To think that having two horses at livery is actually a luxury.....?

(235 Posts)
Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 11:22:31

I know this is going to get me flamed etc. but I really don't care well I do a bit else I wouldn't have namechanged

I live near a large family of 8, the children range from 14 years to 18 months. The parents are lovely people, I often have a chat to them about the kids as they have some issues with their teenage girl pretty much the same as mine.

Recently the mum told me they have got two of their children horses, and my children could go and have a ride if they wanted, they are going to be kept at livery stables up the road.

The family's sole income is benefits - I know this as the mum is quite open about this, and that they don't want to work as a) they couldn't earn what the get in benefits and b) she wants her OH at home to help with the kids. Without being too specific so as not to out them or me, one of the parents gets a higher benefit allowance for depression (so the mum has told me). To be honest, fair play to them - if they have made that as a lifestyle choice and their kids are well looked after and happy, and they are only getting what they are entitled to.

I realise this will attract the usual suspects and talk of goats, plasma screens and the like, but..... somebody please tell me, in the name of my sanity, that I am not being unreasonable to think that benefits are not provided for somebody to keep two bloody horses at livery????

cozietoesie Sat 17-Nov-12 11:24:52

I'm having a deja vu.

Ooh I don't know what to make of that. I know keeping horses costs ££££s and they are allowed to spend money on whatever they want. I am just surprised the money isn't needed for something else I suppose. confused

Vivalebeaver Sat 17-Nov-12 11:24:54

Maybe she's friends with the livery yard owner and they don't pay full livery?

Maybe the livery yard use them to give lessons on and they get free livery?

Maybe they are the only thing that helps her with her depression?

From my limited horsey knowledge it is possible to do deals with stables where they can use the horse for lessons and that reduces your costs.

OpheliaPayneAgain Sat 17-Nov-12 11:27:39

One of the parents has depression? the horses are for the children? I fail to see how that helps a parent with depression.

>flame me<

It always amazes me with all these people on the sick, how their cocks and wombs continue functioning, habitually, whilst the rest of us subsidise them.

>flame me again<

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 11:29:53

I'm not saying she SHOULDN'T have horses, and yes, they may help her with her depression, that is besides the point I am making, when I say that surely benefits are not intended for this.

She said that in the summer, livery will be £40 a week for both horses as they will be outside, rising to £70 a week in winter when they are stabled (they will do the mucking out etc, she said this is called DIY livery), I don't know much about horses so I don't know if this is a reduced rate or not.

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 11:32:43

Also, my point was I am not against her using benefits as a lifestyle choice, their children are being well bought up and all have great aspirations which hopefully will eventually lead to them having employment and paying taxes. I am just saying that whilst most of the country is struggling to buy food and clothes, fill the car with fuel, pay heating prices, it does seem wrong that someone on benefits can afford to buy and keep two horses!

This isn't going to end well.............

Look OP - benefits are given for people who have no other income. If you dwell on the how or the why or the is it fair you will a) darken your soul with bitterness and b) be really, really boring.

So you know people who have 8 children and a couple of horses and who live on benefits. YOUR life chances (assuming you are not entirely dependant on benefits ) are VASTLY greater than theirs.

Take your children for a pony ride and dwell only on that which it is profitable to dwell on.

Vivalebeaver Sat 17-Nov-12 11:36:12

Well I was curious as to how much money this family would get. <BORED TODAY>

So I went on some benefits checker thingy.

Assuming he's on long term sick benefit, assuming she claims a carer's allowance for him which I believe is quite possible and estimating monthly rent of £700 (stab in the dark) they would get £39082,27p a year which is £749.52 a week

Thanks for being the voice of reason NL. I'm out, as they say on Dragon's Den.

Vivalebeaver Sat 17-Nov-12 11:36:50

Whether thats good, bad ,or necessary I have no idea. I imagine that feeding and clothing 8 kids is expensive.

mellowcat Sat 17-Nov-12 11:38:04

It's a lot of money but I don't think anyone has the right to tell anyone else how to spend their money or even voice an opinion really. Once it's been given to them in benefits or earnings it's theirs to do what they like with, naive I know but in my view any further thoughts on the matter lead to resentment and a whole host of other emotions and quite frankly, life's too short!

OpheliaPayneAgain Sat 17-Nov-12 11:39:33

This is one of those lifestyle choice benefits thread. No said anything about people who lose their jobs, develop degenerative illnesses etc. Just thought I'd make that clear.

I have big issues with anyone who decides to breed like a rabbit as a work avoidance technique and expect me to pay for them

>flame me some more<

Santasinmypudenda Sat 17-Nov-12 11:41:02

Hasnt this been posted before a year or so ago?

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 11:42:04

It isn't for anybody else to say what benefits can be used for.

But we all know/know of a large family with fuck loads of children an a seemingly good lifestyle. My ex's dad married a woman and between them they had 13 children living at home 2 had extra money due to ADHD. They would go out and buy a £700 dog at the drop of a hat. But having said that the money they get for dc will dwindle as the dc get older and they will be back living on their giros at £60 pw in a few years and I have pity for anyone who chooses to live that way.

BloominMarvellous Sat 17-Nov-12 11:42:35

It doesn't seem fair when a working family struggle to put fuel in the car and have to sacrifice eating out, days out, holiday etc.

But maybe they sacrifice a lot if have the livery. Maybe that's their one hobby and don't have holidays or eat out?

I for one wouldn't want 8 kids so cannot be jealous or bitter when I'm making a choice just the same as they are.

piprabbit Sat 17-Nov-12 11:43:26

Of course having two horses at livery is a luxury, regardless of where the income to pays for it comes from. Having any horses is a luxury.

Too many unknowns for me to comment on the rest of it though.

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 11:44:25

They have six kids, the family are 8 inc parents. i have already said she is open that they are on benefits as a lifestyle choice, which actually doesn't bother me. As I said its not a nameless statistic but someone who I know and like. Hr life chances are up to her but as I mentioned all the kids do well at school and have great aspirations.

I am not interested in pony rides, or keeping a horse. I had to look up livery to see what it meant. I just think that a horse is a very expensive thing to keep, never mind two and I do think that whoever created the welfare state - I am sure a much more intelligent MNer will be able to enlighten me as to who it was - did not intend it to be used for livery stables!

cozietoesie Sat 17-Nov-12 11:45:09

You thought so as well, Santas?

BloominMarvellous Sat 17-Nov-12 11:45:26

InNeedOfBrandy is right, it isn't a long term solution, when their children leave home they won't get anything and will struggle to find work because they haven't been in work for years.

Santasinmypudenda Sat 17-Nov-12 11:46:45

Yup and its OP's first post....

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 11:48:11

This is the first time I have posted this, and I am well aware anyone posting about benefits usually gets harangued and flamed by the same set of people. I am a regular poster who has namechanged, but I genuinely feel so gobsmacked by this I wanted to see what other people's opinion were.

ImperialStateKnickers Sat 17-Nov-12 11:49:51

Santa she did say she'd nc-ed right at the beginning.

BloominMarvellous Sat 17-Nov-12 11:50:25

I feel it's wrong but won't judge anybody for making that choice as if they are entitled to it they have every right to claim it.

Vivalebeaver Sat 17-Nov-12 11:51:38

Its hard isn't it. I can see both sides of the argument.

I've seen threads on here saying that people who are on benefits shouldn't be expected to suffer, etc just becasue they're on benefits and I agree with that.

But I don't think that people on benefits should be able to afford holidays in Spain, horses, etc. And I don't see what's wrong with thinking that. I can't afford horses and me and dh work hard. I never had holidays as a kid, my parents were both teachers and still couldn't afford holidays.

But then I have friends who are on benefits and life for them is a struggle. Struggle to put adequate food on the table and to clothe the kids. So I wouldn't want to see normal benefits cut.

But it is wrong if people are choosing not to work as they think they'll get more money on benefits and I think that for those with lots of children then thats sometimes the case. I do know a couple who don't work, he has a "bad back" and she's paid a carers allowance for to look afetr him. Didn't stop him been on a trampoline the other weekend. But he's not worked in 15 years.

I've no problem with someone who is genuinely ill, has a bad back, etc to get benefits but shirkers like this annoy me. When you read in the paper about how the NHS can't afford this drug and that drug to save peoples' lives its not right.

But I don't know how it can be stopped.

ilovesooty Sat 17-Nov-12 11:51:51

Yup and its OP's first post...

She said she'd namechanged.

ilovesooty Sat 17-Nov-12 11:52:32

Sorry: X post there.

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 11:52:52

Vivelebeaver - looking at those figures then it is easily doable, particularly in he summer.

Santasinmypudenda Sat 17-Nov-12 11:53:42

Ah so she did, but i still remember a aibu that was identical remarkably similar.

Gosh there must be lots of feckless spongers out there with horses

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 17-Nov-12 11:54:11

Of course benefits shouldn't be able to pay for luxuries like horses, but you already know that. And you know YANBU for thinking that. But it's nothing new is it? Stuff like this has been going on for ages.

That's why, as much as they are hated on MN, we needed a Tory government. We needed a cap on benefits and we still need to limit the number of children we will pay out for. It's the system that's at fault, the people who take advantage of it will pay for their immorality in the long run.

ImperialStateKnickers Sat 17-Nov-12 11:54:56

This doesn't sit well with me, I feel uncomfortable that it is possible to achieve a comparatively high standard of living, perfectly legally, with no intention of working. But it is not this family's fault that successive governments have failed to update the whole benefits/tax system.

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 11:55:59

I'm not judging, but I am saying that it is a ridiculous situation that a system designed for the poorest in society actually allows them to keep two horses when lot of people can't even afford to take their children horse riding, it just doesn't make any sense.

