Girl in need of a Reality Check (and advice!)
First off, sorry if this is the wrong spot for this type of post! I'm brand new! :-)
I'm looking to buy another horse for the first time in more than 5 years.. My little POA is so well-mannered, hard-working, and I love him to pieces, but He's 13.2hh ...I simply need a bigger horse if I want to be competitive in shows around here!
I want a pleasure-type horse.. Just a general show horse for my last 2 years of 4H and youth shows!
I'm 16, my awesome parents pay vet, boarding, necessities; I try to pay for all the extra stuff that's not absolutely necessary! I already have a horse that I am not parting with, and in the words of my dad, "if you want another money-eater, you can save up the cash and buy it yourself" ... So I'm doing just that! I got a minimum wage job and I've been working as much as I can! I'm determined to have this horse by winter time so it's ready for show season!
Problem is, with my job, there's no way I'm making enough to buy a finished show horse anytime soon. I've had horses ever since I can remember, I've started colts, ridden greenies and problem horses..
The only horse I've ever actually finished out is my little guy, and I bought him Green. But he is a decent WP and halter pony now after much work!
Is it stupid or realistic for me to think I can buy a young (3-year-old?), quality horse and train it myself to make a decent show horse?
Any advice you want to give me!?
Why can you not sell the pony on to another home, with a smaller girl , who will love him and use him in 4H and show him and all? A good POA is hard to find, at least around here.
I second that. It's really not reasonable to pay for a horse on your own when you're in school and working minimum wage. I'm very fortunate to have my horses on my parent's property, I don't pay board but I do pay for all of his hard feed, most of his hay, all of his vet, farrier, tack, chiro, etc. and minimum wage here is $10.25, so even working part time and balancing it with classes I can afford my guy IF nothing goes wrong. I recently lost my job and have been using my savings while I look for another one, nothing is certain and you don't know if you will be secure in your min. wage job.
You could also consider free leasing your pony out, and asking your parents if they would be able to take on a new horses expenses if they had no pony expenses to pay for.
I think there are some things to consider before you get a three year old horse. First you are 16, so what are you doing in 2-3 years when you graduate from high school? If college is on the table are you taking the horse? If you are taking the horse what school and are your parents okay with paying board on top of tuition. Some schools don't let you take a horse the first year. If you are not going to college than its probably a minimum wage job you are looking for. Can you afford to care for a horse on the current wages you make? I ask these questions because its going to take about 2 years to get a horse show ready. Most 3 year old horses are not so much green as they are unbroken.
If you are not causing distress to your pony by riding than why buy another hay burner? You are going to have 2 more years of showing 4H and then age out. A young horse may not be ready to show in those 2 years.
I think that if you are lucky enough to have parents who are willing to support you and your horses - I would sell the pony you have now to a loving family and buy another horse that is going to suit what you want to do now. I know its hard to let go but I think that it the best and most responsible solution. Realistically you wont be able to buy another horse, continue paying for it, go to school, and show this new horse on a minimum wage.
You've already got parents who are willing to help you out - so use that to your advantage (and appreciate them ;))
I have to agree with rookie on this one. from 16-25 your life changes, a lot. Owning a horse through that stage can be done, but it makes everything so much more difficult, especially if you go to college (go to college!) I dappled with the idea of owning a horse through college, sat down and worked the numbers. I had a job through college that was pretty decent pay, but the time it would take away from studying, friends, classes, clubs....it was going to be too much for me to handle. Luckily, I went to a school that had intercollegiate horse team so I got my fix.
If I were you, I would take your money and save. Put away as much as you can and when you have a career, you'll have extra money to get a nicer horse. In the mean time, partial leasing is an option. Volunteer at barns, work for ride time/lessons; once you've been at a barn for some time, most owners will be nice enough to let you compete one of their horses.
I considered selling him, I really did, but then I took into consideration all my (4) younger siblings who probably will end up riding him at some point or another. The youngest (3-year-old) is showing interest in horses, and he's started riding my POA. My parents really don't want me to sell him for that reason.
THANK YOU for the reality check!! I'm definitely one to dream big, and be somewhat unrealistic when it comes to some things.
If you are really qualified to train (not saying you aren't), you may find someone who has too many horses, and would let you train one for them. Or ask around, someone may be a couple of years ahead of you, and not be able to take a horse to college, so you could use it.
I was allowed to use a horse for a horsemanship class in college, so that's why I suggested that. Be sure and let your 4-H leader know you are open to all options, and ask the vet, etc., too.
If you have siblings that are interested in riding why don't you suggest you free lease (or even half lease) your pony out until your siblings are ready to start taking lessons and riding on their own, and then pass that pony on to your siblings because you are ready to move up. Offer to pay for half or 3/4 of your new horses needs. Like someone else said, good POA's are GOLDEN and if you've got other up and coming riders I'd definitely keep the pony around.
I can understand you not wanting to sell your POA, since you're close to him. And as for buying a green 3 year old.... I started out with two almost totally green horses. My first horses, and I was 13. About a year and a half ago, I got another green horse (not by choice- I lost one of my first girls =( and the second needed a buddy) who is even greener. While it is rewarding, I kind of regret jumping into green horses so young. It's a lot of work, but what I really have problems with is when things go wrong, I react emotionally, maybe a little because of my age/hormone level, but largely due to my personality.
So you should definitely dream big, but if you do decide to get a green horse, make sure that it is one you feel a "spark" with- because you two will be spending LOTS of time together! Good luck!
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