Buying or Leasing??? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-11-2015, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Buying or Leasing???

Okay, So I'm in middle school and I have been riding for about 5 years and I want to buy a horse but my mom says it's "too expensive". So then I found out about leasing a horse and my mom said she "didn't think it was needed". So I ride english and I've been off and on a bit with horseback riding. I have never been in a show but I want to. Anyways, I was wondering what I should do to convince my mom to either let me buy or lease a horse? Also, which is better for me?
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-11-2015, 06:52 PM
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Horses are quite expensive and many cannot afford them. In a couple years you'll be an adult and can choose to spend your money how you wish.

My mother is happy now in retrospect that she bought me horses in my youth. She has seen how many of my peers went on to live I guess poorer lives. Teen pregnancy, poor education, drugs etc. She sees how almost all horse kids grew up well. Having a horse gave me something more to care about. It gave me an unshakeable identity. I tried harder because of it. Perhaps explain this to your parents?

But be aware that parents are under enormous pressure these days. More than ever there are societal standards and expectations they are held to each day. They feel guilty when they can't give their kids everything - but they just can't. Don't torture them for that.
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post #3 of 16 Old 07-11-2015, 07:11 PM
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If your mom thinks buying a horse is expensive, that's because it is.

I mean this is the nicest way possible, but you're in middle school, so you probably don't understand just how much work and money a horse needs. My parents never bought me a horse or let me lease one - I started when I was 3 years into college, working a stable enough job to afford it myself. I'm 21 years old, been riding since the age of 5, and I JUST started to take the responsibility of a horse into my own hands.

Leasing would be the better option for you. In a lease, you pay a monthly expense to be able to ride someone else's horse. That's usually it. In most leases, you don't need to pay for food, vet, dental, farrier, etc. If you were to buy a horse, you'd have to...

1.) First off, BUY the horse itself. This ranges anywhere from $500+. You would pay the bare minimum of $500 for an unbroken, untrained horse that knows nothing about being ridden. You don't want that at your age. Considering you're a young rider, you'd want to buy a horse with years of experience being ridden and a horse that's practically bombproof. A good, young schooling horse will most likely be around $3,000-$10,000. If you want a horse that is young and has potential to take you somewhere in the show ring, you're looking at more than $10,000.
2.) Pay to board your horse somewhere. If you want to take care of your horse yourself, meaning turning out at 6/7 am, feeding, and then turning in at 6/7 pm, feeding again, mucking his stall, blanketing, water, etc., you can pay anywhere from $150-$300 a month. I'm assuming you're in school, so you'd want someone to take care of your horse while you're away. These barns are more common and not to mention, more convienent for you. There are places that turn your horse in and out, clean his stall, blanket him, and feed him (this is called full board) for anywhere from $400-$1,000 if you want to get really fancy.
2.) Pay to buy your horses hay and grain. This is a monthly expense that varies.
3.) Pay for bedding for your horses stall. This is also a monthly expense.
4.) Your horse needs a vet. You need to pay for him to be dewormed, vaccinated, and he needs regular checkups. Not to mention, you NEED cushion in your bank account to afford an emergency. Horses are susceptible to colic, injuries, poisoning...the list goes on and on. And emergency surgery is NOT cheap. I mean upwards of the low thousands. I would not buy a horse if you don't have money to afford a very expensive and unexpected surgery.
5.) Your horse needs to have his hooves trimmed and probably shoed. You need to have the farrier come out every 6-8 weeks and they're not cheap, either.
6.) Your horse needs his teeth floated, or filed down, every 6 months - 1 year. Depending on the condition of his mouth and teeth, how much sedation he needs, this can quickly and easily reach mid hundreds.
7.) Your horse needs blankets for the winter if you live in a cool climate and coolers for the hot summer. Probably a fan for his stall, a fly mask, a halter, a lead rope, and most likely wraps or boots for leg protection. Grooming supplies, including shampoo, conditioner, all types of brushes, a hoof pick, you name it. Water troughs, feeders, stall toys, etc. These things...yup, you guessed it. Not cheap!
8.) On top of all the things your horse needs, if you plan on riding, you need riding gear. Not sure how much you own already or if you use stuff at your barn, but you need riding pants, a good helmet, a few good shirts, paddock boots, tall boots if you plan on showing, gloves, etc. And last but not need a saddle that fits you and your horse well, ranging anywhere from $800-$6,000 if you want a quality saddle. You need a few different saddle pads, maybe a withers pad. You also need a bridle that fits your horse, a bit, and reins.

Your horse needs daily attention, care, and he requires an incredible amount of money. Plus - again, no offense - you are very young.

