How to convince your parents NOT to buy a horse - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 113 Old 06-12-2019, 05:16 PM
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Do you have any friends with difficult horses? The kind that drags people around, throws a fit on the lunge line, is nasty to people? I’d casually take her to see such horses, maybe Even ride one on a lunge line. Find something that is bargy and speedy and difficult to stop but doesn’t throw the rider. It should be enough to scare her.
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post #22 of 113 Old 06-12-2019, 06:04 PM
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Sorry, I don't think she should be "scared" but be informed...
There is a difference.
She, they need to understand that finding a animal is the easy part.
It is the dedication of daily care the animal requires to keep it a nice animal.
Besides the initial expense of acquiring tack and grooming supplies we all know it is the commitment of time, and much energy that is what fails most who take on a horse unprepared.
It is then also the continual drain to their finances of many hundreds of dollars a month and could rapidly go to thousands for one illness taking place.
"They" are not going to listen to your words of wisdom, they have already proved that with not listening but telling you about horse care and such, and for that reason...you are best to state the cold-hard facts and walk-away.
Do not be sucked back in to their problem now in the making or it will become your problem.
Tough love in this case is going to create a rift...
How big a rift, and if you want the Grand Canyon or a small earth split from dry weather is something only you can decide and will need to live with.
This is still your husbands family and he will feel the pain.
The fact they come to your home, you've offered her your horse to ride tells me you are closer than most in-laws situations.
There is a middle road here too...
One I think being clear of expenses they will face and the fact you can not step in and do more for them is paramount they get it...you can not and will not bail them out when they are in over their head.
That is your biggest concern, being in over their head financially and her being over-faced with inexperience being hurt.
Most people love the romantic idea of horses and riding...never realizing how much work, expense and changing of your lifestyle needs done to accommodate that animal now in the family so they receive proper care with all areas falling under "care"...and how much that $$$ costs every single month.
But "scare her" might just be the catalyst to backfire & where they wobbled it will now be "I'll show her..."
Think this through very carefully before going one-step further in any direction.
It is easy for all of us to be chair-side therapists and advice giver.
It is far harder to execute what needs done and live with the consequences when it is "family".
I wish you good luck...no matter what you do you are being "the bad-guy"...
...
jmo...
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post #23 of 113 Old 06-12-2019, 06:31 PM
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@horselovinguy I absolutely agree that she should be informed rather than scared - but it’s not working at all. Sure, if she was buying a computer and refused to listen to advice I would just let her make her own mistakes. Buying a horse could end very badly for both the lady and the horse and I personally wouldn’t be ashamed of using manipulation to prevent it.
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post #24 of 113 Old 06-12-2019, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much to everyone for their suggestions. I'll try to go through and clarify some things.

My husband is absolutely, 1000% on my side over this. He's seen me bust my hip irreparably, shatter my wrist and wreck my SI joint over nasty, poorly handled horses. He will help me explain my reasoning to my in laws, but if I have to be the bad guy, my husband is on board with being the bad guy right there with me. I don't have to worry at all about upsetting him over his mother's bad decisions, he knows horses well enough to know they can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing.

I'm fully aware that I enabled this behaviour, and in hindsight I wish I could take it all back. I never thought having someone plod around on my horse would turn into this train wreck! I only thought of it as my fatty getting some exercise and giving my MIL some saddle time. I wish I could've known she would have such unrealistic expectations. I won't be offering any help with her hypothetical horse other than providing phone numbers to vets, farriers, ect. I love the idea of being conveniently busy for an extended period of time when she does get a horse.

I've talked to her about an on site lease, that was shut down real quick. She wants her very own horse, and no force in hell nor earth will stop her. Everyone who suggested that they have a habit of being not so great with finances is right. I'll make up a spreadsheet of all one time, monthly and annual expenses similar to the one I made before I got my horse. It would set any reasonable person straight, but I have a sneaking suspicion that she'll be gung-ho about it regardless, because my FIL will endlessly reassure her that he does in fact have the money despite knowing full well he doesn't.

The crazy lesson horses idea is interesting, because I know a lady who has a barn full of them! I'll definitely have to introduce them and get her to tell my MIL all about her chronically lame horse who's cost over 6k in a few months, and her other horse who's been in glue ons for a few cycles at 260$ per shoeing. I know my MIL won't get seriously injured there, because all of her lesson horses are well broke, but they're all high octane thoroughbreds and can be quite a handful for a fresh beginner.

I do realize that at the end of the day, I've really set myself up for ruin here. Family is complicated and I'll absolutely end up being the bad guy no matter what happens. I don't want to scare her out of horse ownership, but she's also not listening to me at all. I feel like my only options here are to scare her out of it, or let her make her own mistakes.

I do really like my MIL, and I don't want to see her put herself in financial ruin or end up in the ER. I also know that if anything goes wrong, it'll be my ass they come for despite doing my best to deter them. It seems like the best thing I can do is remove myself from the situation and invoke their ire that way before they have the chance to blame me for any injury.

