View Full Version : Parents with kids in the under 16 camp...

May. 28, 2010, 07:06 PM
Do your kids know how much (or how little) you spent on their horses?

Does the answer change if said horse is VERY expensive, or VERY cheap? like $250k vs. $250.00

If you said yes (they do know), would you also tell them the purchase price of a horse you bought for someone else to show, like your trainer?

TIA :)

Hunter Mom
May. 28, 2010, 07:53 PM
My daughter is 8, and she's asked before how much we spent on our horses. I told her. I wouldn't have told her if she hadn't asked. How much they were really didn't make a difference (although they both cost the same).

May. 28, 2010, 07:57 PM
im not a parent, but i remember my parents started telling me how much things were costing us when i was maybe 14, and thats probably because i did not have a very good grasp of just how much it costs before they told me. granted, we've never been able to afford anything really impressive. i am 18, btw. i have a friend who is 19, and i think she must not have a very good idea of just how much things cost, sometimes. I'm not sure. she knows just how much her horses cost and what not, but i dont think her parents really give her clear information on how costly this is for their family, if its at the top of their budget, etc. one time she thought she was going to have to sell her horse and never be able to show again because she did not go to a show for a month. o.O i should add that she goes to shows just about every weekend and currently has 2 very very impressive horses. i wouldnt call her spoiled, she doesnt act like a princess or get everything she wants, but i dont think she has the best idea of just how much of chunk of change this costs her parents

personally i think it's better to tell your kids, because i know i didnt think it was costing us much at all until i k new. it puts things in perspective, and it's kind of humbling. it meant i was then responsible for paying for extra things, like that purple saddle pad i was dying for, and the matching brushes i *had to have* and such.. and i actually liked (and still do) feeling financially responsible. when i was 16 i got a job working as a groom and then i started paying to half lease a pony. saying "hey, i just paid the monthly lease for this horse" feels kind of nice for a kid. i worked every free hour i had to make anywhere from $500-1k a month to afford it, and it feels really good to think that i've made thousands of dollars in that time, all when i was 17. i have taught myself a lot about financing and taxes and things like that; i think that 14/15 is a good age to start introducing financial responsibility, or at least knowledge, to your kids. i mean, if the parents arent struggling to pay for little susie's pony, but susie always wants a new saddle pad or something, maybe they could start telling her that "well, with the $30 you spent on that, that 30 could have also been put towards xyz" and then tell susie that if she does these chores, then she'd be able to afford it. something like that.

May. 28, 2010, 08:13 PM
I still haven't told my (now) 17 y.o. how much her horse cost. She knows it was a significant purchase, but she also knows that it's a small part of the total amount that is spent on her guy. This particular horse is a money pit.
I know we didn't tell the girls how much the best pony in the world cost and I have never discussed how much my 'personal' beasties cost. They know I bought the appy for $70 and the little TB mare for $1. All the rest I keep to myself and they were all modest amounts - well under $10,000.

They know how I price the horses I have for sale, FWIW.

May. 28, 2010, 08:13 PM
Depends on your child. Some kids understand the value of money at 8, some not til 25.

May. 28, 2010, 08:21 PM
If they ask, I would tell them... as long as you don't care if the entire world may know...

I have kids that range from 23 to 3 years old and they really don't understand money until they start driving and need gas money.

I tried to explain about car prices to my 12 year old today - and he's a pretty smart fella - but still really didn't get it.

I don't have any that want horses (just me) but I see kids that their parents spend LOTS of money on their horses and shows etc... and all I can say is - - they should make sure to thank their moms and dads.....

May. 28, 2010, 08:37 PM
Like superpony, I'm not a parent, but for what it's worth:

I think at 14 you should start introducing your children to what things cost. By 14, I was responsible for saying for anything "fun" including clothes, lessons, etc. (I never had a horse.) By 16, I really had an idea of how to prioritize what I spent my money on, and when I went off to college at 18 I was much better off than a lot of my peers.

