How long until someone should consider buying a horse & convincing parents questions? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 44 Old 07-07-2013, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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A doctor would most certainly have time for horses, it's the training periods that would be the worst. The problem is; it takes a lot of training to become a physician (especially a surgeon).
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post #32 of 44 Old 07-07-2013, 02:07 PM
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A doctor might, but someone who is in school to be one.
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post #33 of 44 Old 07-07-2013, 02:28 PM
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I agree with others, this is likely still too early to be looking to buy a horse. They are a very long term purchase since they can live for 30 years or more.

Also, don't take this the wrong way, but you're young and you've only been involved in horses for a few weeks. You haven't seen all the sides of that particular dice yet. The daily care that gets boring and monotonous after just a little while. Young folks are notorious for sudden changes of interest. Not to say that you would, but I've known lots of people who had an incredible passion for something one week, then they discovered something "new" and lost interest in the old thing completely.

While you do have 5 years where you would probably have adequate time to spend with a horse, the next years after that are much less likely to have that kind of time. If you were to buy a horse now, what would you do in 5 years? Leave it to your parents to take care of? Sell it on to someone else?

For now, I'd suggest you start helping out around the barn so that you can learn and see all the sides of horse care, continue with your lessons, and maybe in a few months, consider leasing a horse. That way, you get the horse and all the "perks" of horse ownership without having the responsibility of finding the horse a new, good home if you lose interest or if your life plans change and you're not going to be able to care for it the way it deserves.

THEN, when you finish medical school and have a bit more time to yourself...and a more steady income, then you can think about buying a horse because you'll have the planned long term ability to care for it and ride it.
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post #34 of 44 Old 07-07-2013, 05:18 PM
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If a horse suits you right now, you might not want it in 3 years. You will want to ride loads and loads of horses and become a good rider before you start thinking about what you want to buy. Horses that are safe for absolute beginners often aren't the horses that will be exciting and fulfilling to ride a few years later (there are exceptions, of course!), especially if your horse isn't being developed past your own skill by a trainer. You are just learning, in a few months you could decide that all you want to do is jump or all you want to do is piaffe and suddenly you have a horse who can't do any of those things and then what do you do?

The cost of horses can be crazy. I just got a vet bill for $1100 from an injury that wasn't even a big deal. Next week my horse is getting $500 injections for his arthritis. His shoes are $200 every 6 weeks. Floating his teeth costs $350, clipping costs $140, then there are vaccines, fecal tests, $300-400 a year for glucosamine supplements, $350 for saddle fitting, etc. Just fly spray alone can cost you $30 a month. Then there are blankets, coolers, saddles, bridles, bits, boots, saddle pads, brushes, fly sheets, fly masks - it never ends. Not to mention his training and board. There is no way I would have been able to afford a horse as a student - I wouldn't even have had the money to transport my horse to university.

If I were you I would spend extra money on more lessons and wait quite a while until you buy a horse - until you're a competent rider, you know what you want to do and you find a horse that will help you achieve it, a horse that can depend on you to provide it with everything it needs whether you are in full-time training or if the horse is on stall rest and needs to be wrapped every single day or if it's retired. And retirement is something I think people should be considering even before they buy a horse - what will you do when this horse can no longer be ridden in the way you want? Will you be able to support both a retired horse and a new, rideable horse? Some people are fine with selling horses, but selling can be hard and considering where horses can end up I would not feel comfortable selling to anyone but a very, very close friend. Which means that my horse is most likely with me for life.

And of course there is the issue of time. I have everything taken care of at my stable - I don't need to feed or muck stalls or be there when the farrier comes. But I still spend at least 15 hours a week at the stable. That means I can't go out with my friends as much - I don't stay out until 4am because I have to get up early on Saturday to go see my horse. While having a horse in university and in my early 20s would have been fun, it would also have been really limiting - I spent that time living in different countries, travelling, dancing until the sun came up, having torrid long distance love affairs, being an artist with no money, etc. I would never have been able to do those things if I had a horse and I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. You are young and it is such an exciting time - you have so many possibilities that maybe you do not want to trade for something you can have in the future.

I waited until I was in my early 30s before buying a horse and in retrospect I am very glad I did. If I had bought when I was 25 I would not have been able to afford to do what I am doing now and I would have a horse that couldn't do it either.
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Last edited by plomme; 07-07-2013 at 05:25 PM.
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post #35 of 44 Old 07-07-2013, 05:35 PM
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Think of a horse as just like having a child with similar long term time and financial responsibilities, and then ask yourself if you're ready for that.
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post #36 of 44 Old 07-07-2013, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by futuredoctor View Post
A doctor would most certainly have time for horses, it's the training periods that would be the worst. The problem is; it takes a lot of training to become a physician (especially a surgeon).
Not true. One of my students father is a Orthopedic surgeon. He is NEVER around. Its a constant complaint of my student that she never sees her dad and when she does he is really stressed out or tired. Especially when he is on call.

I used to date a doctor. He practiced family medicine. It was hell trying to find free time to go out for dates. We eventually broke up because I was sick of being in a relationship with my phone. And he was done his residency.

Everyone else has already said everything that needs to be said. You are brand new to riding. Go work at the barn, offer your time and ride other peoples horses for them when you become more experienced. You have your entire life ahead of you.

