PLEASE TELL ME WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT HAVING A HORSE

(32 Posts)
booksinbed Fri 12-Oct-12 10:29:47

Have posted re struggling with being a new horse owner- grateful for all advice!!!. i now realise that its normal to be stressed at firstwhich has really helped.i need to see /imagine beyond this initial stage as the prev owner has offered to buy her back or loan her.I have to decide soon as she is viewing others if i dont offer her back but she wd prefer her back.i could loan her back as well as sell.

Am also feeling terrible guilt as the costs mean that my family who are behind me,will be resitricted in experinces thay can have such as school trips ,holidays, choices of meals out and general ease of life cf with continous scrimplig if i keep her.dd has pony too you see. dh says i can keep her if it makes me happy but i dont know if it does yet.!!!

I totally know that there is only me that can make this decision- but i need to know what is good about it as ive been stressed since got her - prob due to change in lifestyle,responsibility etc.Someone put in another post - riding school experience =80% fun and 20 % crap and ownership is 80% and %20 fun- thats how i feel at the moment so please tell me why it changes and how it feels for you !!

thenightsky Fri 12-Oct-12 10:32:16

I was like you and just sold in the end. I spent so much time doing the 'shit' 80% that I had no energy left for the fun 20%.

booksinbed Fri 12-Oct-12 10:35:09

nightsky- and did you feel better for yr decsion..??.thanks

horseylady Fri 12-Oct-12 11:38:29

Does the thought of selling her and not having the responsibility fill you mainly with relief or dread? That's your answer.

When I first found a buyer for my pony I couldn't go through with it. Then the right person came along and you know what, it was ok? she's on loan and happy.

I still have my big horse, but I love nearly every day with her. I think if the number of bad days out weigh the good days, or it's just a chore, you need to think about why you own a horse. I don't feel like that. I love them, even on the hard days. It's worth it. But my good days by far outweigh my bad!!

booksinbed Fri 12-Oct-12 11:49:48

Hi horsey lady .thanks.i love being with her and time at the stables.jusy muking out suits me.i love the outdoors and the wind and rain etc.the bottom line for me - which im thinking and thinking about is the terrible guilt i feel at my family not having ease to do stuff like go out for a meal without having to take from another pot of money.saying no to holidays.etc. so that i can have a horse.i dont worry about dd s as its half the cost .i feel so so worried about this aspect more than anything.ive started to raise my confidence a little.the stables have told me she was a bargin- she was 800 - so gentle obident and safe.she does nap on hacks and trys to go home but very minimally and she is perfest on hacks with others - she loves the company. she is quick to learn - respondes v well to voice.she will go frm walk to stand via seat and voice.stable say if i sell i may never get one like her esp as she puts up with my amatuer antics..so yes i love her on good days its just its being ruined by my worry re money .....!!!!!which seems all pervading!!!!!so when i go i do swithch off but then the money worry comes back...aaaahh

thenightsky Fri 12-Oct-12 12:17:37

She sounds exactly like my old gelding. He was a bargin too, but napped dreadfully when out alone - okay if out with others though. With me it wasn't so much the money, but the time. I was a student nurse and working shifts and was knackered on my days off. Also it was DIY livery and I had to find someone to do him if I wanted a weekend away or holiday. In the end I found I was riding only once a fortnight at most.

Selling was a relief. He went to a lovely knowledgeable lady who was the wife of my blacksmith.

horseylady Fri 12-Oct-12 16:37:32

So your dd has a pony too? Did you get two together then? No wonder it's a huge money shock for you!!

At the end of the day, we all have to live within our means and they are a money pit!! Yes we go without for me to have them, but we still go away etc. If you can't afford her, and the old owner is willing to buy her back, logic to me says decision made.

If you can afford it, then keep her? Only you know in your heart your financial situation and your family commitments and lifestyle. You can cut some costs but winter is even more expensive and more work than summer!! It tends to come as a huge shock to most new owners !

