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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I bet this has been asked a lot but..

How can or do you guys keep up with the board? I know you can work some of it off, but most likely not all of it.

Especially at a young age, how is one supposed to afford $450 monthly board? Has any 13-15 year olds been able to afford it? If so, how?

Thanks for reading. God bless.
 

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I'm hoping to work off full board someday soon. I would be boarding/working at a place with a lower price per month; maybe around $300. I'm thinking I'll be doing barn chores such as mucking stalls, grooming, exercising horses... maybe even giving lessons, in exchange for board.
 

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Sorry hon, but I've never seen a kid that young be able to earn enough to support that and all the other expenses that come with horse ownership.

In the US, most states will allow you to work a real job at 16 but you have to apply for a work permit which is very restrictive in how many hours a week you are allow to work (Child Labor Laws apply.). If by some chance, along with school, you could put in enough hours, where would you find the time to actually be with the horse?

Even if you were a "trust fund baby", I can't imagine any half way smart barn owners who would allow anyone under 18 to sign and be responsible for a boarding contract. All the legal responsibility including ownership of the horse would have to stay with the parent or guardian.

If your parents aren't supportive of your dream, maybe you could talk them into riding lessons and then maybe a lease. Most horse crazy kids don't even get that chance, sadly.
 

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Sorry hon, but I've never seen a kid that young be able to earn enough to support that and all the other expenses that come with horse ownership.

In the US, most states will allow you to work a real job at 16 but you have to apply for a work permit which is very restrictive in how many hours a week you are allow to work (Child Labor Laws apply.). If by some chance, along with school, you could put in enough hours, where would you find the time to actually be with the horse?

Even if you were a "trust fund baby", I can't imagine any half way smart barn owners who would allow anyone under 18 to sign and be responsible for a boarding contract. All the legal responsibility including ownership of the horse would have to stay with the parent or guardian.

If your parents aren't supportive of your dream, maybe you could talk them into riding lessons and then maybe a lease. Most horse crazy kids don't even get that chance, sadly.
Thanks for the honest truth, I really do appreciate it.

I'm actually homeschooled so I have more time than most people, and I know horses are expensive. I would pay (mostly) for the horse and cost by myself. I also do take riding lessons. :) (I ride a sweet chocolate palomino gelding)

An owner of a local boarding stable just replied to my email about working board off and once you start off you'll get $5 off an hour but once you get the hang of it you will get $10 off! In my opinion, that is crazy generous!

Even if I can't own a horse at a young age, I can wait until I get (horse pun alert) stable income. :)
 

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You sound like a pretty mature girl for your age and you write very well, I'm always impressed by that! The bottom line for a minor wanting to own a horse, is having a parent onboard. Any horse you buy would have to have both names on the bill of sale as an adult has to be the legally responsible party. This is pretty common and then the full ownership is transferred to the child once they reach 18.

The same goes for a boarding contract. It's a legal document and has to be signed by an adult. Barn owners have enough problems getting adults to pay their board sometimes!

If you can get the transportation (a huge issue for some parents!), see if you can start working at this local stable. Then, start a sheet and record everything you make along with dates. It will give you an idea of how much of the costs of a horse you can take on.

Working at this stable will teach you a lot that riding lessons simply don't and you will be able to get yourself a horsey "network" of people who have information that comes in very handy. Like what things cost, what items are needed, other stables in the area and who to trust or not!

Maybe you are in an expensive area but $450 a month for one horse sounds very expensive to me. I pay that for 2 horses, full care! You might want to search the internet for a place where you do more of the work (partial care board) and the board is a lot cheaper!

The first and most important thing is to get a parent to cooperate with your plan. Most parents would be impressed by you making a written budget and also working hard at the stable!
 

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I have to say owning a horse costs about twice what I expected. Board is one thing, but then throw in farrier, shots 2x a year, dental work, that random vet visit for issues... Also, I'm guessing you'd want some sort of lessons or even training, so tack on that. Horses, unless they are grazing in your backyard, are pretty pricey and certainly a luxury. You can probably get almost the same enjoyment out of a few lessons a week without the risk of unexpected expenses. Then, if you run out of $, you can take a few weeks off.
 

