View Full Version : To buy or not to buy? That is the question.

10th March 2010, 06:34 PM
Hi everyone,

I've just joined the forum and hope you can offer your expertise.

I have only been riding 10 months but am absolutely hooked and frustrated that my lessons don't allow me enough time to practise.

My friend works at a livery yard and has been encouraging me to buy my own horse. The plan would be to keep the horse on full livery as I have a very demanding job. I would be able to ride my horse at least three times a week.

My concern is that is three times a week going to be enough to keep a horse happy and to be fair to it? My friend ensures me that it is enough and there are loads of others on the yard in similar situations. She has also agreed to exercise it for me and says that full livery means that they will turn out the horse.

My other option is to pay someone to ride their horse but finding people who are willing to let a novice rider on their horse (understandably) is somewhat difficult.

Should I buy a horse or not? That is the question.:confused:

Thanks for any advice you can give.

10th March 2010, 06:42 PM
I would be tempted to look for a share or part loan rather than buying simply because full livery is expensive and you'd end up spending an awful lot for 3 rides a week. If you do decide to get a horse then as long as it's turned out or exercised by someone else then you only riding in 3 times a week wont be a problem. It's great that you have supportive and experienced friends behind you but don't let yourself be talked into anything you're not 100% sure about.

10th March 2010, 06:43 PM
i would say definately no! :shocked: i dont understand why your friend is encouraging you to buy your own, its too early and would be irresponsible to buy one just to practise riding! :frown: i would advise simply paying for more lessons to gain more riding experience. i know its expensive but less than paying for full livery!

10th March 2010, 06:44 PM
I'm going to be honest here and say no I wouldn't buy look into getting a share which you can gain experience with but at the same time get enough riding and it costs a fraction of the price. Just until you gain experience with looking after a horse.

10th March 2010, 08:50 PM
i would advise to get a share /loan if you had youre own horse and someone was riding for you would you be totally happy with how they rode and looked after youre baby in youre absence extra lessons be good tho and cheaper look in local tack shops and put notice on yard to advertise youre interest in loaning

10th March 2010, 09:57 PM
If it was me i wouldn't be buying a horse just yet. You've only been riding 10 months and yes you enjoy it now but will you still enjoy it in a years time. I would have more lessons a week and look out for a share horse. If you still enjoy thr riding and enjoy looking after a horse then start looking in a couple of years time to get your own. You might even find someone who just wants someone to ride their horse without having to pay anything!!!!

10th March 2010, 09:58 PM
Definitely not!

I waited 7 years of riding, helping out at various yards, sharing and loaning before I looked into buying my own. I wanted to make sure I had as much knowledge as possible as if you buy a horse, it relies on you and you need to know exactly what you are doing as things can go drastically wrong very quickly.

Personally, I wouldn't even get a loan yet. If you really want to get into caring for one horse in particular a share situation would be best for you. It would teach you the things you need to know about horse care and you would have someone else who is experienced to help you should you have any difficulties.

You will probably find that if you want to carry on with it, in time you will have the knowledge and experience to become a horse owner :) x

10th March 2010, 10:44 PM
I would probably say try to get some experience in actually looking after a horse first, maybe volunteer for a week on a livery yard in the summer or something (you'd have to take a week off work of course). Once you've got that then I think a part-loan/share would be the next step ideally just to give you more of an idea of exactly what's involved (although if you had the horse on full livery you wouldn't really be looking after the horse as such anyway).

If you can't find a share horse though I don't see why you shouldn't try to buy a horse for yourself, if you're prepared to commit fully to it. It's not like you've only been riding a few weeks and although many people have to save for years to buy a horse if you can afford your own now then good for you. You just need to acknowledge that it is very expensive owning a horse and there are always problems along the way so just be sure that you can deal with all that. Obviously you'd need a horse suitable for a less-experienced rider too, a cob type probably.

You could then get somebody else to part-loan your horse on the days you couldn't ride perhaps. I would go for part-livery rather than full though if you can. That way the yard would look after your horse for 5 days a week and you would do 2. Mucking out your own horse and feeling as though you're looking after him is really very satisfying and it would help you to keep learning too.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

10th March 2010, 10:45 PM
p.s. there are courses you can do to help with your knowledge too, some yards do BHS Horse Care certificates and there are distance learning courses too. Might help you to feel more confident about the prospect of owning. If you're on a livery yard there will always be people that can help out and advise you too.

10th March 2010, 11:07 PM
Go for the loan at least that way its less costly to you and also you can pick days that would suit you. I just think it would be a waste buying at this moment in time. I've had a lot of fun loaning and also if its not suitable you can give it back and get another

11th March 2010, 05:56 AM
If you buy a horse that is suitable for your needs now as a beginner, it will probably not be suitable for you in 2 or 3 years down the line when you are more experienced.

If you think of it in car terms, most people are best starting with a little low powered low maintanance car, then once they've been driving for a bit they want something a bit fancier with more umph.

I would wait until you are more experienced, 10 months is nothing in terms of learning to ride.

On the full livery front, yes a lot of people do keep their horse on full livery, but they'll never bond with that horse in the same way as someone who looks after it themselves. I'm a yard owner, and the majority of horses on our yard respond better to me than their owners. Depends whether or not you can handle that and how much it would bother you.

11th March 2010, 05:24 PM
Its up to you really what you do ,you could always advertise free help i.e. mucking out , bringing in etc, grooming for riding , word your ad your situation you would have lessons on the horse and just ride in a areana /small paddock until competant to hack under instruction ,im sure youll get someone who needs a bit of help .If you decide to get a horse and can financially afford to and the livery , there are people who have ridden a month or two and bought one and kept it on full livery because of there circumstances only ride three times a week ,i have arelative whos getting her cob mare back 18 y.o. been on loan for years and years she has a business and family and will keep her on full livery and spend weekends with her and she hasnt rode her in i think several years ,at livery its done for you and you have lots of help if needed .Goodluck in what you do .:)