Ponyofdoom Fri 12-Oct-12 19:20:43

Sounds like you just need to relax into ownership. I have 4 horses which I do myself, plus work FT and study uni level; its not stress because I am used to it I guess. They get groomed and ridden when I have time, if I don't they just get chucked out in the field and left muddy. They are quite happy. I can't imagine not having them, I love everything about them and they give me a reason to get up in the morning and keep going after having gone through many sh*t years recently. I love just looking at them, spending time with them, hacking up the lanes as well as jumping hedges and charging about. They are not as much responsibility as children. I reckon you should just stop worrying so much and see how it goes. Mine don't cost me much as I only shoe in front, keep them on rubber matting and only worm when the egg counts are high so they are pretty cheap really, though I keep them at home which helps. Good luck.

booksinbed Fri 12-Oct-12 19:51:07

hi horsey lady- yes got dd in june then mine a few weeks ago.some of the issue has been not being able to support dd anymore as im riding plus ive had to skimp on her lessons ,her going to shows etc and id fondly imagined we wd ride in the school together - hacking out is fab but in the school its menapausal lady and teen and its not a good recipe as she knows more than me !! have seen a loan for 3 days a week quite local - its free - fingers crossed !!!

AllPastYears Fri 12-Oct-12 20:02:42

What do I love about having a horse? Everything! grin

Some days I feel like I can't be bothered going to the yard and I'd rather stay home with a coffee and a book, but as soon as I get there I feel happy. smile When I'm walking down the lane to my horse I feel happier. And when I get him, even better. unless he's charging round like an idiot

Sometimes, especially if the weather's a bit miserable, I don't feel like riding - and occasionally I don't ride. But if I do, then once I'm on board I just feel fantastic, and when we're out and about, or even doing circles and serpentines in the school, it's the nearest I get to bliss. smile

Not sure if that helps, really! On paper, he costs me in money and time, but he just makes me so happy.

Pinotgrigioplease Fri 12-Oct-12 23:08:45

I love it when my pony neighs from her stable or the field and is so clearly happy to see me. Makes all the hard work worthwhile! But I do understand the money concerns (esp since she is now on full livery- a shock to my bank balance after 15years on DIY!). Maybe the 3 day loan is a better option then you can work back up to full ownership when you feel ready.

Although, your DD may surprise you. My sister and I were never interested in going holidays or school trips away as we just wanted to spend all our time at the stables so you may be worrying over nothing smile

Floralnomad Sat 13-Oct-12 00:11:11

If money is an issue and her previous owner wants her back I think I'd be tempted in your position. Could you and your DD not share one horse ? From your numerous posts you sound like a lovely ,caring owner but one who has perhaps taken on a little too much all in one go. What they cost to buy is really an irrelevance , it's the cost of keeping them that's important and unless you are planning on moving to a house with land it's really never going to get cheaper.

KTK9 Sat 13-Oct-12 01:01:39

If your life is harder/more stressful with her, then it is possibly the wrong thing for you at this moment in time.

I think there is definately that 'settling in' period when you need to adjust to the change in work/money and lifestyle and you are only a short way into that - also nights are getting dark, it is colder and that in itself makes everything look and feel a bit gloomy.

Personally, if you are only a few weeks in, I would hang in there for a short time. Can you get someone to share, maybe do a few days a week and pay you something towards riding?- if she is so good, maybe someone like a local mum who hasn't got time for her own and goes to the local riding school to ride? I pay someone £20 a week towards a horse and do her for three days, however, the owner never rides and I get to ride more often. It was costing me £17 an hour once a week at a riding school, so for me, it is a good deal and I get to mess about with horse of my own for a couple of days and ride out with dd.

DD (8) got her pony in June and like you, I did have a bit of a panic about what I had taken on, not money wise, but time wise - weekends I have to get back if we are out for the day to 'do' the pony. In the evenings, I have to think about going and getting her in, before tea (and she is only over the wall!). However, we have all got into a routine and if there is a night I can't make it, as long as the stable is done, the girl in the next box does it and I return the favour, letting out in the morning.

