How do you all do it? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 60 Old 01-22-2014, 03:59 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 6,413
• Horses: 3
I was in my 30s before I could financially swing horse ownership. I dreamed about it from the time I was 4 or 5.

To me, a horse is an expensive hobby, a luxury. I would personally not own a horse if I could not comfortably write my board check every month or cover an unexpected pricey vet bill. My checkbook isn't unlimited when it comes to pets, and each animal I own has an upper limit to their vet care, but if I had to, I could cover that upper limit without making other sacrifices for my family.

Not everyone on this forum feels that way, and that's fine. But to me, waiting until my finances were in a good place was just reality. And I'll tell you, it was soooo satisfying to buy my first horse after waiting literally my whole life for that moment!

Good luck!
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post #12 of 60 Old 01-22-2014, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 5
• Horses: 0
I would never want to put myself in a sticky financial situation. I have already paid off my car which is a 2010 model so I dont expect a new car until I am like 30 lol. I appreciate your stories. I would love to have a horse but I know I am not financially responsible at the moment so no worries. I won't deny it is tempting considering I don't have anything else to focus on or motivate me. All I can do is save for now, do lessons and read some books on horses.

You all have made good points on getting a legit job after I get my degree since I never know, I might end up moving out of state.

It is very inspiring to hear some of you worked really hard to keep your horse by waking up so early to go care for the horse and then working long hours only to go back once you got off shift to ride! Dedication. It is great motivation and reality of what you have to do in order to keep a horse.
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post #13 of 60 Old 01-22-2014, 04:17 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 7,135
• Horses: 3
You make your horse a priority in your life. It's not much cheaper to keep a horse in the back yard, but it ties you down. I don't mind being tied down to my horses after almost 29 years of horse ownership, BUT, if you board, your hours are freer.
I feed my horses 2x/day, October-April, 1x/day, April-October. Wintertime the chores are harder and longer, and I make instant decisions about whether to turn out or not, depending upon the weather and MY schedule. For example, if I was going to be home at 4:30PM today, instead of 9PM, my horses would have been turnout out, but they stayed in their stalls, instead. I also have to drive to stock up on hay, grain, straw and other bedding, load up, then unload and stack in my barn's loft. It's a LOT of work, and boarders don't have to do this. Plus I have to maintain my riding arenas, and boarders to not.
Leasing is a whole other kettle of fish. Make sure that you have a written contract or the wrong horse can end up becoming a legal headache. A good lease with a reasonable owner could be great and even if you fall in love with someone else's horse that you cannot own, you can look at the experience as a very short lease of a car you'd love to own but cannot afford.
If you can afford ~2x the cost of 1 year of monthly board, you should have enough to afford to purchase a horse. A few years ago I might have said to take out a loan to buy a horse, but prices are now in the toilet, and you'll be playing roulette with you finances to do so, so save up and buy, instead. DH and I have never taken out a loan to buy any of the ~35 horses we have bought (most sold, some passed away from old age.)

A Jack and Three Queens, the latest book by James C. Dedman,
Hope that you fall in love with "Trot", like I did!
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post #14 of 60 Old 01-23-2014, 02:11 PM
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 268
• Horses: 2
2 jobs, tink household (tri income, no kids), we don't go out much, and we're frugal. We didn't get horses until we had enough cushion as an emergency fund.
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post #15 of 60 Old 01-23-2014, 02:18 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2,332
• Horses: 2
I looked for a boarding place that needed some help in exchange for riding, then that turned into work in exchange for board (or part-board.) Also, look into any co-op board places in the area.

Right now I work off a lot of my board, I got everything in writing on what was expected of me and how much off my board it would equal to. Even though the BO and myself are all "BFFs" I still ask her to write up anything that she changes, or that i borrow/use and have to pay back.

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post #16 of 60 Old 01-23-2014, 03:26 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 257
• Horses: 3
You are almost done with school. Soon you will have a good job. Instead of spending your money on nice things and going out with your friends every weekend, you will spend it on tack, and vet bills. You will find things fall into place depending on your priorities. We've all been there.

For now keep taking your lessons, Lease when you can afford it, and life will take care of the rest. Enjoy the journey!
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post #17 of 60 Old 01-23-2014, 03:46 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 97
• Horses: 1
I'm a bit of a latecomer to the whole riding/horse ownership game. Started riding a year and a half ago and got my first horse when I was 23.

I had already finished school, gotten a good job and bought a condo before I ever started riding. Even though I have a decent paying job and work off part of my board, I supplement my income by renting out a room in my condo. I don't want to be one of those people who always have to say "no" to going out, just because you are short on cash due to a vet bill.

It helps that the barn is a 5 min drive from work and I do self board, which cuts down on costs.
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post #18 of 60 Old 01-23-2014, 03:55 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Ipswich, MA
Posts: 575
• Horses: 1
I found a place that is giving me free board (including all feed, shavings, etc) in exchange for work before and after my job. My husband and I worked it out that we CAN afford to pay board, but it would be TIGHT... and now, with some potential vet issues coming up, I am oh so glad I don't pay board at the moment...
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post #19 of 60 Old 01-23-2014, 04:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Lancaster california
Posts: 262
• Horses: 2
it can be rather irritating and difficult at times honestly, i have a steady well paying job that pays 10.50 an hour but that like everything else is not going to last forever which is why i am currently in apprenticeship to be a farrier as well, as you cant really depend on a regular job, you need a career,my partner and i planning to move in together in a few years if God allows and he is getting his degree at the end of this semester for electrical and construction, just have to plan ahead, which i did not for the longest time and was homeless for awhile.
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post #20 of 60 Old 01-23-2014, 07:21 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Posts: 4,863
• Horses: 1
I'm at university and own a horse. I could never afford what you are describing! You ask how people do it... well a lot of people don't do it like that!

There are a few things I do. First, I try to only own affordable horses. This means horses that need their feet trimmed rather than shod, horses that are suitable for full time turnout and don't need to be ridden in an arena, and ones that are "good doers". The difference in feed costs between my current horse and my previous TB are huge! I was spending probably triple on the TB, where as this horse, in the same paddocks, holds his weight fine on grass.

I choose the affordable options. Like near where I used to keep my horse, there was a place that was probably at least $120 full board, possibly up to $180 depending on if it included feed etc, a week for a stable and shared 5 acre turnout. They had an indoor, two outdoors etc. Very nice place. However, 5 minutes down the road you could have a spot in a shared 80 acre paddock for $20 a week. You didn't have arenas or roundyards but there was a lot more grass! Straight up, even with feed, I was likely at least $80 a week better off.

I don't take lessons, but I took them for many years as a kid, so I don't know, I know I couldn't afford them. If you team up with other people to get your horse's teeth/feet/vet done at the same time often you can save a fair bit on costs. Ordering big loads of hay and sharing them is often a lot cheaper.

I have the money for emergencies, but I spend a lot less on my day to day horse care than you're describing.

Most of the time I keep my horse on private properties, when I was doing my undergrad I was offered free agistment for pretty much my whole degree. When they'd go away I'd watch their horses and dogs for them and in exchange they were happy for me to keep my horse there. I met these people as I was volunteer teaching at pony club and their kids went there. Most private properties aren't advertised, but asking around you get to find out about them.

Horses aren't cheap, but they don't have to be as expensive as a lot of people make them out to be. If you want the premium package you have to pay for it, but if you're a horse mad grown up and just want to do horse-y stuff it is possible.
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