Haughtyculture Sat 17-Nov-12 11:59:00

I agree that it is the system at fault. I can't blame people for wanting to take advantage of it, but a system that is meant to provide a short term safety net but instead provides families with foreign holidays, designer clothes and horses is wrong, surely?

I am proud to live in a society where we do support those less fortunate than ourselves and where there is a back up system in place for people that are in difficulty, but I think the OP's friends' situation takes the absolute piss.

Tailtwister Sat 17-Nov-12 12:01:32

If someone was in receipt of benefits or not, I would say that having 2 horses in livery is a luxury. I don't know how much it is nowadays, but it was really expensive when I had one years ago and I certainly couldn't afford one now.

The family are getting certain benefits for which I presume they are entitled. The way I see it is that they know their income and spend it accordingly. If they can afford to keep 2 horses then that is their business. Presumably there are checks in place to ensure that the benefits they receiving are correct? Nobody polices what I spend my money on, so I don't see how this is any different. Like others have said, there may be special arrangements in place with the stables which enable them to keep the horses.

Dominodonkey Sat 17-Nov-12 12:04:41

Yanbu- it's a joke and exactly why some of the Tory ideas on benefits are a good thing , such as the cb for two children only. Why shoul some struggle just above the minimum wage so people like this can sit on their arses (or horses) and live a life of luxury at their expense?

cozietoesie Sat 17-Nov-12 12:05:00

Surprises me also, Santas. To find two families keeping horses at livery while on benefits - since November 2011. Well.....

I couldn't even keep one.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 17-Nov-12 12:05:01

It's different because they are getting free money for nothing. But still, the fault is with the system. The system needs to be updated to take into account the fact that some people have no morals.

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 12:07:37

I have tentatively joined in benefits threads before, reluctantly as they are quite fierce and scarey. My viewpoint on those has always been live and let live - there are not enough jobs for everyone anyway. That is why I have not got a problem with her using benefits as a lifestyle choice - they are contributing to society by bringing up their family well to have aspirations.

However, the two horses are such a visible status symbol, I can't get my head around it, and had never really thought before about the amounts - I was on benefits for a while when I had one child and it was only about £85/week (I couldn't claim housing as I had a mortgage), I had no idea how exponentially benefits had risen over the last 12 years.

RustyBear Sat 17-Nov-12 12:08:09

Think people may be thinking of this thread but the circumstances are different.

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 12:09:01

I do really don't want to say it agree with the torys putting in caps to make sure you can't get more on benefits then working. I do agree benefits should be a short term safety net but I would hate to live in country that gave out food stamps and credit cards topped with money for certain shops because of some lazy immoral claimants.

kenanddreary Sat 17-Nov-12 12:10:48

YANBU - this makes me mad angry

DH and I work flippin all hours (both in education) and still can only afford to run one car - let alone have two horses. Holidays have to be very carefully thought through and we have to keep to a strict budget. There is something fundamentally wrong about two people 'choosing' not to work and then being able to have two horses! I know quite a bit about the costs involved in keeping horses due to SIL being a horse-owner (wealthier than us obviously!!).

Can I just ask someone to clarify though, not being knowledgeable about the benefits system (having always assumed that you just had to get off your backside and go to work)...can someone really 'choose' not to go to work? Don't you have to prove that you are actively looking for work?

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 12:11:07

cozietoesie - if you are sceptical why don't you go and find that other horse thread and link to it? Or report this thread? That poster was not me. This family got their horses last month, I have no idea what they paid for the horses.

wheremommagone Sat 17-Nov-12 12:11:27

DIY livery is basically just renting a stable and field and doing all the work yourself. It is the 'cheapest' way of keeping a horse... It still adds up though with all the additional bits you have to pay for let alone unexpected vet bills... Op Yanbu in your thinking but my guess is that they think they can do it on the cheap and will come unstuck financially at some point!

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 12:13:32

This couple are married, all the family live in one house. I agree there are similarities so can see why the sense of déjà vu. I didn't even think about the shoes, food, vets bills etc

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 12:13:55

Ken if you have dc under 5 you are on income support and do not need to look for a job/sign on.

Haughtyculture Sat 17-Nov-12 12:15:56

I have two friends, both of whom are married and have reasonable incomes, who both kept horses and both sold their horses fairly recently because of rising costs. Even the monthly medical insurance is pricey.

OP, do this couple's children go without things? Are they badly clothed? I can imagine the horses would be a large chunk of expenditure out of their monthly income.

OpheliaPayneAgain Sat 17-Nov-12 12:16:59

Lets go on a serious note for a second.

Every person in society has a moral duty to contribute positively to that society. Mainly we do it through various forms of taxation, these provide services for the greater benefit of society - schools, NHS, refuse collections etc.

If you have a family who have made a choice to remove themselves as contributors to society - yet also choose to use schools, hospitals and wheelie bins then that places the burden to keep society functionong on those within the tax paying system.

As non-working families tend to statistically begat non working off-spring (why would they? all they have learned is that they can have a nice life style being subsidised) IF her 8 children all go and have 8 children, that's an awful lot more contributions/resources they have taken out without putting back in.

Eventually the imbalance comes where more is taken out than put in.

kenanddreary Sat 17-Nov-12 12:18:10

Oh ok - thanks Brandy. I didn't know that. So do people think that's why some people keep having children? To ensure there is always one under 5? Terrible to even entertain this thought I know but I can't help asking the question...

Flame away!!

kenanddreary Sat 17-Nov-12 12:19:18

Great post Ophelia.

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 12:23:30

The children are always well clothed, if sometimes the clothes are a bit old and washed out but clean, what you would expect in a large family with handed down clothes for playing out. They all have new school uniforms. The kids seem to have all the various stuff kids want, bicycles, x boxes, wiis and the older ones and parents have mobiles. The 14 year old has an ipad, the parents have laptops.,I don't think they go without.

DeckSwabber Sat 17-Nov-12 12:24:34

My concern would be what happens if the horses need something expensive eg large vet bill. I think that anyone should think hard about that before getting any kind of animal.

Otherwise, well perhaps keeping the horses is a choice they are making over holidays, other hobbies, school trips, takeaways, which for family of eight would be enormously expensive.

Softlysoftly Sat 17-Nov-12 12:30:34

I think you have to take it in parts.

Yes 2 horses is a luxury and even on DIY livery you need to factor in insurance, vets, worming and vacs, tack and equipment, clipping and upkeep, feed, shavings, the list is endless. I had a horse on DIY whilst working and had to sell her on maternity leave as we couldn't afford it.

No benefits shouldn't find more than a basic lifestyle but whilst some on benefits struggle some seem to flourish, I have no idea why!

People should choose to work, benefits are for those who cannot, that Is a separate issue.

So looking at the whole of that specific family it's not fair, but that doesn't mean everyone on benefits is as lucky iyswim.

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 12:31:13

Yes some people do. A friend of a friend has just got pregnent again because her youngest is 4 and she doesn't want to work or sign on, she admits this quite happily.

It makes me really quite angry as there is so many people who end up on benefits and get stuck there. I don't blame my friends friend I blame te system where it's scary to get a job and leave the safety net. So many years you haven't had to worry about rent and suddenly you have to grow up and get a job. On the other hand if I lost my job and had trouble finding a new one (not from lack of trying) I don't think it's fair to live below the poverty level because of people who go and buy horses with their free money.

Maybe a sliding scale is what's needed, if you lose your job for the first 3 months you get quite a good amount and every 3 months it goes down.

Bathsheba Sat 17-Nov-12 12:31:27

I have a very woise friend who says "paying is not the only way to get things"...

Normally I'm livid about issues like this, but this seems to be the ideal scenario for some sort of barter dealing to be going on.

My very wise friend has a lot of "venture" pictures in her house - we were joking once about how she would have had to take out a mortgage when she advised that they cost "9 months of Tuesday afternoon book-keeping" - she discovered when she went to purchase her pics that the books and the general "business" side was an absolute mess - she runs her own business and has experience in a LOT of business sectors so sheused her skills to get her pictures.

I can think of a huge numnber of ways that someone not working could do jobs of benefit to a livery stables - from heloing with mucking out, to providing receptionist duties (maybe even from home), to doing the book keeping or marketing/advertising in exchange for free or discounted rates..

D0oinMeCleanin Sat 17-Nov-12 12:34:50

Yes keeping horses is a luxury, however last time I checked people receiving benefits were allowed to spend their money on whatever they chose, thank fuck.

It won't be long before that changes though <shudder>

LaQueen Sat 17-Nov-12 12:36:21

[kisses Bath email me, you damned woman, just email me...]

Full livery costs a fortune, even when off-set against allowing the stables to use your horse.

It's still going to be hundreds of pounds per month. I know, as my cousin keeps 2 horses in full livery, as does a work collegue.

I would assume (hope) that these people were off-setting the livery fees by several various means.

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 12:36:48

I don't think benefits should be so low you can't afford a treat now and again, the odd takeaway for instance. I don't know how you can have that mixed with people taking the piss though.

Anniegetyourgun Sat 17-Nov-12 12:36:52

This scenario is simply untrue. So report me.

Floralnomad Sat 17-Nov-12 12:38:36

doin I was thinking the same , if you smoke you could easily spend as much in a week on cigs as you would on keeping a horse . If you're entitled to the benefits it's up to you how you spend it .

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 12:39:42

Anniegetyourgun - I am glad you find it as unbelievable as I did.

Floralnomad Sat 17-Nov-12 12:40:20

They're on DIY livery not Full livery that's a whole different thing and worlds apart in cost .