At 20, I have no problem writing a check for several hundred (or on the occasion, several thousand) dollars for something important that's worth the cost. At the same time, I laugh at my friends who spend $4 every day on their coffee because I know how many tanks of gas, lessons, or whatever that adds up to.

As someone who works with kids, I don't think I would hide it from my younger children, but I don't think I would go around making sure they knew either. I don't think they'll get it much before the 14-16 range.

May. 28, 2010, 08:56 PM
My parents bought me my first pony at 13- and informed me of the costs from purchase, pre-purchase exam, board and lesson fees to the exact total (down to the cents!) of the first time he had needles. They didn't try to make me feel guilty- it was more to have an appreciation. I think they were hoping to get me in the mentality of thinking "oh, four hours of babysitting gets me one lesson" and so on.

Said pony was sold when I was 16 and replaced with my current horse. While they did purchased the new horse, it was decided that they would leave lessons and farrier fees up to me, with more and more responsibilties being added as I got older. I didn't show the pony, but had a fairly competitive and intense first year on the horse, so I was responsible for the difference in owning a packer pony to a show horse. Thankfully, I had learned at a somewhat younger age how much things cost and was prepared for it.

My cousin got her first pony when she was 6- and was told it cost "as much as 12 barbie houses". This got the message across to her- her 12hh pony cost 1200$- although she understood it in terms that were accessible to her. She is now 10, and has a better appreciation for the real money and how many 'barbie houses' things cost.

On the other hand, there is a girl that is 19 years old where I now board. Her parents pay for everything, and when asked how much her horse cost, her answer is "I don't know, but I realllllllllyyyy wanted him!"

I would tell them how much the horses were purchased for. Whether they are cheap or expensive to initially buy, they all cost the same to keep. If it is a big part of their life and your family lifestyle, there is no reason they shouldn't know. It doesn't mean they'll understand or really care, but it will begin to pave the way for a good perspective later on.

May. 28, 2010, 09:11 PM
My parents paid for lessons and shows throughout my middle/high school years, but they never bought me a horse. I worked my butt off at the barn cleaning stalls, feeding, etc., every day after school and the barn owner eventually gave me a horse. I have always paid for my horse's farrier and vet bills, plus any extras. My parents paid for lessons and shows until I turned 18, and then told me I was on my own with the "horse stuff" (they didn't understand my horse addiction). Throughout all of this, I learned to manage my money quite well, and now feel that I have a very good grasp on how expensive horses are and how to prioritize my finances.

I think the biggest impact on the horse/money situation for me was when I was about 15. In December/January of that year, my dad made me sit down and plan a budget for how many shows I was going to do that year, how much each of them would cost, etc. Making that budget not only helped my dad in knowing how much money to allot for my shows, but also in teaching me a big lesson as to how much money my dad was putting into me and my horse. After that, I was much more grateful for the money my parents spent on the horse hobby.

May. 28, 2010, 09:38 PM
I think its a good thing to tell kids how much money their sport costs, afterall, money is such a huge part of our sport. I was 12 when I decided to take my pony finances into my own hands, because, well, things just werent getting done the way I wanted :winkgrin:. Being financially responisible for my horse has really shaped me into the person and rider that I am. I have learned to plan, budget, set goals, and prioritize. It has really made me a much more mature, realistic kid. I feel as if I have an advantage over many of my peers that dont have a clue about money. FWIW, Im 16 now.

So in a nut shell, I would be open about horse prices. It shouldnt change the way that your daughter looks at her horse or pony. In the end, its really the ride that counts. :)

May. 28, 2010, 09:43 PM
I remember very vivedly the horse show meetings that I started attending when I was 5. It was lighthearted until about half way through, when our trainer looked all of us kids in the eyes, and told us, "Your parents spend a lot of money so that you can have a good time showing. If I ever see one of you kids being snotty, I WILL pull you off the horse, and you will not show. I don't care if it's your own horse, I won't have brats representing this stable". As a result, we all grew up very polite and knowledgeable about how fortunate we were.

