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The tack room

First pony

14 replies

Aaaalltheboys · 09/12/2018 18:01

First pony in your 30s whilst juggling career and some tiny children - is this a crazy idea?

OP posts:
Whyiseveryonesoangry · 09/12/2018 18:25

Yes. Unless you are on full livery or have someone really reliable to help you out.
I got my pony when I was working full time with no kids. It takes up a lot of your time. I was on assisted livery, so she was fed and turned out in the mornings, but I had to bring in, muck out and ride after work. Easy in Summer, but much harder in Winter.
I reckon it takes an hour every night, two if I am riding in the school, 3 if I am hacking out.
Full livery is much easier but obviously much more expensive.
Have you thought about a part loan?

krustykittens · 09/12/2018 18:57

I did it but I was on full livery, it would have been impossible otherwise. All of my disposable income went on her.

Pasithea · 09/12/2018 19:03

Yes children are full time and a horse is sometimes too. . Eg horse has colic D.C. has temperature. You have to be at work. What ya gonna do.

I think a share would be better for a few years.

maxelly · 09/12/2018 20:19

I know a few people that make the holy trifecta of small children, full time job and horses work for them, but they all have lots of money (to spend on full time childcare and horse-care!) and/or extremely supportive partners and family that are willing to do a lot of help with the children or the horse. Also a reasonably laid back attitude and ability to multi-task seems to help, as does having home/work/horse all located close to one another (if you threw in even an average length commute to work or the yard into the mix it would start to look very challenging!).

To be honest, having horses is always a total financial, emotional and time drain whatever else you have going on in your life, but also always a total joy, so if you really want the horse enough you make it work and sacrifice elsewhere as needed (you can probably forget fancy long haul holidays for example).

But there is no shame whatsoever in sticking to lessons, riding holidays or a share whilst the children are very small and build up to one of your own when they are a bit more self-sufficient. One tip to try is: for a few months put your 'horse budget' (so what you'd spend on livery, feed, farrier, lessons, insurance, plus a 5-10% margin of error/emergency fund) into a separate account and don't touch it. How does it feel financially, if you find things like kids shoes and activities start to feel like a stretch then maybe that's a sign it's not the time. On the other hand if it is relatively financially easy then that's a good sign, as you can afford to buy in extra help with either horse or DC if you need it...

backinthebox · 09/12/2018 20:29

If you have either the cash of the time, I’d say go for it. I bought a semi-derelict listed cottage that needed full renovation, had a baby and brought my horse to live at home all within a few months of each other. It was hard going - the nature of my job meant staying away from home about 8-10 nights a month the first few months back after maternity leave, but I’ve done it with a lot of help from other horsey friends. Having a horse has provided a much needed sense of self and sanity while my kids were young, and given me a good friendship circle that not dependent on other mothers of young children, who I can chat to about our hobby and not feel like my only purpose in life is to be a mother. The one thing I would say is do not underestimate the amount of time it will take you if you DIY. Full livery is a good compromise if you can afford it. I have plenty of friends who have young children and horses and full time jobs. There are lots of ways to skin this cat, ask away if you need to know anything in particular.

Aaaalltheboys · 09/12/2018 21:16

Thank you for all your responses, this is what I needed to hear. Totally with you, @backinthebox, in relation to having a sense of self, sanity etc! I don't know why I stopped riding for so long to be honest. And definitely realise I need to be realistic in relation to time/funds and think I will try out @maxelly's suggestion of keeping my horse budget aside for several months first to see whether it is really viable.

Exciting times!

OP posts:
DrunkenUnicorn · 10/12/2018 18:53

I have only two of the three on your list, the pony and kids (15-2) and it’s hard.

I don’t have any support from DH as he works super long hours. But DS1 rides as well so can help out there if I drive him. Originally he was a Mum/son share with me doing the lions share of the work- 5 years ago, then moved to more like 50/50 and then when I was pregnant and Ds3 was born he did all the riding. In the past year I’ve done more but maybe 2/7 or 3/7.

Yard is 30 min away which is a pain but is worth it for DIY 24/7 turnout and the most amazing instructor on site, plus it’s super cheap. The first winter I had DS3 he was on livery Monday to Friday which made it possible but was so expensive.

I’m looking to go back to work of some description when Ds3 starts reception but it will be tough, esp in winter.

Dragging small children to the yard in the dark and rain is not fun for anyone. (Except DPony who is delighted when he sees me and two year old DS coming to catch him in as he knows he’s just getting fed, not ridden! 😂)

Theresahairbrushinthefridge · 10/12/2018 20:26

We have just had 6 weeks of my three kids rotating illnesses and then I caught it all at once. Every day I thanked my lucky stars my horse was on full livery!!

You just need a back up plan for when family life hits the fan.

Muffin9120 · 10/12/2018 22:05

Horses take up more time and money than you realise, I work with them so luckily get my fix there 😁

Have you thought about looking to part loan in the area around you? That way you can have the responsibility but it’s only for a couple of days a week? This is what I did when I was working full time and at college (no babies) and it worked out really well for me. Xx

Ithinkthatsenough · 28/12/2018 22:43

I did it, almost 2 year old and a 4 month old. Bought a newly broken 7 yr old from cob sales... could have been a massive disaster but was fine and a much needed break for me from motherhood and work etc. DH Is quite horsey so he takes the slack when im
Busy, feeds, changes fields, farrier etc
BUT
mine live out 24/7 at home, i couldnt contemplate doing it with kids any other way. Plus i have a sensible pony who can be left for weeks and ridden with no sillyness, a must of you are busy with life/kids. Good luck! Best thing i ever did!!

Booboostwo · 01/01/2019 09:22

If you have childcare so you can go ride, you can afford full livery so someone else is looking after the pony if you cannot go and buy the right pony why not? Anything else will put a lot of pressure on you and you might regret it.

Just as a comparison, before DCs I rode two horses a day, six days a week, had weekly lessons, training camps and competed 1-3 times a month. After DCs I ride one horse twice a week and don't compete. After I have looked after all the horses at home I just run out of steam. I don't have the patience, time or energy for more.

2019rubberband · 01/01/2019 09:39

We do. We rent a field and barn from a farmer though rather than being on a livery yard. It's only a mile from home so no hassle to nip up and put them in/out around the work, school and nursery schedule. In bad weather we can walk up, save having to drove in the snow; and it's much cheaper than any livery yard around here.

I have 2 very low maintenance ponies though. They are both natives and haven't even been in this winter yet. The weather has been fine to leave them out, so I only see to them once a day just now.

Anise7438 · 04/01/2019 20:45

Yes I have an event horse, work full time on DIY. The kids also have a small pony.

But my job is flexible ish and I have a good relationship with my fellow liveries so Monday to Thursday I go up once a day (two mornings, two evenings) then twice a day Friday -Sunday. I ride most days. So I either work early and finish early then start late and finish late.

It's hard, I am super organised and efficient. I have a fabulous horse and a fabulous lead rein pony who are both very easy and don't care if they have 2/3 days off in a row. But I had horses before kids, so the kids kind of fitted in and the horses fitted in with the kids.

It's doable. But don't underestimate the stress. And I have lower standards than pre kids!

Notmytelescope · 05/01/2019 20:38

I’d say don’t do it! But what about a horse share? I’ve got little kids and my horse dreams have been on hold because of a lack of cash and childcare but I’ve now found a nice arrangement - shes on livery so no disaster if work/kids mean I can’t make it, but a lovely treat for the once a week I have time to myself.

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