How to convince your parents NOT to buy a horse - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 113 Old 06-13-2019, 12:50 AM
Join Date: Feb 2019
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Does your MIL know the amount of time needed to care for a horse? Right now Lulu is at the trainer's barn with full boarding but I still spend a huge amount of my time caring for her. They supply the hay but I supply any other feed she needs and I am there at least 4-5 times a week (over an hour drive) to watch her training, ride her, groom her, or be there when the farrier/vet/chiropractor/etc. is out (I don't have to be there for those things, my trainer said that is part of what I am paying her for but Lulu is my horse and feel I should be there so I can ask questions and understand what care she needs).

Does your MIL know about flies? I didn't. Well, sort of, but my little 30lbs., live indoor, Border Collies don't attract many flies. I hate fly spray. But I use it because I don't want my horse to suffer. I'm also not a fan of fly masks because they get filthy and need to be washed. I have two right now but am thinking of getting a couple more.

And I agree with having a spreadsheet of costs. Who knew my horse would need a chiropractor??? And she does need her adjustments. When I first got her she was so sassy! And everyone just said, "Well, you have a mare!" I had the farrier come out and he is also a chiropractor and he adjusted her and the next day I had a completely different horse. She was relaxed and sweet and I am beginning to tell when she needs an adjustment.

I hope you can convince your MIL not to get a horse. And don't blame yourself but don't get sucked into taking care of HER horse when everything goes downhill.
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post #32 of 113 Old 06-13-2019, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Ratlady View Post
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!
LOL! I'm with whoever said to maybe not show the WHOLE thread, but then again, maybe you should. Don't buy fault from her refusal to listen. Yes, you can be empathetic when she inevitably gets hurt, but don't buy any responsibility for that. She's the one who's acting like a spoiled 3 year old. I, personally, would them both that I didn't want to hear any more about it, would not be helping them pick out, train, trim or anything else and I'd walk away from the whole discussion. Bottom line, it's THEIR decision and thus, THEIR problems, not yours. You've done what you can, now it's time to recognize when you're arguing with a stump.

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post #33 of 113 Old 06-13-2019, 08:01 AM
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Maybe, instead of showing your MIL this thread (probably a bad idea), you can at least put your thoughts in writing as a way to protect yourself if this should blow up in your face down the road. Send her a long email and attach the spreadsheet. In the email, sum up the total cost of keeping a horse for a year. Give her the basic number, and then give her a higher number that would account for additional costs such as vet bills (be conservative, but give her something), chiro, cost of hay going up, training, etc. etc. Tell her that you do not think this is a good idea, and that you are afraid she might get hurt. Also, tell her you only have time for your horse right now, so you will not be able to help much other than providing her with resources such as numbers for vet, farrier, trainer. Copy your husband and your FIL in the email. Be kind (express how much you like and care about her), but firm.

At the very least, this will show that you tried should something go terribly wrong...

Oh, and thanks for sharing this story. I am one of those people who is always offering to let non-horse people come sit on my horses and putter around. I'm going to be more careful about this now because it gives them the idea that this is easy, and anyone can do it. We all need to do a better job educating people about what it means to own and ride horses.
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post #34 of 113 Old 06-13-2019, 09:04 AM
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I wouldn't even offer any help to them anymore. They are grown adults. If they don't listen, that's their problem. Not your responsibility. While they are your husband's parents, still - that doesn't mean you owe them ANYTHING. Be firm with them & let them know you've warned them many times, & they refuse to take any advice or listen. Whatever happens, happens & it won't be your problem.

Don't even feel bad, either - people do this all the time. They think they know everything & you can try to help them all you want, but it's useless. It's like talking to a brick wall. Then when something bad happens, well, I told ya so.

You're not being a horrible DIL either. You actually were too nice to them IMO! LOL, they don't deserve anymore help or advice. :) You are doing the right thing by walking away from it.