Hunter Mom
May. 29, 2010, 08:24 AM
I remember very vivedly the horse show meetings that I started attending when I was 5. It was lighthearted until about half way through, when our trainer looked all of us kids in the eyes, and told us, "Your parents spend a lot of money so that you can have a good time showing. If I ever see one of you kids being snotty, I WILL pull you off the horse, and you will not show. I don't care if it's your own horse, I won't have brats representing this stable". As a result, we all grew up very polite and knowledgeable about how fortunate we were.

I think I love your trainer!

We all attend a meeting each winter to start planning for the show season. She goes over the hauling, braiding, stall, show, coaching, hotel and just about every other fee you pay at a show. Kids attend these meetings with their parents. It is never to early to have kids learn about money and how much things cost.

May. 29, 2010, 08:29 AM
If they ask, I would tell them... as long as you don't care if the entire world may know...

This is why I didn't tell my kids. I've heard so many kids discussing the prices of their beasties. It can be sort of a status thing - like it's not enough to have a horse, they have to have a more expensive horse than little Susie! Also, it's not something I'd want to slip out in converation around non-horsey friends.

I didn't talk about general spending and my feeling on that because the OP asked specifically about telling kids the purchase price of the horse/pony. I'm all for sharing the costs of everything else!!

May. 29, 2010, 09:03 AM
I am a mom but my 7 yr old daughter doesn't really have a concept of how much it all costs, however she knows its expensive and we don't have money for a pony. She put on her birthday list that she wanted a pony, and then she later crossed it out quite calmly because she knows we can't afford one :)

Growing up I knew pretty much every cost associated with my horse. I know how much they cost, I knew how much board and lessons and shows and braiding and shipping cost. Mostly because I worked off my expenses. My last junior year my parents let me off the hook and stopped my barn work so I could focus on showing since it was my last year and I was trying to qualify for the eq finals. I was pysched. When all was said and down and the finals were over, horse was sold (at a significant profit), my dad calculated that all the profit we got on the horse was eaten up several times over by all the showing we did in that last year. I don't think he's quite forgotten that conversation, nor have I some 20+ yrs later! That was the last time we could convince him that horses were investments! Oh well! :)

May. 29, 2010, 02:21 PM
My 2 daughters know how expensive our 2 horses are.....it really doesn't matter if they are $100 horses or $10,000 horses .....what a horse costs initially can fluctuate according to what you can afford.....a couple of hundred or thousand....the cost really evens out in where you board your horse(s), grain, hay, vet bills, etc. -- then of course, the purchase of a trailer, show fees, trainer fees, and yes....attire...for BOTH horse and rider!!! Yikes....it just goes on and on and money for us does not grow on trees, unfortunately. Both my daughters help me at the barn feeding, mucking, and whatever else needs to be done....we board other horses to be able to afford our "hobby" -- when my girls need something "horsey", ie., new show shirts, breeches, boots.....well, we save up for it.....they work it off, too....depending on what needs to be done. I usually pay for the routine costs, such as vet, feed, etc. but anything with regards to their own riding attire or special things for the horses, then they are responsible for earning it on their own. I think it makes for much more responsible kids and horse owners in the end -- my girls know that owning a horse is a very special privilege.

May. 29, 2010, 06:04 PM
My 10 year old asked a few years ago about cost so I broke it out into pieces i.e., lessons are X, shows are Y. She "pays" for half her show costs by a weekly allowance which she earns at home. That philosophy did a nice job of teaching her how to stretch money further.. "Mom, I'll do a home show this week because it's cheaper".

She has asked about the cost of the ponies and my horse and I always respond, "Too much!" As a mom, I too have seen little girls chat about whose pony was more expensive.

May. 29, 2010, 06:45 PM
When my parents bought me my first horse at 13, they (non horsey) discussed the price openly with me, along with all other expenses (they always had with various half leases, etc). I wouldn't have even considered sharing that information with anyone. IMO it depends on the kid.

