Questions for USA horse riders ! (I'm french ^^) - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 55 Old 09-12-2018, 12:08 AM
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Hynder. In the area of the USA where I live it isn't at all unusual to see people who have the equivalent of well over 120,000 euros invested in horse, tack, vehicle and hauling trailer, just those four things. I'm not including feed, travel, shoeing, vet, etc. So, yes, for those who can afford it, horses can be very expensive (but it isn't for them).
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post #22 of 55 Old 09-17-2018, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Avna View Post
The idea that horse sports are an elite and elitist activity only rich people get involved with -- whether true or not -- is a lot more prevalent on the East Coast where this was in fact true, historically.
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In New England and a few of the northeastern states that "might" be historically true, but it could not be farther from the truth in the South (and most of the east coast is in the South). Horse ownership in the South has historically, and remains, pretty common with just about all social classes. As an example in the county I live now the first person to own an automobile got it in the 1930's and people were still using horses for transportation in the 1940's and early 50's. My 1st cousin-once-removed (i.e. my father's 1st cousin) was still plowing his garden and getting in his hay using a team back in 2012. He bought a pair of Percherons to train in preparation for retiring his current team who were in their 30's (and still working), but he went blind and died a couple of years later (he was in his mid 80"s).

Horse ownership in the Southern US was far from a rich or elitist thing. Both my horses combined cost runs me between $100 - $150 per month (feed, hay, vet, teeth, etc., everything all averaged in....provided prices don't rise with the way things are going) and I feed them a far better diet than most horses in the US get (extremely low starch...i.e. no grain or grain products), but only because I was taught by old horse people and took university course on equine nutrition and on the equine digestive system (something I would recommend for everyone since traditional European equine care, which is what most of the US has traditionally used, is not good for them). As has already been said. What it cost has a lot to do with where you are and what you want to do. The two places I've seen the fewest number of actual horses in the US has been the north east and north west. While I did ride in New England during the 3 years I lived there the horse population never appeared to be very large. If I ride 10 miles here in any direction I'll pass multiple pastures with multiple horses in each of them. Although I seldom see anyone else riding :)). A safe rule of thumb is that the closer you live to a metropolitan area or to an exclusive/expensive community, the more it will cost to keep or board horses. Even down here where I can keep my horses the people who live in Charleston (about 35 miles away) and board at the plantations or live and board out on the islands probably spend $400+ per month just to board one horse.
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post #23 of 55 Old 09-17-2018, 09:39 AM
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@its lbs not miles , I beg your pardon. I spent my whole previous life in northern California, and would like to explain that in that area, the mental map of the US on the other side of the Rockies is of a vast plain of corn and soybeans until you hit New York. Then there is the Deep South which is a place as foreign as Afghanistan.

There is, however, quite a tradition of riding in the tradition of aristocratic Britain, in Maryland and Virginia, including steeplechasing and hunting to hounds, which is probably what was in my mind when I posted before. There was absolutely nothing like that indigenous to the West.

In all rural areas, horses are pretty cheap to keep, comparatively speaking.

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post #24 of 55 Old 09-17-2018, 10:59 AM
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I live in a very rural area, the Ozarks. And like I said, it isn't unusual to see people who have $150k invested in their pickup and LQ horse trailer, alone. I don't know how that compares to the rest of the USA.
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post #25 of 55 Old 09-17-2018, 11:20 AM
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By bsms
Quote:
Lots of people also own horses as "lawn ornaments" - older horses who aren't ridden much any more, but who they won't get rid of. Two of my horses are getting to the age where they will mostly just hang around, eat, poop & drink. It isn't something for wealthy people. Lots of lower-middle class can afford it if they want. Most don't take lessons. Do what little training is needed on their own - it isn't that hard to train an OK trail horse to ride in familiar territory. I'd guess most riders here have never set foot at a show.
This is exactly what it is like where I live in N.Central Florida. There are horses in almost every pasture, most just eating and pooping, nobody riding them. Probably half my immediate neighbors have horses, and as others have said, almost every pasture you drive past has a horse or five in them. And pretty much everywhere you drive around here is either planted or pasture. Suwannee County, where I live, is not a wealthy county at all. Some of my neighbors on food stamps still manage to have a horse or two if they have a pasture. I don't have any rich neighbors . . . but lots of horses.
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post #26 of 55 Old 09-17-2018, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by charrorider View Post
I live in a very rural area, the Ozarks. And like I said, it isn't unusual to see people who have $150k invested in their pickup and LQ horse trailer, alone. I don't know how that compares to the rest of the USA.
Both sides of the spectrum exist alongside each other in much of the US. Some people have $200,000 in a truck and trailer, and then throw in their custom barn, heated/cooled arena with custom footing, tractors, drags, feed buildings, land for pastures and hay fields all with 4-rail fencing, and that's not even counting the cost of the horses, where $10,000 for a weanling is considered a bargain. Then right next door, you may have someone with two horses kept in an electric wire fence with a shed for shelter, and if the horses ever go anywhere, there's likely a small stock trailer pulled by the family's main vehicle-- an older pickup. Those horses may have cost little or nothing, but they may be just as happy and just as well-cared-for (if not better) than the costly horses next door.

