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Perhaps start by figuring out costs in your area. Then, open a savings account and start out putting 1/4 of the cost into the account. See if you can make that work for 6 months without touching the money. Then up it to 1/2 the cost for 6 more months. Still making it work? Great, time to up it to 100% into the savings account. If that works, you know you are ready. The bonus is, you will have also built your "horse" fund while stretching your budget and reducing your other costs.

If you cannot make it work, you at least have a small emergency fund (something everyone should have). :)
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I am lucky that my parents pay for basically everything and I contribute when I can. I only have to pay for tack and anything that isn't completely necessary. I love my parents! <3
 

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When I went to college the thought of 'getting rid' of my horse was unbearable.
Luckily my Mom paid for all the horse expenses. I recorded every penny she ever gave me in a little note book. When I started working I gave her every other pay check until that notebook balance was zero.
I didn't have to pay her back but I wanted to.

Years later when I lost my beloved horse I was able to bury her on the farm I bought. The lean times were worth that.
 

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I've been taking lessons for about one year and 6 months, and I've realized that I might want to try leasing a horse and slowly ease myself into finally owning one. I am 21 and this is my last year before I finally get my bachelors (yay!) I want to start saving up so I have applied to minimum wage jobs. Doing the math, it seems impossible to even afford the board, care, AND lessons if you had your own horse. It gets me thinking, how do people in college and those younger than me even do it? The barns I go to have PLENTY of helping hands, they wouldn't let me exchange chores for lessons. I guess even after 21 years, I still have to wait until I get a real legit job to afford a horse. If I have a horse I want to be financially responsible and give it the best I can. I am grateful that I can afford lessons at least! I am determined to do more now, its a big year for me and recently horses have become my passion and keep me the happiest I've been in a long time. So that is why I want to save up and by next year have everything I need, even if I'm just leasing by then. I want 2015 to be a real blast.

I like to listen to others and see how hard or easy it was for them to keep a horse? Did you have to work 1 job? 2? 3? Did you have a lot of time to bond with your horse working a lot? What is your story? I just feel like its hard to relate being 21 and in college full time. That degree can't come soon enough! haha
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First you have the right idea when you talking about waiting until you have a job that can support having a horse. Unless you are making a living on the back of one, a horse is a luxury. You are smart to hold off on owning one until you are in a financial position to afford it without straining or damaging your other financial obligations. It can be difficult, but it's best to be in a position to succeed over taking the risk. Rent as needed or lease until then. That way a financial downturn will not force you to give up the horse (that hurts more). It's better to be safe about the situation now than sorry later.

As for how I did it:
I didn't have the situation with family money to cover it all, but I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time and to have a large extended family in the country with horses. I learned to ride as a preteen in Germany. Taught for free by a wonderful US equestrian lady who's daughter I went to school with and who took a liking to me. My only cost was renting the horse, which my father, who grew up riding, was happy to come up with the money for. When returned to the US at 14 I was given a young QH to raise and train under that watchful eye of my grandfather and other family members. It cost me nothing to keep my filly/mare with the rest of the family stock. I did go for some years without owning a horse, but there were plenty of people with horses I could ride and my family and job obligations made ownership less feasible. Having gone through having to give up horses, because of life's demands, I didn't want to have to repeat it anytime soon if I didn't have to. Today I own horses because I both have the money to board if needed and the land to keep them myself. Being smart with my finances allowed this (I was able to retire at 56 :lol:). If I'd allowed my passion for horses to overcome my good sense and fiscal responsibility I would not be in the position I am today (retired with two horse and the ability to own more...but it would be impractical to own more since there's only one of me and how many horses can I take for a good ride in a day :lol:)
 

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During my first year of university I kinda cracked under the stress and randomly went out and bought a horse. I didn't even tell my parents. After a few months they finally confronted me and asked if I was doing something...well naughty. :lol:

I was working two part time jobs (for a while), going to school full time, taking care of an ill family member, and going out to see the horse at least 6 days a week. I paid for board, lessons, training, and well just about everything without any financial support from my parents. I did however live with my parents and had received scholarships for school. I didn't spend a penny of the money I made on anything extraneous beyond school and the horse and this was on about $10/hr. I negotiated the price of almost everything for the horse where I could...the cost of board, lessons, tack, vet, etc. I got a lot of necessary tack and equipment second hand or on sale. To save money when it came to school I always brown-bagged my own food and borrowed textbooks from friends and photocopied only the pages I needed. I always considered where can I cut costs and put extra money (if I had it) towards emergency funds and paying off student loans. I definitely did it but it required stinginess and money saving skills to the point of being an art quite honestly. It really depends on how you manage your finances.
 