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post #37 of 44 Old 07-07-2013, 07:13 PM
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Reading all of these comments sort of scared me... I live on a farm and have been horse crazy since age 3. My Grandpa, who lives a quarter mile away, also loves them and has encouraged me the whole way, much to my dad's dismay. I read horse books all the time and how to do what with horses. A few years ago, right before eighth grade, I started really wanting my own horse. My grandpa's dad had bought him and his brother a horse at about my age and he loved it so my grandpa started encouraging my dad to do the same, saying it would teach me responsibility and get me even more involved on the farm. I really think my grandpa wanted the horse as bad as I did seeing as he really missed his when it died. We had hay accessible all the time and my grandpa started teaching me all about diet and things that were great that we had for horses. My dad gave in and we started looking for a horse. With my grandpa's help, we found one that would do the job of trail riding but didn't really cost that much. $900. Me, this horse, and my grandpa have learned a lot. No one is EVER done learning.

However, a difference between my story and yours maybe the fact that I have 3 younger siblings that are all interested in riding. So when I go to college, they can have fun with the horse and I can ride it when I come home on weekends. I didn't pay for the horse, my parents did knowing that the rest of the kids would ALSO ride it. I help pay for some of the hoof care while my parents pay for vet bills because typically it's the family's and vaccines we get when we get the rest of the stock's.

So , don't know. The main purpose I got a horse so young was because my grandpa thought it was a good idea and my siblings could also learn something from it. I think my situation is a little different but yet we probably didn't EXACTLY do the right thing. And with the whole having to have more than one horse, Mine seems to do fine. We have cows all over though that he sees and talks with. It probably doesn't completely do the job a second horse would do, but he looks happier here than he did at his previous home.

Everyone does things different I guess. We are not duplicate's of each other with a distinct right and wrong.
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post #38 of 44 Old 07-08-2013, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by futuredoctor View Post
A doctor would most certainly have time for horses, it's the training periods that would be the worst. The problem is; it takes a lot of training to become a physician (especially a surgeon).
Originally Posted by NBEventer View Post
Not true. One of my students father is a Orthopedic surgeon. He is NEVER around. Its a constant complaint of my student that she never sees her dad and when she does he is really stressed out or tired. Especially when he is on call.

I used to date a doctor. He practiced family medicine. It was hell trying to find free time to go out for dates. We eventually broke up because I was sick of being in a relationship with my phone. And he was done his residency.
NBE is right. If you think you'll have plenty of free time as a doctor, think again. Depending on where you work, you can have as little as one day a week off. I live in a small country town that has two doctors. Both doctors double and triple book to get through their patients. Mine has every Sunday and second Saturday off, but every weekday goes from 8-9 am to as late as 9pm. He hardly gets time to eat or drink, let alone ride a horse. In fact he's recently sold his farmland because he and his family have no time to maintain it.

So yes, the training period will mean very little time with a horse, but chances are it won't get much better after that, so don't go thinking that you can go back to your horse once you're a doctor until you're absolutely sure. Besides, as has already been mentioned, when you ARE a doctor, you'll have the money to spend on a horse.
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post #39 of 44 Old 07-08-2013, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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I work with physicians daily as an EMT, I also volunteer in the hospital. From my experience it is rare that a fully trained physician has no time to do things like ride horses. They are certainly busy, but they have time for their family and recreation. One of the doctors I work with skis, plays fiddle, works in the clinic, and does research. He has a wife on top of that. Some physicians chose to work locum tenens or per Diem which can allow a lot more free time. My medical experience doesn't lie. I work with physicians at an academic medical center. Anybody who knows a doctor who doesn't have enough time to ride horses should suggest they get job at another hospital. That kind of work I would expect from a resident, not an attending.

The average hours per week for physicians is 53.9

Even if it was 60 and you worked every day it would still be manageable.

That would be 8.57 hours per day, and I'm usually up for at least 16 hours per day. So yes, even if I were one of the harder working attendings I would still have time.

Last edited by futuredoctor; 07-08-2013 at 07:22 AM.
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post #40 of 44 Old 07-08-2013, 03:31 PM
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I think you're missing the point that everyone is trying to get at. Once you own a horse they need to become your first priority, because without you they will not have the care they need. And that can be a full time job in itself depending on the individual horse.

So if you really think you need a horse ( which in my opinion you don't right now) you need to put EVERY SECOND OF YOUR SPARE TIME into learning everything you can.

Like so many people have mentioned, volunteer at a barn, muck stalls, clean water troughs, feed, take clinics (yes these cost money too). You need to learn how much work it really is. Right now i think you are only seeing the fantasy of owning a horse, not the reality it is. I am 24 years old and have owned my horses for about 10 years.And I worked my A** off since I was 12 just to pay for him. Before that I did chores for not a thing because I wanted to learn all I could. Even though I'm not is school I have 30000$ of debt because I refused to sell my horse during college (and this was only a 2 year course). I was in school about 12 hrs a day, had a full time job on top of that to pay for rent, food, horse etc and I had a hard time making sure my horse got the care he needed, because even just boarding a horse doesn't always guarantee the right care. I own my own home now, work full time and still work at the barn where I keep my horse to help with costs.

Believe me, if you want it bad enough you can make it work. Although it sounds like all you want to hear is that you should be able to get a horse after only a few lessons (believe me you will end up in WAAYYYYYY over your head and the horse will pay for it). Seriously, take the advice of everyone else and get some hands on experience CARING for horses before you go out and buy one. If you don't unfortunately you will be in for a rude awakening.
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