It’s true! After years of begging, pleading, and crying I am buying a horse. Those of you who have been following my Confessions of a Timid Rider series, you know that horse ownership has always been my goal. It’s easy to blame by husband or finances, but the truth is that I wasn’t ready before now between kids, building my business, and managing my time.
But now it’s here! While I search for my unicorn, these are the 10 reasons why I’m excited to be a new horse owner. Can you relate to any?
10. Practice, Practice, Practice
Riding once per week, occasionally twice, does not allow for a lot of growth in my riding. Sometimes I chafe at the fact that I cannot practice what I’ve worked on in lesson, or take the pressure off and just enjoy some time in the saddle without a plan. I can spend more time in my favorite place, doing my favorite thing.
When you lesson or lease a horse, groundwork is often overlooked or not included. I’ve noticed that we often concentrate on exercises under saddle rather than groundwork, which is an important part of trust and respect. Horsemanship is not just in the saddle.
According to horsemanship trainer, Lorie Duff,
“Groundwork is key to having a successful partnership with your horse in all situations. Handling your horse during grooming, taking extra time with them in their field or stalls, whatever the case may be. The more time you handle your horse and communicate to them a clear understanding, you will have all that benefit from a good foundation of horsemanship.“
8. Building a Relationship
I’ve been riding lesson horses my entire riding career. Multiple horses over many, many years that I’ve loved and learned from. Sometimes both if I was lucky. My most recent and greatest love until now is Delight. While technically my trainer’s horse and not a lesson horse, I felt pride that I was one of a few allowed to ride him. Our relationship has had its ups and downs but over two years we have built a connection. I love that and I love him. But he’s not my horse. While Robin has been gracious to “share” him with me a bit, often finding humor in it, there are limitations.
With my own horse I can build a relationship of trust, and hopefully affection over time. Mine to love unequivocally.
When you own your own horse, the onus is on you for exercise, health, and more. As a mother of three, dog mom to two, and owner of two businesses I do not flee from responsiblity. In fact, I relish it. I love the idea of being responsible for my horse and having the freedom to choose what exercises to do that day, under saddle or on the ground, and how often I ride. Taking lessons means limited rides per week and susceptible to change depending on the trainer’s schedule or the weather. With horse ownership I can lesson of course, but also choose when I want to ride. I have the freedom.
6. Financial Benefits
Rather than spending money on dinners out and contributing to weight gain, you can spend all your money on a horse. Veterinary bills, board, lessons, and tack. Luckily I have a head start with my amateur tack room, but there are of course a few things I’ll be needing like a tack box. Luckily, I’ll be able to move my things to the barn and finally use the official tack room.
Sure less money, but I will be putting it toward something I am passionate about, and hopefully losing weight as well from less nights out.
5. Expand Your Family
This goes two ways. Unless you are a professional equestrian, and even then, your animals can become a part of your family. You are responsible for their health, happiness, and (hopefully) want what is best for them. But more than that, you become part of a barn family. The best barns are those that you can be yourself, that you trust with your horse, and that you enjoy being around.
I’ve been lucky to be at my barn for about 6 years now and can’t imagine ever leaving. I’ve lessoned, been a working student, and done turnout and feedings as well as provided sports massage for many of the horses. I genuinely love being there with the people, and feel comfortable as if I was home. The kids running around I’ve known for years, and my children are growing up there. This will only be better having my own horse and spending even more time in my happy place
4. Bring Joy to my Children
This does not apply to everyone of course. But how many of you have loved horses since you were small children? Me, me, me! My children are no different. They’ve trekked through snow, mud, and high heat while I’ve ridden or worked at the barn. They’ve cleaned tack, fed hay, and swept the aisles. They also all ride. So does it make sense for all four of us to spend money on lessons or to fully commit and have a family horse that I can ride at my level, and they can grow up on.
I think every child should grow up around horses if possible. It teaches responsibility, hard work, confidence, and humility. But more, it brings joy to them. We are blessed to give our children this gift. A gift they have to work hard for every day, but a gift nonetheless.
3. Join in on the Fun
I have a lot of bucket list items related to horses, including riding on the beach or participating in a hunter pace. Without my own horse my chances were severely limited. I see my friends going on trail rides without me. I would love to join in. But I’m limited as to what horses are available and at the mercy of their owners.
Just think of all the things you can do when you own your own horse.
- Trail rides
- Beach rides
- Halloween costume contests
- Hunter Pace
- Holiday parades
- Playing in the paddock
- Just hanging out together
And so much more.
2. Gain Confidence
Confidence has been my biggest issue when it comes to riding. I know we are all extremely hard on ourselves and expect a lot. I’m no different. But a lot of my confidence issues stem from not being able to ride through mistakes or practice at my whim. Will my confidence increase? Perhaps. Stay tuned to find out.
1.But First a Selfie
You get to unapologetically take a thousand photos and videos of your horse without remorse! You may annoy your friends, but as an equestrian blogger it’s basically my job. So get ready because this is going to be fun.
Do you agree? Comment below on your favorite thing about horse ownership.