Buy my first? (after 30 years)

Cutgrass

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Hi all

Been riding 34 years. Had a break when I had children where the odd hack with friends/family was as good as it got. Over the past couple of years I've been riding regularly again, with a share and lessons at RS to help me feel confident on a range of horses. I've never owned my own, though I was sole rider for one for 12 years and miss that feeling of really knowing a pony. I've got that with lovely share pony, but I don't get quite enough time riding there. Recently I've been riding a mare for sale who belongs to a friend and I've fallen for her. It's not a great time in life for me to buy (children, job, etc.) but part of me wonders if there's ever a good time to buy a horse? Can't decide if buying will be a fab next step or, even after all this time, I'll still be surprised by the amount of work and commitment needed.
 

Trouper

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Returning to riding after several decades away I quickly realised that "riding is not enough" - I needed the whole experience of having my own to care for again.

Go for it - Life is too short to dither and be sensible and if you know the mare you are many steps ahead of others who are still searching in a difficult market.
 

Cutgrass

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Thanks everyone who says 'Go for it'. I knew I was in the right place on here!

It's very exciting to buy a first horse bit it is a big commitment. Will you be in DIY livery or have help? How old are your children? Do you have a partner, and if so how do they feel about it?
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This is the main issue really. I know what a huge commitment it will be and so does my husband. The children are 7 and 3, so I'm meant to be waiting until the youngest is 4/5. While we're still paying ungodly childcare bills the horse would be on DIY livery, whereas if I waited a couple of years it could be part. Husband isn't keen to physically help, though is supportive. I was happy with waiting a couple of years but this mare coming up in the current market makes me think it could be worth buying earlier than planned. Saying that, I do know I'd eventually find something if I waited. The current market makes things very difficult.
 

ycbm

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That's a tough one, especially as good sound all rounders like that are hard to find at the moment. In your shoes I think I might be thinking "this isn't ideal, but some things are just meant to be".

I'd possibly check that husband is fully aware that DIY means he'll be required to child mind morning and evening 7 days a week.
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splashgirl45

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a horse that you already know and like and assuming is within your capabilities is priceless. you are having a really good trial which you wont get normally so you need to think about that . also its never easy to find a sound sensible horse even in a normal market. if you do decide to buy her, please have a 5 stage vetting by the vet you will be registering her with. just because you know her dont be tempted to skip on that. good luck
 

Cutgrass

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I'd possibly check that husband is fully aware that DIY means he'll be required to child mind morning and evening 7 days a week.
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Yeah he's not on board for this (understandable given the age of the youngest) so my plan is to take her/make the most of very flexible working from home to manage things like turning out and bringing in, or popping down for the farrier, etc. The yard I'm looking at is a 1 mile walk across a field, as I think travel any further would be a deadlbreaker at the moment. Though I need to speak to them about how much turnout she'd get, as I'm worried they don't do offer over winter.

a horse that you already know and like and assuming is within your capabilities is priceless. you are having a really good trial which you wont get normally so you need to think about that . also its never easy to find a sound sensible horse even in a normal market. if you do decide to buy her, please have a 5 stage vetting by the vet you will be registering her with. just because you know her dont be tempted to skip on that. good luck
Thank you and yes, I would 100% get a 5* vetting and not with the seller's vet.
 

stangs

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Are you able to imagine her being sold to someone else, and you never being able to see her again? If thinking of that really upsets you, then there's definitely no time like the present. Or else you'll regret it in the future; a horse you care for getting sold on underneath you is a feeling akin to grief.

Would you consider getting a sharer for a few days a week? That'll save you time, and possibly a little cash.
 

ycbm

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Yeah he's not on board for this [2x7x52 childcare duties] (understandable given the age of the youngest) so my plan is to take her/make the most of very flexible working from home to manage things like turning out and bringing in, or popping down for the farrier, etc.
I'd be worried about that, it could be a marriage breaker, sadly.

It might also be difficult to find a competent farrier who can absolutely be relied on to turn up on time, or even on the expected day. "Popping down" to sort out the farrier/dentist/vet/physio/saddle fitter is likely to prove more onerous than you are anticipating I'm afraid.

I'm sorry to be the devil's advocate here but I suspect it's actually the kind of input you are looking for.
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milliepops

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I'd be worried about that, it could be a marriage breaker, sadly.

It might also be difficult to find a competent farrier who can absolutely be relied on to turn up on time, or even on the expected day. "Popping down" to sort out the farrier/dentist/vet/physio/saddle fitter is likely to prove more onerous than you are anticipating I'm afraid.

I'm sorry to be the devil's advocate here but I suspect it's actually the kind of input you are looking for.
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yeah not to be a party pooper but I have seen friends really struggle to manage their horses on DIY when their partner is not OK with the whole commitment - time, money, a massive tie on your life and sacrifices needed. Owning horses is wonderful and of course all of us on HHO are probably thinking "buy the pony" because we'd do the same, but don't underestimate the resentment factor that non horsey partners can build up.

A sharer or some regular help at the yard might grease the wheels a bit.
 

Cutgrass

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Thanks everyone. Milliepops and ycbm - your not party poppers, this is exactly the kind of realistic advice I need! While husband is supportive, I totally understand that he's not horsey, so I need to make sure that when I buy our set up takes him into account as well.

I've thought quite a bit about a sharer as really that would be the ideal solution, and I'd definitely be up for giving it a go as I've got so much out of sharing over the years. I think it must be harder sharing as an owner than a sharer. Any experiences to share?
 

Squeak

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Second the idea of a sharer etc. it might also be worth checking if there's anything extra that the yard will offer such as turning out or bringing in as this could make the difference between having to go once or twice a day.
 

YorkshireLady

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reading this I honestly think you need part to full livery....and that waiting till both children are at school will help you massively. EVEN on livery you are still taking out say 3 hours of a day to do the horse. I agree with those who say it could break the relationship....sadly...

edit as that sounds harsh. However....danger as well with DIY and knowing you will be under time pressure is you will ride less. You will need to do all your jobs etc and the care and you may find yourself running out of time for the fun stuff or knowing you under pressure back at home or for work.

Can you at all experiment with doing more with share horse extra time and days to see how OH is and how you are?
 
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EmmaC78

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I am going to be another party pooper and say it is tough trying to balance everything when horses are on DIY. Winter especially is difficult, taking a child to the yard on a cold winters morning to turn out is not fun. I have friends who have children and take them to the yard and to be honest a lot of the time the kids hate being dragged along and spend the whole time moaning. The only way i would consider it would be if there was 24/7 turnout in summer and then the hassle of going up morning and evening is limited to winter months only.
 

Cutgrass

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9 May 2020
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Thanks everyone, this has been really helpful. I'm going to see how the part livery options round here compare and, longer term, look to get on the waiting list for a local yard that offers 24/7 turnout year round. If part livery isn't an option over the next year I'll have to put plans on hold and accept that the mare I like will go elsewhere. I'll be very sad but would probably be sadder if I bought and it was all too much and I had to sell in a panic.

Thanks all!
 
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