View Full Version : Advice - buy or not to buy?
9th Feb 2003, 08:14 PM
I have been back in riding now for a year after a long break and it wasn't long before visiting the riding school once a week wasn't enough and I got the old pangs of wanting my own horse, although now at the age of 35 I'm more in a position to do it now then when I was 12! I know exactly what kind of horse/pony I'm after (typical family cob, able to live out, bomb proof...), I've done all the research, have the budget, sussed out local livery but I'm just very loathe to make the final move in case it doesn't work out...I have two young children at school and work 3 days .... even though I seem to have enough time to spare I'm scared it won't work out and I end up having to sell.....talk about looking on the bright side!! I'd be really interested to hear how other working mum's go on and gather some inspiration....I'm just so glad to have re-discovered my old passion (all be it minus a bit of the old confidence! Did we really used to jump without stirrups?!) and would be dissappointed to spend another summer hacking out once a week at a stable...I've considered offering to exercise other peoples but it's my own I want.....should I take the plunge?
9th Feb 2003, 08:41 PM
my answer would be yes---i'm in much the same frame of mind myself except i'm much older:)
the only difference is i've spent the last year loaning a horse--(well two horses actually but thats another story)paying towards the keep and riding 3 or 4 times a week---and ALL the mucking out
( i have 2 kids and work full time including late nights and saturdays--it can be done but it is hard--especially in the winter
it would've made a big difference if i could drive--so if you can thats a big plus:) )
that gave me the answer to whether i have the time and the commitment--also showed me that it can break your heart when the owner sells without giving the option to buy
so in your shoes--and judging by what you say in your post --go for it lass
you only ever regret what you haven't done in this life:)
9th Feb 2003, 11:51 PM
I felt the same! I had looked at different horses and was almost relieved when they weren't what I was looking for...
Eventually I found the perfect horse and suddenly I had no reason not to buy. I was terrified! I had brought the purchasing contract along but chickened out. I told the seller I had to consult my instructor and drove back home.
I figured I would not be good enough for a perfect horse like that. Eventually of course I bought him and he doesn't seem to mind having a less than perfect mom.
I would say having doubts is normal and maybe even healthy- definitely better than expecting everything to be just peachy!
10th Feb 2003, 06:29 AM
I'd say go for it! :D I'm not a mum but I work five and a half days a week, and my pony is definitely not neglected. I always find time for her, and on the rare occassion I can't make it to the stables, the Yard Owner's daughter is happy to look after her for me.
There are three working mum's on my yard with children under 5 and the kids love the horses as much as the mums. They have learnt how to approach the horses and what not to do. The new woman has a young boy who isn't much used to horses and it's been five year old Jamie teaching him the ropes! :D
10th Feb 2003, 02:55 PM
No kids, but I'm a full-time student in my last year of law school. I'd really planned to wait until after graduation and taking the bar exam - but that perfect horse came along a little bit early!:)
I was taking a bankruptcy class at the time, and was getting the heebie-jeebies reading about all these people bringing themselves to financial ruin. My big fear was being forced to sell (student budget and all that), and, like you, I was worried about not having enough time.
I'd just about talked myself out of it, when the former owner called to tell me I could buy her horse if I wanted (other buyers had first dibs). Somehow the words "Where do I send the check?" just leapt out of my mouth!:p
I've coped by keeping my horse on full board, so I don't have to be there every day if my schedule won't allow it. Of course, I've wound up cutting a few classes here and there :o , but I figure it's my horse's way of making sure I don't end up a one-dimensional geek.:D
I think having a horse has made me more efficient with my time, and it's certainly keeping me in better health, as I'm forced to get outside and exercise instead of sitting over the books all the time. And no more hanging about in smoky bars drinking to excess (popular law school pasttime!);)
Think of how wonderful it would be for your children, to grow up with a horse! If they decide they do want to ride, they'll be forever grateful for having the chance to start young. Many of us mature riders wish we'd had the opportunity!
If it's something you really want to do, I'd say go for it!
10th Feb 2003, 03:15 PM
I've just bought my first horse. Although I'm not a mum, I am working full time and also trying to "maintain" a husband, house, etc etc.
Before buying I was very eager, but when I went to see the horse I wanted to buy, I was EXTREMELY nervous because its such a huge responsibility. I was actually shaking on the day I took delivery and I'm not a nervous person normally. Eventually I took the plunge and although its early days (only been 2 weeks), I'm delighted I did it. I love her to bits and I havent even ridden her yet!!
