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A big decision re pony may be looming. Z

(32 Posts)
sugar4eva Fri 25-Oct-13 09:23:09

Hi . Our dd has loved ponies and horses forever and we loaned since she was four , then owned last few years. We made mistake with first pony and struggled and we got our pony in June . We can only afford a certain price ; we see lots of expensive ponies around with beautiful horse boxes etc; we are the one with the hanging together four track; non of that we mind ; I'm just setting the schene and explaining that as you can only get so much for your money normally we have compromised on our pony , ability and fun but very twitchy on ground , rear buck unless riden 6 or 7 times a week . Love her she beautiful to look at , good paces,brave.loves to work.when we first got her did vertical rear and I think due to her nerves and twitchy temperament she will remain a bit unpredictable , eg at show last week a door of practice Arena banged as stormy she threw massive buck , dd not expecting and thrown but fine. This pony has been passed from pillar to post but follows dd round in Arena loose .
So : we are starting to feel the financial pinch. Dd gas started showing : loves it. We gave worked out our monthly cost is at least £ 300; stables , 130:lessons at least £ 100,insurance for trailer pony etc, cost travel to show and entry fees,then on top there is going to be bedding and food as they have to come in next month.
This week we can on
ly afford a few pounds till pay day and have v little food in and tho we love horses we are clearly living beyond our means.we have another teen who is compromised by this and sometimes says he hates horses ; he knows the family are affected. Our plan was to keep going until dd can get a job at 16 and in 6 form to contribute . We do try to hide some of the stress we are under financially from dd and ds but its simply evident when we have to say no we can't do so and so..several friends gave hinted that it unfair than we fund one child's and mine passion at expense of others in house especially as ds due to go uni in couple of years and no way could we help. Dd spoke to me last night and said she is aware of this situation and wonders if she should give up as she realises that thus is restricting the whole family and if she has a pony her reason is v goal centred ie competing and she knows this only means more costs . She said she has thought about doing after school sport and getting into teams; she loves to compete . The problem is that she cannot imagine what it's like not to have a pony Around and we can't rely test it out. I imagine a part loan would be a good co promise in all this .. If we can find an experienced rider who can ride her thro here exited or nervous disposition and associated behevoiur. We wd need a light small Adult teen who has a quiet confident disposition with some bravery. Once our pony trusts you she will go for it but its getting past the bucks for eg
This is such a difficult thing . Whilst I don't mind eating cheap food , not have heating on etc : am.
ware lots horsey folk wd do same to keep horse ; am feeling increasingly uncomfortBle at compromising dh and ds in order to do so . Am aware that ds will be going to uni in two years and may regret never having taken him out for meals etc and then he will be gone. I'm wondering if dd could find another passion but am aware selling could be a huge regret. Our plan was to hold on for a year and a bit so she could help fund via a weekend job or similar.
Anyone else faced this? Sorry about typing ; on phone !

bronya Mon 04-Nov-13 21:30:49

Perhaps you could sell yours, then part-loan/share a different pony? For around £100 a month you could get 3 days a week of riding, chances to compete, no unexpected costs and a safer, easier ride.

Altamoda Sat 26-Oct-13 05:35:25

Our ponies live out in a field with no school. We hack and do pony club. Dd1 is currently at the schools sj champs at Addington. I only say this to show that actually it is possible to get by with no school. Do you think your dd is ready to step back a bit? I think if mine started to say she'd like to go into town with mates instead of riding I would think 'uh oh' as she is so 110 percent committed.

I can relate to what you are saying. It is so unbelievably tough financially. We are 'lucky' in that all of my children are obsessed - middle child probably less, she's the one who'd like a shopping trip or theatre visit occasionally!

sugar4eva Fri 25-Oct-13 23:11:45

I also think life is too short not to follow your dreams ! But if they are starting to impact on family ....

sugar4eva Fri 25-Oct-13 23:10:32

Mrslaughan, I know what you mean re education but I wd like to be in a position to act as support even if its just being able to help ds out sometimes. I think the costs of the pony have just built and built and its now time to review. As I said I'm feeling increasingly uncomfortable letting one child event then in truth having to buy cheaper food for family or make ds wait for something he needs( which is good but not a kit if the time!) I t is not favouritism but rather horse fees are not negotiable and my dh needed shoes and so did the horse and guess who hit shoes. ! Think a re think is needed. Trouble is I so love horses and logic can sometimes leave me in this respect !