At least they're in a livery. My parents live on a council estate and one of the families have a horse in their back garden confused

<pointless contribution to the thread, I know>

D0oinMeCleanin Sat 17-Nov-12 12:42:00

I believe it. My friend who is unemployed, single mum to one can afford to take her child on holiday (uk), pay for fancy x-mas presents and pays upwards of £40 per month on personal training sessions.

She doesn't smoke, she doesn't drink more than once a month, she cooks everything from scratch and meal plans, she eats at her mums once or twice a week, all of her own clothes and luxury's (bar the training) are second hand. A lot of her child's fancier clothes are hand me downs from dd1.

Fair play to her that she is able to budget so well, imo.

Dawndonna Sat 17-Nov-12 12:42:34

The thing is, you're all making assumptions without knowing the facts. My sister has two horses. She is a company director, has worked extraordinarily hard to get where she is and is on a very, very good income. She's also aware of the fact that due to my father's drinking etc, as children, we ended up on a council estate and on benefits for a while The horses are used by two families on income support and dla. As my sister says, she can't ride every day, so somebody should get the benefit and it's good for the horses. She pays the livery and the bills. One family was reported recently, for having horses, which, strangely enough they didn't actually have.

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 12:43:33

Fatimalovesbread - that made me laugh grin

Bathsheba Sat 17-Nov-12 12:43:44

[have emailed LeQ]

Softlysoftly Sat 17-Nov-12 12:44:09

Annie it's not several families at my ex stables had ponies for the kids and were on benefits. It's possible.

I do know one family the dad had a bad back so was on incapacity but took cash in hand jobs building. His back was genuine too, he was just willing to take the pain for cash work. That family also did the odd late night bring in for the stable owner and early feeds, so I assume got a reduction.

The others seemed decent and I have no idea what they sacrificed in other areas to make the cost.

LaQueen Sat 17-Nov-12 12:45:16

About bleddy time Bath tsk, tsk, tsk...

LaQueen Sat 17-Nov-12 12:47:05

Still waiting...checks email...tsk...tsk...

FrothyOM Sat 17-Nov-12 12:47:34

DEJA POO: The feeling that you've heard this crap before.

OpheliaPayneAgain Sat 17-Nov-12 12:47:43

A friend of a friend has just got pregnent again because her youngest is 4 and she doesn't want to work or sign on

I work in a environment where this is commonplace. All it has meant is more unwanted children are born in an attempt to keep money flowing in. Before, those sorts of women would have one at 16, another at 31, another at 45 and whoopee- that took them through to 'retirement' at 60 - never having had to work. The 14-15 year space was very common, now it's every 4 years. Every child is condemned to being a low achiever, purpetuating the cycle. It is tragic.

I was talking to my friend who works directly in these estates. It's horrific, multiple children, with multiple fathers. A couple of 'estate studs' running round imprgnating all over the place. It gets to a point where all the children seem to be half siblings - or worse where you have a mother and daughter, still of child beraing age but withinly 15 years between them, they seem to swap boyfriends shock and both have children to the same man.

The Tia Sharpe murder, poor little soul, was typical of that - the mother had been with the bloke before he moved up a generation and was with the grandmother. It happens. People like to pretend it doesnt, but it's common in areas of high deprivation.

TheOriginalLadyFT Sat 17-Nov-12 12:48:26

£70 for DIY is quite expensive, I'm guessing she's down south. We charge £85/week for full livery

Personally, it disgusts me when people on benefits with no intention of working think this is acceptable - why should my taxes fund them? To have two horses on livery using benefits to pay for it enrages me. I've had horses all my life and have worked very hard to maintain them, and still do despite now having my own yard. The thought that my 12-hour days, and the income they generate, go to pay taxes which are in turn used to pay her benefits makes me mad.

Horses are fabulous animals, and do help with depression, stress etc - but you don't have to own and keep them to gain that benefit

Agree with you OP. I have a horse and he is definitely a luxury smile.

Obviously you can't control how welfare recipients spend their benefits, and I've no idea how much money they would get, but I do feel benefits should be for the essentials of life. If you want the nice things in life, you get a job to pay for them. After all, where does the money for benefits come from? Taxation from the rest of us who are working, many of whom are struggling and couldn't imagine affording 2 horses.

<awaits flaming>

Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 12:51:28

The £70 a week was for both horses, it sounded reasonable, but then i dont know much about horses. We are down south though.

laughtergoodmedicine Sat 17-Nov-12 12:52:40

Yes, benefits are run by complex rules; and there is entitlment. At the moment the disabled to are being put through many hoops. Most of the major cheating goes on at the top of society. (In any country in the world I suspect)

TheOriginalLadyFT Sat 17-Nov-12 13:11:53

"The £70 a week was for both horses, it sounded reasonable, but then i dont know much about horses. We are down south though"

Ok, well £35/week sounds about right for DIY. Sorry, must have misread too much wine with lunch

ArkadyRose Sat 17-Nov-12 13:29:46

You're assuming they actually own the horses and aren't loaning/sharing them. I've co-owned horses several times; one was at a liveried stable, the others DIY. It's actually quite a cheap way to keep one or more horses. At the DIY stables, my share was free because I did the stable management/mucking out bit; with the liveried horse, they needed someone who could hack out daily with the horse during a period when they couldn't due to work.

I'm not co-sharing at the moment simply because I had to give up riding thanks to epilepsy, but it never added much more than a fiver a week to our bills at most. If you know lots of horsey people, it's fairly easy to get into co-sharing/loaning fairly inexpensively.

fluffyraggies Sat 17-Nov-12 16:30:57

Sorry if this has been sad, i've skimmed the thread a bit, but what about the amount of money some families on benefits spend weekly on wine and fags? Or petrol for the hulking great 4x4s for the weekly shop. Or a gym membership. Expensive personal grooming like hair colour/nails. Expensive phones for the kids. ect ect.

My point is - if this family is budgeting for to keep these animals then .... why is it such a sin? Where do we draw the 'luxury' line? Is this partly a knee jerk reaction to the words 'keeping horses'?

I don't have any horses btw, but my eldest DD works at a livery stable down the road and the owners of allot of the horses get about in the smallest, oldest, tattiest cars, live in jeans and old trainers, never have a holiday and cheerfully admit to going without allot of things to be able to keep their animals.

How they live, as long as no one is suffering is surely up to them. Even on benefits.

spotsdots Sat 17-Nov-12 18:32:42

OP you could have started any benefits bashing post without having to make up such rediculous story. If indeed the family depends on the benefits then the only way they can afford horses is if they are getting extra money fraudlently e.g they have another source of income which they haven't declared.

Otherwise, I would say to anyone who begrudges someone receiving benefits to actually apply for the benefits and find out how luxuriously it is. After all as a British you are entitled to benefits confused hence millionaires too claim benefits aka child benefit smile

Pixel Sat 17-Nov-12 18:54:13

Surprises me also, Santas. To find two families keeping horses at livery while on benefits - since November 2011. Well.....

This scenario is simply untrue. So report me.

Anniegetyourgun - I am glad you find it as unbelievable as I did

I haven't read all the thread yet but I'm not sure why you all think it's untrue?
I've got a half share in a horse (can't afford a whole one, I've got the end that kicks grin) and even at the smallish place I keep it we have a family with 7 children who have two horses. They have been on benefits for years, the dad apparently has a bad back which doesn't stop him swinging around water containers I can barely lift. We also have a single mum with two kids and 4 horses, also on benefits.

Whatever the rights and wrongs there's no denying it does happen.

OddBoots Sat 17-Nov-12 18:56:09

Ownership of any non-working animal is a luxury to me but lots of people off and off benefits would disagree.

Pixel Sat 17-Nov-12 19:09:27

£70 for DIY is quite expensive, I'm guessing she's down south.
I'm down south too and I still think that's expensive. I pay a lot less than that as mine lives out all year in a field, but I could go to the nice yard up the road that has lovely facilities, 3 floodlit schools, cross country course, all year round grazing etc and get a stable and grazing for £25 per week (so £50 for two).

1605 Sat 17-Nov-12 19:13:27

Just a reminder that the majority of benefits are paid net of tax.

If the calculations another MNer has made upthread are correct, this family are getting benefits equivalent to a gross salary in the region of £65-£70k.

pigletmania Sat 17-Nov-12 19:16:59

YANBU if they can afford the luxury of horses they should not be having benefits or as many children. Sorry they should not

SantasStrapOn Sat 17-Nov-12 20:45:14

£70 a week for TWO ponies on DIY down south is about right for summer. I'd be surprised if it cost that little for winter though, unless they are helpingout in return for reduced fees. You've also forgotten shoes, feed, bedding, rugs, insurance. Probably looking at a bare minimum of £400pcm, and that's without incidentals.

It used to cost me well over £500pcm to keep BigHorse and LittleHorse at livery, and that was in Lincs, on DIY and with neither of them being shod.

Marzipanface Sat 17-Nov-12 21:49:06

*Marigoldfetish Sat 17-Nov-12 11:55:59
I'm not judging, but I am saying that it is a ridiculous situation that a system designed for the poorest in society actually allows them to keep two horses when lot of people can't even afford to take their children horse riding, it just doesn't make any sense.*


We are not on benefits here, decent wage etc - no way we could afford to even take our DD horse-riding let along own horses. Family over the road from me remind me of the family OP is talking about. Lovely family, lovely kids, and they own horses, run two cars and so on. Both parents are on benefits, yet are planning to have IVF privately despite having five children already.