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Owning a horse is definitely expensive. Buying the horse is actually the cheapest part, I think. :lol:

I would think it'd be difficult for a younger person (like ages 13-15 like you said) to afford such a thing. Board, vet bills, farrier bills, dental etc...and plus you would need some money saved in case something goes wrong, like an emergency. Also have to think about buying tack, etc.

I would also get a parent involved if anything- it's a big responsibility...that's why leasing is a great option.
I am 25 and I lease, because I cannot afford my own right now. I am hoping within the next few years to buy my own horse (I've always leased or helped people out with their horses so I 'say' that they are mine LOL they feel like they are).
It's cheaper to lease- and you don't have to worry about any vet bills, depending on the contract of course, everyone is different.
I can ride whenever I please, and I don't have to worry about much else LOL.

I say try to volunteer/work at the barn and take it from there. Maybe you can help out and in return get free lessons or something. I think that would be a better option for you. :) You have plenty of time to buy a horse, don't rush it!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You sound like a pretty mature girl for your age and you write very well, I'm always impressed by that! The bottom line for a minor wanting to own a horse, is having a parent onboard. Any horse you buy would have to have both names on the bill of sale as an adult has to be the legally responsible party. This is pretty common and then the full ownership is transferred to the child once they reach 18.

The same goes for a boarding contract. It's a legal document and has to be signed by an adult. Barn owners have enough problems getting adults to pay their board sometimes!

If you can get the transportation (a huge issue for some parents!), see if you can start working at this local stable. Then, start a sheet and record everything you make along with dates. It will give you an idea of how much of the costs of a horse you can take on.

Working at this stable will teach you a lot that riding lessons simply don't and you will be able to get yourself a horsey "network" of people who have information that comes in very handy. Like what things cost, what items are needed, other stables in the area and who to trust or not!

Maybe you are in an expensive area but $450 a month for one horse sounds very expensive to me. I pay that for 2 horses, full care! You might want to search the internet for a place where you do more of the work (partial care board) and the board is a lot cheaper!

The first and most important thing is to get a parent to cooperate with your plan. Most parents would be impressed by you making a written budget and also working hard at the stable!
Thanks once again! Here is my little plan.

I try to help out at the barn as much as possible. It's quite fun plus I learn a bunch and my riding instructor sometimes lets me ride to give the horses exercise. The $450 deal is very nice because it comes with vaccines, barefoot trim, and so on. The only things I'm not paying in the board (from my understanding) is coggins and dental.

I also have another activity, basketball which I have been playing for years, I think after this coming season of my regular team (on a competitive summer basketball team) I will quit to give my mom more of a break from basketball because having horseback riding plus another activity can get hectic for both me and my parents.

I'm trying to go to that stable and work there sometime this year or early next, maybe a few times a month to get to know the place and so that the owner gets to know me too. I'm also trying to get into the babysitting business and see how stable the money is (these parents are very generous).

If anything in here seems iffy or something I could do please tell! Thanks once again. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Owning a horse is definitely expensive. Buying the horse is actually the cheapest part, I think. :lol:

I would think it'd be difficult for a younger person (like ages 13-15 like you said) to afford such a thing. Board, vet bills, farrier bills, dental etc...and plus you would need some money saved in case something goes wrong, like an emergency. Also have to think about buying tack, etc.

I would also get a parent involved if anything- it's a big responsibility...that's why leasing is a great option.
I am 25 and I lease, because I cannot afford my own right now. I am hoping within the next few years to buy my own horse (I've always leased or helped people out with their horses so I 'say' that they are mine LOL they feel like they are).
It's cheaper to lease- and you don't have to worry about any vet bills, depending on the contract of course, everyone is different.
I can ride whenever I please, and I don't have to worry about much else LOL.

I say try to volunteer/work at the barn and take it from there. Maybe you can help out and in return get free lessons or something. I think that would be a better option for you. :) You have plenty of time to buy a horse, don't rush it!
Yes, thanks for replying.

