Thanks everyone, exactly what I needed to hear! I went and rode the gelding yesterday afternoon, taking baby and husband along to "watch." Bad move, I really should have left them quietly at home together, as I think I forgot how long everything takes (ie, get horse from field, groom, tack up, 10 minute ride, cool down, groom, rug, hoof dressing...) and baby was OVER it by the end of two hours and SCREAMED all the way home! Lessons learned....
As everyone else said, go for the share. I had no problem juggling baby and horse. It was when I went back to work it all went tits up. If you find you manage the share easily, and still have spare time and money, then is the time to think about buying, although even then I would loan first, to check you can actually manage it all.
If you are on maternity leave will you be going back to work FT or PT?. FT = no time for horses, and PT = no money for horses.
I managed to keep my hourse through 2 maternity leaves, but in hindsight I should have sold her, as she went through a few loans and her schooling went from fab to shit.
I think you should be realistic. Do a share if you have time while on mat leave, and see how it goes after you go back to work. Don't comit to buying. You may find that once you are working again your time is precious to spend with your child, and you don;t want to spend it horsing around.
Think realistically ,you say you are on maternity leave so I assume you will go back to work ,it's all well and good that you have the time now but will you have the time ( or want to find the time) when you're back at work .
No no no no no! Take the share and look away from the youngster. The share sounds like fun and if it turns out not to be you just end the share. The youngster is going to be an enormous amount of work at a time when you will have your hands full with a baby/toddler.
^^ what she said. My dd is 15 months and I have 2 horses, 1 is just shy of 3 yo. I have to be honest, having 2 has been much harder than I thought and they're both on 7 day pl and I have a sharer for big horse. I would take the share and get used to being back in the saddle. Try to do a couple of days mucking out and seeing how you manage your time.
It's a wonderful thing to do after you've become a mother as it makes me feel 'normal' again! It's my special time, though I have found the balance quite hard.
I was one of those teenagers who couldn't think of anything but horses... I worked with them, got my BHSAI, rode at different yards and in different sports for several years, then got a "proper" job and used my "proper" money to fund my habit. Had a run of bad horse-luck which ended in my special horse being put to sleep around 4 years ago. Horseless for the first time in forever, I met my husband!! We got married last year and had our daughter in June. Now I'm at home on mat leave and all I can think about is horses!! I THINK it's because I've got time on my hands, and we've just got a decent internet connection so much surfing going on... I shouldn't buy a horse, should I? I should take up the generous offer which a friend made to ride their 15hh gelding, who is slightly quirky but well schooled and is even a competition prospect for next season. It's so nice of them, they won't even let me chip in for shoes, so financially is a very good option, and time-wise I don't even have to 'do' him, only ride. I should not buy the cheap but nice-looking youngster advertised locally. SHOULD I??!! Even telling myself I could make a project of her and turn her over for a profit, that's just a totally silly idea, isn't it!?