Am I ready to own a horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 02-11-2018, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Am I ready to own a horse?

Hi, I am a 13 year old rider who has been riding for 5 years, I have been taking weekly 1 hour lessons and I am a member of the pony club, I am also on my riding schools team, so I do competitions with them. I have been wanting a horse for a very long time but I want to know if I am ready for one, as my friends, family and the staff at my riding school say I am quite experienced with looking after and riding horses. I know how to groom, muck out, lead, feed and look after a horse on ground and also I know how to walk, trot, canter, gallop, and jump just over 1metre whilst riding a horse and I have also done quite a few small competitions (showjumping, dressage, xc, eventing, mounted games and in hand showing) on the riding school horses. Last year I loaned one of the horses at my riding school, she was put out for loan as she was green, and very moody, and wasn’t being ridden much in lessons, or at pony club or in competitions, so my instructor decided that I should loan her for about a year and the horse and I got on very well and now she is ridden more by less experienced riders in lessons and at pony club. Please tell me if you think I am ready to own a horse and if you don’t think I am please tell me what I should do instead. Thank you Maya x
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post #2 of 20 Old 02-11-2018, 11:59 AM
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At 13 you are not ready simply because the financial stability is not there. Now if your parents are ready to commit to horse ownership and take on the financial responsibilities of owning a horse then you sound capable of carrying out the horse care/riding part.
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post #3 of 20 Old 02-11-2018, 12:03 PM
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You sound very mature and physically capable of owning a horse. The problem is, can you afford to own one? Can you pay the board, vet bills, training bills, farrier, show costs, clothing costs (for you and the horse) and how about transporting the horse? At your age you can't drive yet, so how will you get to the barn every day, maybe more than 2 X/day to take care of the horse? How will you afford a vehicle, a trailer, insurance and gas for the vehicle so that you can get to the barn and take the horse various places? What are your plans for schooling, university? Can you keep the horse with you, will you need to board him/her, are there facilities where you will go? Do you have the ability to set aside an emergency fund in case the horse needs more than routine vet care? Are you parents on board with you getting a horse? Will they help with the costs? The cost of buying the horse is just the first of an unending stream of costs that eat up your money (literally).

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post #4 of 20 Old 02-11-2018, 12:18 PM
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At 13 you do need your parents backing. They are the ones who will be paying!

Also at your age you want a pony not a horse. You will be competing against adults otherwise. I know the PC has less height restrictions but in general shows you would be at a disadvantage.
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post #5 of 20 Old 02-11-2018, 01:07 PM
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for the most part- I do think you are ready. the only drawback is your age- and I will explain.

I dont mean age is in oh you are too young. age as in you still are dependent on your parents- which if you have their support, is fine. Keeping a horse costs money and as long as either you or your parents- or a mix of both, can afford the bills, its fine. I feel you'd be able to care for the horse and all provided that the expemnse isn't an issue.

But some things to think about: school. Mainly college- if you choose to go. Yes, it is a time away, but I have seen horses for sale due to the person going to school. Can you manage college and horse ownership at the same time? both can be costly on their own- put together it can be quite an expense. I'd hate to see someone have to get rid of their horse because of going to a university, but I'd also hate the horse to be holding one back. It's something to think about.

There is the options of leasing. You could lease a horse these years before school and even during the university. then once you graduate and get a job- can treat yourelf with horse shopping. Or if you buy a horse now, lease when in school for some money ( but leasing out your horse could open another can of worms)

In the end, I'd say you sound knowledgeable and mature enough for horse ownership. I would just plan for if/when the time comes for going to college what is going to happen with the horse-I think it is fair for the horse to be considered in this situation. But just bare in mind- you are young. If things don't pan out right now for you to gt a horse- doesn't mean you won't ever get one. I wouldn't let your love of horses hold you back from fulfilling other dreams like your education which can affect your future career. I always wanted a horse as a teen, but I am glad I didn't get a horse til much later.
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post #6 of 20 Old 02-11-2018, 01:15 PM
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Your qualifications are not at issue. I think any horse will be off well under your care. It's the time horizon of horse ownership that concerns me: Your life is still unfolding at a rapid pace, and a horse may be with you for 20 years or more - unless you are willing to "flip it".

So, from the horse's perspective, I'd be concerned that being owned by you introduces too much predictable uncertainty in its life. I would recommend leasing, so that the horse can at least stay in a familiar environment when things in your life won't allow you to take care of it anymore - moving for education or career, dating, family, etc. Reliable cash flow is another concern over the years - at this point, you don't know the costs of your education, your expenses as an adult, and your pay check.