It's none of my business, I know. I also know I have no idea really about their financial situation, however I would be lying if I didn't admit that it does sometimes get me down when I am scraping enough money together to buy bread and milk and their daughter tells me about the latest fun things they have done as a family. I do also know other families on benefits who struggle so badly to make ends meet, so I don't really believe this idea that all benefit claimants live in big houses and live in luxury. I know from direct experience through my career that this is untrue.

SuePurblybiltbyElves Sat 17-Nov-12 21:50:46

Is this about the same woman as before, I wonder?
I do like how these benefit claiming families are always so very open about their income and motivation for not working.

MissNJE Sat 17-Nov-12 22:32:33

I rather have them owning two horses and teaching their children responsibility to look after an animal than to see the parents chain smoking and drinking and spending the money on other useless stuff.

I still dont understand how people can be so proud open about living on benefits as a lifestyle choice. I would be ashamed if I could work but would choose to live on benefits. But that is a totally different matter and I could rant about it forever...

AudrinaAdare Sat 17-Nov-12 22:35:26

Bloody hell I had to check the date on this.

spottyblanket Sun 18-Nov-12 00:00:52

I keep a horse and a pony on livery and i have very little money. Its my life, my passion, and my children get to experience farm life, the great outdoors, caring & responsibility etc etc.

I part loan my horse so that pays for a good deal of its keep. I part loan the pony to another family & that pays all its keep. I know others with a similar set up to finance their passion.

Im canny enough to make it work for me, bet that family does too, so dont judge that which you know nothing about.

MajorBumsore Sun 18-Nov-12 00:07:08

I haven't read whole thread but I've definitely read this post before

PropertyNightmare Sun 18-Nov-12 00:16:18

I don't know much about levels of benefits paid to a family with six children but I think I would assume that this family must have an additional source of income (beyond benefits alone).

redpanda13 Sun 18-Nov-12 00:41:53

I smell horseshit

avasmammy Sun 18-Nov-12 00:57:12

I know no one who professionally rides a system whereby the taxpayer pays for the keeping of horses etc i do however know of people who are reliant on the taxpayer to feed, clothe themselves and their kids while absolutely struggling to do so. I'm at a loss how anyone would want or choose to live a life of expecting to be looked after and to foster that attitude with their kids. I work to provide for my kids, I expect them to do the same.

sashh Sun 18-Nov-12 03:34:02

£70 pw = £10 per day, how much are 40 cigarettes?

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 07:55:27

Miss they don't have to have 2 expensive horses to learn about animal responsibility, Mabey a goldfish or hamster

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 07:56:48

As others have said I dont think that the horses fees would be so little at livery. Someone might not be entirely honest to you

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 08:08:48

If what the op has said is true, than something is wrong with her claim that she is able to support 8 kids on benefits and run horses at livery. Let's not forget why benefits are there, to make sure families have a roof over their head and have food to eat not afford luxuries such as this. There must be something wrong here

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 08:09:48

If everyone had the same attitude as her who would be left to pay for the benefits?

wordfactory Sun 18-Nov-12 08:12:09

The livery may be reasonable however the insurance will not be!!!

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 08:22:19

Word it's not just stabling horses it's the upkeep farrier, tack, if they show them fees for that, food

wordfactory Sun 18-Nov-12 08:31:59

Well you can do deals for all those things, particularly if you horse-share.

But the insurance is what it is. No deals to be done there. And it is expensive!

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 08:40:31

What I am trying to say tat benefits are there to rivière the minimum a family needs to keep a roof over their head and food on the table not pursue luxury hobbies. There is something wrong there if the woman is able to do this on benefits. It's people like her that give those on benefits a bad image

Stinkyminkymoo Sun 18-Nov-12 09:40:50

YANBU. I have 2 horses and have worked incredibly hard to keep them.

Whilst buying a horse is cheap (especially in this climate, you can pick one up for a tenner at the sales sad) and you could keep it fairly cheaply on just grass livery (ie no stable, just a field) if you ended up with a horse that injures itself badly enough to need vet care, you can become v unstuck.

My baby horse has a problem with the cartilage in his knee. His box rest (when he had to stay confined to his stable to minimise any further damage) cost me £2,000 for 3 months. I was heavily pregnant for the first 2 months and had a new baby for the third so could not have possibly done it myself.

That doesn't include the vets fees and treatment. He is fully insured but it didn't cover all his box rest as I discovered afterwards to my horror so I had to pay the rest out of my own pocket. This is why I never go on holiday or spent money on myself for this kind of issue that's bound to arise when you least need it to.

They say the fastest way to become a millionaire is to start as a billionaire & buy horses. wink

Dawndonna Sun 18-Nov-12 10:15:58

I posted earlier about what my sister does with her horses. Did nobody read it? There is the possibility that she is paying nothing, but no, that can't be the case, scroungers diddling the tax payer or nothing.

catgirl1976 Sun 18-Nov-12 10:29:39

Perhaps a list of what people on benefits are and are not allowed to spend that money one would be best hmm

OP - if they manage thier money in such a way they can afford to spend £40 - £70 per week on livery it is up to them really. It's not a vast amount - less than a lot of people spend on fags and far healthier

ShellyBoobs Sun 18-Nov-12 10:41:59


Everyone knows YANBU.

It's why there won't be another lefty government for a very long time.

elastamum Sun 18-Nov-12 10:42:31

I keep horses on DIY livery. There are at least 2 people on benefits keeping horses at the yard and one on disability who is too sick to work but manages to be up riding at 7.30am each morning hmm

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 10:45:32

Dawn there is noway that horses cost nothing. Are we not allowed to pass comment about it, horses cost a lot f money to keep yes it is wrong for somebody who is not able to support themselves to keep them, tey have 8 kids they hardly come chea. Believe it or not there are people that diddle the system nt all benefit claimants are legit!

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 10:54:30

Yes when you are both on benefits unable to support your family yourself, have 8 dependents than having an expensive horses is a luxury is it not!

Dawndonna Sun 18-Nov-12 11:01:16

Piglet If you'd read my post, my sister has two families that use her horses. My sister, who can afford it, pays all costs. It does her a favour and the families concerned. Ergo, costs the families on benefits nothing. My sister is not the only person in the world doing this.

saffronwblue Sun 18-Nov-12 11:16:08

I can't get my head around the lifestyle choice of not working. How do all the children have their aspirations if they have never seen Mum or Dad go to work, let alone build a career? I think DC learn such a lot from hearing parents talk about their work, the highs and lows and how you have to solve problems and deal with other people and show up when you feel like crap. None of this is being demonstrated to these children - I imagine they would not have the first idea how to fulfil their aspirations and I find that sad.
Also can't resist saying horses for courses. smile

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 11:16:45

Fine if that's the case but ip said that they pay each week

LaQueen Sun 18-Nov-12 11:25:56

No matter how you try and off-set the costs, keeping a horse is an expensive past time. Feed, shoeing, vet's bills, insurance, tack...

I would have thought that amount of money could perhaps be better spent to fund some training/courses/schooling which would improve the person's ability to get a job, yes?

rogersmellyonthetelly Sun 18-Nov-12 11:34:25

I describe my horse as "the walking money pit" I'll admit he is the expensive sports model, but even without any vets bills, just his hay feed and bedding cost me £30 a week, livery is on top of that, with insurance, wormers and vets bills, not to mention the shoes. It is possible that they are reducing the costs perhaps by mucking out someone else's horse in exchange for hay, such arrangements do exist on livery yards, and perhaps if they have native ponies rather than horses they won't need shoes, just a farrier trim every 8 weeks. Hell, I used to trim my own horses back feet when I was really skint.
It's not a case of people on benefits shouldn't be allowed to keep horses - just that if the benefits system is paying out enough money that they can reasonably afford to do it for not one horse, but two, something is very wrong with the system.

LaQueen Sun 18-Nov-12 11:42:16

My cousin is the company director, of a fairly well-known internet company. She's sometimes appeared in the Sunday glossy magazines, as her home often features in their editorials.

She can't afford to keep two horses in livery, much as she'd love to. She only has the one, and even that is eye-wateringly expensive (the insurance alone last year, was several thousand quid).

There is something very wrong with the benefits system if it provides the amounts of money that allows claimants to follow such a very expensive hobby.

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 11:58:12

Exactly roger la queen, here are other costs on top of stabling a horse. If they can have 2 horses whilst none of them work than tree is obviously something wrong there

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 11:59:08

I agree saffron, but of curse we are not allowed to say things like that on here.

LadyBeagle Sun 18-Nov-12 12:17:43

My mate has a couple of ponies, she took them on as they were 'difficult', she lives permanently on minimum wage and her and and her partner built a shed/stable for them. She was lucky enough to have been given a bit of croft land but she has spent a fortune on vet's fees.
What I'm trying to say is maybe your mate just loves horses, and àt least they're getting a good life, there's an awful lot of horses out there, who are living horrible lives.
I'ts not just the riçh that have horses, you know.

IDontDoIroning Sun 18-Nov-12 12:28:02

My colleague has a field and she keeps horses. The expense astounds me. She has the farrier every 4 weeks, vets bill for just the run of the mill things like injections are hugs and god forbid they have an illness or injury. Hay and feed costs are huge too.
Rugs and saddles all that stuff isn't cheap.
It's her choice she and her dh work and the horses are kept on their land but I know that some months her entire wages just goes on the horses in some shape or manner.

difficultpickle Sun 18-Nov-12 12:47:01

How do they cover the cost of shoes and vets bills? I have a good job and could afford full livery for one horse. I would love to have a horse but my good job is full time and I cannot spare the time to make it worthwhile.

