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WWYD...re getting a pony?

(12 Posts)
ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Sat 23-Jun-18 16:55:21

DH is trying to talk me into getting a pony (cob) which I would share with eldest DD. I'm sitting on the fence. I would love a pony, and have always wanted one, but am worried that time-wise, I might regret it, and it might be wiser to wait a few years.

The thing is, I have very little time, although tbh, I could (and would) become more organised and make time if I did have one.

Has anyone wondered realistically how they'd find the time, but gone ahead with it anyway? If yes, did you regret it or was it the best thing you ever did?

britnay Sat 23-Jun-18 18:26:22

I guess it depends on how close you live to the livery yard and what sort of livery you can afford.
If you can afford to pay for full livery, then all you need is enough time to ride several times a week (or pay for someone else to when you can't).
If you can only afford DIY livery then you'll need to be up twice a day, every day, even in shite weather, even on Christmas day. Depending on turnout arrangements, you might have to be mucking out every day or at the very least poo picking. You'll need to be able to fit this in around work/childcare/illness etc Factor in travel time to yard and back as well.

Retrainingaracehorse Sat 23-Jun-18 20:33:54

I do struggle to fit in my horse and the rest of my life. I work full time, my horse is currently on a large yard we have an indoor and outdoor school it’s about 20 mins up the road but currently living out. On the days I don’t go they feed him for me, they will bring him in for the farrier etc. if I’m at work. I aim to ride him at least 5 times a week.
In the winter he’ll come in in the worst weather and go onto part livery because there’s no way I would have time to fit in mucking out etc and riding him.
My DC’s are grown up, so not much to do for them, I don’t iron anything, I’m not very house proud or have -any- many other interests, I devote all my spare time to him.
I knew it was going to be a big commitment time wise I have had horses most of my life but had a longish break before getting the current one. Sometimes I feel totally exhausted trying to fit it all in but I adore him and wonder why I on earth I’m doing it but I wouldn’t get rid of him. But horses are not just an interest for me all my life they have been my total passion. The moments where it goes well; he works in a rounded outline, we’re enjoying a hack in the sunshine or his beautiful face when I see him standing in the field make it worth it it for me.

ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Sun 24-Jun-18 00:53:12

Thank you Britnay & Retraining.

He (would get a gelding) would be at home, where we already have a few, but none of the ones we have are my sole responsibility. I already help out when I can, but nowhere near as much as if I had my own.

That sounds lame, when other people are travelling 20 mins + just to get to their horses, I realise. Also, it would be cheaper than having to pay livery, but still a huge expense which I don't have to pay for currently. I'd literally have no spare money, or a miniscule amount, once DCs other hobbies & day to day expenses are taken into account.

But the joy I would get! I have a big family, and already feel like I don't have enough time for them & myself. Really difficult to decide, although I would be sharing with DD1, so half the cost and time that other people have to dedicate to having one xx

I can't afford to buy help in. The thought of going hacking fills me with happiness!

ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Sun 24-Jun-18 01:00:16

Retraining I know exactly what you mean about seeing his face! I can tell that you definitely think it's all worth it, even when you're exhausted.

I couldn't afford it if I was having to pay for livery - it would be out of the question. I don't even have a hat ..I own a pair of jodpurs and that's it grin.

Retrainingaracehorse Sun 24-Jun-18 12:56:35

From reading your comments I think rather than asking yourself if you've the time for a pony you need to ask if you can afford a pony? Livery aside they are an enormous drain on your financial resources, mine recently generated a vets bill of £350 (which I thought was very reasonable in the circumstances) but my excess is £500. You say you cant afford to pay for help, but what about lessons? I think everyone should have at least the occasional lessons, shoes I pay £90 for a full set every 5 weeks, you'll need a saddle, bridle, numnah, girth headcollar lead rope as the bear minimum, then there's regular wormers etc. his teeth were done £60, fly repellant, essential at the moment, vaccinations, getting your saddle fit checked, the list goes on. Mines on good grazing so only fed once a day, a sack of feed costs about £17, he also gets a supplement for his feet (the curse of the TB) it all adds up do think very carefully about the expense.
Also do you have enough grazing, even if yes will there be terrible mud in the winter? Can he live out all the year round or will you need to stable hm so will then need to purchase hay/haylage, straw/shavings every week.
What about the cost of actually purchasing the pony, nice well mannered cobs that mum and DD can ride don't come cheap, lots of people want one on those, unless someones giving him away you'd be mad not to do a five stage vetting maybe £350- 500. Think about transport from he current home to you, it cost me the best part of £400.
Do think carefully.

ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Sun 24-Jun-18 18:21:56

Thanks retraining.
It was more about time than cost, tbh.

I know the costs - we currently have 2 of our own and one on loan (not a share) that we are paying for.

I will be able to afford it, but I meant money will be tight after paying for all the things you have pointed out, not that I couldn't afford to fund all the things that you have pointed out.

I think it would be a case of saving money in other areas in order to afford one, iyswim. I've worked out it would cost approx £20 a week, but I'd be paying half.

I can make it work financially - can save money e.g. taking packed lunches instead of buying, cutting out buying magazines, which is a bit of a habit of mine! There are ways and means.

DH has offered to buy us one. He is a brilliant BHS accredited coach - I'll be having approx 2/3 lessons a week, with the possibility of more if I wanted. My DD has also already offered to help me with my riding (not the one I'll share with, but another one.)

I'm not as naive as I may seem - we are currently sitting on a vets bill that isn't far off £2000.

Plenty of grazing but we do manage turn out, obviously, to try and maintain our fields. Ours don't live out all year round, but I am already aware of how that impacts on hay/straw/shaving costs.

Transport from current home - we have our own transport, so just diesel to consider.

Yes - I have considered the costs of tack, rugs, numnahs, repellants, wormers, dentist etc.

I do not have any other hobbies, and spend diddly squat on myself.

As I said, I couldn't afford it if we weren't able to have them at home, nor could I afford to pay for lessons.

The more I think about it, the more I think I'd be mad not to do it!

ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Sun 24-Jun-18 18:27:48

Re the lessons - I've just been reminiscing about the last time DH gave me a lesson grin it didn't end well! But that was 20 odd years ago, and we've both mellowed a lot since then!

Rollingdinosaur Mon 25-Jun-18 09:56:14

As far as time it is definitely the case that you do adapt to fit it in. I had a 4 year break from horses. When I was considering getting back into it I remember noticing all the times that I wouldn't have been able to get to a horse. Somehow when you have to you do just manage.

Have you considered getting something on loan to start with to see if you can manage the time commitment? Again that's what I did, then progressed to buying my own when I knew I could manage. Or even loan with view to buy so you can take a bit of time to decide. I know they are not easy to find but it sounds like your DH probably has some useful connections?

maxelly Mon 25-Jun-18 12:29:56

You don't say how old your DD that you would be sharing with is, or how experienced you both are? Also do you work full time/long hours/ shift patterns? (You don't have to tell us, but these would be key factors for me in making a decision!).

Have you/DH already got a specific cob in mind, or is that just your preference on breed at the moment? Would you consider getting one on loan or loan with a view to buy, so you can see how it works out as a time commitment before taking the plunge?

And yes, you are brave thinking of taking lessons from your DH smile. Perhaps if you are not absolutely confident about your riding a short course of lessons from a good riding school wouldn't be a bad investment just to get you going? Would you be hoping to compete eventually or do you want to be more of a happy hacker/casual leisure rider?

ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Mon 25-Jun-18 21:51:17

Thanks Rolling & Maxelly.

Since I last posted, I've taken the rose tinted glasses off, and had a really shit & exhausting day, which has made me look at things a lot more realistically.

I've decided to put it on hold & reassess in about 3 years, by which time my DCs will need me much less in some respects - certainly I won't be doing school runs, (they'll be walking/getting the bus,) which will free up a considerable amount of time.

When I do take the plunge, I think I will follow your advice re loaning first - thank you.

The DD who I mentioned sharing with is a a young adult.

I'm a very experienced mucker-outer grin, but haven't ridden in over 20 years, and tbh, I wasn't very good even then! If I hadn't been such a stubborn & stroppy teenager back then, I might not have flounced off telling DH (who was then Dboyfriend) to stick his lesson! blush

I've had dealings with the local riding school, and I know that the coaches & instructors aren't a patch on my DH - several other people have told us this, so it's not just me being deluded grin.

Retrainingaracehorse Mon 25-Jun-18 23:37:22

Loaning or maybe sharing is a really good idea. I shared for a while, it helped me work out if the time commitment was realistic and equally importantly if I wanted to devote that much time to it. The horse I shared was not in a very convenient location so that was also useful.
Can you have some lessons over the next few years? I can see having lessons with your DH might not go well what about an occasional intensive riding holiday at a top rising school instead if your local stables aren't great? This might also broaden your options if you were looking for a loan perhaps you would consider other horses apart from cobs and also maybe make you a more desirable loanee (not sure thats the right word), I see many horses up for loan but their owners are often looking for experienced homes they might be reluctant to loan a horse to someone who hasnt ridden much recently.

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