Leasing is a better option for your age and where you're at financially. You have the freedom of riding a horse but very little of the responsibility of owning one. Leasing is not cheap, either, but it's certainly not owning a horse. Please try to understand that your mother would probably love to let you own a horse, but she's an adult with financial needs and responsibilities. Whether or not you believe a horse is a need, it's not. It's solely a want. We all make sacrifices for the things we want, but maybe your mother can't afford you a horse at this time. Maybe now you can show your mother you're responsible with good grades. Or, once you get older and have a job, you can show her you can pay for a horse with the money you earn. Good luck and happy riding. :)

Last edited by kelseyannxo; 07-11-2015 at 07:12 PM.
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-11-2015, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Saskia View Post
I think that horses are very expensive, and often families cannot afford them. Perhaps see if you came exercise someone's horse for them for free? Or get a job and savde for your own. In a couple years you will finish school and you'll be able to choose to spend your own money on ownership.
Here in the US a child under the age of 18 cannot own property or enter into any kind of a contract so buying or leasing really isn't an option if mom doesn't want it.

Owning is extremely expensive and getting more and more so all the time. It's comparable to buying a really, really nice brand new car or truck with big payments and insurance so don't blame mom for not having the extra funds. Showing is a whole new level of big expense. Then there is the time factor. An adult must be involved in most aspects with a horse even if the child does most of the work-it's nothing like having a cat or dog. If you have siblings, it's really not fair for a parent to devote a huge amount of time/money to one child's hobby and not to all in the family. I've seen parents do it but it almost always leads to others in the family feeling neglected.

It sounds like your only realistic option is to start taking lessons more seriously and try to make yourself welcome and wanted at the stable where you ride. If you can get involved with helping people with stall cleaning, grooming ect., you may find your riding opportunities grow.

The great majority of girls who want a horse do not get one until they are adults with a good paying job (and sometimes not even then). It's just a fact of life. Horse are a luxury item that we owners willingly sacrifice for, both in time and money.
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-16-2015, 05:39 PM
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I feel you! I am 27 and I am owning my first horse but riding since I was 5. Stick with it. RIDE THOUGH COLLEGE. I leased a couple horses is college just to 'stay in the saddle.'

The most beneficial thing for your riding career is to ride as many different types of horses that you can. Then you have confidence on any horse and can react to many types of situations.

Take lessons. Ask to ride different horses each month. Ask to be there when the farrier comes, ask about confirmation, about habits, about feed and health. Be a sponge for now :)
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post #6 of 16 Old 07-18-2015, 11:55 AM
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If your mother feels that horses are too expensive.. well honey she is very right! I got my first horse when I was 14, and I had to pay for it. I also had to get a job when I was 14 and I paid for most of the food, hay, farrier, and vet bills all on my own. When my friends wanted to go shopping at the mall, or out and about, very often I did not have the money because I was horse broke! My friends thought I was crazy to spend all that time and money on a horse but I loved every second of it and still do and they still think i'm crazy haha!

Now I was there and I remember dying to have my own horse, but I am going to write out what it costs me to own 1 horse. Prices are different depending on where you live, what you feed, if you have to pay board, etc. But this is a general idea.

I have three horses - but this is the rough estimate for one of my horses, monthly and yearly for me.

Yearly -
-Vet bill for shots = $300.00
-Vet bill for coggins = $30.00
-Teeth Floating = $125
-Misc. vet bills for unexpected injuries, check-ups, etc. = $300-500 (this is average yearly for me.. unfortunately things can happen that makes that number go way up!)
-Worming.. there are tons of different ways to worm your horse. Here in Florida when temps are above 85 degrees regularly in the summer (more like 90s-100s haha!) worms cannot survive so we do not worm. Saves cash as many people overworm their horses... anyways... roughly about $60-70 dollars yearly for worming. Not including if you need to get your horse a fecal which is $18.00 (I only get a fecal if I get a new horse, if my horse has been somewhere else or under somebodies else's care for awhile or if I or my vet suspect worms)
-Farrier BAREFOOT trim = $30 every 5 weeks ... so yearly that is about $330.00
-All of my horses get chiropractic adjustments a few times a year as needed each adjustment is $75.00 so last year my horse was adjusted 3 times = $225.00 yearly

Monthly -
Now I do not pay board since my horses are at my house. But partial board can be anywhere from $100-300 dollars a month. Full board anywhere from $500-1000 dollars a month. Partial board does not include anything. Only a stall and turnout usually. Sometimes not even a stall. Full board normally includes a stall, turnout, hay, grain, someone does the feeding, water, stall cleaning, shavings, etc.
But here is MY monthly cost...
- Hay (Orchard Alfalfa mix, $13 a bale) = $200.00
- Grain (Seminole Show Formula $21 a bag) = $84
- Supplements (MSM $15.00 last 3 months , Biotin $30.00 lasts 2 months, Flax $5.00 last 2 weeks, Sandclear $20.00 for one month) = $50.00
-Shavings = $40.00
-Misc. things like shampoo, conditioner, grooming tools, vet wrap, treats, etc. = $25-$50

And after all of this you will need to buy a saddle, saddle pad, bridle, reins, bit, boots and wraps if needed. Im not going to even go there.