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I came to horse ownership later in life than most I guess. I did lease a couple of horses when my children were younger, and had them at home. I found that there really was little time to ride with a busy young family and working 40+ hrs a week. So, after a year, the horses went back and I continued feeding my horse fix with lessons and working at various barns(in exchange for more riding time) . Lots of oranges to juggle.

Years later, son leaving for college, daughter in middle school, finally horse ownership became a reality. My horses are at home, as the daily care is part of the joy of owning for me.

I can't imagine how anyone can raise a family and all that goes with that plus work and fit in owning and riding horses. The order in which I did it worked for me. Others have been able to do it differently. You'll figure it out.
 
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Discussion Starter #27
Thank you all for your responses and support! I really like the idea of scanning friends pages on college books to save money. It is true that saving money is like a art in itself that we have to learn.

I also like the idea of opening a savings account and sticking to a budget plan. I will definitely try these tips and if I ever feel down or discouraged I can always remember all of your different positive responses and tips!

For those of you who had other's help with your horses fee's, I will remember those too and hope that someone kind enough with connections can lead me to a good deal! Whether its boarding, lessons or vet/farrier care.
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If your school has an equestrian team you could also do that for now. Its a great way to meet new people. Sometimes people even lease to own so that would save you money on the initial purchase price.

I'm 20 going on 21. I was lucky enough that my parents fully support my horse's expenses. Which at over $500 I couldn't do myself at the moment. I am going full time for my bachelors and then into med school. As long as I keep the grades up and make it through, they will keep on paying. So I currently do not work since school is my job right now. And I live at home (no shame in living at home lol).

Finding a barn that needs help a few days a week would probably be your best option. Tell them you are a poor college student :lol:. If the person has a good heart they may be willing to work out a deal. Surprisingly that has helped me in getting cheaper lessons and board.
 

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This was back in the 80's and early 90's so things were a little less pricey in those days but at the same time income wasn't as good either. I think I was making around $7 a hour at my full time job.

Basically, I was lucky and things just came together. I met a couple who raised quarter horses and was the same age as their kids and they just absorbed me into their family. Through them I met many other horse owners in the area which gave me connections. I also ended up buying my first 2 horses (after I was on my own) from them, pretty durn cheap.

One couple let me rent a little house on 2 acres they owned for $100.00 per month. I froze in the winter, burned up in the summer, well went dry about every fall but I dealt with all of that because I could have a horse.

Met and rode with another young lady who was a small animal vet but she would do anything my horses needed and I only had to pay for whatever meds or supplies she used. I was also lucky in that other than annual shots, coggins, & health papers, I only needed her one other time when JC cut his neck and she stitched it up.

I got quite a bit of hay for free just by going and cleaning out the hay mow of the previous year's bales. Can you imagine someone giving away free hay these days? When I couldn't get it that way, another horse friend introduced me to his supplier and I got it delivered and stacked for $1.50 a bale.

Feed & farrier were paid for by doing without things I didn't absolutely need.
Tack pretty much came a little at a time. The first horse came with a halter and lead rope, a friend gave me a bridle as a "congratulations on getting a horse" present. Went without a saddle for months and only rode bareback until I traded a 10 speed bike for a saddle (which I still have but don't use much anymore).

The same couple who I rented my house from also had an old, dilapidated 2-horse trailer sitting in the weeds which I bought from them for a couple of hundred and then redid. Hand sanded and painted it so it wasn't pretty but it worked. Another friend knew someone wanting to sell a truck and I bought it for like $2300.00. Eventually bought a slide in camper for the truck - used I think for $300.

Never took a riding lesson and didn't show except in fun shows so I never had any of those expenses. We did go camping and trail riding a lot so I guess that did cost some but nothing like what you're talking about.

So I guess I kind of did it backwards too. Got the horse and then slowly over the years accumulated the things I needed to go along with it even a second horse a couple of years later.

