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Questions about owning a horse???
Yeah so ive never owned a horse or posted on this site/forum, so bare with me.. and my spelling kinda sucks ;P
So ive wanted a horse for a while now, and i have a kind of coplicated situation with my parents, but i live with my dad and i see my mom sometimes. Soon, ill live with my mom partially, or even fully, but this isnt the point. With my dad theres no way i can own a horse, like we dont have the space so we would need to go to a stable etc. etc. and we dont really have the money for that, but my mom has a large propery that she owns, along with my step dad and brother and sister. Like they all live there. So space isnt an issue, and a lot of their neighbors have horse, and she sometimes even sees people giving away horses that are healthy because their horses had babies. So getting the horse and space with my mom wouldnt be an issue. Or time, i honeslty dont care what i have to do ill clean up after the horse, and bond with it, i know its a big responcability and im up to it. So i know this is dragging on but i want to know, do you have to be super rich, because honeslty we are not the wealthiest lol. i guess we are middle class.. I know im not being very specific lol. And before you say, your only 13 im sure you just want a horse for no reason, and in a year youll grow out of it, i wont and this is something i really want and im willing to devote my time into this.... i feel like this is unclear and nobody will read this...
Owning a horse is a pretty big deal and its a huge responsibility to care for it yourself. The best thing to do is get some lessons and get some guided horse experience. There's a lot more than just tossing hay and cleaning poop. Do you know how to handle a horse? Basic first aid for a horse? Signs of colic? How to ride? Fit tack? Pick correct food?
Get lessons and experience under someone's guide. They will then help you find a horse suitable for your abilities and desired riding discipline.
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Do you have to be super wealthy? Well... you need to be able to afford feed ($ depends a lot on what your horse needs), farrier every 6 - 8 weeks (costs me $45 for one trim), tack (I spend about $50 - 100 a month on tack and supplies), and vet care.
That's just basic maintenance. If your horse has an emergency and needs to see a vet, things will get very expensive very fast. Colic surgeries here in Canada can be ten grand.
Also, bear in mind that you might have to pay for a trainer. You don't seem very experienced, and it is easy to get hurt if you don't know what you're doing. I wouldn't do it if your parents aren't supportive.
It's not necessary to have your own horse in order to learn about horses. Why don't you find a barn where you can help out or take lessons before you commit to something so big?
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Does your mom or anyone else in the household have any experience with horses? I don't think it's silly to want a horse, but if you have no experience and no one in the household does either I think it would be silly to get one. Horses are a lot of work...and they are expensive to own and maintain, but you don't have to be rich to own one. If there are a lot of horse owners in the area that your mother lives, maybe she can set you up with someone to help you understand the day to day care of a horse so that you can see what they require. You can learn some basic handling as well. Maybe see if anyone would let you work at their barn so that you will really know first hand what is involved.
It is possible to work with many different situations and have a healthy, happy horse. The most important thing is to educate yourself and make sure your mom and step dad are educated on the needs and costs of a horse. Research feed (Hay for when the grass is dead, grain if you rhorse has a hard time keeping weight on, supplements cause...well, those are needed fairly often), vet fees (Check ups, vaccines, de worming, not to mention emergency services), farrier fees (You will probably not be adequately able to care for your own horses trimming needs unless you spend a lot of time researching, practicing and are seeking an experienced mentor), and fencing/housing fees (You may have land but you need a safe fence and shelter from the wind and rain for your horse.) All these costs vary by area. MAKE SURE your mom and step dad are kept up to date on what a horse needs and is going to cost. Make sure they are ready, willing and able to call out a vet if bad things happen. Might also be a good idea to think about if the home owner's insurance will cover the liabilty of owning a horse and considering purchasing health insurance if you aren't going to be able to have a considerable chunk of change available if the horse colics, breaks a leg, gets a huge puncture wound etc...
Basically, read read read...ask questions, visit local barns/trainers/friends with horses and ask questions with the intention of learning. Prepare yourself thoroughly and then enjoy this opportunity if you do get a horse! Good luck!
I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting a horse, and most of us loved them at 13 and still love them!