May. 29, 2010, 07:09 PM
Not a parent, but an ex-kid ;) and while I knew my horse's purchase price, and how much board was in general, I never really knew what everything else cost. I still don't, for example, know how much the Brenderup was, or what my trainers charged for lessons. I didn't really need to know--the more relevant answer was that THAT was what we spent money on or where we had to go. My brother and I didn't get new cars in high school (or any cars, come to that) or have TVs in our room, we didn't go on big vacations like a lot of our classmates...we had the horse.

May. 30, 2010, 04:35 PM
Not a parent.

But my parents laid it out pretty early for me this was not a cheap sport. My first pony was $800. For an extra $15 I could also purchase his bridle. It was my decision since I was using my savings to buy the pony. I was 9 YO.

I started out showing on the A circuit in short stirrup & then progressed thru medium & large ponies. I qualified for Pony Finals, Indoors & my large pony got a national ribbon it's green year. While I didn't know the exact costs of everything (I knew what my ponies cost, shows, how much prize money I got back, lessons, training--no clue to vet or farrier type stuff) I did know it was expensive even with us keeping the pony at home, trailering ourself, braiding, self care, etc... Therefore I had to dedicate myself 100% & be serious about my riding. I also had to pick between things--do you want new show clothes or the cool expensive jeans for school (who here remembers the Guess jeans with the zippers at the ankles--I thought my mom would die when she found out they were like $70!!)?

On the flip side, my parents were very cool when in 7th grade I said that while I loved riding, I didn't want to do it at that level so I stopped showing A's, tried some local dressage/eventing, got involved in school things & dabbled around. Two years later I was wanting to re-commit to the horses 100% & I started off in the junior equitation never looking back until I aged out. At that point I was very aware of the costs & contributing by working part time at a tack shop & the barn doing anything that was needed.

I think it's good for your kids to know or at least have a grasp of the costs involved with horses & showing. I think it helps in life. I've met people in their 30's who are clueless to finances. You learn you can't always have everything you want & to pick what is important to you while maintaining a budget.

May. 30, 2010, 06:45 PM
Another non-parent here compelled to share :)

My parents had a vacation house that they sold years ago (I'm now in my mid twenties). Initially I was quite upset about the sale because it was a place I had thought I would be taking *my* kids in years to come. Part of me was, admittedly, also being a plain spoiled girl (ha!!). A few months after the sale my mom mentioned how much it had been for the cleaning crew, the different types of insurance, agency fees, how much those insurance rates had changed in the 10+ years they had the house (the difference was staggering), etc. The moment I heard that, my response was, "Why didn't you sell the house YEARS ago?!?!"
They told me the settlement amount but after hearing the upkeep numbers, it meant a lot less!!

So basically, I think- regardless of purchase price, the simple fact that ponies are $$$ to keep should be stressed overall, and that most children aren't priviledged enough to be given the experience of owning a horse.

That being said, it'd be interesting to find out her motivations for finding out the purchase price. Curiosity of competition?? I would stress there's not a need to go sharing the information and that it's not another kid's place to know something like that. (Might be a nice addition to include that sometimes other kids mis-hear things their parents say, or exaggerate, or downright lie!!)

May. 31, 2010, 02:30 AM
As an ex kid my first horse was bought for me when I was 8 she was $400. Dad also bought saddle, bridle, pad, vet, farrier, halter etc. for the grand total of $800. When I was 14 said horse died leaving me heart-broken. Sold all her tack and had just enough to buy my own 2nd horse. I always knew how much my horses cost because after the age of 14 I paid for them. Only thing I didn't pay for was hay, board, & feed. Did I agree with this? Not really but I did learn exactly how much everything cost and if I couldn't afford it it didn't happen.
My now 7 year old daughter asked how much a pony costs and I always tell her too much. She "pays" for her lessons in good grades and knows when we can afford it I will get her a pony.