As she's at DIY livery and I start work at 8am, it means a 6am start (painful in the dark!!). It then means I dont get home till 7pm, but I wouldnt change anything! I might have only had this horse 2 weeks, but I love her. I too had planned to have her live out 24/7, but realised that she didnt want to be out 24/7. Sh'es been wintered in all year and is quite thin, so she didnt want to be out. Shes starting to get used to it now, but when I first got her, after 2 hours she was hanging around by the gate asking to come back in. However, I'm building her up to get ready for next winter to live out. You might need to consider this as well for this winter.
I know a few working mums at my yard. Those with small kids bring them and sit them either in their car seats or put them in the buggy beside them as they muck out. It isnt easy, but its do-able. None of them seem miserable about it; in fact they all seem very happy. Obvioulsy bear in mind that things are much tougher in winter; its dark in the morning and in the evening. You really only see daylight on the weekend, but summer is around the corner and things will be a lot easier, particularly if the horse lives out 24/7.
I think its do-able....my rationale to myself was that my nervousness meant I was giving it serious thought and not jumping into things. But if its something you really want, then you will probably regret not going for it. Also bear in mind that if you want to be ready for the long summer days, then you need to start looking at horses now so you can get used to each other in time for summer.
Best of luck!
10th Feb 2003, 03:22 PM
Stephen and I have 6 (including the 4 shetlands) they live out 24/7 and we work full time (no kids though:) ). It is possible....keep looking out for something that is tough and can live out and always add a bit to your budget (we always budget whether we can afford to keep every new horse and we always end up going over what we budgeted).
I would say - go for it and good luck...
10th Feb 2003, 03:35 PM
I agree with all of above - GO FOR IT! I don't think there is ever a 'right' time to buy a horse - if you waited until you had more money, more time, knew more about horses, were a better rider etc etc.....you could wait forever!
My own horse sort of fell into my lap (not literally ;) ) - I shared her for 10 months and then the owner decided to sell her - by which time I was completely in love with her and couldn't bear to part with her - so I bought her. But I don't think I would ever have made the decision to go out and look for a horse to buy - like you, I thought of all the negative things and thought I wouldn't have the time/money/riding experience to cope.
But I get huge enjoyment out of having my own horse, and wouldn't change it for the world - buying that wee horse was the best thing I ever did. So go for it and let us know how you get on. :D
10th Feb 2003, 04:03 PM
I couldnt agree more, you should buy one before you get any older!. I am late 30's and have waited since I was 14 for my own horse and he arrived in July.
Its a stressful time buying, be prepared for dealers who bend the truth,private owners who do the same but keep looking for the genuine ones, they do exist, nothing prepared me for the stress and upset of failed buying, vettings and just plain awful horses that were not as advertised but in the end it came right. Get someone who knows to help though and keep an open mind about what you want. I wanted a 10 year old been there done it and got a 6-7 year old green needs work but hes lovely:p
I dont have kids but work full time and have a house, 3 dogs and lots of stuff outside work and my yard have a winter rota turnout which means hes in one day out the next and in each night but its just a case of time juggling-the usual stuff-fill haynets in advance, prepare feeds in advance etc and rota with other owners-at our yard there are others always willing to help each other out. The couple I share my turnout day with get my horse in 3 nights a week as they do it after school and in return I turn out for them at 6 one morning a week and feed the other mornings so they dont have to be at the yard until after the school run.Remember you are getting it at the right time ,spring is on its way and you will have all the summer to get organised when hes out 24/7 etc-good luck and keep us posted:D
10th Feb 2003, 08:35 PM
I'm a working dad rather than a mum, we took the plunge about seven months ago and I've no regrets at all. We too bought a little cob for all the family, she's absolutely brilliant. It is time consuming and a major commitment especially in the winter months but well worth it.
I think it's important your spouse accepts the commitment too and is prepared to help out with the kids etc whilst you're sorting the horse out, otherwise there's always the potential for tensions to arise.
How old are your kids? If they're old enough to get involved too that's even better, it might be worth thinking about a smaller weight carrying native pony rather than a cob with that in mind.
As you say though, you can't beat having your own at the end of the day.
10th Feb 2003, 09:04 PM
Wow, fab advice from everyone, thanks very much....I am feeling 100 times more positive than before. I have to say that AJB has bought up my next major concern......the minefield of finding the right horse for me, however I am hope I've got my feet firmly on the ground and will keep going until the right one comes along. Yann....great advice about the smaller weight carrying native - something that hadn't crossed my mind. My boys are 5 and 6....it's all football and playstations at the moment. I've taken them for a "walk out" to the riding school a few times but they haven't really been struck either way, like mentioned it would be great to give them the opportunity of living round horses and they can make their own minds up. Great support from everyone....will definitely keep you posted....I am actively looking!!! Thanks again .
