Maybe Getting My Own Horse .... Maybe
Hubby is saying this is the year we're getting 2 horses. He needs horses for hunting. His knees/hips can't take the hike into the areas he has to get to for good hunting. I have wanted a horse ... oh ... since birth? :lol:
I am pretty skeptical just because I have been riding again since 2006, but wind up with some pretty sore joints and back. Have some injuries and issues to contend with. I'm in my late 40s. I'm not sure I can ride several times a week and probably SHOULD be riding EVERY day.
I have NO IDEA how to care for a horse. I'm worried about the vet bills. That's ANOTHER trailer we'll have to buy. We will have to board them. We have no barn, flowing water or pasture grassy area for horses right now. Maybe in another 5 years ... but not now. :-(
AND I'm reading a lot of people here that are giving up or are ready to. If it is really that hard, I don't know if I can do this. Hubby travels about 10 months of the year, so all of this would be on me. YES ... hubby will have the benefit of riding them for hunting and some trail rides, but all the work is on me. I know the 'barn' will do some of the work, as part of boarding, don't they?
How much joy compared to the workload? How do you KNOW if this is for you?
It's so nice to read a post from someone who is thinking practically and responsibly! You're right, it's expensive, it's a lot of work, it can be hard! But for me the benefits faaaaar outweigh everything that might be remotely difficult. I would highly suggest you ease in by starting to take lessons (if you aren't already) at a good barn with a helpful trainer who can teach you not just how to become a better and safe rider, but someone who can teach you how to properly take care of your horse. And someone who can help you find a good horse that meets your experience level. By taking regular lessons you can figure out if you want to take that extra level of commitment of horse ownership. You should also consider leasing a horse. Instead of paying one lump sum to own the horse, you pay (sometimes you can luck out and get a free lease) a lease fee each month and usually some sort (if not all) of their care like board, farrier, etc. The great thing about leasing is that if you decide that you don't want that much responsibility or simply don't have the time? You stop the lease. you don't have to worry about selling your horse. It's a good "trial" before you take the plunge!
upnover: Thank you. I probably should have put in my post that I'm a Virgo/Leo. I overthink EVERYTHING ... usually for the good!
Never thought of a lease. I'll look around for that where I live. Thanks again.
I would definitely start out leasing, maybe a couple of THW's or MFT's which would be good for your achy joints ans are great for rough terrain trail riding like your hubby likes to do. Or hey even for your hubby you could find a nice gaited mule which would make packing his kills easier since they are hardier animals...
If you decide to jump in and buy, start out with just one well broke horse and board it at a good barn with a respectable staff and trainer. That way you only have half the responsibility you are looking for to get a feel for horse ownership and plenty of people around to help you out.
Horses are expensive and tough and stressful and amazing and life changing and totally worth the trouble when you learn to appreciate them and love them.
I say go for it, you only have one life to live.
Yay for Leo's! I always go super in to detail and my friends tell me to stop over analyzing things, lol.
So, having a horse is a lot like having a kid. You can love them when your friends have them, because at the end of the day you give them back to the real people they belong to. To own a horse, you have to LOVE horses. You have to be able to put up with the smell (which I happen to love) of sweat, hay, poop, pee, shavings, and whatever your feed may smell like when ever you get around them. You can't be shy or timid or unsure, or you really will get walked all over. But you know all of this, since you ride already :)
Yes, the barn should, depending on what you pay for, do the hard parts like feeding two times a day, turn out and turn in, mucking the stalls, filling water buckets, etc. etc. Extra things like blanketing or applying fly spray according to the weather, as well as holding your horse for the vet and farrier may come extra, or they may not, it kind of just depends on the place you go with. As for the vet bills, unless its major surgery or long and lengthy treatment, often the sticker price on just having the vet come out to see your horse at all is a real kicker. This is why its good to be at a boarding facility, because then you can split the trip cost with how ever many other people may need their horses vaccinations or what have you, and save a lot of money. Same with the farrier.
For me, even though I am not riding at all currently, the joy does outweigh the work load (and the stress and anxiety). For me the joy is all coming from knowing what my boy is going to be some day....responsive, willing, just the "hop on and go" type. (He already has the work ethic, just not the training to back it up)
I also commend you for taking the route of having a healthy fear. If you've read all of those posts about people giving up, I'm sure you've read the other fifty thousand claiming that the poster will cease to exist if they don't get a horse.
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