I think your best bet right now is to find a stable to take some lessons at and get a foundation. Ideally with a nice trainer who will also be willing to help you pick a horse when you're ready.
Also, make sure you talk to your mom about this. Just because you think she has land doesn't mean she things she has the land. Is there shelter? A place to ride? A stall in case your horse needs to be put in stall rest? I'm certainly not rich by any stretch, but I do realize the sacrifices I make to keep my two. Like learning to choke down Top Ramen and Mac N Cheese even though the thought of it makes me gag, lol.
When you do talk to your mom, try to have a plan already. See if you can find a stable for lessons nearby and the price. And if she says no, don't whine or pitch a fit. Ask her why that is, if there is anything you can do to help out with cost [extra chores, babysitting, mowing lawns to earn a little money]. Most of us weren't privileged enough to have horses before we grew up and bought and paid for them ourselves. If your mom agrees, you will be a very lucky girl and you would do well to remember that.
People always say that horse ownership is a big responsibility - and this is because it really is, and at 13 I'm not quite sure you can quite grasp it.
Because of your age and your position this responsibility isn't taken on just by you, but by your parents as well. Even if you have the land to keep your horse on there are a few concerns. Such as feed (this costs me about $30 a week) and farrier ($40-$100 every 6-8 weeks). On top of this vet bills can occur suddenly and range from $100 to over $1000.
Additionally, even if they have the land that doesn't mean that the fencing is up to scratch and that the facilities are suitable and safe for horses. Horses also don't go so well alone, so having one horse might not be right for you.
Free horses are rarely great horses, and not usually suitable for beginners. In fact, very few horses are suitable for beginners - instead the best idea is to get lessons for maybe a year or two and then look at getting a horse. In addition to the horse costs, you'll need to buy a saddle, bridle, rugs etc.
Finally there is the responsibility. Daily feeding, sometimes more than once a day, rugging and unrugging when required. And this stuff isn't something that is flexible. If its snowing you have to go out, if its raining, windy, knee deep in mud. If you're sick, if you are on holidays, school camp, etc you have to find someone to care for the horse for you.
On top of this, many people have problems with horses when they first get them, especially inexperienced people. This means you could need lessons and a trainer, which are all rather pricey.
You don't have to be rich to have a horse, but you do need some money and you need a lot of time and a lot of commitment. As a 13 year old - its a big ask of your parents for that much money, time and commitment. Maybe do lessons for while - even if they are a little pricey it will be cheaper than horse ownership.
Lessons are a great way to learn and are a MUCH cheaper investment than going out and getting a horse. The lessons you can learn when you are trying to learn on your own can cost you thousands. Sellers have no problem taking advantage of new owners. Training, vet and hospital bills get expensive. Plus, trying to figure it out on your own is TERRIBLY frustrating. You will know *something* is wrong, and not know what it is or how to fix it. Get lessons first! Think of them as Driver's Ed before you get your car.
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I agree with everyone. I would take lessons and lease a horse until you are old enough to get a job and help pay. By then you will have known some contacts that own horses also and will help you understand what owning means. Yes it will fall to your parents if you are unable to care for them on certain days.
At your age I didn't think of this so I'll tell you what happens. Coming into 16 yrs old you'll start wanting to do out on dates. Also you could have some sort of accident playing ball (like me) and break your ankle, or worse. That means you can't get out to your horse and see to his/her needs. That means it falls on your parents who may not even want to take that on. Even if they do they must also want to learn because horses can be stupid, something can scare them and they knock your parent down on accident.
I went to a really huge barn in college to find out about myself and how much of a horse lover I really am. I worked for them and fed 20-25 horses twice a day, cleaned out stalls and drove the poop out to the pile. I also took out each horse (putting up with all different personalities,which was challenging at times but I don't scare easily) and put them in at night. I was up with the sun and out their past dark. I love the farm life, its amazing. Nothing like hard work and feeling accomplished at the end of the day. I knew I truly loved horses when I enjoyed that job. Maybe you should do that first to introduce yourself to the horse world. I had a lady let me ride her horse because she didn't have time and that worked out best for me because I was in college and couldn't afford the expense of my own. I hope you really think about these things.
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