If you have land, you can have horses without a ton of expense unless you want to spend more, and then you certainly can. If you don't have land, you're looking at a rather costly enterprise.
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post #27 of 55 Old 09-17-2018, 11:37 PM
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I live in a rural area, we own 105 acres... and 7 horses. Costs are mostly in terms of farrier bills, annual Coggins and Vax, having teeth floated. Most injuries have been treated by us with some loose supervision/advice from the local vets.

Also important to mention: A LOT of us still use horses for ranching! That's right. Pushing up cattle, checking fences, looking for missing cow/calf pairs on large tracts of land. Example: Huband lost a cow/calf pair on 800 acres (not ours, it was a cattle lease) and rather than risk spooking them with atvs and noisy machines, we took the horses and made a day of it. I think we were in the saddle for 6 hours or so, riding cattle trails and through some nasty thorny brush in December.

We don't have a big operation though, ours would qualify as a hobby ranch - We're down to 16 heifers, all of which are carrying, some of which have delivered their calfs and are now cows... and one bull named Angus.

Our 7 horses are easy to keep financially because we get a huge tax break since we have a ranch operation (Small as it is). We also buy round bales in bulk - the horses and cows get the same good hay. Their feed, their meds, their mineral, even vet bills, are all tax free or tax deductible. We've not used that for tack purchases - I have a small tack shop that helps with that.

As far as the haves and have nots of horse ownership - I know a lot of seriously dirt poor people who own horses and take very good care of them. I know a lot of wealthy people with horses that put them in a pasture and ignore them and never ride them. I know people that have been 'barn blind' and starved their old horses to death and argued to the end they still needed to be worked on barrels so they didn't lose their edge. I know salty ropers that grieved so horribly when they lost their roping horse of 25 years that they hung up their spurs and will never have another horse because losing 'him' was so painful. I know people in the reining and show circles... I know a whole lot more people in the rodeo business.

I know people who trail ride and brush pop (We just hit raw, undeveloped acreage, 3000-4000 acres, and we follow game and cow trails. I know barrel racers and bronc riders. I even know a horse jockey that races TB's.

I know bucking horses that can absolutely trash a bronc rider... then pull double duty as a heroic pick up horse at a rodeo.

I know a few people trained in riding English but now ride Western, not many Western riders that went English. English jumping is starting to catch on though, and I see a lot more places with jumps set up in their riding area... mostly around Whitesboro, Texas.

Most of us IN THIS area (Southern Oklahoma/Northern Texas) have no idea what posting to a trot or getting your horse on the bit even means... but we know it when we see it. If that makes any sense at all.

I think... what I'm trying to say here, is in the US, we're literally all over the map. The cultural differences just here in the US are astounding. There is no license to drive per se, at least not in Oklahoma or Texas, that I'm aware of. I honestly can't imagine anyone being silly enough to try to enter an event and NOT be competent in the saddle though. Those few that do and fail miserably don't usually return.

I don't know anyone that wears a helmet or an impact vest unless they're barrel racers, and those are few and far between. They are not required by law or even guidelines, and they'd be miserable to wear in this area. In example, last weekend was mid-90s here with a 70% humidity. Your brains would boil in a helmet and you'd absolutely melt in an impact vest. We ride in hats, caps, or bare headed (I like wearing a cap, but I find when we ride in thick brush or woods, something will always snag it and rip it off and take half my hair with it when it hangs up my pony tail). Dry fit shirts are popular, and a lot of us wear a dry fit type t shirt UNDER a thin cotton western shirt on less humid days... the cotton and the dry fit shirt, once they get wet, will actually keep you cool, even with the long sleeves, and also protect your arms (Locust trees have toxin in the thorns and it will set you on fire immediately), mesquite and bois d'arc trees are just all around nasty with the thorns.)

I'll be completely honest, and once again, this is yet another cultural difference just here in the U.S.... unless you're participating in a high impact event - if you show up in a helmet, people will stare at you like you've lost your mind (Let me pause here and put on my husband's turn out gear from the firehouse... .... okay. Flame on. I'm just telling you how it is here. LOL).

