We’ve all been there. You have been having riding lessons since you were tiny, you regularly ride out with the local riding school or instructor, or maybe you are lucky enough to borrow a friend’s horse. You know everything there is to know about horses, you know you are responsible enough to own one – but you still live at home, and your part-time job wages aren’t enough to buy even the hoof of your dream horse. So you need to look into how to convince your parents to get a horse!
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How To Persuade Your Parents To Get A Horse
Your parents probably support your hobby wholeheartedly, and want you to enjoy it. They probably also want you to be happy, no matter the cost.
But they may be a little unsure about taking the plunge and buying a horse, as it is a big investment and there is a lot to think about.
Here are a few serious, sane and sensible ideas on how to persuade your parents to get a horse.
1. Do Your Homework
One of the best ways to persuade your parents that getting a horse is a good idea is to do your research.
If they see that you have looked into all the things that you would need to do in order to be a responsible horse owner, they are more likely to treat you like one.
You need to decide what the right horse for you is, first of all, and you should base this on what you want to do with it and your level of ability.
It is no use saying you want an Olympic-standard eventer when you have only just started doing trotting poles!
Similarly, make sure you look into a horse that can keep up with your ambitions and won’t be outgrown in a year or two.
Find out about the different breeds and where they are most suitable to be kept and what they like to eat, whether they need to be rugged in the winter or whether they can live out all year, and learn about the most common horse ailments and how to treat them.
2. Find Accommodation
This is not the same as organising a sleepover, and making sure there are clean sheets on the spare bed. A horse is a large guest and will need a good amount of space – and specific types of space too.
You will need to decide if you are keeping your horse in a stable or if it is going to live out all year round, and depending on which of these options – or a combination of the two – you will need to source that type of accommodation.
It needs to be close to where you live so that you can see your horse regularly, especially if you don’t drive and your parents aren’t willing to ferry you off to see your horse twice a day!
3. Set A Budget
Getting a horse is not only about the initial outlay of buying the horse. There are many expenses that you may not have considered if you have never owned a horse, and adding them all up may be quite startling.
Unless you are lucky enough to live in a country mansion, you will need to pay for accommodation for your four legged friend.
You also have to consider feed if you plan on supplementing your horse’s grass, hay or haylage for the winter if not the summer, farrier costs whether you decide on shoes or barefoot, and the inevitable vets’ bills.
These are all essential items to consider, along with worming and vaccinations, and that’s not even mentioning tack fitting, rugs, show fees – the list goes on! I’m not saying this to frighten you, but it is essential to be prepared.
4. Agree A Repayment Plan
If you don’t have a large sum to invest in a horse but your parents do, they may be more willing to lend you the money than simply fork it out.
It is worth sitting down with your folks and deciding how you can pay them back, and over what timescale, whilst still allowing yourself enough money to cover feed, shoes, vets’ bills and other sundries.
If you sit down seriously with your folks to discuss paying them back they should be amenable to the idea, even if it takes you years.
5. Get Your Grades Up
You may find it easier to convince your parents to get a horse if you can show that you are working hard at school, because then they won’t have the fear that the horse will take all your time and leave your grades – and possibly your future – at risk.
Make sure you work just as hard at school as you do trying to persuade your parents to get you a horse.
6. Loan A Horse First
A great option for practicing to have your own horse is the option of borrowing someone else’s.
Many people advertise to have someone come to their yard and ride their horse, for a contribution to feed and farrier, and this can be a great way to ease you into owning your own horse without the daunting expenses of buying your own outright.
You can get a feel for how you would own your own horse, how much it would cost, and how you would like to keep it.
This is also great evidence to show your parents that you would be good at owning a horse – if you make a good job of looking after someone else’s then you will be seen to be good at looking after your own!
Questions To Consider Before Asking Your Parents For A Horse
Take time to volunteer with a local stable, rescue or riding program, or just help a neighbor with his or her horses. Show that you are able to commit in the long term, show up on time and take care of all the daily tasks associated with caring for horses.
Brainstorm with yourself about how and where you will keep your horse. Do you have space on your own property with good fencing and shelter? If not, how will you get what you need? Explore your options, abilities and resources so that you can present workable solutions.
If you don’t have space on your own property, is there a stable or farm close at hand so that you can attend to your horse on a regular basis? Identify your options and explore the cost and quality of available facilities.
Before you begin shopping for a horse, you should shop for a vet. Ideally, you will have talked with several vets and discussed prices for standard services such as vaccines and yearly exam. When you think you have found the horse you want, your pre-chosen vet should examine him or her before your parents sign on the dotted line.
As you seriously contemplate the practical tasks and the expense of owning a horse, you may find that the idea of leasing a horse or sharing a horse is a better and more affordable option. When you check out boarding facilities, also explore the idea of leasing or sharing a horse who is already on the premises and may already have such costly things as veterinary care, grooming equipment and tack in place. Splitting these expenses with the horse’s owner can be a win-win situation.
Girls love their horses, and as you can see, how to persuade your parents to get a horse can be doable, even if your parents start out dead against it.
Take your time, do your research, and act like a mature responsible horse owner – then you will hopefully find that you end up being just that.