EternalHope Sun 18-Nov-12 12:55:26

I have problems with anyone who is on benefits as a lifestyle choice. Whilst is may be legal, it is immoral in the precisely the same way that tax avoidance by the rich may be legal but is also immoral: in both cases, the people that pick up the price tab are the ordinary hardworking taxpayers, including youngsters on minimum wage but nonetheless paying taxes and not able to afford horses.

If the way that the horses are afforded is through some kind of barter arrangement (livery in return for horses being used for lessons for clients, say) then that arrangement should be valued and declared as income to be offset against benefits. Just because it is not cash earned does not mean it has no monetary value and should not be declared as income. If livery is paid for in full then I agree totally with La Queen above.

BTW I am totally supportive of generous benefits giving a reasonable standard of living (not poverty) for people who are in genuine need: ill, out of work, whatever, but not as a CHOICE. If all those who could do, did without benefits then we would be able to pay MORE to those with no alternative.

Dawndonna Sun 18-Nov-12 13:19:54

The other point is, the OP said that one parent suffers from depression. Maybe, just maybe, she/he is using dla to cover the cost. In which case it's nobodies business to judge. Perhaps they're using all their dla to cover the cost, or just some. So what? It's not anybodies business.

kenanddreary Sun 18-Nov-12 13:34:00

Well it warms my heart to know that when I get up on yet another dark, cold Monday morning to face another week in a tough classroom that somewhere out there someone is benefitting from my hard work by being able to visit their horses and get out in the fresh air of the countryside.

Yes - it makes it all worthwhile - that's definitely motivating hmm

gettingeasier Sun 18-Nov-12 13:59:07

Agreed how people spend their benefits shouldnt be under scrutiny anymore than how people spend their salary.

What should be under scrutiny is policy making whereby nobody is funded long term by the state without very good reason.

The idea that as long as you have a child under 4 years old in the house you can claim benefits irrespective of how many children you already have and claim benefit for is madness.

ophelia talked earlier about the Tia Shape case and how nobody likes to think about those scenarios and the fact that many people decide 100% to abuse the benefits system. I note not one poster has commented on that.

To me on MN if you dare query someones right to a benefit of some kind or say out loud that there scrounging lazy gits openly abusing the system you are some kind of facist

Oh and OP I dont think YABU but I dont get why you think its ok for your friend to choose to live off benefits with her DH and 6 DC in tow

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 14:00:53

Exactly ken, the reasons stated by the op for them not working is a ) they earn more on benefits b she wants the oh at home to look after the kids. Something is seriously wrong there. What some on here fail to realise is that for them to make a choice like that somebody has to go to work, money does not come out of nowhere. In addition to this for them to b able to have 2 horses at livery is just shock. How come some people struggle to make ends meet on benefits and feed their family whist others like this family live it up

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 14:02:27

The programme the hidden hungry on tv not so long ago was vey sad

LaQueen Sun 18-Nov-12 18:35:21

Everyone should have daily access to their own horse...feck where the money actually comes from...

I demand my own pony, right now...

catgirl1976 Sun 18-Nov-12 18:41:39

I've got 2. It's not cheap. I reckon all in it's about £500 £600 per month when you add in vets, farriers, physio, insurance, new rugs, new boots, feed supplements etc

But again, what people spend their money on is up to them.

catgirl1976 Sun 18-Nov-12 18:57:35

Feck no, its more than that,,,,,,,,have been totting it up in my head

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 18-Nov-12 19:09:33

i find it soul destroying to be honest, i work full time, as does DH, last week i was posting for advice on how to make my £81 last another 2 weeks when i needed a full tank of petrol for my 11 year old car, and how to shop for less.

i started having riding lessons, and i take that money out of my wages, its the only thing i have for me and i love it.

i would dearly dearly love my own horse, but i cant afford holidays, or a newer car and this week i have not done a full food shop.

my dh works full time as a baker.
i work full time as a police officer.

i try not to think about the injustice of this too often, because i feel badly done to by this government, my job is hard because i do the workload of 2 people, its dangerous (one of my colleagues was attacked last week and ended up in hospital with head injuries) and i cannot afford the basics, let alone my own much longed for horse, yep. it pisses me off.

Choufleur Sun 18-Nov-12 19:52:24

I would really really really love to have my own horse again. I had rented a lovely boys for years before I had DS but just didn't have the time and money to keep renting him.

The only way I could have a horse now is to have it in full livery as I work nearly full time and actually want to spend some time with DS too.

I'll get flamed for this too but if you can't afford to look after your children yourself stop having them - i resent people making a conscious decision to stay at home on benefits.

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 19:53:51

No catgirl they should not. Well to a certain rpextent yes, I don't think the beneft office give them money to spend on two keeping 2 horses. They give them money for food seltzer, care and to help with their disability if it's DLA. I think that the DWP would take a very dim view of this couple if they knew

Choufleur Sun 18-Nov-12 19:54:17

Where on earth are people keeping their horses for £40 a week livery?

catgirl1976 Sun 18-Nov-12 19:56:09

Meh - lots of people smoke. That costs money. Are we saying people on benefits should be banned from using that money for anything that isn't an essential?

Maybe this family manage the money they get really well so they can have the horses.

Stinkyminkymoo Sun 18-Nov-12 19:56:09

Umm catgirl1976 don't ever tot up how much your horse costs. It an make you feel ill! wink

catgirl1976 Sun 18-Nov-12 19:56:33

Yeah it is doing Stinky grin

I need a lie down smile

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 19:58:29

How the hell can you manage when you have 8 dependents, if they have savings this could effect their benefits. Smoking is one thing, keeping 2 horses at full livery is nother

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 19:59:14

Yes benefits shoud cover the essentials and if you cannot afford to smoke give up!

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 20:00:18

I can't see that they will have much money left after looking after 8 chikdren

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 20:00:48

If they have something is very wrong and they need reeassesing

kenanddreary Sun 18-Nov-12 20:08:57

'Maybe this family manage the money they get really well so they can have the horses.'

Well they must be bloody brilliant with money then to have enough left over to keep two horses! Wow - wish they would come and help me manage my budget - then perhaps a holiday would be possible...

catgirl1976 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:34:42

But we don't know all the details other than its £35 a week. Not a fortune.

Although god knows how anyone can keep two horses on that - doesn't ring true but then a lot of these "I know someone on benefits and they have a yacht and 2 Monets" threads

kenanddreary Sun 18-Nov-12 20:45:28

grin know what you mean catgirl. Lol at the thought of the Monets!

catgirl1976 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:47:45


TiredBooyhoo Sun 18-Nov-12 21:10:54

am i the only one thinking piglet should read the OP properly?

piglet they have 6 children. not 8. 6. they are a family of 8.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 18-Nov-12 21:28:43

Yes a few people abuse benefits, choose to live that lifestyle. But they are in the minority. You can't send the many into complete poverty, to stop the few.

Dawndonna Sun 18-Nov-12 22:06:58

Unless of course, Itsall your name is Ian Duncan Smith!

Scheherezade Sun 18-Nov-12 22:14:45

I have recently sold my two horses because it became unaffordable.

Livery per horse for just a stable and field- £30-120
Getting yard owner to turn out/bring in to save two trips a day £2-5 per day
Bedding £21 per week (3x sacks at £7 each)
Hay £3/4 per bale, roughly 2/3 a week more in winter
Feed £20 pm, although I got this very very cheap from a friend
Shoes £60-70 every 6-10 weeks
Insurance £500pm if I remember I didn't insure mine as it was cheaper to pay vets fees
Worming £12 every 3-6 months
Tack. £700-1000 for a saddle, £50-100 bridle. £20 for saddle pads, need 3 minimum. £20-50 horse boots. £20 bit. £20-70 girth. Riding gear - hat £80, jods £20-50, need a few pairs. Warm coat for winter, padded gloves £20. Body protector £100. Riding boots/short boots and chaps £100-300.
Horse rugs. Thin/thick indoor and outdoor £100 (x 4 obv). Fleece rug, exercise rug £30 each. Bandages for tail and legs £5 each (x 5). Headcollars £15. Haynets £10 each, need 3.
Groom kit, easy £70. Then first aid kit, £30-100.
Wheelbarrow £50
Shovel £20, fork £20, brush £20.
Long chaps for dry/warmth in winter £50

The above is for ONE horse. Keeping a horse is more than just £30pw.

Scheherezade Sun 18-Nov-12 22:16:04

P.s. lots of stuff for sale if anyones interested grin

Scheherezade Sun 18-Nov-12 22:17:22

Oh, and then you have the cost of expensive stuff, for shows, pony club, hunting etc.

mummmsy Sun 18-Nov-12 22:28:38

em, i spend my benefit money running my car - i just wanted to check that was okay with everyone here?

TiredBooyhoo Sun 18-Nov-12 22:51:32

not if you enjoy using your car mummmsy. you aren't allowed to enjoy anything whilst on benefits.

mummmsy Sun 18-Nov-12 22:55:52

oh goody, that's such a relief Tired because I actually hate the bloody thing really, it's 19 years old, rusty, dented, conks out, despite getting me to job interviews etc

oh, but it does make life much more pleasant for me and dd, staying dry and warm, getting shopping etc - perhaps I should give it up since there is a certain amount of comfort derived from said benefit-funded vehicle?

