Question for horse owners:

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by fushalilly, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. fushalilly

    fushalilly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2008
    Rhode Island
    Im a senior in high school and my dream has always been to go to college for a few years and get a degree, and then settle down with a job, and own a few horses. My problem is, I am afraid that no matter what job I get, I won't be able to afford horses and that all of my time will be consumed by the job and I won't have time for them. I almost feel like you need to be BORN into a family of affluent horse fanatics in order to own them. All I want is a tiny house on a good size piece of land with 2 horses. Any advice on what career path I should go down to ensure I will have time for them and money for them? I want to plan out my life in order to own 2 horses and have a career that supports them.

    Horse owners: How much do you find tht your horse costs you per month?
    What jobs do you find best suited for people with horses?
    What would you advise majoring in in college in order to be skilled in horse management and agriculture?
  2. hen-thusiast

    hen-thusiast Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    Wow, those are some great questions. What I've learned about having horses and other critters as well, is that it's not about how much money you make, it's about sacrifices. I have a friend who is a pharmacist and she makes four times the amount I do, but we both have horses. Although her job gives her more flexibility and free time to spend with her horse. Granted she also has more money to travel and do other things, where vacations are limited in our household. My suggestion is to pick a career that you love and things will work out.

    As for how much my horses cost a month, it's probably best to ask somebody in your region. My hay bill (for two horses) is $1400 a year, farrier $35 per horse per trim. My biggest suggestion is to have an emergency vet fund stashed away so if your horse does have some big vet bills, you don't have to worry. Colic surgery around here starts at $5500 and goes up from there.
  3. fushalilly

    fushalilly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2008
    Rhode Island
    Thank you very much Hen-thusuiast!

    That helped a lot. I am definitly willing to make sacrafices because my feelings are that a horse is better than a vacation and fancy dinners :] They are all the joy that I would ever need, including the work involved in them.

    Thanks again!
  4. ijon1

    ijon1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2009
    gaines, michigan
    If you take time to be with them and train them. They will be as friendley as a dog. But always respect their size.
  5. PaintedGemsRanch

    PaintedGemsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2009
    Hamilton, Georgia
    Hello, from a 47 acre farm in Georgia. We currently have 8 horses, and 5 mini donkeys with 2 that are bred to have babies next year. Please by no means am I trying to tell you "Dont get a horse!" Im just giving you some options and things to think about. Anything is possible if youre willing to work for it, you have a good head on your shoulders already I can see!!! Like a previous poster said, its about sacrifices!When it comes down to what "time" you have for a horse, thats up to you. My husband works out of town all week so he doesnt have time for them at all but we make time on the weekends for them. If this is how your schedule will be make sure you get a very well trained horse that doesnt get "sour" from being in the pasture and not being ridden. Horses are a pleasure and very relaxing, but a lot of work. I notice your in a colder climate. Things to think of are feed bills. It snows there so your feed bill will be more in the winter then summer. They will eat more hay in the summer too. Are you willing to seed and fertilize your pastures every year to keep them growing? With the economy the way it your best bet will be to call around for prices of feed, hay, and seed/fertilizer. Different regions are soooo different in prices. With the cold youll also need to decide if youll put a water heater in your water bucket or if youll break the ice up everyday (twice a day). Also a horses feet should be done around every 6 weeks. Call a farrier and get a quote. Vet bills are TERRIBLE!! Crazy things happen alllllll the time. Cuts, swollen joints, hoof problems, teeth that need floated, colics, just to name a few. Plus the vet charges just to come out there and an emergency fee on top of that. Then there is your vaccines and coggins. You need to get a saddle, bridle, saddle pad, reins, etc., so you can ride. If anything would happen to you while ridding (god forbid) then there is your medical bills and time off of work. Always have a nice stash put back for the "what ifs and god forbids". Please dont take what im saying as your dont need a horse... that is faaaarrrrrr from my intentions. Start off with one and see how things go. I cant say nothing will ever go wrong. We have had on and off years of "accidents". This year was bad, we had 2 horses at Auburn University for treatments bc our vet couldnt do what we needed. There went 3,000 dollars just for that. Im half tempted to add up reciepts for my own total and find out... [​IMG] no, i think ill pass... just a damper on the day. I know there is sooo much more I just cant think of a lot right now (baby just woke up, so im limited lol, sorry) Please feel free to ask questions! Ill subscribe to the thread and check back! or PM me if youd like!!!

