How do I get involved?
I am a 14 year old girl, and I am in love with horses. Much like countless other girls my age are. But unfortunately I live on a development which means I can't have a horse. But I still want to me around them!! The only time I get to be around them is during summer break when I have a short two week camp and when I go over to my friends house and ride one of her horses. It makes me so sad. What other things can I do to be around horses? Of course I am planning on getting a horse eventually but that will most likely not be for many years... :(
find a barn that gives riding lessons, that's how i started getting my hands on these lovely creatures on a weekly basis. eventually once i was a better rider, than i was able to start working at the barn to earn a free 1/2 hour ride.
go and watch local horse shows. is there a rescue around you could volunteer at?
Yepp. I agree.
Start by taking lessons. I drive 45 minutes once a week for my lessons. But it enabled me to fulfill my NEED for horses because I live in the city. It has taught me a lot more than just proper riding behaviors. It prepared me for when I was finally able to get my own horse - proper grooming, feeding, etc. I continue to take lessons at the same barn.
What they said. :)
Get yourself some lessons. Eventually you might be able to do barn chores to help pay for these lessons...and then when you have more experience you can be happily accepted as a volunteer at a rescue or therapy centre if there is one nearby.
I agree with the lessons as well. Most horsey people are spread thick enough that there are lesson barns in or near most cities. Also, I find that most board or lesson barns have show schedules posted pretty prominently, perhaps you could watch a couple of shows throughout the season. I find that most small shows are pretty despereate for gate crew/ring crew help, so if you get bored watching you might get involved there, too. The rescue voluteering is a good idea, too. I volunteered at my local vet's office as well, both with small animals in the clinic and with horses and cattle on farm calls. Mostly watching and cleaning up, but it was fun. As a junior leader in 4-H I might also suggest looking into a 4-H club in your area. I was lucky and able to borrow horses for 4-H shows and activities until I got my own, but 4-H does offer a "Horseless" program as well. The "learning" and workbook part of that I found a little cheesy at 14 years old, most of that is geared toward the youngest end of the 4-H member spectrum, but it gets you around and learning about horses and minimizes those withdrawal-like symptoms between lessons. :wink: I also met some of my closest friends (human and equine) through 4-H.
There are lots of ways to get involved. Sometimes a good way to start is to just do a Google search "Horses (insert City/state here)".
Thank you so much for all your replies! :) they are all very helpful. I actually just talked to my friend and she told me about a place near where I live where you can volunteer helping disabled children do theraputic riding. I am really excited :D but also about the horse lessons... my family isn't poor but my dad is having some problems at his work because of the recession, and I heard horse lessons are very expensive. Is this true?
It varies from area to area, but when I took regular lessons (a couple of years ago now) it ran about $15 per lesson. They were group lessons, indoor arena usuallly about 5 riders total on lesson ponies, and then we were allowed to use the arena and just ride for a while after the lesson if no one needed the arena. My piano lessons were more expensive, and I can ride better than I can play the piano, ha ha.
Who your instructor is will play a part, as well. My instructor was an accomplished dressage rider/competitor, but she isn't a "big name" in the horse world. If you take lessons from an Olympic qualifier, it will definitely be reflected in the lesson price. You want someone who knows what they're doing, but riding with Karen O'Connor isn't a make or break thing. :wink:
You could volunteer at a therapeutic riding stable, take lessons, get a job at a barn. Some places will work out deals where you can ride in exchange for work.
Working at a theraputic riding stable is very rewarding and you can learn alot. I have been riding for 6 years and volenteering at a therapy stable for two and the things I learn there can't compare to what I get out of a lesson. Helping the disabled ride brightens my day. With a stable like that you get to spend lots of time around horses and learn the basics around the barn. It's a blast!
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