<facetious emoticon>

TiredBooyhoo Sun 18-Nov-12 23:14:11

in that case you must give it up. cant have people being comfortable. comfort isn't for the likes of you! wink

seeker Sun 18-Nov-12 23:20:08

Keeping horses does ot necessarily cost megabucks- is it working livery?

mummmsy Sun 18-Nov-12 23:20:08

oh, i will, immediately! wink

mummmsy Sun 18-Nov-12 23:20:29

will self-flagellate later too grin

usualsuspect3 Sun 18-Nov-12 23:24:02

<rolls eyes>

pigletmania Mon 19-Nov-12 07:16:01

That is not what I am saying, but keeping horses is a luxutpry whatever way you look at it, people do not go out to work to pay for their horses. There is something wrong with the system as a whole when its better to stay on benefits than to work. With their lack of work ethic they will probably pass to their children. Many people would love to have someone at home to help them with the kids but they have to go to work to support their family and pay taxes to keep this family and others like them in te lifestyle they have

Dawndonna Mon 19-Nov-12 07:22:15

One of the adults suffers with depression. Perhaps she/he needs the other parent at home to help. Perhaps the other parent gets carer's allowance for doing so.
I agree that people should not fiddle benefits. I agree that there shouldn't be a culture of benefits as a lifestyle choice. I also think that if you don't know the real situation you should butt out. I also think you're bunch of judgemental old harridans that refuse to accept that there may just be an alternative.

pigletmania Mon 19-Nov-12 07:42:37

Gosh so everyone should agree with you then! We should all accept it and be happy about people taking the piss hmm. The op knows this family so she is in a better situation to make an opinion. I have had depression and have been in tat situation myself for a couple of years. Yes I think that some not all of course do take advantage of having depression.

Dawndonna Mon 19-Nov-12 08:13:44

<gives up>

Scheherezade - what size are your rugs? need some extra winter turnouts

DownTheRabidHole Mon 19-Nov-12 08:44:58

My horse costs 300 a month basic livery and this price includes shoes. It does not include re-flocking of saddles, new tack, lessons, worming, vet, vaccinations et al.

If you honestly think that 600 pounds a month is "not a luxury" and everyone on benefits "has that right" then you and I live on different planets.

carabos Mon 19-Nov-12 08:53:45

Agree with downtherabidhole. My horse costs £100 per week (including insurance etc). It is a luxury, no doubt about it.

However, hard cases make bad law and are there really very many families living exclusively on benefits as a lifestyle choice? Really? No matter what we do as a society, there will always be people who live rough, people who are criminals, people who are poor, people who won't work, people who can't work. Human beings are a diverse species.

I'm not sure that people who make different, legal choices should be branded as "immoral". It's up to us as voters to make sure that if we don't agree with the system we get involved to get it changed, not stigmatise people who make legal choices within an approved framework hmm.

LaQueen Mon 19-Nov-12 13:35:07

If someone has depression, then ideally there should be various other hobbies which help them deal with their depression which don't cost £££££s every month...

bishboschone Mon 19-Nov-12 13:37:56

It doesn't matter about the livery , horses are expensive and a luxury . You should not have them if you live on benefits .. Full stop.. Flame me all you like but they are luxuries along with a lot of other stuff you shouldn't have unless you pay for it yourself !!!

bishboschone Mon 19-Nov-12 13:39:21

By the way I have always had horse and know exactly what they cost.

TheCollieDog Mon 19-Nov-12 14:43:51

What some on here fail to realise is that for them to make a choice like that somebody has to go to work, money does not come out of nowhere.

That's the rest of us! I have read this thread with mounting incredulity. I'm normally a softy liberal, and quite proud that I am able to earn so much that I seem to keep several families in benefits, if they really need it, that is a humane society.

But to male a "lifestyle choice" to have 6 children on benefits? That is not what Aneurin Bevin (architect of the Welfare State) intended. It's a safety net, not a lifestyle choice.

And I had ponies as a teenager so I really do know how much they cost: it's not the livery, it's everything else!

When I was widowed at 33 with a small child, I was living in a country with a much more basic welfare system. Free healthcare, and free schooling, but for us, it pretty much stopped there. And we didn't qualify anyway because, gosh, we'd saved up & got a mortgage, we had life insurance (my OH had a very sudden acute illness at 36) and we were both working professionals. I worked my butt off to keep my career going, knowing that that was the way to security for me & my child. I'm now comfortably off, and I know I'm lucky, but I used my talents, and was proud of being self-sufficient.

So excuse me if I sound like a Tory (I'm really not) but this sort of family gives those genuinely struggling ie most benefit recipients, such a hard time. For example, I think what is happening to the disabled in this country is a scandal.

The real problem with this sort of 'choice' is that those of us who do or have struggled see the so-called "easy" life of some families on benefits, and wonder why we have to work hard to support them. NOw I earn way above the national average so it doesn't hit me, but for families trying to get by, working outside the home, and scrimping and struggling, hearing about this sort of "lifestyle choice" must really really gall.

< dons tin hat, retires behind sofa >

carabos Mon 19-Nov-12 16:36:40

colliedog and bishbosch you seem to be missing the point that this lifestyle choice is open to all of us as the system currently stands - therefore it isn't unfair if someone decides to opt for it and you don't.

The fact is that it is the system that needs to be changed so that benefits are exchanged for a contribution - call that work if you like. What is unfair is that some people are enabled to have a nice lifestyle without doing anything for it. The choice should not be work or don't work, but work for a named employer in return for a salary or work (or train) for the "community" in return for benefits.

People who are healthy should not be able to sit around at home all day without having to worry about how the bills will be paid. We have allowed the state to offer these choices and if we don't like it, we should do something about it. Its a red herring to talk about individual cases.

Scheherezade Mon 19-Nov-12 18:00:36

cu Rambo 6'3''-6'9''

Working livery is actually often more expensive because they are looking after your horse for you, like full livery plus exercise, schooling it.

amytreasure Mon 19-Nov-12 18:13:38

Owning horses is expensive it's not just the livery but the farrier every 6 weeks for both horses at £70.00 a go plus hay, probably £10 per horse per week, plus hard feed in the winter add another £10 a week and supplements another £10 a weeks plus say £40 every couple of months for worming and then maybe £150 a year for injections. Also we probably spend at least £300 a year per horse for vet visits, x-rays, antibiotics etc. It is a very expensive hobby, all of that doesn't even take into consideration rugs for the horse, new tack when needed and clothing and footwear and safety gear for the rider and if they want to compete or anything that's loads more £££.

I don't really see how anyone on benefits could afford it for two horses but it's not for me to say it's right or wrong of them, what they do with their money is up to them as long as the bills are paid and the kids are fed and watered.

It is just really expensive with horses whatever your income, I think sometimes people go into it thinking it's ok it's just x amount for livery but it is way much more.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 19-Nov-12 18:27:41

It surprises me that the extremely low % of benefit claimants with more than 3 children who have been on benefits for more than 2 years are known by loads of people on mn. It's a small world

frumpet Mon 19-Nov-12 18:32:16

You can keep horses quite cheaply , if you own your own land and have a make do and mend attitude to everything . My horse insurance is cheaper than my dogs insurance with pet plan , its only £16 a month .

Did the people own the horses before they started on benefits ? because a lot of people will sacrifice many things to keep their horses .

Crinkle77 Mon 19-Nov-12 18:33:32

Something about this does not add up for me. There is not only livery costs to take in to consideration but other expenses such as horse riding kit, horse shoes, vets bills etc... Surely benefits are not that much that they can afford to keep two horses?

bishboschone Mon 19-Nov-12 18:35:35

I'm not missing the point , it's not on offer for me unless I go bankrupt and lose my house . My dh has a great job and I don't work so we get nothing . I don't want anything but benefits should be for the minimum not for luxuries . They clearly get too much money if they can afford horses. If you want luxuries get a job .. Simple !

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 19-Nov-12 18:36:49

at my riding school, shoes cost £40 per pair every 8 weeks.

then there is food and hay, bedding.
vets bills
worming costs and vaccinations.

i desperately want my own horse, but i just know i cannot afford it yet. To properly care for a horse needs money and a contingency for problems that arise.
my sil keeps 2 horses.
i am learning all things horsey at my local riding stables, to do it properly i fail t see how it can be done cheaply.

Scheherezade Mon 19-Nov-12 19:13:54

Oh yes, if you own your own land its cheap!! Haha grin only an extra 50 grand or so to buy it!

I reckon in 3 years my horses cost a good 10k+, and I don't own a horsebox.

Scheherezade Mon 19-Nov-12 19:18:46

In the end tbf I managed it cheaply, £25 per week full livery all in. BUT I had to work at the yard every weekend, mucking out 40+ horses, turn outs, grooming, accompanying the owner to the second yard a good half hour drive away after to look after 5 more horses. I would be out 8-9 on a good day, more if a competition. Owner just rode and made up feeds. The horses weren't mucked out in the week so it was backbreaking on weekends.

I was working for my livery in essence, they fed, turned out, put him on the walker, got the farrier, all hay bedding etc. But that was just pure luck I landed it.

DownTheRabidHole Mon 19-Nov-12 19:34:44

Well the woman I know who has horses on benefits is in postcode LD(x) - see, that's not outing her.

"You can keep horses quite cheaply , if you own your own land"

You need quite a bit of land though - could be sold to pay for upkeep of the 6 kids!

OddBoots Mon 19-Nov-12 21:26:43

Does anyone know if livery work for reduced fees counts as benefit in kind for tax/benefit reasons?

seeker Mon 19-Nov-12 21:31:29

Just wondering what people on here are suggesting you do if have horses then lose your job.......

"Just wondering what people on here are suggesting you do if have horses then lose your job....... "

Loan them out. Sell them. People do have to do this sometimes after all. I hope I will have my horse for the next 20 - or even 30 - years. But I can't predict my income over that length of time, and yes they are expensive. I certainly don't think the taxpayer should pay me to keep him.

mummydarkling Mon 19-Nov-12 21:42:02

poor people spend all their money and aid the economy. Rich people squirrel it away and selfishly avoid taxes. Think about the people employed at the livery being a bit tongue in cheek. Well rehearsed arguements are being resumed grin

seeker Mon 19-Nov-12 21:48:26

Sel them. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

horseygeorgie Mon 19-Nov-12 21:51:26

I am on benefits. I have 2 horses at livery.

