I feel like I should be happier about my first horse... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 04-30-2015, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
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Unhappy I feel like I should be happier about my first horse...

I recently bought an amazing mare to be my first horse and I muck stalls a few times a week in exchange for her board. She's really a great girl - laid back and calm, but also very responsive and always willing to run. I can't have picked a better horse!

But the problem is that I feel like I should be having more fun or that I should just be happier about it in general. I've had her for one week now but I've also just started a new full-time job. I should be ecstatic but it already feels like a drag to get up every morning to do barn chores, have a short boring ride in the arena, and go home to get ready for work.

Maybe I'm just worrying too much. I think things will get better once I feel comfortable enough to take her out on the trails, which is what I bought her for, but I can't shake the feeling that I might have made a mistake buying her so soon. I know she will cost me about 4k/yr to feed/grain/vet/etc. and it worries me because I have student loans to start paying off soon. Even though it's a not a problem to keep her and pay for her, I just know the money I spend on her could pay off my loans faster.

I've wanted a horse all my life and now that I go out and get one I can't even make myself enjoy her. I feel like a failure.
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post #2 of 24 Old 04-30-2015, 03:09 PM
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Maybe try riding after work when you don't feel too rushed to get to work?
Set some sort of goals for both of you.
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post #3 of 24 Old 04-30-2015, 03:17 PM
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Do you have anyone to ride with? I feel it's much more fun when you are with someone else.

It's only been a week and it sounds like you have a lot of changes (horse and a new job) in your life - which can give anyone stress. Give yourself some time and don't put too many expectations on yourself.

And, I'm not going to tell you to be irresponsible with your money but, if riding truly brings you joy, you owe it to yourself to be happy. Yes, you could save the money and pay off your loans earlier....but balance that with the fact that no one knows when their time is up on this earth so, ride like the wind while you can!
:)
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post #4 of 24 Old 04-30-2015, 03:25 PM
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I agree with doing riding after work. That way you can truly enjoy the time with her.

RIP ~ Mr. Bass 06/09/1985-01/21/2015 my dearest friend
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post #5 of 24 Old 04-30-2015, 06:29 PM
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Give yourself some time to adjust. That's a lot of changes. Work, loans, extra responsibility--lower your expectations of what owning a horse means, and just enjoy what you have when you have it. The horse won't mind having a lot of free time. I promise. You'll enjoy her more once you've developed a routine. Use barn time to forget about everything else. Go to bed earlier. Get up earlier. Ride in the evenings. Heck, my barn is MUCH more active in the evenings. And give yourself at least a few months before you give up on yourself or horse ownership.
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post #6 of 24 Old 04-30-2015, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dapples123 View Post
......And, I'm not going to tell you to be irresponsible with your money but, if riding truly brings you joy, you owe it to yourself to be happy. Yes, you could save the money and pay off your loans earlier....but balance that with the fact that no one knows when their time is up on this earth so, ride like the wind while you can!
:)
Not sure where I first saw this unattributed quote. But it fits Dapples' sentiment perfectly.

"Life is too short. Ride your best horse first."
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post #7 of 24 Old 04-30-2015, 09:43 PM
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I am paying off my student loans, working, and I choose to have a horse. I could/would have had my loans paid off if I didn't, but I wouldn't have the joy in my life that I get from my horse. It's a cost:benefit analysis, and my horse is very worthwhile for me.

When I first got him, there were times I worried I had made a mistake and felt overwhelmed. He was my first horse, I didn't grow up with them, I was on my own, and yes, they are hella expensive. There were times it kept me up at night. Now, four years later, I can't imagine NOT having a horse. He has given me an outlet and a hobby and joy. The quip about "I pay my psychologist in feed and hay, and he will listen every day" rings true for me.

If you decide a horse is not really for you, that is fair and it is okay. But give it some time for all the changes to settle in first before worrying too much, okay?
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post #8 of 24 Old 04-30-2015, 10:51 PM
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Lots of people place a significance on things- stuff like a horse will make me happy, or a new car will make me happy, if I only had the newest phone I'd be happier.

While horses can bring the opportunity for happiness and fun, they don't create it for you.

When you see those things saying horses are 95% work and 5% pleasure they're not untrue. Horses require an enormous amount of work for very little payoff. I think for most people taking regular lessons or perhaps a day or two part lease will bring much more satisfaction than owning a horse. There is nothing wrong with that.

Give yourself some time, and see if you like it more. Pick a date, maybe in two months, to actually reflect on your feelings and make a decision. You could think of other options like half leasing - they take half the costs and half the responsibility.

You don't want to be dreading your horse.
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post #9 of 24 Old 04-30-2015, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much for your kind responses. It's true that I am just really stressed right now and havent had the time to relax and appreciate her. Once I've settled into my new routine I'm sure it will grt better, just having a moment of weakness. :)
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post #10 of 24 Old 05-01-2015, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girlgone View Post
I can't shake the feeling that I might have made a mistake buying her so soon.
When my son was a child he saved for months to buy a Super Soaker squirt gun. On the way home from ToysRus he got a sick feeling that he had made a mistake. He never put water in it and was immensely relieved when I offered to return it. Thus was born the term "Super Soaker Syndrome" for any second thoughts about a purchase.

Sounds like you might have Super Soaker Syndrome. Nothing wrong with that. Some times the only way you find out is to go through with a purchase. Your aren't a failure for not enjoying your horse. You might be a failure if you aren't willing to listen to the voice inside that says the timing wasn't right.

If I were you I would explore my options of returning this horse or selling her so you know exactly what that would involve. Then you can try to get your heart and your head to agree on whether you want to keep the horse. I wish you the best either way, just please give yourself permission to have a choice without labeling yourself a failure.
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