I know the costs for vet, farrier, dental, board (and what the board includes), tack, and a good horse.

I'm hoping once I get (horse pun) a stable budget, I could possibly lease or do more lessons. Also I'm very open to rescuing a horse. I don't need any fancy horse. I'm hoping for a horse that loves the water and has great endurance, and also generally sweet and loyal to owner. (little high expectation, I know)

There is a stable 30 mins away (a big trail riding place) and they said that once you start you will get $5 an hour (i'm guessing not real money, just money off of board) and once you get the hang of it, they will give you $10 an hour! (crazy generous!) Their board also comes with barefoot trimming and vaccines. (would have to pay for dental and coggins from my understanding).

I will do my best to be smart and not rush it. Good thing I have wiser people like you guys!

Thanks again!
 

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I bought my own pony when I was 11 and paid for board too, but that was a very long time ago!! Board was $60/month and I had to work hard for the money.

I babysat, mowed grass, and delivered newspapers. My dad and my friend's mom took turns driving us to the stable. Fortunately, we didn't have to pay for gas, lol!

Can earn a good bit of money mowing grass or shoveling snow (if you are in a cold area). Working at the barn is really good for the experience and the money.

Cleaning tack, braiding horses, clipping horses all pay decent.

A girl I know started giving lessons to kids on her Arabian gelding when she was 15 yrs old (about 10 yrs ago). You may not be able to do that in the area you live, but she was able to.

What about dog walking or pet care for people on vacation?

A teen that is wiling to work hard should be able to find lots of jobs!

One note of caution; it is really easy to buy horses, not so easy to sell. I would advise you to wait to buy a horse until you can purchase one that suits you. Rescue horses sound good in theory, but most of them have soundness issues or are old and are not a good prospect for a young person that will want to ride a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I bought my own pony when I was 11 and paid for board too, but that was a very long time ago!! Board was $60/month and I had to work hard for the money.

I babysat, mowed grass, and delivered newspapers. My dad and my friend's mom took turns driving us to the stable. Fortunately, we didn't have to pay for gas, lol!

Can earn a good bit of money mowing grass or shoveling snow (if you are in a cold area). Working at the barn is really good for the experience and the money.

Cleaning tack, braiding horses, clipping horses all pay decent.

A girl I know started giving lessons to kids on her Arabian gelding when she was 15 yrs old (about 10 yrs ago). You may not be able to do that in the area you live, but she was able to.

What about dog walking or pet care for people on vacation?

A teen that is wiling to work hard should be able to find lots of jobs!

One note of caution; it is really easy to buy horses, not so easy to sell. I would advise you to wait to buy a horse until you can purchase one that suits you. Rescue horses sound good in theory, but most of them have soundness issues or are old and are not a good prospect for a young person that will want to ride a lot.
Thanks for the ideas! I'm very willing to work hard.

(besides doing 5 hours or barn work two times a week) I want to do things like babysit, dog walking, house/pet care, etc to raise money both before and when I get a horse.

I suppose I'll have to save 1-3k for a good horse.

Thanks!
 

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Thanks for the ideas! I'm very willing to work hard.

(besides doing 5 hours or barn work two times a week) I want to do things like babysit, dog walking, house/pet care, etc to raise money both before and when I get a horse.

I suppose I'll have to save 1-3k for a good horse.

Thanks!
You will need a minimum of $500/month with board at $450/month. That is $125/week. Then there is tack; saddle, bridle, brushes, etc. Plus money for planned and unplanned visits by the vet. Quite a bit of money to save.

Is there anywhere less expensive? Is pasture boarding available? Pasture board is usually half the price of full board.
 

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Wow! I must admit, I never really realized how hard it must be for some of you guys to have a horse! We live on a farm with quiet a bit of land, so boarding never was a problem. Sure there's farrier, and the occasional vet visit, but nothing compared to what your horses need/get! :D Two saddles and bridles have been in the family since my older sister "grew out of" horses plus a saddle package came with Heidi, brushes I pay for myself with money I get from my goats; in the summer the horses graze with the cattle, and in the winter they get hay with oats that we grow ourselves.