May. 31, 2010, 09:10 AM
My stepson is 16 and while he no longer rides, he has a couple other hobbies that are fairly expensive. We started teaching him about budgeting and choices years ago because we wanted to curb a sense of entitlement that we saw being promoted elsewhere in his life. We started having family discussions when he was 8 or 9 about things like where we'd go on vacation, x days here or y days at the less expensive place closer to home, and he's always had to contribute some of his allowance to his sports and the gear it requires. I think it's been valuable for him to learn the value of working hard to earn what you'd like to have, and to understand that money is not unlimited and is a family resource that gets shared among *all* of our needs and wants.

Riding is a very expensive sport and personally I think kids should be aware of that, but I'm not sure that I'd share details like the cost of an expensive horse. All the kid has to know is that it was a big purchase and a very special privilege they should be grateful for. I do think they should be aware of costs like board, lessons, showing, etc - this info is not something that is going to be thrown around in a competitive way among teens in the barn, but it sure adds up.

May. 31, 2010, 09:55 AM
Think it does not do any good at all unless the kid in question understands there are $xxxxx available for all expenses every month and what the other expenses are. Until they understand disgressionary income is what the horse is and that is what's left after every thing else is paid? They just don't get it.

My folks sat me down at the table when I was about 13 or 14 and showed me what came in and what went out every month and that was why I did not get a horse. Cried at the unfairness of it all for weeks but understood it just was not there. It bolstered my work ethic as well.

But just saying what it cost to a teen? Ahhh...not with most of them. You get the snotty mine was more then yours was and I hear that one way too often.

Fact I was appalled at a just out of college 24 year old who was whining when she finally realized she could not afford her apartment, car (BMW) AND a horse. She always knew the amount the horses cost, just never bothered to relate it to income. 24 with a degree and halfway thorough grad school.:rolleyes:

May. 31, 2010, 12:08 PM
I'm not a parent, but I know how much the horses cost. The first pony I was given, the second I got a job and worked for and my two boys (while cheap to buy) my parents paid for, I know what they cost. I help work and pay for the horses because I'm the one riding and showing them not my parents. It makes me pick and choose what I'm going to do and has helped me save money rather than blowing it on stupid items.

May. 31, 2010, 12:50 PM
I'm not a parent (thank goodness!) but from the time I started riding (at age 12), it was made VERY clear to me how much every single thing cost- both time-wise and money-wise. When my parents helped me buy my first horse when I was 14, I had already saved a significant amount of money by pet sitting/dog walking, lawnmowing, washing cars, saving my allowance, whatever else I could do at that age to make a buck here and there. I had to decide if I was getting a new pair of riding pants (think-- old ones were threadbare with a hole in the crotch) or a new saddle pad/halter/whatever that I didn't really need. Stuff like that.

When I bought my second horse at age 18, my parents had said Absolutely NOT. But, I sat down, figured things out, and used the money I'd been saving for an expensive camera and some other things, plus finding myself a second job, and wrote the check, and all the following checks, myself. Still haven't bought that camera, due to said horse's expensive meds and bills and whatnot... but I would not be able to live with myself if my parents had handed him to me and paid for everything he needs. I like being able to enjoy what I have because of how hard I work to get there.

May. 31, 2010, 02:54 PM
Not a parent, but my sister and I grew up riding, and each had a pony from a pretty young age. Our parents made us generally aware of the costs, and we definitely knew that it was an expensive hobby and that the "cost" of showing was that we did that instead of Disney, etc. But, our barn did a great job of not focusing on how much individual ponies cost--because with a herd of young girls, whether the parents realize it or not, that very rapidly becomes a "my pony is more expensive than yours" kind of a situation. I think that this was a good policy--particularly with a sibling. Mom & Dad might have spent $5K on one kid's pony because it was best suited for that kid, and $10K on a pony for the other child, because it was the best match.

