Getting back into it? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-25-2017, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Question Getting back into it?

This is part rant, part I would like to hear your own personal stories if you feel like sharing!

I took riding lessons on and off for years as a teen, and stopped right before starting college/university due to a lack of time and funds (i always paid everything myself). I also stopped because I wasn't riding enough to progress properly (which was frustrating), so I told myself I would only get back into it if I could afford to ride twice per week, because any less isn't going to make me a solid rider.

Since I am graduating in a year, and will hopefully find a full time job as a physical therapist, I am starting to reflect on whether I should get back into it. My last year of riding was a bit sour, because I wasn't in a barn that was right for me, yet I remember how I used to love it! But then I have grown up a lot since then, and I don't know whether I've outgrown horses or just need to be reminded of what I have been missing all these years.
When I graduate, I will most likely get married soon after and buy a house with my SO in the city/suburbs

I guess I am just worried about whether I can financially afford to ride even when I have a full time job, because I would also like to put money aside to travel a bit, eventually have kids, and pay my mortgage in a decent time frame. My bf supports me if I decide to ride again, but I feel a bit bad spending hundred of dollars a month on lessons when that could make us pay off a mortgage faster for example.
I know there are a lot of middle class folk who do manage to ride, and I know it's all about prioritizing what you spend on. I would like to hear if you went through a similar dilemma, what you ended up doing, how you managed to afford a mortgage, kids, and this amazing but expensive hobby.

A ride a day keeps the worries away!
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post #2 of 14 Old 06-25-2017, 12:21 PM
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You sound a bit like me. Im 23 now, and went through a lot of changes the past few years - as all young adults do. I was frustrated with riding lessons myself because my parents only let me take them every other week, so I never progressed. And I hated it. I always felt like I was in the position of wanting to do and learn so much, but lack of practice never allowed me to get there. When I was 14 I got my first horse, had/leased them on and off until I got married at 21. But even I had a feeling of giving horses up, simply because I felt like a failure as a horse person because of crappy, jealous people in my life. I just recently bought a horse at 22 after I was married a little over a year. She was not cheap to say the least, and still isn't. We currently are selling our house to buy a smaller house with land for her and hopefully more horses in the future. My goal is to make a career out of working with horses.

All that being said, it really boils down to priorities. For me, I would live off Ramen if it meant having my horse. We are selling our house to make owning horses more affordable. Horses, to me, are only second to God and my husband. They make me happy. I know it sounds cheesy, but I really don't feel like I can live without one. At least not in the same way. The joy horses brings me is like something I can't describe. It's not a hobby, it's a lifestyle. (For me)

Always stay humble and kind
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post #3 of 14 Old 06-25-2017, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for sharing horseylover. It makes me feel better that others have had similar feelings or experiences.

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Originally Posted by horseylover1_1 View Post
I was frustrated with riding lessons myself because my parents only let me take them every other week, so I never progressed. And I hated it. I always felt like I was in the position of wanting to do and learn so much, but lack of practice never allowed me to get there.
I felt exactly like that for so many years, and I don't want to ever go through that again if I can. It just took the fun out of riding. Being around horses definitely is a lifestyle! I suppose I am just at that point in my life where I need to decide whether I want it to be mine. It's hard when you are the only one in your family and no one really understands. I do feel blessed that my bf is supportive though.

A ride a day keeps the worries away!
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post #4 of 14 Old 06-25-2017, 12:43 PM
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You are welcome @Hidalgo13 .. why don't you consider leasing a horse? It can be beneficial in so many ways. You don't have the commitment you do with owning a horse. As beneficial as lessons are, as long as you are riding consistently, you'll generally improve. Such as take a lesson every other week, however, still ride twice a week on your leased horse. Your instructor can give you "homework." You don't have to have someone watching you all the time to improve and practice your riding.
anndankev and bsms like this.