In total yearly estimate for one of my horses = $5,883.00 (and that doesn't include vet bill emergencies)

What I would do if I were you is, research, research, research everything you can! Take more lessons and volunteer to help clean stalls, groom horses, etc at your barn. Get your name out there and go put adds up in feed stores and around town about looking for a job being a barn help or working with horses. Take it even if its a volunteer job, just to get your foot in the door. My first job was when I was 13, I went to the publix in my town and applied there. After my mom took me to the feed store down the road to get dog food. I was talking to the owner how I loved horses and she offered me a job in the store, and to help her take care of her own! That is how I bought my first horse a year later.

You can also look into leasing maybe after you get a job? Leasing is much more cheaper and it will give you an idea if you really would like to own a horse.

Anyways... good luck honey! If you can't get your horse now, one day if you are serious about this lifestyle (yes it certainly is a lifestyle!) you will get one!
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It is the little things...
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-18-2015, 01:38 PM
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Your mother is very correct - it is a huge expense, and the expenses are not always set prices (it is very common for a horse to need certain supplements, or emergency vet care, or a new blanket, etc etc.). It also takes up a TON of time every day, 365 days a year - doesn't matter if you are sick or it's a holiday, or if your family has planned a vacation - and you are in middle school, your mother will need to at the very least be giving you rides to and from the barn minimum once per day (more if you are on self care board or if the horse needs special care).

I won't bother going into all the expenses, but I will say that I own two horses and spend bare minimum $1330 per month, and that is only IF no surprises are involved (new blanket, somebody needs a new supplement, needed to buy bedding, vaccines/teeth floating, and that list goes on and on.) $1330 includes my board and farrier - that doesn't include anything else at all. This cost will vary greatly depending on your area, but my point is that it is NOT cheap.

Nothing your do or say will "convince" your mother to spend more than she is able to afford. It is a HUGE expense, and on top of your monthly fees there are time commitments, as well as unforeseeable costs.
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-19-2015, 09:32 AM
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I am not going to repeat the sound advice that others have given. Have an honest talk with your mom about what she feels is a comfortable amount that can be spent for your riding. Perhaps you can find a way to make some money on your own to add to that and stay with lessons for now.
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-06-2015, 08:13 PM
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I would suggest buying. It depends if you were thinking a half-lease or full-lease. If full lease, you might as well buy because when you think about it, it's almost just as expensive full leasing as it is buying. If you take a horse from a different barn, you have to pay board which is just as expensive as boarding your own, you also have to take care of vet/farrier bills etc. My parents said we would never own a horse, and now we own two and they even say it's the best thing and they agree that it was a better decision buying. With a half-lease, you only get 3 days a week to ride. That's usually how it is, and that includes the lesson. Full leasing you get just as many days riding as owning, but it's pretty much the same price per month. You just have to pay up front the purchase of the horse.
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-11-2015, 12:03 AM
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^People's concerns here aren't with the amount of riding days. More than that, there are so many specifics to a lease where a half-lease isn't always only 3 days. Leases can be anywhere to 1-7 days per week, just depends on all the specifics and what's in the contract.

Typically yes, a half lease would be 3 days, which is a GREAT start. Then full on property lease which typically the leaser pays a set amount to the owner of the horse (typically this would be a portion of the board + farrier, sometimes supplements as well). And then there's off property full/free leases.

In most cases the leaser is not responsible for anything beyond their lease fees, as well as any lessons/clinics/shows. An off property free lease would mean the leaser generally would pay absolutely everything for the horse. I am free leasing out one of my mares right now, and her leaser pays everything, except I have supplied her blankets as she's an 86", as well as a couple other items that are hard to find/more expensive in such large sizes, I also continue to pay a non-routine vet care to a degree, though I won't get into those specifics.

So no, leasing is not just like buying. With buying you have SO many other expenses. There are plenty of leases out there where you can still ride as much as you'd ride your own horse, without the added expenses (aside from lease fee).
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