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"Mommy I Want a Horse!"
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"Mommy I Want a Horse!"

Hi everyone, my name is Katie! I'm 16 years old and have been riding and working with horses since age 5. I know first hand how it is to be that child begging her parents for her own horse. I am one of the lucky ones, who's dream came true. 5 years ago, I adopted my beautiful arabian cross, Romeo. I want to share my experience in earning the privilege of owning a horse, as well as suggest some tips for other young equestrians dreaming of purchasing their own horse. This is for young, aspiring equestrians much like myself, as well as the parents who make their dreams possible.

First and foremost I want to stress how important it is to actually take some time working with horses before you decide to purchase one! Experience with these animals is an absolute must before you jump into owning one!! Maybe you have friends or family who have horses and would be willing to share some knowledge and experience with you, and if not there are many good riding stables that offer riding/horse care lessons. I have ridden at 3 different stables since I started, and having the experience with different horses (and trainers) is priceless.

I strongly suggest trying a few different disciplines (western pleasure, jumping, dressage, or even just trail riding) and figure out what you enjoy the most. I started riding western and switched to jumping and finally switched to dressage, which is what I focus on now with my horse. This will be huge when it comes to buying your dream horse because different horses are more suitable for specific disciplines.

Now, I also think it's important to stress how much work really does go into owning a horse! Lets say you've been taking lessons and you are still convinced you need your own horse. My suggestion is this, ask the barn owner if you can come help do chores for a few days or help with some basic maintenance around the farm. It's important to remember that owning a horse is not all fun and games. There's always work to be done. You have to decide if the benefits are enough to make it worth it for you. The unfortunate truth is that horse ownership really isn't for everyone.

If you're young and stubborn like me, then there's nothing that could convince you to let this dream go. One thing that I found to be a very beneficial investment was leasing my first pony when I was 7. I also leased a lovely arabian gelding when I was 10. Parents, I highly recommend this for your horse-crazy children. Leasing a horse is a wonderful opportunity to learn all about the work and care that goes into horse ownership but it is also fairly simple to get out of in case things don't work out. My leasing experiences reinforced my eagerness to own a horse, and I am so very grateful for the knowledge I gained from it.

I am afraid to even speak of the financial investment needed to own a horse. Being 16, I don't yet carry this burden. I am sooooo very lucky to have parents willing to support my passion! I know this is one thing I didn't think about when I was 10 years old and buying Romeo. I did, in fact pay for him with my own money that I had saved from pet-sitting and chores over the years. However, it hadn't occurred to me that this horse would one day be living out of my own wallet. Vet bills, farrier bills, feed bills, equipment, board, lessons, training it all adds up so quickly! Be ready to share your money with your horse!

I believe it can be very valuable for a child to take on a huge responsibility like this, however I know it is not for everyone. I hope you or your child will invest some time learning before taking on the commitment of a horse. It really can be a rewarding lifestyle.

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Leave a Comment

  1. Michelle Jane
    Michelle Jane
    Very well written! Voted! :)
    Log in to reply.
  2. naturegirl
    Crazy dreams, eh? Voted! Come read my new post when you have the chance and vote if you like it! It's about essential oils for your horse's care.
    Log in to reply.
  3. Chestnut Mare
    Chestnut Mare
    Voted. Lovely blog. You might be interested in my latest, Please, No Horses For Courses. Come and check it out and please vote if you like it. :-)
    Log in to reply.
  4. jst4horses
    A well written article. I have taught a class called "A horse is not a Bicycle" for many years. I have, for decades convinced people they do NOT want a horse. FOR horses. Horses are herd animals. When you become their herd and then sell them off, especially sell them down, or to the slaughter, it is not OK. I realize you worked hard, and leasing is a great place to learn. I still suggest to ALL parents to follow what one family did years ago. They first told their daughter to find every single cost related to a horse, and write it in a book. She had to build an account with $10,000 in it to pay all those costs, and vet bills if necessary. She could not USE any of that money for anything for the horse, or to pay its costs, it was the "what if" account. Insurance to protect the parents should the horse hurt anyone has to be included in the costs. Then she had to work at a stable seven days a week, one complete year before they would consider an animal they would be legally responsible for. One day missed, the year started over. I do not go as far as those parents, SHE was not allowed to ride one single hour for that entire year. They wanted her to understand that when a horse is injured, you take care of it, not just find another one, and junk that one. She could not go to one single overnight, because she had to be at the stable early and needed her sleep. I have rarely had a young person who could even get to the stable every day, let alone do the work without whining, or half baked. A dirty stall means skin disease and thrush. A dirty horse means skin disease and thrush. A misfed horse means colic and other problems. These are amazing, wonderful creatures that share readily with us their love and their majesty. Whether in a back yard makeshift stall, or even the garage, or the most expensive stable, cared for by others (you better watch who they hire, they often abuse horses) a horse deserves the best. This is not a little plastic pony a kid wants until boys come along. I have a huge, sad eyed horse in our stable at present. His young owner "wanted" him so much, until she went to college and fell in love. Her Mom rescued him and kept him from being sold down. This was not only a fabulous dressage and jumping horse, he was a racehorse in top stakes racing, another girl who wanted a horse. She bred this highly bred horse, and when he just was not the runner she thought he should be, she sold him to the first offer. No thought for that she had brought him up to be a boy, and after losing his young best friend, had to come and learn that he is a horse. It is very sad to watch. He is finally getting happier and learning that the Mother loves him very much, a lot more now that he has given up his bad boy ways, he was quite a "bad boy", all 18 hands of him.
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