It seems like no good deed goes unpunished...
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post #25 of 113 Old 06-12-2019, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Another thing, a huge roadblock is that she THINKS they can afford it, because my FIL won't tell her that they can't. He's the only one in their household who works, and she doesn't really have much to do with finances. He will not tell her no, despite both my husband and I begging him to.

If she does buy a horse and then wants to get rid of it, I will under no circumstance take it off her hands. I only have the time and patience to have one horse at a time, and have no desire for a second one. I've always been of the opinion that its better to have one really nice horse than to have a pasture full of semi feral lawsuits on legs.
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post #26 of 113 Old 06-12-2019, 08:47 PM
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Wow, what a dumpster fire. First of all, it doesn't matter who "does" the money in the family. I do the money in my family, but if my wife wants to see the numbers, she'll see the numbers - right on the website, not after I'm done prettying them up. Numbers are what they are and they don't change reality.

If she can't envision getting a horse for $1,000, give or take, she already knows she can't afford the upkeep. And by "upkeep" I mean "for the next decade or so". Yes, hardship happens, but nobody ever got out of a tough financial spot by mortgaging the house to get a Ferrari.

She really needs to have a clear understanding of her family's cash flow, liquid assets, invested assets, illiquid assets, and - wait for it - debt. If hubby doesn't have the heart to tell her that she can't by the XYZ, I'm thinking there's a fistful of credit cards that are about to blow up all around them. Just before the bank forecloses on the house, or the landlord initiates eviction proceedings.

I just hope your husband has a backbone and knows where his priorities to allocate his resources of time, energy, and money lie: With the family he married into, not the one he moved out of. Keep your head on a swivel. Hubby's family has a tenuous relationship with reality. Don't get caught in the crossfire.
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post #27 of 113 Old 06-12-2019, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmshiro View Post
Wow, what a dumpster fire. First of all, it doesn't matter who "does" the money in the family. I do the money in my family, but if my wife wants to see the numbers, she'll see the numbers - right on the website, not after I'm done prettying them up. Numbers are what they are and they don't change reality.

If she can't envision getting a horse for $1,000, give or take, she already knows she can't afford the upkeep. And by "upkeep" I mean "for the next decade or so". Yes, hardship happens, but nobody ever got out of a tough financial spot by mortgaging the house to get a Ferrari.

She really needs to have a clear understanding of her family's cash flow, liquid assets, invested assets, illiquid assets, and - wait for it - debt. If hubby doesn't have the heart to tell her that she can't by the XYZ, I'm thinking there's a fistful of credit cards that are about to blow up all around them. Just before the bank forecloses on the house, or the landlord initiates eviction proceedings.

I just hope your husband has a backbone and knows where his priorities to allocate his resources of time, energy, and money lie: With the family he married into, not the one he moved out of. Keep your head on a swivel. Hubby's family has a tenuous relationship with reality. Don't get caught in the crossfire.
And the choir sang, "AMEN"

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post #28 of 113 Old 06-12-2019, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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I'm thinking I might just show her this thread. If she won't listen to me, maybe she'd be willing to listen to the dozens of other experienced horse people on here echoing the things I've been trying to say this whole time.

This whole situation is certainly a dumpster fire, and I'm feeling a lot better about walking away and letting them make their own bad decisions now. I hate to be the horrible daughter in law, but for the sake of my sanity I can't be wrapped up in this slow motion train wreck. I can't feel responsible when she inevitably gets hurt. I tried to warn her...

Its amazing to me how this could all be solved with her picking up a part time job, saving some money for a few months for a decent horse and making a budget, yet they're so steadfastly unwilling to change their lifestyle. Its not like she should never have a horse ever, they just have to be realistic. Which is a lot to ask for, apparently.

Now I'm just venting!
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post #29 of 113 Old 06-12-2019, 10:31 PM
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best not show them ALL this thread.
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post #30 of 113 Old 06-13-2019, 12:16 AM
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Man, that is rough. I hate to think of your MIL getting hurt, but I also hate to think of the poor horse if things go south, which it sounds like they very much will.

Being reasonable seemed to have no effect, so I would go with the tough-love mentioned above.... Spreadsheet of vet costs, feed, tack, emergency fund, farrier (because you don't need another horse to deal with!)

I'm wondering what she might think if she were to watch a training session with one of these "free" horses she wants. Don't know if you know of anyone with an unruly horse, but you could show her how truly naughty and dangerous they can be. Tell her they got the horse for free if it'd help.

You could see if she would volunteer at a barn for a day? Might change her mind about having a horse of her own if she experiences firsthand what it's like to shovel manure, feed, groom, turn out, etc. It's not all fun and games, it's bugs and horse poo and bales of hay.

Just thinking out loud here, your MIL sounds stubborn from what you've said, so these probably wouldn't work well.
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