Anyway, good luck!

P.S. I mentioned "growing out of horses". Don't worry, I am 100 percent sure that my life with horses will end when I die! Lol!
 

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You really want to nail down what is included in the cost of your board before you commit to this. Is $450/month for full care? If you have the time - you really should find a place that is partial or self care so you aren't paying money for a service you can do yourself. I've not heard of a boarding barn including farrier and vaccinations in your board price. They can be so widely different for each horse. My horse is barefoot and I pay about $30 every 6-8 weeks, but another horse with 4 shoes being reset every 8 weeks could be $150 - who knows what your potential horse will need! And most boarding barns require/recommend the same vaccines, but if this is an older horse or you don't have plans on traveling then you might omit some vaccines or include others (depending on your location and exposure factor).

Personally - I could not keep my horse where I didn't have control over those things. If the barn owner is a farrier - well ok I get including that maybe, but I like to be involved in my horse's trims and know what is happening and why. I can see your horse just being done whenever they want, or less than he should.

I would also ask if there is a limit to the amount of time you can work to get discounted board. You might have all the time in the world to work every dollar off but would they let you (cause at that point, they are losing money off you, and this is a business). Is there enough work for you to do? I can see a large boarding barn with many stalls needing cleaned, but daily chores only take so long, and if other boarders or workers are doing them they will be done quickly. I don't see them letting a teenager repair fencing or drive a tractor for other farm work!

The other side of working off board is that the barn time then turns into work. If you have to work 3 hours off today, and you only have 3 hours to be at the barn, well then you aren't spending that time with your horse. It is a balancing act to be at the barn working and then to be at the barn as a boarder. I know when I first bought my horse I offered to work off some board by cleaning 3 stalls (in addition to my own) each day. That took only about an hour each day, but I found I was always running short on time to spend with my new horse- the horse I was working my butt off to afford!

I wouldn't necessarily count babysitting as a steady income. It always varies on what the parents need you for! It might be every weekend or only once a month, so that isn't a huge source of consistent money.

I think you really should talk to your parents more about this. They have to be on board for all of it. Even if all your monthly bills are exactly $450, that doesn't cover emergencies or other needs. Maybe your horse needs a new blanket, or his bridle breaks. You want to do a show! It's extremely difficult for a kid to be able to cover those things.

Explore this deeper before you really get your heart set on it. It sounds too good to be true to me. Maybe consider a lease first??
 

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I'm in the camp of looking into leasing as a first option.

I bought my first horse when I was 16...and it was a learning experience. I had to board my horse and I think I was paying $150-$200 a month (keep in mind this was 18 years ago!) This was for full turn out and included only the hay and use of facilities.

I worked a part time job at DQ at the time. I had basically saved up enough money for the horse, and some to spare for board, etc. Well, I never even purchased my own saddle before my new horse was sick. I couldn't afford the vet bills....and the story does not end well.

I promised myself I would never put myself in that situation again. I took lessons and leased horses in the meantime, then when I was in my 20's I had a full time job and bought my next horse. I still own him, plus 2 others and have my own property now.

You sound very responsible and there's nothing wrong with looking at options.

I hope whatever you decide to do it works out for you.
 

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I just recently bought my first horse at 21 and I have to say I agree, owning a horse was about double what I thought it would be. I worked out a good deal with a local boarder and pay about $50/month. I work there every day and do the mucking, any repairs (I installed a door that was trampled by goats yesterday), clean out all buckets and do yardwork, ect. It basically takes up all my nights and weekends, on top of a demanding job. If you are planning on getting a horse, make sure it is an easy keeper. I also keep a minimum of $1,000.00 handy in the event I need an emergency vet call.

Make sure that if you are not able to keep up with the expenses that your parents will help you if they need to. Owning a horse isn't a light situation and they are VERY expensive but VERY worth it! See if that barn will will let you trade work for leasing for a while to see how you like doing the work. Often times it is much more more than anticipated.


I hope you work everything out!!
 
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