I have always worked with and had horses. I am extremely lucky i have fantastic parents, they pay for one of the horses. When i got pregnant i had another one as well, a big showjumper who i ended up selling when i had Ava due to lack of time and money. The other one is a smaller cheaper option (welsh cob) but he has been a very tricky horse and i wouldn't feel comfortable selling him on in the current market. Plus i have owned him since he was a baby and i love him to bits.
I live with my parents so i can afford the horse (don't worry, we have a big house and i am not comprimising my daughters welfare). I have sacrificed a hell of a lot to keep him and tbh am slightly offended by the general feeling on this thread. People waste the same amount i spend on keeping my horse on cigs and going out etc when they are on benefits, so why am i the bad guy!? My horses bring a huge amount of pleasure and fun to our family, Ava adores them and is learning about responsibility to a another living thing, hard work and the countryside.

Scheherezade Mon 19-Nov-12 22:00:10

Sell them, loan them, give them away. I did all 3.

Ponyphysio Mon 19-Nov-12 22:17:12

"Sell them, loan them, give them away. I did all 3."

TBF, that may not actually be an option in the current climate. I know that my 20-yr old bone-spavined but beloved boy would not be taken on by anyone else. I would have to put him to sleep to get rid. Perhaps the people from the OP are in a similar situation.

BTW....I know people on benefits who have horses, smoke and drive nicer cars than me. Hey ho......

horseygeorgie Mon 19-Nov-12 22:17:43

Good for you scheherezade, good for you. I am not about to give away a very talented, very sharp and exceptionally sensitive horse to end up going through several homes until he reaches the equivalent of spindles farm.

Ponyphysio Mon 19-Nov-12 22:22:24

HorseyGeorgie - only us horse people will understand. But I do hope you're not posting from an iPad?? NOT ALLOWED ON BENEFITS LOL xx

Scheherezade Mon 19-Nov-12 22:24:09

Sorry horsie, that was in response to seekers question.

If you're absolutely desperate, have them PTS. I was faced with this possibility when I had no other option.

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 19-Nov-12 22:26:27

does this mean that actually rescueing a horse is a possibility for me? one that isnt plagued with problems of health and the like?

horseygeorgie Mon 19-Nov-12 22:30:12

ha ha! Yes i'm posting from the brand new, in development ipad sitting on my diamond studded golded sofa watching my 6000000" tv!
Nah, on my 'cost 60 quid of ebay as i can't afford a posh one cause i have horses' laptop!
I know, i'll take a deep breath and ignore with dignity i think.

marriedinwhite Mon 19-Nov-12 22:44:47

I grew up with horses (although I'm not horsey). Caring for a horse teaches a huge amount about discipline, consequences and responsibility. They can be expensive but if the family are, allowing use of the horses for rides and helping out as stable hands I can think of that only as a benefit. I would much prefer teenagers growing up with financial disadvantages and possibly social disadvantages to be learning horsemanship and the many other skills that go with it than learning laddishness or laddetteness or joining gangs, getting involved in drugs, etc.. How much does that cost society at the end of the day? I think the parents sound incredibly sensible. I wouldn't condone benefits ever, but if that's how things are then I would much prefer them to encourage their children to embrace all things equine than all things yob.

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 19-Nov-12 22:51:28

horseygeorgie i think there is a difference though in your situation and that described in the op (if that described in the OP is true)

you are living with parents and they help with the costs.

you are not living alone, or with a partner who is also claiming because thats what they prefer over working, while raising 6 children, and 2 horses courtesy of the state with no desire to anything other than that.

i would also prefer for my dd to share my interest (which she is doing) but how come someone on benefits can afford what i cant when i earn a full time wage? how is that possible? its not just about choices - i drive an 11 yr old car, we have no holidays or weekends away, i sub my son through uni and we live day to day.

i would love my own horse but i also know i cant afford it yet - how is it that they can afford 2 when neither party works? how much money does that cost?

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 19-Nov-12 22:52:32

or are those horses going to be neglected when the money runs out?

i would be interested to know how long they have owned these horses for.

marriedinwhite Mon 19-Nov-12 22:58:27

I see and comprehend your point entirely vicar and agree that relatively and comparatively it sucks. But, your dd has a loving mum who negotiates nicely over coats grin. So, I think do the horse children. However, there are lots of young people on benefits who would benefit (sorry) from learning the sort of discipline horse husbandry entails and it would be good if some funding went into that sort of thing or any other sort of thing that might inspire disaffected youth that exists in the absence of love.

saffronwblue Mon 19-Nov-12 23:02:08

Caring for a horse teaches a huge amount about discipline, consequences and responsibility.

So does having a job.
I don't care if people spend benefits on holidays, cars or horses. I do however think that children growing up seeing Mum and Dad never working or trying to work are significantly deprived of some very important understandings about the world.

PerryCombover Mon 19-Nov-12 23:10:13

I think this is all nonsense.

Not many people have 6 children
Not many people decide not to work
Not many people have a partner who will also not work

I wonder how much this will cause posters to hate all benefit claimants just a little bit more

If the very, very extremely few benefit claimants in these circumstances decide to somehow afford ponies let them
They are far from normal claimants.

I believe that this thread is disingenuous. If any of it is true, which I doubt, it has been based and postedon misplaced envy.
Envious of a depressed woman who is cared for by her unemployed husband
She has to deal daily with her 6 kids
I'm sure she is in real fear of benefit changes in terms of money and definitions
She'll have to be work assessed once youngest is school age etc

I'd rather take my life ta and not judge how she manages her family finances

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 19-Nov-12 23:10:51

my riding instructor used to teach kids like this at a college married she did it for 4 years.

she said after that she had had enough and the kids clearly did not want to be there. she described alot of them as vicky pollards.....

Plomino Mon 19-Nov-12 23:14:00

I can see both sides of the argument . Before we were lucky enough to find a house with enough land to keep my horses on , they were kept at a livery yard in Essex , where there were a number of people on benefits . Some long term , some not , some with kids , some not . One of the girls there had two kids , and had had her pony since she was a kid . She had done a runner from an abusive marriage , had had to leave her job as she worked for the DH , and was on benefits as a result . She was trying to find another job , but with little luck , so to keep the bills down , she did cleaning for the farmer , kept an eye on the yard , cleaned troughs and mucked out the farmers animals , which meant the bills were nominal . She was lucky she had a hardy animal which was low maintenance . I don't begrudge her at all , because trying to sell her childhood friend on top of all she'd gone through would have felt like twisting the knife .

BUT . On the other hand , there was a family who had 3 kids and 2 ponies , also on benefits long term . The kids had Weetabix and WATER for breakfast , and all lived in one room downstairs , because 'the dogs had the upstairs ' . Did I report them to SS ? You betcha . And the police , because the kids were often truanting . Several times . Disgusting . I've seen kids in real poverty , over and over due to work , but this was too close to home and made me cry . I used to take rounds of sandwiches and various things to the stables for lunch , and 'accidentally' leave them laying around in obvious places for them to find . I even asked the 'mother' what the hell she was doing, and got a mouthful of abuse . I then moved house , but have kept in touch with people who know them , and have since found out the kids were removed for neglect . Thank God.

horseygeorgie Mon 19-Nov-12 23:19:22

Slightly judgemental don't you think!? For example, before i had Ava i have worked the last 12 years in a job that involved working like a slave outside in all weathers, working 60 hour weeks, working through proper flu etc. At the min, in the last week, i have now managed to find bar work i can do when Ava is in bed. I am also starting a business degree in feb with the OU.
To many people who don't know me, i am a single mum who hasn't worked in 14 months on benefits, living at home with no qualification or prospects who has 2 very nice horses. It is so easy to judge other people, but what gives people the right to?!

horseygeorgie Mon 19-Nov-12 23:22:46

That situation is appalling. Thank God they were taken off her. I think the point is, don't tar everyone with the same brush!

saffronwblue Mon 19-Nov-12 23:40:56

Horsey georgie I am not talking about you or your circumstances. I am talking about the family the OP describes where the parents have made a lifestyle decision not to work. I think their DC are missing out from seeing a really important dimension of most people's lives.
For me the issue here is not about keeping horses. I love horses and I imagine most peoople who have them are making some sort of sacrifice in order to do so.

Plomino Mon 19-Nov-12 23:42:44

Horseygeorgie , I agree . To say people on benefits shouldn't be able to keep horses is too simplistic because of the sheer amount of variables . But when keeping horses directly (in my view) contributes to kids being actively neglected , then yes absolutely they should get rid of the animals.

But at what point can society dictate what benefits are spent on . What about holidays , foreign or uk based ? Netflix accounts ? Sky ? smoking ? A car ? A decent bike? Should we as a society really be able to decide that those on benefits should not have access to such things? I don't know .

ArtfulAardvark Tue 20-Nov-12 00:03:02

"Gosh there must be lots of feckless spongers out there with horses "

Either that or we all know the same one grin

I too have met the mum who told me (weirdly the first time we met) her entire life story, how they had to be rehomed away from her ex partner, that she didnt work but "Ive got a horse for the kids - they arent as expensive to keep as people imagine" hmm

Give it a decade or two and there wont be enough taxpayers to support the second and third generation of these large families will there.

ArtfulAardvark Tue 20-Nov-12 00:04:16

Really i'd rather the money were spent on a horse though - responsibility of caring for it, fresh air and exercise - way better than xbox live.

bishboschone Tue 20-Nov-12 02:36:36

Artful.. I know a few!