Always stay humble and kind
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-25-2017, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Last summer I leased a horse for 2 months (no lessons, no supervision) and he was a great arab schoolmaster, but too smart for me. Every week he got tougher to ride and less responsive. I went from cantering him around the arena to struggling to keep him at a trot.
Right now I am not considering owning, I know I may never be able to afford it, but leasing I would definitely try to do once I got enough lessons to gain back experience and confidence (I am a nervous rider sometimes). At least enough so that i can properly deal with even the easier horses out there. Riding lessons are quite expensive in my area, but with enough of them I am hoping I can be good enough to do as you say, ride the lease horse more often, with occasional lesson. And if I am lucky, maybe I can find a really cheap lease (someone desperate to get their horse exercised).

A ride a day keeps the worries away!
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-25-2017, 02:38 PM
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I had to take a couple breaks from serious riding. I fought hard and sacrificed much to do as much as I was able at those times. I'm not sure it was worth it.

A friend also had to not ride often a few times in her life. She went a different route and did the dude riding thing when she had the time and extra money and did some trail rides in Europe and New Zealand when she traveled to those places.

She seems more at peace about the years she wasn't competing in hunter/jumpers and fox hunting, where as, my memories have more stress associated with them though I rode much more than she.
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-25-2017, 04:29 PM
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I never could have a horse as a child. I suffered, or so I thought, for that.

As an adult, mother and home mom, I have not been able to own my own horse, and , at times, I feel sorry enough for myself that I suffer a bit.
But, as the Buddhists say, In life, Pain is a given, Suffering about it is up to you. Meaning, how badly you mentally thrash yourself for having to endure unfair things is up to you. you'll have unfair things, one way or the other. How you react to them will dictate how much you suffer.

But, on the specific side . . . If being around horses even in a limited sense brings you added sanity, then you can get a lot out of limited lessons, even if you don't become a 'great' rider. But, if it only makes you suffer, then you must either change your mindset, or keep a healthy distance.

personally, I'd wait just a bit. focus on your upcoming marriage, new job search, house hunting. these things alone will take a huge part of your heart and soul, and time. when things are a bit more settled, you can look back into hroses.
in the meantime, put away $100 a month into your 'Horse Dreams' fund.

How about that?
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-25-2017, 06:47 PM
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Depends on how committed you are to having horses, willing to make some sacrifices.
After I graduated as a lab tech, worked at a teaching hospital in Calgary , got married and started a family, I sold the horse I had bought,when I came out west, and did not have a horse of my own again for 10 years
The horse I had bought, was 'green broke, and I bought him for $200 at the time. He was boarded on a half section of land, so board was cheap, but I spent most of my day off locating him, so, sad as it was, decided not to have horse again, until we had land of our own.
During those 10 years, I rented horses from riding stables, rode hroses that friend owned.
Once we had land, I decided to raise horses, and learned to train them myself, so that the horses paid for themselves , and then some. Never had the luxury of just sending them to trainers, buying made horses, and that is where the expense is, esp if that horse is maintained by a trainer, kept at a riding stable, with an indoor arena, ect
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-25-2017, 10:26 PM
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I sold my heart horse when I went to college at 19, and only 2 years ago for my 25th birthday bought myself another - a cheap $200 completely wild weanling that I trained myself from the ground up. Dreams has turned into a wonderful partner, everything I wanted in a horse, and riding him is like riding the wind. Horses are a part of who I am, and while I think taking breaks can work I don't think I'll be able to ever quit my habit completely. My job now is on call 24/7, so I don't get to train Dreams as consistently as I'd like, but I still manage about 4 rides a week on average, and he's making great progress. I've never liked kids so I won't be having any - my horses and my bird are enough for me! As far as mortgage goes we rent, since my fiancé and I are caught in the middle of deciding if we want to stay in this town or not, but around here rental prices are around the same as mortgages so I think we'll be okay there.

It's all about the balance. : )

-- Kai
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-25-2017, 10:28 PM
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lol Smilie we've got a lot in common it seems! : )

-- Kai
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