Met hubby at a trail ride and he had 2 horses and had a house on a couple of acres so when we were ready to set up house together we had to shop for a bigger place since neither of our places would work for 4 horses. Our first place together was 10 acres and then our second (current & last place) was an 88 acre farm and horse count is 12. That is down from our all time high of 34 head when we were breeding and selling. It's addictive!
 

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Im almost 30 and its still not easy. I board my horse. I clean stalls in exchange for board. On top of that I have a full time job. It doesn't pay tons but it gets me by. I also make custom stall signs and wood burned portraits of peoples pets for extra cash.
In addition to the horse, I have a car payment + insurance, rent, around $70 a week in gas, and a small but still there credit card payment.
 

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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!
Agreed. Work clothes do not have to cost a lot. I buy a lot on clearance (Kohl's, and other dept. stores), Walmart (inexpensive dress pants and suits), Payless for shoes, and I'll be accompanying my friend this Spring to The Ltd., bc she gets a lot of clothes that she wears to court from there, sometimes for as little as $4/dress.
Stop wasting money that you'll never see again by blowing it with immature college people, MANY who will be living in their parents basements bc they blown through their loans and have never worked, and can't find their "ideal" job.
My youngest DD, a 3rd year law student, just bought a car. She is 25yo and has a 10 year resume, including managing two businesses. She continues to work part time. She saved up $3K of it, called in her g-mother's offer of $6K, and took $2K out of this semester's loan. (MANY people in school spend their loan money like it's going out of style, but this is the 1st semester that she took the whole amount offered.) She put down $9K, has paid the January, 2014 payment, and will be paying the balance in February, 2014, therefore she'll have title. She bought a 2010 KIA Rio, with 49K miles, 10K mile warranty left--NOT a sportscar, like the tripped out Mustang that another law student has been driving. Frugel is back in style!
THAT is how you afford to keep a house, car and a hobby.
 

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I am a somewhat new graduate (2012) and I would advise you to wait until you graduate, find a job, possibly move, and settle in.

You don't realize how many more BILLS there are in the world until you are completely out of college and working on your own. If you wait until you are working, you will have a better understand of how much spending money you have for luxury items like horses.

And seeing how I spent close to $4,000 on my horse Red in vet bills in 2013 (and there will be more in 2014) .... you never know when a horse is going to cost you a ton of money. It would be better if you already have a career and already have money in savings and such.

Agree with the others. Keep a budget and you will reach your goals someday. May not be as soon as you'd like, but keep at it.
 

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I'm in the process of buying my first horse and my biggest hurdle so far has been access to resources. I ride English in Oklahoma where everyone rides Western.

I spent 2 afternoons driving all over the place and all I got so far is a halter, lead rope, bridle, hoof pick and 2 brushes.

I also found out that the only Oklahoma saddle fitter is currently in Florida so I have to either wait until May to get a properly fitted saddle, or I can try to jerry rig a fitting myself. I did budget for 1 saddle but now I think I may need multiple saddles (a temporary one and a permanent one).
 

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For me, my horse was inherited. But happily so. We use to have a family of horses that my gelding is the last of. We owned his grand-dame and grand-sire on both sides. Over the years they died from old age and a couple of unforeseen accidents.

When my father got too sick to take care of him, and he was all by himself, I just stepped in and said he is mine now. Even though I wasn't financially stable at the moment, it was the best decision for him and me. I should have done it earlier.

So in my situation, a family member just needed to be taken care of. So we sacrificed. I happen to have the most wonderful husband alive who would say "if it is important to you, it is important to me."

So we cut some luxuries out. We canceled cable, stopped eating out, down-graded our phones and chose to leave my daughter with a friend instead of a large facility daycare.

That way board and feed were easily covered, and I was able to afford a very good trainer.

Both me and my husband never questioned the decision, we just made it work and we are both very happy we did.

Horses are expensive. I still fear a large vet bill, but I'm confident we could always make it work just my planning and prioritizing.

Even though it did give us set backs, it paid off in the long run. I'm in better shape and happier. And as everyone knows, a happy wife makes a happy life!!! ;)
 

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The best thing I did before buying Lionel was to make a list of all the items I would need and to start saving a bit of money. When a Reining Saddle was on sale that fit me and Lionel I bought it. I had all my grooming and basic horse stuff bought a little at a time. A bottle of Vetrolin here a Lunge Line there so that way when I did buy my horse I didnt have all the extra expenses on top of that. And because I didnt need it right away because I didnt have a horse I could wait to get what I wanted on sale and not have to rush out and buy it full price. All the little things that you dont think about because your riding school horses and using their things adds up in a hurry.
 