Ride more, worry less.
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post #35 of 113 Old 06-13-2019, 11:48 AM
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People can be so scary. Just the other day I was talking to a new lady at work and mentioned that I had horses. Immediately she said "If I sign a waiver can I come ride??" I barely know this woman!

I will say this--all the reading about how much horses potentially cost won't stop anyone determined to have one. When I was younger I constantly read horse magazines and it sounded like horses were always sick and/or lame if you went by all the articles exploring that topic. However I still got into horse ownership. Sure enough my free first horse had soundness issues but that didn't stop me either. I've been hurt by them and scared of them and spent tons of money for them but almost 30 years later I still have two and hope to always be involved with them.

So, maybe go ahead and let this situation run it's course--if your MIL really is horse crazy she will stick it out. If not she will learn the hard way unfortunately and give it up. It's fine to give advice, and you should. But you can't make anybody listen.

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post #36 of 113 Old 06-13-2019, 07:14 PM
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What I would recommend is this:

Since they don't listen to you when you talk, put it on paper.

Make a nice, clear document of exactly all the costs you can think of in the first 6 months at the supposed 'lowest' rates you can justify (Ie. Horse Cost: $400. Trailering the horse home ($60/hour) : $120. ect, etc) and include time spent per activity. Be sure to add in the amount of time spent with the horse taking care of it each day (ie. daily feeding: 30 mins, daily exercise including barn time: 2 hours). Also be sure to include anything that you would be willing to help find 'discounts' for but do not feel pressured to do it all, make sure you are only promising what you would ACTUALLY WANT to do, so that when they ask 'why is this so much?!' you can honestly say that it is a MINIMUM cost. Put it in a three column table with the first being 'what', second 'time' and third 'cost' so it is clear to read.

Then, instead of trying to have a conversation, simply present them with the doc including total hours and $ at the bottom for the first 6 months (hours/week) and let them decide from there. If they still decide to get the horse, it is no shame on you for not trying to warn them properly because you did everything you could and outlined their expenses as best you could for them.

I made one of these docs when I was thinking of purchasing my first horse (besides the one I rode as a teenager) and it made everything way more clear and broken down for me and my husband, and made us realize that we really would have to save a bit more before we started into the journey.
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post #37 of 113 Old 06-14-2019, 04:29 AM
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People who have their mind set on something don't listen. They have a vision in their heads and no amount of reasoning, writing letters, financial spreadsheets, signs from God, etc., is going to change it. To them, you are the fun police. Especially relatives, in-laws, even more so.

I am not here to promote anythingNo, that's not true, I am here to promote everything equestrian and everyone enjoying horses!
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post #38 of 113 Old 06-19-2019, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Just thought I'd give a terrifying update to all those interested...

She did listen to me and raise her budget again to 800$. Not great, but better, right?

Well she told me today that she found The Perfect Horse. He's a 14 year old gelding, sound as can be, has been ridden plenty, and is well within her budget. Sounds great, I thought...

Then she tells me it is not only very pushy, but it has a bucking problem!!!!!!

She's convinced that she can fix it, and plans to go see and likely buy the horse sometime next week. I told her that pushiness, and ESPECIALLY bucking are very, very serious issues that usually require a professional to fix. I left it at that, and have removed myself from the situation entirely. There's nothing more I can do. My husband had a long talk with her about it too, but she's got herself convinced. FIL is of the opinion of "how hard could it possibly be?" My husband is also removing himself from the situation.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be out cribbing with the thoroughbreds from all the stress...
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post #39 of 113 Old 06-19-2019, 08:38 PM
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Run...not only close the door...

SLAM the door and lock it behind you!!

Trouble is brewing and you know you want no part of it...
I just hope she not get seriously hurt...
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The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #40 of 113 Old 06-20-2019, 07:16 AM
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Sorry to hear this @Ratlady . You did all you could. Hopefully she will quickly realize that this horse is way too scary for her and he'll be a pasture pet. Unfortunately, this will increase the likelihood of him never becoming a good riding horse down the road, but it would be the best case scenario here I'm afraid...
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