First off, don't worry, I'm definitely not looking for a second horse right now 😂
But out of general curiosity, for those of you who own multiple horses, what was the time between the first and second? Do you feel like you bought too soon? Or waited too long? Or share any thoughts you have about the experience or suggestions you might have for others someday looking to own two (or more).
For me it was about 10 years. Got my first horse when I was around 23 yrs old and only looked for a second horse because the first one couldn't be ridden anymore. I kept them both for a few years til the first one passed then just had one again. Four years ago I felt ready for another second horse so now am back at two! I felt like the timing was right for all three and have no regrets.
I have owned my first horse for the last 15 years.
I had a second horse for about two years in the middle of that. She was temporary, as she was in a bad situation. I had her listed for sale when I was preparing to off to college, but she ended up being euthanized in an emergency. I probably shouldn't have ever taken her, as she had severe hock arthritis at 10 and I would've never been able to sell her, but I did learn a lot from her.
The next time I bought a horse was in around the 11th year of having the first horse. The first horse was around 20 years old then, so it felt right to start training up a horse to fill in his very large place in my life. When I bought the second, I was in my last year of college, not knowing where my life was going, so was that the right time? Probably not, but I don't have a single regret on my choice.
I will be considering a third horse once the first horse is permanently retired or dies. I cannot afford a third horse at this time, so my cap will be two for now. Ideally, once the second horse is reliable in the show ring, I'd get a third horse to start and take on as a project.
Got my first horse when I turned 9, sadly, the mare had to be put down from a neurological issue soon after and me being little, I was heart broken and my parents tried to take my pain away, anyway, got a new horse a WEEK later.. someone gave me a horse that was a old (well we thought) I definitely regretted that because she was older and was sooo spooky, I wasn’t able to ride her because she had anxiety, and bad stress.
so that was hard because I loved riding, but my parents at the time couldn’t afford lessons
I actually still have her, and she’s blind now which was why she had so much anxiety, and she’s literally so so so old now but acts really young.
anyway, at the age of 10 I had a job, then started doing lessons and riding my neighbors horse everyday, and got big into showing, so it was nice because I was able to show, and then after 8-9 years I got another horse..which is the gelding I got last year. took about little over a year to find him.
im considering my 4th horse now, I would love a warmblood or maybe appendix, but I’m going to think on It until summer or fall of next year, sadly I dont think the mare has many years left in her… and I dislike making rash decisions, especially with my thoroughbred in training, I want to at least be riding him daily & showing until I get a new horse!!
I don’t remember my first to second horse transition, and it’s different because I have always had horses.
I try and keep two going at a time. One who is decently dependable, and one up and comer. Right now I don’t have the age gap I prefer, as the filly I wanted came up too soon when my main horse was only 4. So she is 2 and he is 6. In my perfect plan I would buy a colt when the main horse turned 8, so he/she would be 2 when that horse was 10. Then by the time that young horse turned 10 the other would be 16, and I could have another 2 year old to start.
Yet, I’ve had the kids who needed mounted during the last several years. The other issue with this plan is that you never know exactly how old a horse will be when retired, or if an injury takes him out. I try, in any case, to have two going I can use. That leaves a backup when needed too, like this last year when my husband’s mare was out for foaling and he rode my 6-year-old.
Anyways, with a 2 and 6, I don’t think I’ll intend to get another for a decent time frame, as these two should last a long time.
The second horse came several months after the first as at the time my daughter, niece and I were all riding. Most of the reason was that the first horse was kept at home and we didn't think it was kind to keep her alone. The third horse came within the year and we've been up to 5 at one time but thankfully back to 3 now. It's been said that horses are like potato chips and you can't have just one.
I got my first horse when I was 12, and didn't get a second one until I was in my 30's. My parents had very little money, and when I got on my own, I had very little money, so I just couldn't afford another horse. When I was able to get my own place, I started boarding a horse for someone to see if I could make it work on small acreage. And after that, like those darn potato chips, I got another and another. And one I got turned out to be pregnant and had a baby . . . and you know the drill.
I've never owned more than one horse at a time, but the space of time between owning horse one and horse two was about... a week, if that. I was trying out the new one at the same time I had been negotiating the sale of the first one.
The time between rehoming horse two and stumbling into ownership of horse three, however, was... 23 years, roughly? Heh.
I had horse one when I was a young teen. We moved half way across the country and my mother didn't want to tote the horse along. He taught me a lot and then went on to teach a little boy a lot as well before he passed at 34 years. The second horse (Bella) came along in my mid forties. After having her for two years she got retired to pasture ornament. I finally had to euthanize her when she was 25. She was 19 when I got her. I got my third horse Laela when I retired Bella. I've had her for a little over 11 years and she's fifteen now. Meanwhile, I bought horse number five Star for my nieces to ride with me. I had her for nine years and just recently sold her. She's 15 now as well. When Laela was 8 years old, I had her bred and now have her 6 year old daughter. Novia may be my last horse but who knows what time will bring.
A friend gave me my first horse when I was 17, but she was old and died after a year. At that point I went to college and didn't get my next horse until I was able to afford one at age 24. I sort of consider that my first horse, since she was the first one I bought myself and kept her whole life.
Five years later I ended up with another free horse, and that helped me convince my husband that I always need two horses.
Owning and living on a working cattle ranch ,is much different. The horse is our number one tool, so we own 36 head on a rotation. When they get to be a certain age we tend to sell them off. I bought 7 head last month on a package deal. Like i said, much different for us.
@Hot Nail we are responsible for our own remuda here, but with two for each husband and I, and then kid’s horses, we have six between us and it works well. Six seems where they want it kept though, so foaling out a mare this year and having her out, and one of the numbers a foal, makes it a tough year, as you can imagine. There is a backup ranch horse we can use too, and on occasion he goes.
