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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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!
 

Schollym

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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.



Thank you and yes, I would 100% get a 5* vetting and not with the seller's vet.
Lots of people manage children and horses but it is important that you don’t underestimate the pressure on your other half, they can get very resentful about the third party in your relationship, if the horse is perfect but the timing not quite right, perhaps you could get someone to share your horse. That way you can have all the control but still have time away.
 

luckyoldme

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I got my Georgous chestnut boy when I was 40.
It was not long after my friend died in a really bizarre accident. My friend Trish had never hesitated to do what she wanted. If she liked a car on Monday it was hers by Friday.
After she died I realised that there were quite a few things I wanted to do but kept putting them off.
If you feel that the horse is right for you really think long and hard before walking away..there's a lot to be said for knowing before buying.
Although my old boy is long gone now I still have the most treasured memories of a dream come true.
Let us know how you get on
 

windand rain

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Your OH needs to man up and look after his kids. Kids are the domain of both parents and horse time for you is time out from family pressure there is absolutely no reason not to have a couple of hours a day. I had a horse when we married. Have been marrie for 46years. He is not horsey but has looked after the kids when needed. In fact he financially suppoted us all including the horses for many years while the kds were little 3 under 5 year olds he realise the horses were keeping me sane. It shouldn't put pressure on a balanced marriage as long as it is equal and he gets leisure time to himself too
 

J&S

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I was 35 with three children at ages of 6,8,10 when I bought and broke in my pony as an adult. I was working /self employed and had a completely uninterested husband but by this time all three were at school and had friends so I could wriggle my time around and make horse/riding time. Pony was out 24/7. If you have not got a really supportive OH I think it better to wait till the youngest goes to school, this does atleast give you some room for manoevre. On the other hand I do not believe in being a martyr to the cause, some time to do what you want/need to do is also a necessity.
Although in theory i agree with windand rain, not all OH's are equal!
 

Annagain

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Your OH needs to man up and look after his kids. Kids are the domain of both parents and horse time for you is time out from family pressure there is absolutely no reason not to have a couple of hours a day. I had a horse when we married. Have been marrie for 46years. He is not horsey but has looked after the kids when needed. In fact he financially suppoted us all including the horses for many years while the kds were little 3 under 5 year olds he realise the horses were keeping me sane. It shouldn't put pressure on a balanced marriage as long as it is equal and he gets leisure time to himself too
I don't think there's any suggestion OP's OH isn't doing his fair share, just that he doesn't want to do breakfast and tea time alone 7 days a week whilst working full time. I can understand that.

Cutgrass - I have been both a sharer and a sharee (if you know what I mean). Basic ground rules that still allow flexibility and really decent communication are key on both sides. As an owner I have four rules:
1. Don't do anything stupid that will put you or the horse at risk
2. Wear hi viz while hacking
3. If there's a problem talk to me.
4. Get public liability insurance

Other than that if they want to ride them through the village topless in a tutu I couldn't care less (as long as the horse had hi-viz on). I think one of the biggest problems I've come across with sharers are control freak owners who want everything done their way. As long as my boys are cared for and safe I couldn't care less what sharers do with them. We've always gone with set days but so people know where they stand but with flexibility on both sides to swap a day if needs be. My current sharer still looks after Archie even though he's been retired 18 months. She adores him and him her. When he retired, the only thing she was worried about was I wouldn't want her to carry on with him. I feel terrible that Charlie's not quite reliable enough for her yet but we're working on it.

In your shoes though, at the moment, I'd look at sharing a horse rather than buying and then looking for a sharer. Things will be very different in a year or two.
 
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I have children of a similar age and I’m on DIY. I’m lucky that a friend feeds in the morning and turns out so I just have to do jobs in the evening. I make sure the kids are sorted after school and fed then I go to the yard for a couple of hours and leave them with OH. It’s hard because OH dislikes me being out for hours on end - only because he’s sitting waiting for the car so he can then have his time out at the gym.


I won’t lie it’s extremely hard but you find a routine that works and you’re laughing really. Make friends with people on the yard and try to do a favour for a favour - for my friend who feeds and turns out I feed in the evening. Riding time is limited but I’m lucky my boy doesn’t need to be ridden daily and he’s happy with a hack or school a few days a week. Though he’s on box rest at the minute so my nights are cut short!
 

teddy_eq

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You may also find part livery doesn't work out all that more expensive than DIY, when you factor in your time and all the bits you'll need to spend time obtaining such as forage, feed and bedding :D.
 

TillyF

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I’m in a similar situation, but have bought a horse who was meant to be for a novice but is so nervous. Am having to go back to basics and retrain her, with an instructor. This is definitely going to take longer than I had hoped and it making me feel guilty, as don’t seem to have time enough to do things at home, time to train horse or time with husband. If I had the perfect horse, would it work, more so than now, but still makes me feel guilty splitting time up.
What did you decide?
 

Cutgrass

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I’m in a similar situation, but have bought a horse who was meant to be for a novice but is so nervous. Am having to go back to basics and retrain her, with an instructor. This is definitely going to take longer than I had hoped and it making me feel guilty, as don’t seem to have time enough to do things at home, time to train horse or time with husband. If I had the perfect horse, would it work, more so than now, but still makes me feel guilty splitting time up.
What did you decide?
Oh no, that sounds awful. Where did you buy from? Going all the way back to basics is quite different from pottering around with an established pony, I'm not surprised you feel stressed and guilty.

I'm still dithering. I'd not found any good livery options and have still got my share plus as much riding as I'd like with a friend's new pony. I'd decided last week I was going to hold off buying until my littlest was 4, in about 18 months. However, I still really like the pony who started all this and in the current market already knowing the pony seems like such a big advantage that I'm still tempted to go for it and try and make it work.
 

TillyF

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Thanks, yes all a bit stressful at the moment!
I think a sharer would be a good option for you, then you would know there are days you don’t need to go and days when you do. It helps also if you want to go away and husband will know his set days too! Good luck!
 
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