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Horse racer 08-15-2012 08:29 PM

Need some Moral Support.....
I finally find a direction or lifestyle that I want and I keep getting shot down for it. I love horses. I love everything about them. Especially the lifestyle that follows the love for them. But my Mom and Dad and others keep shooting me down telling me I can't. Not that I can't have one, just that I will be leaving for college in 2 years and they're expensive and time consuming and that I just can't do it. I know they cost money and dedication and I'm willing to work to keep my horse....but it just seems like they think I'm stupid and are crushing my dreams. All I hear about when I talk about a horse is how much college costs and a bunch of excuses and I need a car and I need this and that and is impossible to keep a horse! I know lots of people who have gone through college paying for a horse. And I'm willing to make sacrifices. But I just feel shot down, and they're forcing me to have second thoughts about all this.....and my WORST fear right now is that my dreams and goals of owning a horse ranch in the future are just going to fade away.....and I'll just be forced to move on.......I don't want that to happen.

I don't want to sound like a bratt, I love my parents a lot. I just feel really down in the dumps and feel like my dreams are crushed....I just need some support. Anyone have this happen, or have gone through this? Or anyone have any advice?

BubblesBlue 08-15-2012 08:36 PM

OH dearie, I hear you! I am going through the same problem right now.

Think of it this way...[this is what I am planning on doing]
Take those two years off of owning a horse. When you get out of college, land a solid job and then get a horse. It will be so much easier that way. 2 years may be long but having horses for a lifetime will be even better.
During those two years, I am planning on taking lessons at a barn on English. I won't have my own horse and everything, but this way I can still do something horse related.

AlexS 08-15-2012 08:37 PM

It sounds like your parents are concerned that they will not be able to afford it, and that's perfectly reasonable. You might be able to pay for day to day care if you are working, but if a vets bill comes up, it's very likely your parents would have to pay.

Can you find a local riding barn and spend time there or have lessons instead?

Dreams don't just fizzle away, there's no reason why that has to happen if they are just put on hold for a while.

CowboysDream 08-15-2012 08:44 PM

The reality of it all is that you /will/ need that stuff and I see a lot of horses being sold because their owners are going to college. There are ways around this... For instance volunteer at a horse rescue, take lessons or part-board/lease a horse instead of buying one right away. Part-boarding or leasing can be like having a horse but without all the costs and if you are busy with college it will still be taken care of.

If you are determined on getting your own horse than you need to be realistic. Will you need to get a job to pay for the horse? If you do get a job, will you have enough time to balance school, work and taking care of your horse? Is your course time consuming? Can you have enough money saved up for an emergency fund for your horse? And remember, the initial purchase of the horse is the least amount you will end up paying. Hay prices are rising (at least they are here), vet bills, tack, first aid kit, board, farrier, etc. So if this is something you are serious about and you have a realistic mindset (keeping those questions in mind) then it is time to make a budget. Seriously do your homework, figure out how much everything will cost for a year for owning a horse vs part-boarding or leasing a horse.

It is great that you are so into horses and you know you want this lifestyle. However apart of this lifestyle is to realize that if you do buy a horse, you are then responsible for its life. Finances, well-being, attention, training, etc. So think long and hard, put some serious thought into it. Consider other options and see what is right for you with your current life style. Owning a horse is not realistic for me, nor is leasing/partboarding. I absolutely plan on owning horses one day, but I just can't afford it. I graduate in December, and then I am getting a fulltime job and saving up money. After I have a nice savings fund, then I am going to think about leasing or part-boarding and then eventually buying.

rookie 08-15-2012 08:52 PM

I completely agree with cowboysdream! I think that your parents are not so much crushing your dream but giving a reality check. I know a lot of people who in high school want a job in horses. Then they find out how much blood, sweat and tears go into it.

I also know a huge number of people who go to college and find other interests. Thats okay. Thats sort of the point of college. You get to find out what really matters. I know you think you know what matters but if you are meant to be with horses and in the horse world you will be in that mind set in a year or two.

Also, there is the fact that owning and running a ranch is HUGE. The number of equine only ranches that are not guest ranches is very, very small. I would recommend looking at a ranch you like and seeing if you can work there during the summer. That way you can make contacts and test drive the lifestyle. Thats how I made money in my summers during university.

Amethyst 08-15-2012 08:56 PM

Waiting doesn't mean giving up....
Dear Horse Racer,

Like you, I'm an avid horse fan. I had to stop taking lessons in high school to save money for university, which went from an undergraduate degree to graduate work. Eight years into university (which I paid for myself by working and with scholarships) I won a major scholarship and was able to start lessons again. Then this winter the stars aligned and I was able to buy my first horse. I'm only able to do this by sharing ownership, but I never expected to be an owner. I figured I'd be taking lessons for years to come. It has always been my dream, but by make hard choices early on, I was able to get further ahead than I expected later when the perfect horse for me came along.

