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Owning a horse and being a teenager
Teenage Horse Owners:
I am writing this so all the teenagers that want to own a horse some of the hardships I have encountered being a teenage horse owner. I am not trying to make you lose your dream of being a horse owner, but I want you to know what you are getting into. I am 18, so I’m not an ‘older’ and ‘wiser’ person that will tell you not to get a horse when you are so young. Just letting you know what you are getting into.
1. Make sure that your parents are on board with you getting a horse. My parents told me they would not help me buy the horse. If I had wanted to buy a car they would have matched me. When I finally got my horse home, not two months after she was home she chocked. My mother had to pay for it. All $265 of it. I hadn’t thought putting money back for the vet.
2. Price is a huge factor in what kind of horse you can get. For 300 dollars you can get a “Sweet, loveable, etc.” Unbroken horse that is probably about 2 years old. Probably not the best idea. I had 800 dollars to spend on a horse. Like all teenagers I looked for young horses so we could “grow up together.” Never mind that I am not a confidante rider as it is. There are also a lot of older horses for sale. If I had to do it over again I would buy an older horse.
3. Don’t Settle! Keep looking around for your dream horse! It might take a little while to find that horse but one day you will get there! Or you will save up enough money to get a really nice horse that you never would have thought possible. I settled for my horse. I was so tired of people telling me that I wasn’t going to find the horse I dreamed about.
4. Where are you going to keep it? I am lucky that I have a field by my house where my cousin keeps her horses. But if I didn’t have that field I couldn’t afford to have a horse even if I have a job. The only cost I had to pay was about 150 or so dollars so we could make our field bigger to fit three horses.
5. Ferrier- Make sure you know of someone before buying a horse! My Cousin made the mistake of not asking around and the horses feet paid the price. She never used him again, but we could have saved the 45 dollars per horse if we had known what a crappy job he was gonna do.
6. Tack- I’m not going to go too much into this. I know people will say that you have to a 500 dollar saddle. I got three saddles for about 200 dollars. Are they the best saddles? No, but they are not broken and I don’t have to worry about them getting dirty or breaking them.
7. Make sure horses are what you really want- I gave up the chance to get a car for a horse. If you have other things that cost a lot of money that you really care about think about the horse and what you will be giving up. Which leads us into our next topic.
8.Horses are not like dogs or cats. It’s really hard to sell a horse to a good home. Make sure when you get one that you keep that in mind.
9. College- I know I am going to college. I also have a plan for my horse when I go to college. I would like to lease her out to a teenager that wants a horse. Have a plan for your horse also. If the horse is used to getting ridden and loves everyday find someone that wants to ride and give hugs to the horse everyday.
10.Follow your gut- If you know horse people you know that you could put 10 horse owners into a room and get 10 different answers. Every horse person is different, and we all have our own ideas on how things should be done.
There are so many more things that I could say and cover. I think these are the main things. If anyone has anything to add feel free to post them!
Great post! I think you covered about all the bases. I'm 19 now but bought mu horse when I was 17. One other thing to add, if you have/want a social life as a teen then don't buy a horse. Horses take up a lot of time and money. I don't even remember the last time I went to the movies with my friends. Yes, you have to make sacrifices for horses, but it is completely worth it!
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Im thinking if having a horse as a teenager is even within the realm of possibility. Your not dealing with hardship. Or even know what hardship is.
I think most of that is good advice for anyone, not just teens. (Except the part about parents :-))
One thing I would add is that $265 is really not much for an emergency vet bill. I never added up what I spent on my horse's little accident, but I'd guess it was at least 20 times that. So especially with parents in the picture (who might be legally responsible for the bills), it'd be a good idea to look into some sort of insurance, or discuss possible emergencies with the parents before getting the horse.
As a mom I'm going to say, my teenager has a horse, and she has a life too...the horse was a rescue and she's worked her butt off to make her what she is. I pay her bills because she's my daughter and she is worthy of my love and affection. No matter what, if I didn't want her to own a horse she wouldn't own it period. Meaning that in some cases even if you can pay yourself- its not going to happen. Lucky for her she has a horse mom and she has proven herself to me. Being a good student and a responsible human being goes a long way to why I do it.
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My parents are pretty supportive - as long as I do my hardest and they know I always do.
I am planning on getting a (minimum age is 6) young horse so I can have 3 years to train it some of my techniques, see what kind of horse it is, and to see exactly how much they take a part in my life. If everything works out, I will go to college with my horse and work at horse stables or assistant. My dream is to be at least a horse trainer and a boarder. Maybe someday do clinics - I'm still deciding on that.
Thank you for this info. It is helpful and I know I will go back to it as I get closer to the end of my high school years. ;)
I am very lucky to have had a horse since I was 8, I know how much everything cost, and if I had a job, I would for sure pay for his board (fairly cheap) and vet and farrier bills. At the moment I pay for all of my tack. I loved your post, it really just gets straight to business, there are bills after your intital horse + tack. Most teens do not realize that and think once they buy the horse and the tack that there are no more bills. Wrong. My dad told me that in 5 colic bills from the vet, 1 lameness, 3 eye problems, he has paid double what my horse even cost just in vet bills, in 2 years. My horse was given to me by my aunt, but what she paid for him, my dad has paid double what she paid, JUST in emergency vet bills in only 3 years. Just FYI.
Also his board is $300 a month.
$200 vet bill every spring
$30 every 6 weeks for farrier
$12 every month for wormer
It adds up fast, you really have to be prepared~
im getting horse insurance when i do a proper free lease.
This summed it up pretty well. Owning a horse, at all, is a lot of work and a ton of money. As a teenager, it can be hard to balance your time at school and with friends and with your horse. I am a freshman at college (commuting to a local university cuts the cost in more than half) and I am just recently getting back into riding horses (after losing my mare about 7 years ago to cancer). I am lucky enough to have a family of horse lovers (and the land to keep my horses on) and my mom definitely helps me out when I need it. Every month you have to worry about feed, board (if you can't have them on your land), vet bills, farrier bills, the list goes on. You should definitely do research in your area before you commit to a horse. I am a firm believer in the idea that once you buy an animal, you make a life commitment to them.
I wouldn't say that I am spoiled because I have a horse as a teenager, or that I've never known hardship, I've worked my ass off to get where I am. I have a job working at a farm in my area where I get paid to feed/clean/train the horses, but I am also going to college full time and I get good grades. I pay for most of the expenses for my horses, luckily I have never had to make an emergency vet call, but I am prepared if I ever need to.
I bought my horse because I needed an escape. My dad is a verbally abusive alcoholic. Spending the time with my horses helps me escape that abuse and it makes me happy.
Until you meet someone in the situation, I wouldn't make such a general assumption. Hardships come in many forms.
I am so happy someone put this on the internet. I am tired of all those little girls begging people on the internet to tell them how to convince their parents that they need a horse. :P As a 15 year old horse owner I agree with all of these points especially about the plans for college.
PLAN AHEAD AND DON'T GET STUCK LIKE ME. I don't know what I am doing yet, but I know I can't pay the boarding with school (I don't have a college fund or anything of the sort) and I know my parents aren't paying the boarding while I am gone... and there is no way I am selling .... I guess we will have to see.
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