Marigoldfetish Tue 20-Nov-12 08:09:17

hmmmmm dis·in·gen·u·ous: Not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does.

I think I have been candid, and I am sincere - sincerely gobsmacked - even more so now that some figures have come out in this thread about potential income. I haven't pretended I know less than I do - I have been quite frank as the Mum isn't doing anything illegal, and does not seem to hold back telling people her circumstances.

Envious...? Hmm well on reflection I guess I am a bit.

I am a healthcare worker, I work for £1300 a month, after tax and National Insurance I get just under £1000 a month. My partner gets similar. We get nothing apart from CB. I guess this dark raining morning, I am envious I can't stay in bed longer in the morning, spend some time with my children over breakfast, take them to school in stead of farming them off to childcare. I guess I am also envious that I am here making packed lunches, and having to send in an instalment of a school trip when my friend gets all that for free.

I have sympathy for the parent with depression (which is the husband incidentally), although it has gone on for six years now and has lasted throughout three new children - I myself had depression however once on statutory sick pay I had to get myself back to work pretty quick as I couldn't afford to be sick. It would have probably been nice to be able to have open ended time off with no pressure to return to work - so yes, I am probably envious of that too.

I suppose I am a bit envious, but I don't want what they have - staying at home day in day out, worrying about benefits cuts etc.

As well as envious, I am gobsmacked - If this family are getting approx £700 a week that is me and two of my colleagues working flat out to pay for that amount of benefits - as another post said never mind the services paid out of taxpayers money that are being used but not contributed to.

Everything I have said on this thread is true, the very fact this is questioned shows what a ludicrous situation it is when non working people have this amount of income.

FrothyOM Tue 20-Nov-12 09:28:21

£700 a week is 36k a year. If they really get that, then they will be losing a lot of money when the benefit cap comes in, so I don't understand why everyone is frothing.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 20-Nov-12 09:40:29

If even half of the people who randomly do benefit calculations for fun actually quit and claimed them they may have an understanding of each ones effect on another.

2aminthemorning Tue 20-Nov-12 10:20:24

I had a horse seven years ago. Always had wanted one, obsessively, through years of school torture and mental illness as a teenager. I wasn't very gifted, but I tried to keep my heels down and hung on the best I could over jumps. Ordered half a school dinner for years so I could put the other half of dinner money towards lessons. Anyway, fastforward a decade and I've just been discharged from a psychiatric unit, where I've spent 3 months battling depression. I can't do the complex postgraduate work I had been doing. DLA etc. has been applied for on my behalf, and is coming in regularly. What to do with all this money? Seems wrong to save it when I'm supposed to be doing something to help myself with it. My mum finds me a cob. All those years as a teenager, I'd ridden over her (metaphorically) dead body. Now she's scared enough to clutch at straws. Would I ride the cob each day? As if was some kind of favour to her. The DLA or some such benefit will cover it...

That cob taught me how to be happy and gave me the confidence to live again. He showed an impressive ability to compensate when medication screwed my balance up, and he made me feel like I was likeable, with his whickerings and charges across the field to be caught.

I probably should have used the money towards a paid carer, but my horse did twice that job and more.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 20-Nov-12 11:59:58

what bothers me more than anything is what happens to these 2 horses when and if they do get their benefits cut?

its irresponsible to own any animal without knowing you cover financially everything it needs. There are hundreds of horses been sold to anyone for sod all because people cant afford them.

i dont think i could risk it.

marriedinwhite Tue 20-Nov-12 19:58:14

Coming back to this rather late.

Regardless of whether benefits are too much or too little if there were two scenarios:

1. Family with 6 children, 72 inch wide screen and a few other tv's, war games, junk food, beer and occasional spirits, little care for the welfare or education of the children and the occasional ghastly package holiday focused on karaoke and beer. The odd slap and one of the girls pg at 15.

2. Not a great deal of money to spare but reasonable food, plenty of leaf kicking and every spare penny saved and invested in an interest for the children which will give focus, broaden their social circle and teach responsibility.

I know which family I would prefer benefits to paid to without any monitoring.

Haughtyculture Tue 20-Nov-12 21:29:42

What a good post, marriedinwhite! I totally agree

scarlettsmummy2 Tue 20-Nov-12 21:35:09

If this is true, that is totally ridiculous. So her children get free school meals but she can afford to pay to feed and shoe and house two horses??

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 20-Nov-12 22:00:53

Married sorry but how does the odd packaged holiday with karaoke. a drink on a weekend, and a daughter getting pregnant make someone a bad parent and not deserving as someone who only buys wooden educational toys?

I wouldn't judge anyone who had a daughter get pregnant young or who was that girl. I'm actually quite sickened at that post. The more right wing you are the more you believe in physical punishment and the MC are more right then left just look at this thread.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 20-Nov-12 22:04:14

married i think thats very stereotypical.
i was a teenage mother. ive never claimed benefits other than child benefit.

marriedinwhite Tue 20-Nov-12 22:06:38

Well I'm glad you think you understood my post inneedofbrandy because I certainly don't understand yours and I don't think I referred to "a drink on a weekend" or wooden educational toys. I was referring to the difference between encouragement and love and disengagement and entitlement.

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 20-Nov-12 22:38:10

How is a package holiday and liking beer better then a villa with a penchant for wine.

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 20-Nov-12 22:39:39

A package holiday does not make you a bad parent and disengaged. There is also a very good argument that letting dc get on with it and not be smothered and have their lifes filled up with activitys every hour of the day is better.

PerryCombover Tue 20-Nov-12 23:08:23


I Thought you said that she had depression......oh, that's right you did!!
Weird, eh?

Also if you had been truly depressed your being moved onto statutory sick pay would not have been motivation enough to get you back to work.
There is a difference between being depressed and down

Interesting that you mentioned you "illness" though as it showed your true understanding of a condition that is hugely disabling for many people.

I believe that this is tripe.

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 20-Nov-12 23:10:35

I also agree with the above statement.

2aminthemorning Wed 21-Nov-12 16:05:46


At the risk of being patronising, there is much about your post that is well intentioned and sane, but all for nothing, unfortunately...your attitude towards stereotypical working class choices is appallingly snobbish. You should spend a year in inner-city council housing trying to get work and see if a packaged holiday seems so coarse and abhorent then. Better still, bring up your daughter there and see if your enhanced morality and parenting skills can facilitate the same opportunities and choices for her.

Obnoxious doesn't seem too strong a word... oh well, when one considers the ill-considered approaches usually taken by working classes to spending their money and dragging up their children, a couple of ponies will narrow their options and keep the children focused on nice, wholesome pursuits...'.
(That's where the 'educational wooden toys' comment comes in.)

Did no one ever tell you that a lady doesn't sneer?

marriedinwhite Wed 21-Nov-12 22:00:38

I don't believe I sneered. I know a few single parents in inner city council flats who are doing their utmost to ensure their 14 year old daughters have more of that referred to in scenario 2 than in scenario 1. They are fantastic women and I take my hat off to them. They are doing their very best despite the odds. They might not be running to a pony, but that isn't easy in zone 2 London when you can't afford a car, but metaphorically they are doing the equivalent and more.

I don't believe I was the one who drew the analogy with wooden toys - I said I didn't understand it; now that I think was sneering.

Women can make choices. They can do their best for their children or they can coast with the majority and shift towards the lowest common denominator.

2aminthemorning Wed 21-Nov-12 22:32:24

Does the majority care so little as to just coast along towards the lowest common denominator? Especially when a mother's love is involved?

Completely agree that women can make choices. I've led a sheltered life and perhaps that's why I think most of them make the best ones they can and none of us would need benefits if the country wasn't run by capitalist pigs anyway.

InNeedOfBrandy Wed 21-Nov-12 22:47:30

Of course you were sneering, re read your patronising snobby sneering post about packaged holidays, beer and teenage pregnancy. Did you know there is no significant difference between UP/MC/WC teen pregnancy. The only difference is that MC teens have higher abortion figures.

To sum it up you have said familys that go on these packaged holidays, drink beer/odd spirits, have more children then average, have a tv and have a daughter who gets pregnant early, need their benefits monitored because they don't have the same taste in alcohol or holidays as you. Your scenarios are a load of shit, and now your using that classic line I know a single parent in a council flat, like someone saying I'm not racist my friend is black.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 21-Nov-12 22:51:35

Brandy thank you for saving me the effort of typing that.

marriedinwhite Thu 22-Nov-12 09:00:03

Expectation and aspiration. Nothing wrong with either.

difficultpickle Thu 22-Nov-12 10:56:19

Whether the money is used to fund horses or flat screen tvs it still sends an unplatable message that you can have a very nice life at other people's expense.

Claiming benefits is fair enough if you are genuinely ill and unable to work but I'm rather hmm at the thought that people have dcs to avoid having to work. Seems like an odd decision to me but then the only time I claimed benefits when I was made redundant last year all I qualified for was £62 a week plus a council tax reduction. Personally I found that impossible to live on such a low income with no help for heating or accommodation costs but I was very lucky as I only had to do it for 3 months.

I also went back to work when ds was 10 months old as I had couldn't afford to not have any income at all (back then SMP was only for first 6 months).

goralka Thu 22-Nov-12 11:02:49

to be honest I doubt if benefits money would cover two horses at livery, she might THINK it will but a few months down the line she will fall behind with the bills and lose her horses or have to sell them.
TBH benefits is a crap life and not some gravy train like it is being made out to be.

Woozley Thu 22-Nov-12 11:06:34

Bit difficult for someone to give their children wide horizons when their own are narrow...

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