We usually ride with bits in our horse's mouths, it just depends on the horse and the rider, and we usually all wear spurs... but again, it depends on the rider, low heeled western boots or Twisted X moccasins (Also have a heel), and blue jeans - even in the sweltering heat.

Oh yes, lastly - MOST people do not board their horses or keep them in stalls. Some people have barns and the horses have assigned stalls... and the horses are only kept up at night... they're all of them working horses that work cattle or ride fences all day, every day.

Here, if you don't own a sufficient amount of land, have family with land, or know someone willing to let you put your horse on their land, you just don't get a horse. Period. Boarding is not a thing really. Owning enough land to have a horse, or several? Owning a LOT of land (Hundreds or Thousands of acres) for a few horses, or several?

That's pretty common.
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Last edited by AtokaGhosthorse; 09-17-2018 at 11:53 PM.
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post #28 of 55 Old 09-18-2018, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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Hello everybody,

Many thanks for your posts, explanations, that's so rich and interesting to have all this point of views. Even if it's not always comfortable to have different opinions !

If I understand well, we can seperate horse riders in two main categories the "outdoors" owners, where their horses lives more naturally in field and the owners with horses who live in stables and more be destinated to dressage,jumping etc

That's the case in France too, but as we have less field's owners, lot of horses are in stables or in small field (very small compare with the size you mentionned !)

In France, we have a lot of adults and children who ride in riding schools and haven't got their own horse. It's allow a lot of people to practice horse riding even if they haven't got horse. That's the case in US ? I heard a lot of owners who ride, but that's easy for a non-owners to access horse riding practice ?
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post #29 of 55 Old 09-18-2018, 03:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hynder View Post
Hello everybody,

Many thanks for your posts, explanations, that's so rich and interesting to have all this point of views. Even if it's not always comfortable to have different opinions !

If I understand well, we can seperate horse riders in two main categories the "outdoors" owners, where their horses lives more naturally in field and the owners with horses who live in stables and more be destinated to dressage,jumping etc

That's the case in France too, but as we have less field's owners, lot of horses are in stables or in small field (very small compare with the size you mentionned !)

In France, we have a lot of adults and children who ride in riding schools and haven't got their own horse. It's allow a lot of people to practice horse riding even if they haven't got horse. That's the case in US ? I heard a lot of owners who ride, but that's easy for a non-owners to access horse riding practice ?
When I was growing up, there were several different riding schools near where I lived. I was one of the few who rode English (hunt seat) and to find English tack and clothes, I had to drive all the way to Burbank or other shops in the Los Angeles area (about 2 hrs one way from where I lived). I grew up in a totally Western environment back when it was called Stock Seat, not Western Pleasure, and show clothes were a starched, long sleeved white shirt, a bolo tie or black scarf, and starched, pressed blue jeans. Back then we never wore our "brain buckets" or "skid lids" unless we were jumping and you NEVER saw a Western person in a helmet, EVER. You also never saw one posting the trot. I'm starting to see a lot more Western folks wearing helmets at shows now, especially the kids. And most are posting, at least at the extended or working jog.

Riding schools are not nearly so plentiful as they used to be. It's getting harder and harder to find places where a beginner can go and ride on several school horses. I have 1 horse in full time training and take lessons on her and my husband hauls one of our other horses in for his lessons. Rarely takes lessons on a schoolie.

I'd say where I am that more horses than not are pastured, some may have shelter in the pasture, some may not. People just don't seem to worry about it that much. I have barns, but normally keep mine out on pasture as long as it's decent weather. When it gets dangerous out, lightning, hail, tornadoes, then I put everyone up. I keep certain horses under lights of course, either for showing or breeding purposes, but most are out on pasture and they seem to prefer it most of the time. Though, they have learned, when the weather gets bad to come to the gate and wait for me to let them in. They know. And if I'm not moving fast enough, they tell me about it too.

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post #30 of 55 Old 09-18-2018, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
When I was growing up, there were several different riding schools near where I lived. I was one of the few who rode English (hunt seat) and to find English tack and clothes, I had to drive all the way to Burbank or other shops in the Los Angeles area (about 2 hrs one way from where I lived). I grew up in a totally Western environment back when it was called Stock Seat, not Western Pleasure, and show clothes were a starched, long sleeved white shirt, a bolo tie or black scarf, and starched, pressed blue jeans. Back then we never wore our "brain buckets" or "skid lids" unless we were jumping and you NEVER saw a Western person in a helmet, EVER. You also never saw one posting the trot. I'm starting to see a lot more Western folks wearing helmets at shows now, especially the kids. And most are posting, at least at the extended or working jog.

<snip>
Yep. When I was growing up posting and helmets were for those strange stuck-up English riders. And silver on saddles was for parades.
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