10th Feb 2003, 09:50 PM
Hi, I am a working mum (only work 3 days a week), my daughter is 9 but luckily she's really into horses aswell. My b/friend likes horses aswell so he has no objections. It is alot of hard work especially alot of running around to work, school, stables (the housework tends to go out the window!), some days when it's freezing cold and I have been at work and then collected my daughter from school and I'm pushing a wheel barrow full of muck with the wind blowing it off more than it's staying on the barrow I think "I must be mad!", BUT it's all worth it for those lovely moments with her and the way she always whinnies when she hears me coming around the corner! I would say Go for it! You will be fine!
11th Feb 2003, 06:28 AM
BUY BUY BUY !! :D
I've had my horse 1 year and 2 days now and i too had all the same worries that you've expressed. I rode as a young thing, gave up then started back about 2 years ago, at 31, riding a friends horse. He was a lovely old boy and exactly what i needed to get back into it, and i'll always have a soft spot for him, but the feeling of having your own horse is amazing!!
I was looking (not seriously) for a been there done that crossbred but ended up with a been there done that 12 (at the time) yr old TB who has the personality of a crossbred. Definately take your time looking and ideally have a knowledgeable horsey person overseeing your horse search. If i hadn't had a very sensible friend helping me check out the different horses that i looked at, god knows what i would've got. For me personality was the most important thing and anything else was a bonus
i have one 9 year old daughter who has riding lessons once a week, 2 dogs, one cat and one very patient, understanding supportive partner, who has even been known on occasion to help pick up poo!
It can be hard, especially in winter and especially when my daughter is possessed by the "grizzle monster", fed up waiting on me finishing with Maestro but on the whole its a good way of getting them away from the TV for a while, and into the fresh air.
Good Luck and let us know when you start to look :)
12th Feb 2003, 12:23 PM
CLou, the process of finding a buying a horse was a huge emotional roller coaster for me. I think it's normal to have concerns. It's a big commitment and it is reasonable to be a little cautious going into it. Furthermore, if you are anything like me, your general level of energy will be increased by the excitement, so all your emotions feel stronger. But once I made up my mind and was ready to sign the papers, I knew I did the right thing. I brought my first horse home on Sunday and I still haven't come down from the high. I'm probably driving everyone around me crazy because all I keep saying is, "my horse is such a good boy."
14th Feb 2003, 11:59 AM
Go for it! I'm late 30's, work 8-6.30 no kids, and live nearly an hour from my girl but it's still worth it. I impulse bought her on holiday in Ireland, after riding her for 4 days (clue as to how to buy here - this meant I totally knew what I was getting, I'd even had stable management courses on her). I'd been riding for 2 1/2 years, didn't ride as a child. I go to the yard 3 days a week (one lesson on Wds after work).
She is in working livery, I know a lot of people would hate it, but it works for me. She lives out, does a max of 2 hours a day (which I have all of on Sat so avoids the busiest day with kids). This means I can afford to keep her at a fantastic yard, with great facilities and staff who really care, and she does get all the excercise she needs (in theory - she actually rarely does anything like the max 12 hours a week they can use her for).
I longed to have more time with a horse, and only the chance encounter with Autumn on holiday made it happen for me, but I say just do it!
14th Feb 2003, 02:06 PM
this is really short cuz i gotta get to school, but go for it! Don't miss your chance and regret it later.
10th Mar 2003, 11:53 AM
Thats my suggestion. I work school hours and have an 8 yr old and a 1 yr old. I like you always rode other peoples horses which is fine for a time and I was back at the local riding stables thinking I want more. So I took the plunge and bought my own. It seemed like a big decision at the time because I felt like I owed all of my time to my family (my younget being 6 mths at the time) but I decided I needed something that was just mine. It can be a real juggle sometimes keeping everyone pleased and have had all the usual "are you going riding AGAIN?" type of thing and winter was a struggle as I worked all the daylight hours but it is well worth it. It's nice to be me and not someones mum etc. I have my horse very local and he's really well looked after. I couldnt have done it if I had to take care of him myself I think but decided that I had more money than time and it's working well. After some initial teething problems I have a good routine now which means that I ride first thing in the morning (7am) and just about manage an hours ride before getting back to do the breakfasts for school. The thing is I can go every day if I like because it doesnt interfere with anyone else other than my own sleep but if you have kids you wont need much of that anymore anyway! Good luck and all the best
10th Mar 2003, 06:58 PM
Go for it! With the boys you may just find you get one of them that's enthusiastic. If you do, they're FUN as it's so competitive. My husband was watching little 9 yr old Luke struggle yesterday with Benny's (13.2hh) tack but a mild suggestion of help was met with such a snort of derision! You may find they get teased. If so follow NewRider board advice to me last year - I took the kids to Burley and was able to stand by the cross-country repeating 'and there's another man' as the riders raced by!
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