    On the up side. Horses are wonderful, fun creatures! They give you unconditional love, joy and happiness! Anything is possible if you make it that way!!! Strive for success and settle for nothing less! You can make your dreams come true! I did! Dont rush into picking a horse, they will pick you! You need to get one that matches your lifestyle and personality.... they are out there, just be patient! [​IMG] Hope this helps a little bit and I hope I didnt shatter any dreams, bc that wasnt my intention.. [​IMG]
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I would venture to say that an awfully large fraction of horse owners in the US and Canada are not particularly well off; as hen-thusiast says, the way you afford a horse is usually to not spend money on anything ELSE [​IMG] That doesnt' mean just no big vacations and expensive dinners; for many of us it means no eating out PERIOD, eating inexpensively at home, buying only items that are truly necessary and then buying them at thrift stores or garage sales, do not carry ANY credit card debt, learn to do things yourself instead of paying others to do them for you, learn to fix things rather than replacing them, etc.

    So all of those are skills you can work on developing NOW [​IMG]

    As far as careers, if you want to keep horses on your own land then the smartest thing is probably to go into some line of work that is pretty portable and jobs exist anywhere (like for instance plumbing), as opposed to something that will more than likely tie you to locations with higher property costs and more-urban locations. However I would not suggest choosing a career mainly on the basis of expected income, you should do it because you like it and have some reasonable aptitude for it and think it is a worthwhile way to be spending forty-plus hours a week for much of your life.

    I would not worry about expecting college to teach you about "horse management and agriculture" unless you intend to go into those things *as a career*, and honestly if you do intend to go into horses as a career then college is not a great way to do it. Yeah, there are lots of colleges with equine studies programs, but they cost a lot and don't really do much for your appeal to the job market when you're done. If you just mean that you want to learn enough about horsekeeping and farming for your OWN land later on, you don't need (nor IMHO want) college courses for that -- they are skills better learned from a) wide reading b) wide observation and c) experience. I say this as a former college professor btw. College is great for many things, but teaching you to run a stable or care for horses is SOOOOO not one of them, and prospective employers tend to feel that way too [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

  7. twister

    twister Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2009
    I have had horses my entire life and currently have 6. PaintedGemsRanch's post sums it up very well. they are wonnderful, but like all animals, they DEMAND time, attention, and service (care).
    If you are just beginning to start college, now is prob not the best time to get into horses (reason: you will be swamped with studies,transition, and college life). May I suggest.... to probably find a stable and work part time there during your college years. That experience will likely teach you first hand all you will need to know and then you could make a more educated choice as to whether or not this is something you would like to pursue.

    best of luck to ya.
  8. Grace

    Grace Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 19, 2009
    I find horse ownership extremely fullfilling. I was not raised in a "horsey" family at all. However where there is a will
    there is a way, as the saying goes. I think the most important thing is that you have a passion for them, it makes
    the money and time they consume worth it. They are trully a blessing in my life and I am thankfull every day that I
    get to be a horse owner and be involved in the horse industry. It brings so much joy to my life.

    My husband and myself are both self employed, so we are able to adjust are scheduals accordingly. That wasn't
    always the case and I found I could only manage 2 broke horses comfortably. Broodmares, colts, and green horses
    require waaaay more time.

    I think the most important thing is having a passion for them, other wise the time and money they cost will not
    be worth it. [​IMG]
  9. KotaDVM

    KotaDVM Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 9, 2009
    I can answer the last question for you! Many land grant universities offer excellent animal & poultry science programs. I graduated with a bachelors and masters in equine science from Virginia Tech and I absolutely loved the experience. I chose to go into the field of veterinary medicine, but many of my classmates are successful in various fields in the equine industry. Some examples would be careers in equine research (genetics, nutrition, reproduction, etc), advertising, biotechnolgy, teaching agricultural education, training horses, or running small equine-related businesses. If you are really motivated...some of the hottest jobs right now are in equine law, equine physical therapy, and public health. Send me a PM and I can give you more details on my experiences in an equine science program.
  10. Shadowhills Farm

    Shadowhills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Crystal River, Fl
    Wow, your questions are really good....

    Right now I'm a part-time College student, with next semester having 16 hours of classes (so way full time lol!). I own a Oldenburg gelding (pics below). I've had him for 3 years, and he's been at boarding stables, leases and here at my house. In order to make things meet for him, I have him up for lease (this time on the property, though) and I also give riding lessons 4 times a week. One of my students is helping me out by purchasing hay for him (which is a nice relief). Being in college, working 2 part-time jobs and being 7 weeks pregnant is not easy, though! At one point, I thought of selling him, but that is out of the question because of my riding students. Times are going to be tough soon.....

    All I can say is take lessons (maybe even do a Working Student position, I have 1 girl who works for riding lessons and another position open), and just be around horses for now, until you feel it's the right time to lease or even purchase one.


    I hope I helped some.....let us know what you plan on doing!

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