I would ask around and you may find someone who can help relieve that pressure. If she is such a good horse, it does seem a shame not to stick with it.
It wasn't until we got dd's pony that I realised how much I missed horses and just being around them. What do I love? The smell, the warmth, the fun, the chomp chomp as they eat their hay, riding out in the leaves, steamy grassy breath, crisp mornings in the yard, putting their warm rugs on in the evening and see them all clean and settled. Just everything!

frumpet Tue 16-Oct-12 11:30:06

When it is raining buckets and i am wandering round the field poo picking and he wanders over to use me to rub his face on . I dont know why but it gets me every time .

AllPastYears Tue 16-Oct-12 12:23:06

I was looking round the yard this morning, there were lots of horses in for the farrier. Two of them are real beauties, and I was thinking how really they are so much more classy than mine... But I just adore my own. Don't know why, but he makes my heart melt. grin

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 16-Oct-12 12:51:25

I love those moments when you really connect. When I first did join up, or when Id recently deloused DDs new, feral, untouchable gypsy cob baby, caught her up, gave her some time and discovered that she was an absolutely gorgeous loving little girl, who had been so tortured by lice that just being touched was agony.
I love the moment when a new foal gums your fingers, or when DD achieves the new task her instructor has set, and she has worked on for weeks, and I love watching her on her beloved shetland carpet slippers comfort pony, galloping hell for leather round the paddock with a huge grin on both their faces.
I love cuddling into a mane and having a good cry, turning a corner and being whinnied at, having a chin rested on my shoulder whilst its owner blows in my nose.
Watching them cavort in the snow, snooze in the summer sun, blow bubbles in a water trough.
Looking at a sick or injured horse and just knowing where the problem is.
Starting to brush at the ears, and finishing at the tail, looking down and seeing an entire horse worth of hair on the floor. Getting to a show and unveiling my white welsh pony and a little girl asking me if she is a unicorn!
Picking an entire plate of mud out of a hoof, peeling a huge scab, watching the stable mice sneaking up to the feed bowl...
There are so many things I love about having horses. Without them, I just wouldnt be me. There are days when I want to throw in the towel, sell the lot and have a nice holiday in the sun, but without them I just wouldnt be whole.
Ther is a lot of shit. Literal and otherwise, I was the poster who mentioned that ratio of 80/20, but I also said that it gets better. It really does. Ive had weeks at rock bottom. But it always sorts itself out.
You have thrown yourself into the deep end. Two horses, in a high cost/maintenance setting, coming into a winter, in a recession. If you can make it through that until spring, you can make it through anything. You've got to get the hang of them initially, before you can tweak your situation to suit you better. Personally, Id look for a sharer for your horse, someone to soften the burden of work and finances. Id spend the next few months searching for somewhere a little cheaper/easier/more turnout which will ease your burden all round.
Hang in there. {{hug}}

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 16-Oct-12 12:52:38

Oh, and that gorgeous moment, after a mornings work, when you look round the paddock and it is completely shit free...

Butkin Wed 17-Oct-12 16:10:24

I love everything about owning them.

Probably most important I love the way they bond us as a family with all three of us looking after them and with DD competiting them.

This includes the planning ie the initial finding of the horse (especially if we've been waiting for a couple of years for the jockey to grow out of it!), the training and then choosing of the show classes.

I particularly enjoy going down the yard to see 4 handsome faces poking over the door - all eager to get their breakfast and head out to the paddock.

(disclaimer here - I couldn't own an ugly horse no matter how good at competing it was).

I love turning up at a show and them looking and going well. Doesn't really matter where they come as long as we're satisfied with their performance.

Backinthebox Wed 17-Oct-12 22:25:25

Butkin, I own an 'ugly' horse, but he has a presence about him that makes him fabulous! I bought him after selling my stunning county-standard HW show hunter who was difficult to keep presentable and prone to 'special' moments. I don't compete my current horse (although the couple of occasions that I have competed him in working hunter have led to lots of compliments from the judge.) I just love how loyal, clever and useful he is - he stands at the meet and doesn't spill my drink, jumps all the fences and ditches, gallops fast when I want him to and stops when I need him to. Goes first, last, wherever you want him to go. He is fab.

