Starting to THINK of Owning. c: - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-19-2010, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: No. VA
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Starting to THINK of Owning. c:

OK, so. My trainer thinks I'm ready for my first horse. Squee!

This is mostly a rant-- I have no one to really discuss it with!

* I cannot afford it.* Not yet. Not until I have a minimum of 5k in the bank and have an emergency fund set up. I'm not even going to kid myself with 'oh, I can afford board and vet and farrier's only every 6-8 weeks!' Yeah, no. I need to be able to live and pay for my schooling first. I plan on being a vet tech/vet assistant of SOME kind. I figured that a horse will cost a max of 8k (AVG of 5.5k) a year, barring any catastrophes. So I think I need to be making 20k or so to live well enough, and since the average pay is 23-40k, I should be all set once I get a "real" job.

-Board is $250 a month, and is basically all I need. Stall when I want it, they grain for me, hay, pasture, lessons.

-My trainer thinks I'll need a lite-shod horse. For those who don't know, I ride Walkers. The farrier fee is $35 for a trim, $115 shoes.

-I'll be getting a youngster, weanling to 2 year old. I know, they don't make good 1st horses.. but my trainer will be working VERY, VERY, VERY closely with me. She will ride the horse for 30-60 minutes a day, weather permitting, depending on what I pay her. I am a wimp and never ride alone anyway. The youngster she got went on to be NSSHA National Champion or something and is now doing GREAT as a youth horse. So I am more than willing to work with her as much as possible. I want her to be able to set a good gait into my horse that hasn't got a lot of training to undo.

-Luckily for me, Saddleseat tack is easy to.. 'stock up' on. The thing that weirds me out is that the saddles almost NEVER have tree sizes. One size fits all! I was riding her lesson horses the other week and commented on the saddle I was riding in-- how comfy and nicely made it was. 'Oh that? You can get one new off National Bridle for $160. That's about 10 years old.' I've started buying regular halters(lime green and hot pink. Bright colors call to me), grooming kits.. basically everything you can accurately guess the sizing of.

It's so much! I can't believe that people jump into ownership! Call me a perfectionist and a worrywart, but I want to *KNOW* that I have the funds and a plan B. There will be +2k in my 'WTF' fund. Always. It'll cover vet emergencies(Colic and injury), tack failures(bridle snaps, billets explode, etc), farrier emergencies(thrown shoe, founder, etc), and things like 'focused training' when/if my horse starts up a nasty habit.

BUT, I am in no rush because I have only found a HANDFUL of decent walkers in the area. MOST gaited horses around here rack. AND my trainer is picky-- which is a good thing-- but we've found, like.. 2 horses we like. So at least that gives the whole money thing time to get situated!

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post #2 of 8 Old 10-19-2010, 09:59 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 269
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We were in the same boat. We lived in Massachusetts and had an amazing mare that was ready to retire, and we decided that it would be a good life/career choice to move to Florida, so we gave my mare to my mom. We basically were starting over as we used pretty much our entire savings to move here.

After being here for three years and saving, saving, saving, we're finally ready for a horse. I am so much more appreciative of having a horse now than I was when I was a kid and didn't have to wait or really work for one. I will never take the privilege of horse ownership for granted ever again.

I hope the wait goes by quickly for you, and I think it's such a great thing that you are being so responsible.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-19-2010, 04:02 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Dallas, Texas
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I think you are amazing for actually thinking the process through prior to purchasing.

It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and you have a great support group with your trainer helping you.

I think your plan sounds great. Its just sticking to the plan that is the hard part!
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-19-2010, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: No. VA
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I'm trying to get a low level job for now, to set up my WTF fund, but that's proving difficult. I also start college in January. I will be taking equine and vet tech classes, which I think is VERY exciting. Honestly, as long as I am working with animals, I can get by on the poor pay of a vet tech.

I had the manager of Tractor Supply call me today. He asked me to call him back for an interview time. I told him that I was available after 4 on the day he wanted to do my interview, and he said 'we'll see if we have any other opportunities.' Crap. He didn't give me a timeframe!

So now I'm just waiting. I am in contact with a GOOD breeder who is also a vet. She wants to sell me this yearling my trainer really likes, but I'm like 'NO NOT YET WAIT PLEASE!'
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-19-2010, 06:25 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Posts: 4,863
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I am all for saving and being prepared and being patient. Don't get me wrong.

But so many people make plans for something. Whether it be travel or something they have always wanted. People plan and plan and plan and they say maybe later, or maybe when this happens, or maybe when I have a bit more money, or when this promotion comes through, or when I lose 10kg.

Then it never happens. Or something happens and you push it back and back and back. I've seen it so many times, and people waste their lives waiting to start living.

I know everyone says it - but you could die tomorrow. Its good to plan for the future but don't get lost in it.

Its great you want to be prepared but don't lose out because of it. I'm a uni student who has a horse, I live off basically rice and frozen peas and corn. I don't have heaps of money but I know if anything ever happens I'll pull it together somehow. I'll always find a way to make it work because that is the person I am. Yes, I don't have money for a horse but I don't want to spend my youth waiting for something that may never come to pass. There is always more money. There isn't always more time.

Good luck of finding the right horse though.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-19-2010, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: No. VA
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I know what you're saying, and I agree. I don't want to miss out on the chance because I am too wimpy to put down the finances. Who cares if I have a lot of money if I'm not happy? :\

I have calculated that BASICS(vet, farrier, board, and intensive training 3 months a year for shows) would be almost 5k(will probably even out to 5k with things like supplements, stuff I want, etc). As a college student living at home, I can live on like 10k a year. When I move out, I'll definitely have a roomie(I am a WEINER), so costs there will be lower than usual.

Plus I have blubber. I only need to filter-feed, like a whale. :U

I'll probably start the REALLY SERIOUS search right after my 2nd or 3rd paycheck once I get hired somewhere.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-19-2010, 10:05 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 480
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i know you have your mind set.
but don't be suprised if you end up with something you least expect. it's happened to me every single time i was looking for a horse.. literally, every single time. but don't be against them because they're not exactly what you want.. they may end up being everything you wanted + more :). I'm happy to see someone wait for financial stability, but keep in mind.. for a first horse, do you reallllly want to wait 3 / 4 years to ride him or her ? serious question. for a first horse, you may want to find something you can enjoy.. don't get wrapped up in perfection and training. :)

Count My Strides - Shane, Bought 2-18-06, Mustang.
"I whispered to my horse, "i'm afraid of falling" and he whispered back, "i have wings".
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-19-2010, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: No. VA
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I'm actually looking at horses 2+. My age range is 2-8, so I'm not *completely* discounting a broke horse. My trainer is just SUPER picky about confo. I keep telling her that 'an 8 year old ain't gonna have a stupid growth spurt!' We're actually looking at a 6 year old champagne mare, we're just worried about her back.

I am not set on anything! My coach is willing to help with full grown and young horses, she just thinks it'd be easier to start new. And I'll take anything with a quiet nature, good health, and good gait! I'm really easy, and I'm showing lite-shod/country pleasure/trail pleasure. I don't have to worry about high action, just a well-formed 4beat.
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