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I bought my first horse for packer's price. She was sitting in someone's pasture gaining enough to be considered obese. The owner bought her to save her from a bad situation and had no use for her so she simply turned her out. I met the owner through a horse friend. The deal was I work her for 3-6 months. Get the weight off and the horse in shape. I could then take her to the sale or put her up privately and keep a% of what she sold for to go toward another horse (this was not my dream horse). Long story short I fell hard for her and the owner said she'd sell for packers price since I had put so much time and effort in. Board during the trial was cheap. Run in plus pasture turn out. A small outdoor arena. Lessons were from a friend that I exchanged lessons for exercising her "safe" horses. I also joined IHA. The experienced riders were happy to give pointers. The day I paid for her and she was to go to this barn the person I hired to move her ran her into the trailer with a whip and she went through the feed door. Think of the tiger in Madagascar's Circus movie going through the ring. The vet bills, PT and year of no riding were enough that if I had the chance to do over I would reconsider my decisions. I was in school full time and had two jobs. I was lucky the vet worked out a payment plan that worked for ME. The same friend that gave lessons bought a horse as a project and turned her over to me to work under her tutoring during this time. She is what I rode during the care of my mare. I ended up buying her for her auction price and was given the opportunity of making small payments over time. I couldn't have done it any other way. Once all of that was paid off I moved them to a nicer barn and ended up riding less as we simply didn't have access to trails and I wasn't an arena rider. When that barn was taken over by a woman that had a stud she was breeding I started looking for another suitable location. One of my profs had 100 acres and several wells with cement ponds for stack. All we had to do was fence. Worked great but drive time ate into horse time and I moved them again. It was hard. There were no extras and my life was very basic no frills. Get to know people. Offer time and assistance and it could pay off. Just be ready for the what ifs.
 

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OP, I'm in pretty much the same situation. I'm 24 years old - I graduated from College a year and a half ago and I've been steadily employed for 1 year.

I've been taking Lesson for a year and half now and I'm getting the 'itch'. I want to ride more than once a week and maybe even lease but I feel like my budget is not flexible at the moment!

With new car payment (I had a clunker with no working AC), Rent, and Student Loans - it's impossible. Hopefully, our rent will go down very soon by getting a cheaper place. That will REALLY help with the lease option.
 

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OP, I'm in pretty much the same situation. I'm 24 years old - I graduated from College a year and a half ago and I've been steadily employed for 1 year.

I've been taking Lesson for a year and half now and I'm getting the 'itch'. I want to ride more than once a week and maybe even lease but I feel like my budget is not flexible at the moment!

With new car payment (I had a clunker with no working AC), Rent, and Student Loans - it's impossible. Hopefully, our rent will go down very soon by getting a cheaper place. That will REALLY help with the lease option.
In my area (New England), there are tons of people on local Facebook groups, equinesite.com, etc that would KILL for an exercise rider. I was able to ride as much as I wanted for free by posting an ad on Craigslist saying I wanted to exercise horses. Got about 20 responses, picked the closest one with horses I was capable of riding/comfortable with. Hubby came with me to meet the woman the first time in case she was a serial killer. Worked out amazing!
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I am in my late teens and on my way to buying my first horse.
How I make money:
-Babysitting (yep, some people pay $10/hour some $6/hour)
-Summer work (planing to work at camps and such)
-Discounted board (I am looking to board at one of two barns. At one I exercise their horses for a discount at the other I teach their 7 year old daughter riding)
-Riding lessons (not professionally, but I will be giving my friend 1 lesson a week for about $25)

Keeping in mind that I don't do any shows and I try to keep costs to a minimum.
 

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Yup. You gotta get your life sorted out before you take on responsibility for someone else's. Don't rush, these things take time. Pay your dues. Work hard. Save some money for an emergency fund. That way when you get your horse, you can be a good owner and not straddle the line between being able to afford him/her and having to maybe sell him/her because you lost your job or had a catastrophic car repair.
 
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