Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Washington, USA
When to buy first horse
I am looking for advice on whether or not it makes sense to try to buy a horse or at least seek a full-lease/lease to buy situation based on my riding and horse experience and goals.
I've been riding for eight years, half-leasing for four. I have been leasing an older (early twenties) horse that I have started eventing with for the past two years. I have completed several beginner novice events on him and am planning on moving up to novice in the fall. Prior to this, I leased several lesson horses but he is the first privately owned horse I've leased. I am the only one riding him, though his owner does help take care of him on the days that I don't ride and as it is a half-lease, offers a great deal of support re the horse's vet and farrier needs.
I have several catches/factors that contribute to whether or not it makes sense to look for a new situation (either buying or full/feed leasing).
First off, as I am in high school right now, there is the issue of the fact that I don't have my own income yet, and will be leaving for college within several years. As for the income issue, I know that my family can afford to own a horse, but for responsibility's sake, I know that I should try to figure out a way for pay for part of the horse's expenses if I make the transition to a more intensive lease (as right now, we are splitting some of my lease horse's expenses with his owner since I ride four days a week). I am 100% willing to get a job once I have my own transportation (drivers license), which I can get within a couple months. For college, there are several colleges within the state that I am interested in that i could realistically bring a horse to. My parents may be willing to split some of the costs of keeping a horse in college and I am definitely willing to getting a job pay for it. Looking forward, I assume I will be willing to make time to ride in college as I have seen other girls from my ranch manage to succeed in school and be competitive in eventng at the same time, but of course, that is another concern once I reach that part of my life...
The other concern I have with my current horse's situation is that i know that I would like to be able to continue to move up through the levels of eventing and I don't want my current horse's age to be an issue. He has been game for going BN so far and hasn't shown much of an issue due to his age, but i have some doubts about taking him above novice. It's kind of a precautionary concern right now I guess, but my goal is to go at least training before I graduate high school. I have several years left for reach my goal, but i don't know if he is the horse that would take me there, since he never competed above training even in his prime.
I get that there is obviously more factors against me trying to buy a horse right now than for, but I'm worried that I will be limited by the horse I am on right now as I progress. As most eventing kids my age do, I would love to continue to event as I grow up and would love to ride on NAJYRC teams and eventually at the upper levels. For a rider who does not own their own horse, it definitely feels like what the people my age who are already achieving my goals for the future have that I don't is a younger horse that they own.... I understand that it's not a magic ticket, but i do feel like having a younger horse would broaden my opportunities. It's kind of a difficult thing to express to my trainer as she coached my lease horse's owner's kids, and to my parents, as I don't know if they understand my goals completely since they are also new to eventing and obviously not as immersed in it as I am....
Sorry for the essay, but in general, just looking for some outside opinions on what i should do based on my personal situation and experience, and what i should try to do moving forward in order to achieve my goals.