We don’t sell our oldies though; we retire them. A couple horses to swap with a backup is fine. That’s why I worry about keeping ages spread. Now we have a really young pen of horses, so we should be good for quite a while once the mare is back in. That’s the only difficulty with playing with the exact number you need…
Bought a pony when I was 15, sold her a year or 2 later. Bought second horse at 24 and kept her 2 years before she got a calcium deposit on her knee so I swapped her out for her last colt who was a 2 year old. 2 years later I bought a yearling filly to turn into an extra horse friends could ride + give JC a friend, not that he was the least bothered by living alone. 4 years later hubs (before he was my hubs) and I moved in together and he brought his own horse into the mix. The number kept growing after that. LOL Our highest count was 32 head (counting that years foals) but only for a short time.
Current count is 8 and we are in hold mode. We've reached the age where we are hoping we can continue to take care of them until their time comes. The youngest is 14, oldest is 27 with 2 others over 20 years and a couple more knocking on that door so numbers could rapidly reduce.
I got my first pony when I was 5, but can't say much about that since I was a child and not in a position to make any decisions. She did give birth to a filly a couple of years later, but I never rode her since we moved away. Then I got a QH when I was about 11. Fast forward to adulthood... when I actually DID get to make the decisions!
We got Harley for my daughter in October 2015, but our barn wasn't built yet so he was boarded. We got Kodak 8 months later. And I can admit now that we rushed it a bit. The barn was ready in June 2016 and I was in a hurry to move Harley home, however, when we tried him alone on the property, he lost his mind. We realized we had to get another horse pronto (we'd been shopping, but not having much luck). So we settled on Kodak, even though there were red flags I should have paid more attention to. She was supposed to bombproof, but she was everything but. I fell off her numerous times. Got a concussion. She was just not the right horse for me. So in November of 2018, I brought a green 6 year old home to keep over the winter. It was a little crazy for me to take that on - he'd only been ridden about 10 times. But he belonged to a friend who offered to let me keep him until spring and then decide if he'd be a good horse for me. Longest trial period in history, lol. That was Rusty, and we clicked right away. I bought him, and sold Kodak.
Finally, in Feb. 2020, we brought home a scrawny little 2 year old pony as a companion horse for Rusty because he would have a meltdown everytime Harley went off-property with my daughter. That was Bella and she is now starting to jump with my daughter. She is just an awesome little pony and I can't believe we got her for a song! So it seems like a good rule of thumb for me is to space out my horses by 2 years!
Kodak was definitely rushed. It's never a good idea to feel like you HAVE to get another horse right away because you don't make the best decisions.
I got my first horse when I turned 11…..I had had lessons for a lot of years and just wanted a horse to ride and love on. She was borderline pony/horse size at 14.2, and I was thrilled the day I was tall enough to jump on her bareback, which was mostly how I rode then. She was a great mare and the perfect babysitter and will always have a special place in my heart. I went to college and passed her around to a horse crazy girl then sadly I moved and lost track of her. I even tried to track her down years later as a married woman.
Fast forward after three kids and a young daughter who followed in my footsteps loving horses and taking many years of lessons because horse ownership just wasn’t feasible with my lifestyle as a mother of young children. I always knew some day I would get back into it. When my daughter was 11 and the time was right I bought a QH mare that we “shared” and rode between the both of us. By this time it had been 20+ years since being a horse owner. Finally after a few years with the one horse we realized how much fun we would have riding together and we bought her “dream” horse and a trailer so we could enjoy going places together. It was great and she would help with expenses as much as she could on her allowance.
about 5 years after this stage we sold the first mare we got and shared; she had her gelding and I was getting older, in my 50’s, and wanted something with smoother gaits and less feistiness. I bought my dream horse, a retired pleasure mare, and we continued to ride together.
college came for daughter and the time riding wained…..for her. Eventually she hardly rode at all but these two horses were our heart horses and remain with me today. I’ve done self care for about 10 years now on a property not far from where I live. I’m 61 now and yes it’s gotten a bit harder to do daily horse care and lift bags of feed and bales of hay. I am bonded to both these horses, i love being around them, and with my mare dealing with soundness issues I’ve been riding the daughters horse, even though he is more energetic. I do miss riding with someone. And I always worry about enough money in the bank to afford unexpected vet calls and emergencies. But these two are for keeps, forever, as long as I’m standing, as long as I can afford them.
so to summarize my experience in regards to your question, I only had one horse when I was young, then much later in life we shared a horse, and when it was something that would enrich my daughters and mines passion we got another horse and have had two for about 8 years now. If one horse dies I would not think I’d get another one……I’ve always been in a realistic budget mindset that I can only ride one horse at a time, and two horses or more means more $ just for basic upkeep; two horses means higher odds that one will get into trouble and need unexpected vet care, not to mention twice as much in board, farrier visits, teeth floating, age related problems, and dealing with the higher cost to feed hay and grain these days.
this is just my personal horse perspective……many have multiple horses because they show, train, or just flat out have a budget way above mine. If my daughter had not been into horses I’m pretty sure I would’ve found a horse for myself to enjoy because it’s always been my hobby, but more than likely after my nest emptied. For me horses are expensive to keep and require much of my attention, but even one horse is worth it to me in return for just having one in my life. I just have never been interested in having more than I could enjoy or afford because that’s what works for me, my time, and my budget.
I got my first horse about 10 months ago, but she kept having lameness issues and I couldn't ride her much, so I got my second one about 3 months ago, with the idea that if the first one didn't come good, I'd sell her. Somehow I still have both of them.😀