sugar4eva Fri 25-Oct-13 23:03:39

Elastase mum ; that has rang bells with me ; much focus in an all consuming passion , time, planning , money , part of us may be relived but I don't want to rob her off her passion. Tonight however she has said she mite like to have the chance to go into town with others and has asked if her commitment s have isolated her from others; I think that we need to think carefully and take time. I feel so guilty have focused on one child so much but shows do take time effort planning and money . My ds plays county level sport but dh goes with and it's seasonal only. It's easy to say the pony needs shoes but recently my teen ds has said he needs things when he has no been untreated before. It's i treating that you say you felt relief . Part of me can relate to that but I Also fear taking away a passion. I think we may try to part Liam first and have looked on local ride club sites and there are better more predictable ponies avaloable for free ! Maybe my dd could think bout that. I must admit this is hard for me too as I adore our pony and most ponies!

mrslaughan Fri 25-Oct-13 23:01:37

I think something has to give - and to be frank education is more important than a pony.....having said that there are probably plenty of kids whose parents don't fund uni education.

If you can't bear to part with Dpony I would be looking at ways to reduce pony living where there is not an arena.....
Finding a sharer (I am a sharer myself and it can work, just make sure what you want form the sharer aligns with what they want)
or look at working livery - though that would be tricky with a tricky pony...

reduce lessons...join pony club, all very good suggestions.

As I said I DS (and DD too) would love a pony, but at the moment we don't know if that is financially sustainable in the long term, and it won't happen until we know it is.

elastamum Fri 25-Oct-13 21:57:53

I think to be fair you do have to balence the needs of both your children, My DS2 was mad about a sport and competing at national level until about a year ago, TBH it was a relief when he decided he didnt want to compete any more as our life was being run round it and DS1 was being left out.

With horses, only I am interested - and we still have 2!

Littlebigbum Fri 25-Oct-13 21:36:23

It does sound alot, it sounds like riding school livery prices. We rent a field/ yard we have 4 stables which we put up and the fences is also ours and we pay £70 a month rent between us, yeap I know I'm lucky. I was just looking at our local riding school and they charge £185 but it doesn't say if that is a wk or a month [could be a day for all I know].
Aren't you teaching your daughter responsibility if she helps out financially. I would try to find some where cheaper and try for a part loaner.
And I would do it sooner than later, try everything before you just sell the pony form under her.

Pixel Fri 25-Oct-13 17:22:43

I live on the south coast (nr Brighton), a very expensive area, but the yard near me charges £100 for stable and all year turnout, with fields rotated and strip-grazed so there is always grass. They have a floodlit school, a jumping school and a lunging arena, plus a cross-country course, and hacking direct on to the Downs. So yes, considering that land is at a premium here compared to other parts of the country I think £130 is fairly steep when it doesn't include bedding or anything.

I agree with Backinthebox that there might be something your dd could do to contribute financially. When I was a teenager I had two paper rounds and did lots of babysitting (I would do my homework if the children were asleep), then when old enough I got a saturday job on top of that. My sister had an Avon round, in our mum's name because she wasn't old enough, although obviously I don't suggest that and am deeply ashamed to have had anything to do with such deception not.
If your dd got a couple of paper rounds for now it could cover about 1/3 of your costs (just going by what my dd earns on her's, I appreciate they probably vary).

Mirage Fri 25-Oct-13 16:11:46

You don't need a school to ride in.Can you look out for a flat field to rent? We keep 2 ponies living out and school in the field we keep them in,unless it gets very wet and slippery,it is absolutely fine.If the ground is very bad we hire a school a 5 min hack away for £3 an hour.

I agree with joining the Pony Club,ours have come on no end since being members,our rallies are £7.50 and that is either 1.5 hours indoor or a whole day of tuition outdoor.DD2 did a cross country rally yesterday,2 hours for £18.All our PC instructors teach privately too and charge £20 an hour.

When we did rent a small yard,we paid £25 a week for 2 ponies for our sole use,2 x stables,school,grazing,storage ect.

I can empathise with your situation,it does seem unfair on your DS and DH,it is such an all consuming lifestyle.I'm the same as you,don't buy new clothes,go to the hairdresser,always looking out for bargains,so the ponies can have new shoes ect.

kchapper5 Fri 25-Oct-13 12:48:34

For a rough idea, my part loaner pays £150 a month which is meant to be for 3 days a week but the more heavily pregnant i get the more days she has. On these days within reason she can do what she wants with her, I also would let her compete her at local level and clear round jump nights etc, but lack of transport is currently putting a stop to this. The riding school ponies near us are £162.50 a month for 3 day a week loans, and then you can only use around riding lessons on your days, and no competing unless its a riding school comp.