I recommend checking out Gail Vaz-Oxlade's website. She's a financial guru and her site has working spreadsheets where you can figure out what you can really afford. If I were you, I would focus on getting out of school debt-free so that you can hit the ground running: get a job and then buy a horse.

Waiting doesn't mean giving up - it's just hard. I'm proof that it can work out even better than expected.

HagonNag 08-15-2012 10:54 PM

As a parent, I totally understand where they are coming from. College IS expensive. If you can afford to buy and keep a horse, that is money you could be contributing to your upkeep and education. Education comes first: It makes everything else possible. You aren't saying what your major is, but will it provide you with a career capable of maintaining a horse? Could you major in something that would segue into a life with horses? Agriculture? animal husbandy or animal science?... Equine studies?

You do not have to give up your dream, but you do have to be realistic and figure out a way to use this time in school to further your dream.
Without getting a horse, which would be totally expensive and time consuming and take time and attention away from your studies. Your education should be your FIRST concern. Horses will still be there when you graduate, and you may know a lot more about them by then. Good luck!

Horse racer 08-15-2012 10:55 PM

I completely understand the hardships of owning a horse, especially when in college. I'm going to be a mechanical engineer, and that means I'll be in school for 4-6 years. My parents are not horse people, and I just feel like they think my dreams are kinda stupid.....and really don't support me. But this is what kinda irritates me also. My sister wants a horse too. She's only 10, but I have kinda got her into it. So my parents say they will buy and board a horse for HER!!! And it rubs me the wrong way because she isn't as passionate about horses as I am....and every time she gets an animal she loves it for about a month and then gets bored with it. She gets sick of all the work that comes with the animal. Then it gets neglected and we have to constantly remind her to care for it and she whines and complains about it. It's happened on more than one occasion and irritates me. So then I ask, why can't you just HELP, not completely pay for, but HELP me with the costs of a horse and I get told no.

And the horse ranch, that won't be for a LONG time. I just want 1 horse for now. I've also considered working with a stable to let me keep and pasture a horse in exchange for labor.....think a stable will do that? Then I'd be working 2 jobs, one for money and one for keeping a horse. Thanks y'all for the advice.

HagonNag 08-15-2012 11:11 PM

If you are planning on being a mechanical engineer, you are being very unrealistic to think you can work 2 jobs on the side...AND spend time with a horse in addition to keeping up with the academic demands of engineering school.

What your sister gets or doesn't get is immaterial to what you do. You need to focus on YOU and your future. Not what you want for the immediate future...but what you can do to make your dreams a reality later. You should be focusing on your grades and looking at colleges.

Most stables have more kids that want to work for riding time or stabling than they can possibly accomodate, even if they wanted to. You say you want a lifestyle that allows you to focus on horses. You will have to choose. Either you go to school, educate yourself so that you can afford that lifestyle....OR you focus on the lifestyle now...and get a job as a groom, or stablehand...with limited prospects and little money. Yes, you'll have a horsey lifestyle...but trust me, you'll be broke. And your future will involve LOTS of hard work with little pay and a rather limited future. I'm not saying that you can't build a life with horses, but at your age, if you haven't been raised with horses and have solid riding skills, you'll be the very lowest of the low, entry level physical labor. You're FAR better off working on an education that will enable you to live your dream.

Why mechanical engineering? Why not equine studies or agriculture or animal husbandry? I think you need to think about where you want to ultimately be...not whether or not you get what you want right now. And then make a plan to get there! Educate yourself. A lot of horse farms are going broke right now because of the economy, drought and an over-abundance of horses. Look long and hard at what you want to do, and spend time making a plan to get you there.

What your sister gets or does has absolutely nothing to do with you.

Horse racer 08-15-2012 11:56 PM

Engineering is my career. I want to work for Boeing. I'm not into airplanes, but they're always looking for engineers and engineering pays well. I know how to ride, just basic riding.I ride with my cousins. But as some people have said I might just do riding lessons.

But, i just got my window of opportunity! My cousin and his wife want to move down from Seattle to the town I live in and they have 2 horses. I just talked to them and they said they would let me keep a horse on their land, I just have to pay for the feed! So thats about $100 a month, which isn't too bad. Might be more but I wouldn't hae o pay boarding.

I have to say thanks to y''ve made me feel a lot better and your advice has been helpful. Helped me realize that if I really love this it will stick to me forever...

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