or more parent has a passion for horses. I drive my daughter (now 10) out to the barn 3 days each week. When she has a show, I help get her gear ready and take time off wok to drive her to the show. When she goes away to camp, I go out and fly spray, groom and sometimes ride her horse. I volunteer at the play days at our barn to help those events go smoothly so my daughter can participate. My husband volunteers at shows to put in the required work hours so Kitten is eligible for year end awards.

When I was a horse crazy girl, I too wondered why my parents never indulged my desire for a horse. After all, I was willing to do the work and they appeared to have the money. My father now admits that while they knew about my passion, there were two main reason why it never happened. 1) my parents couldn't afford it. What I saw as having money was very careful budgeting by my parents. 2) my parents didn't have the time. Both parents worked full-time to support the family. They didn't think we could devote an appropriate amount of time to a horse.

My parents are very happy that I have managed to fulfil my childhood dream with my daughter. They also know that if Kitten loses interest...Acey will not be going anywhere. She belongs to the family and we hope to provide her with a forever home.
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post #15 of 19 Old 07-11-2013, 07:05 PM
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I agree with the ones saying that you can't. Leasing would be a good compromise..

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #16 of 19 Old 07-11-2013, 08:04 PM
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I didn't read all the replies, but here is what I have to say... as someone who did convince their parents to buy them a horse.

When my parents decided to let me own my first horse, I had already been riding regularly for nearly seven years. I had been leasing for three years prior, and showing for about four years. Within those three years, I was riding multiple times a week and in my lessons, not only rode, but also went over things such as nutrition, vaccinations and conformation, just to name a few examples.

As for when I finally popped the question? After I made a spreadsheet listing all expenses. I had the majority of supplies from leasing, but made sure to include remaining one time expenses such as a saddle and bit. I did my research on prices in my area and did up the monthly and annual costs. I also mentioned what would happen with the horse when I went to university and what I was going to do to help out with costs myself.

However, you always need to be prepared for those unexpected expenses. Can your parents afford a vet bill for a couple thousand dollars if something arises? In the two months and a half months I had my horse, we spent over double, nearly triple, her purchase price on vet bills. Chances are that, unless your parents have a lot of money, they won't be too eager about it... especially since you have only just started riding. I never thought I would be put in that situation and although I did mention the chance of unexpected vet bills to my parents, I never expected we would have to call out the vet for anything more than a puncture wound. Personally, I would think more about leasing because it is less of a financial commitment and it will provide you with experience that can help you in the future if you still wish to purchase a horse.

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post #17 of 19 Old 07-11-2013, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone.
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post #18 of 19 Old 07-11-2013, 08:26 PM
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What everyone has said it true. Even though one year isn't long, and the age of the horses you ride does not demonstrate experience, it's still not the issue.

The issue is not "getting your parents to let you buy a horse" because you can't buy a horse. For one, you're underaged and can't own one, and two, I doubt that you can afford one. The issue is "how to convince your parents to buy you a horse, and pay it's upkeep". Horse are expensive. You'll be looking at thousands up front for the actual horse, tack and gear, plus likely somewhere between $200 - $1000 a month to keep it. Searching through this forum you'll find countless stories about people with trouble with their first horses that end up having to get instructors and trainers just to do basic riding. So it's not just board, it's also training costs, and gear, not to mention transport taking you out there daily or so. And then time to go there and back, and supervising you, and probably competitions later on, new tack, entry fees, time, transport. It never ends.

Horses are great, but they're time consuming and expensive. Imagine if someone, a brother or sister perhaps, asked you to give them $100 a week to play golf. Or to go rowing or something. Would you do it? I doubt it.

The best way to convince parents would be to create an actual realistic budget. Lets say, it's conservative, about $400 a month. Then go get a job and earn $400 a month and save it all for 5 - 10 months, so you'll have your purchasing money, and maybe some tack money. Then keep your grades up, and try and spend an hour at least five days a week, at the stable place where you ride, helping out, to show you have the time for a horse.

Then in 10 months or so print out your bank statements, your grades etc and say, "Hey parents, for almost a year I have saved the cost to care for a horse. I've saved $4000 and have spent time out at the stables everyday. My grades are still excellent and will get me into university, can I please buy a horse? I'll sign a contract with you ensuring that I care for the horse, and keep my grades up. I'm pretty sure I can do it, but I'd love your support just in case I can't" And see what they say.

I remember being a kid and wanting a horse more than anything. My parents were great and bought me one. But I never understood the cost, both in time and money, that having a horse came with. Now I understand, I am grateful for my childhood, and I have my own horse, but it's not easy. And if I were parent, I don't know if I'd get my kid a horse.
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post #19 of 19 Old 07-11-2013, 08:54 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: NW WA
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Finances aside, what do your parents know about horses at all? Buying a horse for a child requires knowledgeable parents or very reliable, easy to work with resources (trainers, barn owners, etc.) I did buy my daughter a horse at 10 years old, but she had been taking lessons for 4 years, and me for 3 before we even considered it. And, our trainer/barn owner is a good friend, who convinced me to lease a horse for my daughter first, so for almost 2 years, we leased a "been there, done that" senior horse for my daughter to learn the caring for stuff.

One year worth of lessons, and riding younger horses under the supervision of a pro is certainly not qualifications for horse ownership.

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