In short, there are many things to consider because a horse would stay with you long after you transition into a life that will be completely different than the one you have now. So you are a qualified horse woman who will only get better, but that alone will not make you the best owner for a horse...yet.
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post #7 of 20 Old 02-11-2018, 01:25 PM
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A few considerations:

-Who will be paying for your board and lessons? If it's you, you'll need to pick up a part-time job to pay those bills. This will potentially cut into your riding time in a way that wouldn't happen if you just stuck to lessons or a part-board.
-How often will you, realistically, get to ride? I owned a horse at your age and only made it out to ride twice a week, as I was dependent on my busy family to drop me off and pick me up. In hindsight I would have done better to stick to lessons or a partboard. If you won't get to ride more often than you do now, the only major difference will be quadrupling (or more) your monthly horse-related bills.
-Who will pay for the vet if a veterinary problem arises? If you're just taking lessons or part-boarding, the owner will be on the hook for those bills, and the farrier bills -- not you.
-If the horse injures itself in a way that requires daily attention, debriding proud flesh, changing bandages, etc., will you be able to get out there every day and take on that responsibility?
-If you buy now, you likely need to plan to sell your horse before you attend college -- if you plan to attend college. But what happens it, by the time you're ready for college, your horse is unsellable due to lameness or an injury? You could be faced with the decision to put down a horse for financial reasons, which happens, but is very hard on a person's conscience. (I speak from experience.)

I'm 36 now and don't own a horse because, looking at the bigger picture, I already have more opportunities to ride than I actually have time for. I could take multiple lessons a week if I wanted to (and had time!) and get much more constructive experience from my rides and STILL not have it come even close to what it would cost to own a horse. Owning a horse would actually cut into my learning opportunities regarding riding. The prospect of vet bills, sudden lameness, etc., aren't my problems to deal with, and that is HUGE. I also know enough people with horses who WANT them ridden that I do a lot of riding for free. If you continue to advance and learn and treat everyone respectfully, opportunities to ride have a way of making themselves available! You could also volunteer to do chores at the stable in exchange for non-lesson riding time, and it would be darn close to having your own without all the bigger-picture hassle and expense.

Alllll that said, I totally get the impulse. I window-shop horse and pony ads CONSTANTLY and am often glad I don't have a bunch of money to hand right now because I'm not confident in my self-restraint.
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post #8 of 20 Old 02-11-2018, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
At 13 you do need your parents backing. They are the ones who will be paying!

Also at your age you want a pony not a horse. You will be competing against adults otherwise. I know the PC has less height restrictions but in general shows you would be at a disadvantage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmshiro View Post
Your qualifications are not at issue. I think any horse will be off well under your care. It's the time horizon of horse ownership that concerns me: Your life is still unfolding at a rapid pace, and a horse may be with you for 20 years or more - unless you are willing to "flip it".
.

Read Foxhunters excellent post, the OP is in the UK, where at 13 she would be sensibly buying a 14.2hh Pony, the biggest she can find, that sticks under that height. We have a great tradition of kids and ponies, and are used to having to make decisions if you keep the pony, or more probably you sell the pony when you trade up. Nothing wrong with it, better to have an equine that is right for you at every stage, than trying to make one horse fit your changing needs.

Op, from the point of view of experience, sounds like you are ready....now to talk to your parents and see what they think. I was always angry that I never got bought a pony, then when I grew up I wondered how mum and dad afforded lessons for me, let alone owning one. You may have to be patient until you are able to buy one for yourself.

“Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity”
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post #9 of 20 Old 02-11-2018, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Am I ready to own a horse?

To everyone wondering whether my parents would be able to afford and take me to the stables, my family is financially stable and quite wealthy, also as I live in the countryside there are a few different stables here and there most of them I could walk to, but my mum would be able to drive me there in the morning and after as she finishes work before I come back from school. Also my dad is planning to take a driving test for driving horse boxes as he has a 4x4 that is capable of towing a horse/pony. As much st of you were saying that I should get a pony, I was thinking around 14.2hh, even though I usually ride two 16.1hh horses, but my old loan pony is 14.2hh she was a perfect size. Thank you all for your concerns, Maya x
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post #10 of 20 Old 02-11-2018, 03:08 PM
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Still the question is - are they willing to support a horse? While some parents are able to afford a horse and pay for lessons, haul you back and forth, etc - they for many of the reasons above would rather continue with lessons or lease instead of purchasing outright. Have you spoken to them directly?
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