I will confess my kids' Welshie is a beautiful little chap though! I get my showing kicks from him these days.

Nuttyfilly Wed 17-Oct-12 23:40:49

Why do I love horses???? Because I can go out hug my girls, go for a hack or school and forget about stuff, hide in there stable and cry in there neck and tell them things knowing they will never tell anyone. I'm sure they understand, and it doesn't matter how crazy my 11 yr old mare is compared to my sons pony and my new race horse I still love her just as much as the others, and it's something me and my 6 yr old son can enjoy together

Plomino Thu 18-Oct-12 19:55:38

I love the fact that my horse does not care how badly I sing . And it's shocking apparently .

I love it when my sons pony comes running up to me to say hello and get a scratch after being damn near uncatchable for nearly 4 years .

I love the fact that tomorrow I will be putting them to bed in their new stables and big lad will be stretched out flat fast asleep which he much prefers instead of having to tuck his legs under him .

I love the fact that I can change my horses , from terrified rescue cases , into relaxed , and loving creatures .

Mirage Fri 19-Oct-12 21:03:05

Dpony has a long history of being anti social and downright difficult,including being hard to catch and lead.She likes her own company and isn't keen on other people or other equines.

I love it that there can be half a dozen people in the yard with other horses,and she'll be studiously ignoring everything going on around her.Then she sees me coming up the track and neighs,comes over to the gate and puts her head down ready for the headcollar.smile She is a hairy,muddy cross breed,but she is beautiful and the best pony ever as far as we are concerned.

rogersmellyonthetelly Tue 23-Oct-12 07:47:03

I love his face over the door and my "where's my breakfast" neigh in the mornings. I love mucking out as its a nice quiet time to think and just do something uncomplicated. I love our little grooming sessions we have and how he points with his nose to his itchy bits for me to scratch. Most of all I love just being near him and knowing he likes it too. Snuffles in the ear, pulling my zip up and down on my coat, trying to get in my pockets just on the off chance.
I do enjoy riding, but it's not the reason I have a horse, I could go to a riding school if I just wanted to ride.

HappyTurquoise Tue 23-Oct-12 08:06:42

Could you sell the horse back, and then pay a little per week to loan?
Everyone is finding it harder, and the feed prices have gone up recently, and will go up again. Is there another horse owner you could loan from for just £20 a week or so, if you sold?
Or, as others have said, sell a LG, or half share (and equivalent share of the work and costs) to someone who can't commit to full ownership, but is reliable and will take responsibility at their times/days and pay up front a contribution to running costs?

HappyTurquoise Tue 23-Oct-12 08:19:14

LG was supposed to say leg (a quarter share).
We don't have enough even to loan a horse. I was in floods of tears when I had to cut down on my time helping out at a stables and work to pay for dd's weekly lesson/ hack/ pony club/ helper days.
Is there some other pt work you could fit in to help pay for having your horse? Can you instruct, or train to? Is there a local riding school which could do with a Pony Club coordinator and instructor which would do an exchange of skills, livery, work, etc, for you to have both your horses there.
Or, what about employing an instructor to provide private lessons on your horses. You would have to look into the legalities, but it is how a lot of other people manage.

Alameda Tue 23-Oct-12 08:58:35

this thread is such a heartwarmer!

but how are things OP?

tovetove Tue 23-Oct-12 10:10:31

Your OP is exactly why I haven't got myself a horse. I'd love one, and was offered one on loan, but I just couldn't justify it. I have two ponies for the dds and tbh all my extra time is taken up with them (even though the girls do a lot).

I borrow a friend's horse to ride sometimes and I love it and I definitely will get one in the future.

But for now the amount of time and money it would take just seems like a selfish thing to do.