BurberryFucker Fri 25-Oct-13 10:13:06

no it is not that bad but with hay and straw and hard feed for the winter factored in.....
at least my daughter's pony is a hardy Welsh girl and lives out all year...and that is expensive enough...

backinthebox Fri 25-Oct-13 10:10:43

£130 a month is not unreasonable. Round here (Berkshire) land costs about £10-15k per acre for grazing to buy. Hence to rent it is also expensive.

BurberryFucker Fri 25-Oct-13 10:09:19

also the Pony Club is a whole system for young riders - most young eventers and showjumpers will have come up through the Pony Club.

Aeroaddict Fri 25-Oct-13 10:08:59

Oops, sorry, read it as stables cost £300 a month! Ignore that part! How old is your DD? Could she get any sort of part time job to help out? Or have you considered putting the pony on part loan to a riding school? I don't know if that is possible but she might be suitable for their more experienced riders, and it could help with her schooling as well?

BurberryFucker Fri 25-Oct-13 10:08:25

yes Pony Club lessons are a bargain once you have paid the sub.

backinthebox Fri 25-Oct-13 10:06:29

This is a difficult one. You have to work with what you have got, but what you have got is a tricky pony who needs regular work, and bills to pay. You could get a sharer, who would pay part of your stabling and feed bill.

Your biggest saving I can see is to cut back on lessons - £100 a month is a lot of money per month for lessons! I have lessons with an international SJer and pay £15 for a group lesson. He would be £50 for an individual lesson. Of why not join the Pony Club - we have some big names come and teach at ours, and they pay £9-12 per lesson. She'd also get the chance to be on a team in the PC.

How old is dd? I paid all of my competition entries out of earned money from the age of 13. I had a paper round and did ironing for friends and family from 13, babysitting from 16, rode other people's horses from 17 and then bar and horticultural work from 18. We kept our ponies in the garden, grazed them on very small parcels on land we rented, no arena, no bridleways, fitness was done with lots of brisk trotting round the local housing estates. We got our shavings for free from the sawmill, made our own hay using borrowed kit, borrowed a friend's cattle trailer to go to shows in or hacked there. The only real costs were shoeing and hard fee. I won the local district show jumping league trophy several times.

In recent years it has become obligatory to have access to a school and lots of lessons, but it didn't used to be like that. There are still showing producers out there that don't have a school. (And you can always box up and hire one if you are able to cut costs that way.)

I'm really sorry if it sounds hard, but there are usually 2 ways of doing everything - the 'lots of cash' way, and the 'hard work' way. For the hard work way to work, it usually has to be bloody hard work.

Floralnomad Fri 25-Oct-13 10:05:14

Well I'm in the south east so that explains that .

Floralnomad Fri 25-Oct-13 10:03:56

Perhaps your daughter could help out at a local school in return for a lesson ?

BurberryFucker Fri 25-Oct-13 10:03:15

West Wales.......

sugar4eva Fri 25-Oct-13 10:01:59

Flora did think of that ; maybe. . Been having them to work thro her quirks , she needs riding tho the buks and also very good placing at jump or will refuse and she jumps over metre at home put needs more expertise at shows as out of environment can refuse due to nerves we think . Been out to sows doing clear rounds now so lessons on riding her, paces eye bin good .

Floralnomad Fri 25-Oct-13 09:58:31

Where do all you people live who think £130 a month is expensive ?

sugar4eva Fri 25-Oct-13 09:58:08

Burbury, thanks ; they have to live in a stables for winter. I've checked local alternatives eg a field and hack to school to jump but you pay each time use shool. Also other stables are further away : it five min from house ; which wd mean more petrol. Cost wise stables here with a school pretty much same price . They know the rate and all seem to charge same . .

Floralnomad Fri 25-Oct-13 09:57:19

Can you not knock the lessons on the head and save that portion ?

BurberryFucker Fri 25-Oct-13 09:51:30

I can relate to what you are saying - your daughter and the pony sound bonded and you would like her to continue with her hobby - we are in a similar situation here!
your livery is too expensive at £130 even before bedding and feed has been factored in. what does this cover? stable and turn out and use of facilities? I guess you live in a more expensive part of the country to us.

so could you find a cheaper yard or a field to share? does the pony have to live in all winter? could it live out with a rug?

also you could find someone to share the pony and costs.

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