I absolutely love having ponies and horses though, all the fiddling about and poo picking and feet picking etc and now cant imagine a time I wouldn't have one.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 23-Oct-12 18:44:47

really informative thread.....

sugar4eva Thu 01-Nov-12 21:14:27

The things i love about having my beautiful pony (sugar) are:
sniffing her
riding her
grooming her
showing her off
having her
loving her
feeding her
picking out her hooves
her whinny when i arrive...
ok, EVERYTHING!!

KTK9 Thu 08-Nov-12 10:02:13

My dd (8), said to me the weekend (bearing in mind we have only had her pony since July). 'My life is so great since we have had dpony, I just love it and Christmas holidays will be brilliant....' When I asked her what she liked best she said 'everything, but I love riding her and then going home and sitting by the fire with a hot chocolate'!

We have just come back from a holiday and she rode for the first time in nearly three weeks and said 'It is so nice to be sitting on dpony again, it feels wonderful!'

How is it going OP, is she making you happy yet?

Ullena Mon 19-Nov-12 12:29:25

We owned a beautiful grey mare for ten months. Absolutely loved working with her on the ground - that was all we did for the first two months as she was so hard to get a saddle to fit! High withers, short back, very very broad, etc... Yard chores were great exercise and the other liveries are still good friends.

But we sold her on to a more experienced owner in the end. I have twenty years of experience myself, DH is a total novice but a natural tbh. Still that mare was just too tough a ride once she was fit. Napping, spooking (0-60, in under three seconds confused), spinning, tanking off into that speed between fast canter and full out gallop when asked for trot in the school...oh, and rearing under saddle.

That last one did it for me. I had already already had four very nasty falls from her in the space of as many months. Once I bashed my knee, once I broke my ribs, once was just scary, and once she actually went on over the top of me. But the rearing was a step too far. Tbh, I was glad to see the back of her. I did miss her, but I wouldn't ever want another like her, iyswim...

I think we will stick to trekking and lessons for a few years. If we do buy our own again, it would be something far quieter. I can ride out most nonsense, but that doesn't make it fun to do so sad

Zazzles007 Mon 19-Nov-12 22:54:25

Hi there OP. I think in your case, I would give yourself at least 3 months before you make any big decisions with your horse. It takes at least 3 months for you and your horse to start to bond. It can be difficult to know whether any particular horse is a keeper until you have this time under your belt.

I remember when I first got my 1* schoolmaster on loan. When I first went to see him in the paddock, he wouldn't even let me walk up and pat him, as he didn't know who I was! After about 3 months, I distinctly remember bringing him up from his paddock to ride one weekend. I had just tied him up and was chatting to a friend. He turned his head to look at me and the look said "Oh, so you're my person now!" I turned to him and said "Hello Sweetheart!" smile

From there the bond grew and grew. Yes, there were times I just wanted to smack his little red hiney, but I would always remind myself that a bad day with my horse was better than a good day with a lot of people grin. I ended up loaning him for 5 years and in the end, he trusted me implicitly, and I would have trusted him with my life.

He was quite a nervous TB as he was low man on the totem pole, so was always on the look out for danger. One time, I was riding alone, under lights in the arena, and the cow and the dog next door were playing stupid chasey games while I was schooling. We had just started our canter work, and the chasey games started. I could tell from some very subtle signs that something was upsetting him, and our 'agreement' was that if something was upsetting him, he was allowed to stop and look at it once, but then it was back to business. So I stopped him just as the cow chased the dog down the fenceline, about 30m away from where we were. And all horsie did was stop and look at them shock, although I could feel his heart beating like a pounding drum next to my left boot. We stood there for a minute or so, while I praised and patted him for being such a good boy smile.

And good horses are hard to find. If the previous owner is looking for a horse, it will probably take her much more than 3 months to find something that she likes. I would just use this time to get to know you horse and figure out her personality more, and whether it meshes with yours. Then you can decide whether she is a keeper, or whether you would rather work out something that suits your situation better.

Hope this helps.

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