All that said, although at the time I thought that I did, I had NO appreciation for how much money we were spending on horses until I went to college and had to figure out how to pay board and expenses on two of them :). So just keep in mind that you can do a fabulous job as a parent, but there's just no substitute for real life experience.

Wheel Whip
May. 31, 2010, 03:57 PM
Pony Club requires every member to keep horse management records. Detailed records listing expenses of horse, shows, lessons, truck, trailer etc. They also have a column where the PCer has to list THEIR contributions to their horse's upkeep from income (babysitting, mucking...). Always a good idea!

May. 31, 2010, 04:08 PM
My parents bought me my first horse at 15. I was very involved in the process. I knew how much he costs (About $2500 and I also knew the horse was over priced at that! but I loved him) I paid board, vet, shows and lessons all by my self by having a job at the barn (I started working at 14 because I was bound and determined to get my own horse!). I had a checking account and my pay checks went in there to pay for horse stuff and gas.

The first 6 months my mom split the board with me. My parents also paid for our camping at shows, but I did my own entries so I knew EXACTLY how much it all cost.

My dad would sometimes open my vet bills and pay them with out telling me. but I never expected it and always had the money for those bills.

May. 31, 2010, 04:32 PM
I bought a horse for my daughter when she was 9 (she is now 11). She knew what all of our requirements, including max price were. She is aware how much board is, how much lessons cost, etc. I feel it is important she understand how much goes towards her hobby because there are sacrifices made to support it. It is not done to make her feel guilty, it is to help her understand that there are choices we have to make, that we can't have everything. So far it seems to be working and she has a pretty level head about it.

When she is older and can earn money at the barn or by catch-riding, some of the expenses will become her responsibility. We will sit down and discuss what is reasonable and come up with a plan at that time.

Running Fox Farm
May. 31, 2010, 08:30 PM
My son has always known exactly what his ponies have cost - which is usually not a lot. He also has always been aware that it is up to him to make the pony worth something. He has heard from the time he was 6 ( I didn't expect so much from him as a leadliner) that any time you get down off a horse it should be a better animal than when you got on it. Granted, he's got nice stock to work with, and maybe he hasn't won al the big eqs or the A's, but he's learned a lot more than most kids about being a " horseman" and not just a " rider". We're pretty happy with that.

May. 31, 2010, 08:59 PM
Another non parent, but my parents always (well, starting like age 12) told me how much my horse stuff cost. My parents have always paid for board, lessons, shows, and all that through highschool and still do pay for most of the stuff through college. Money is kinda tight now with the economy(Dad works for a mortgage insurance company which equals no commision right now) so I'm working over the summer as much as possible to pay for some of the bigger shows, although my parents are fine with paying for local schooling shows (ones that cost less than 200ish for the weekend).

I wanted to add though that my parents, especially my mom, have always been really open with me about how much most things cost, not just horses. I know roughly how much our house costs, roughly how much my parents make, how much bills are, etc. My parents got married young and started out somewhat in debt, so my mom has always wanted to teach me about being responsible with my money so that I don't do the same thing.

May. 31, 2010, 09:02 PM
Do your kids know how much (or how little) you spent on their horses?

Does the answer change if said horse is VERY expensive, or VERY cheap? like $250k vs. $250.00

If you said yes (they do know), would you also tell them the purchase price of a horse you bought for someone else to show, like your trainer?

TIA :)

DD, who is 14, would know in the context of a budget. She'd get a little talk about how rude it is to compare prices if we overspent or got the deal of the century, too.
I can't imagine buying a horse for someone else (not DH or DD) to show. Phrased in the context of a horse for ME, that is placed in a program because I haven't the time to keep the horse tuned up and part of the program includes the trainer or a talented junior catch rider riding in shows at a level I just can't get to - she might know. I don't know why I would be spending lots of money on overhorsing myself though.

May. 31, 2010, 09:24 PM
My parents bought my mare when I was 14, and I knew exactly what she cost ($6K), as well as what board and lessons cost. Even at that age, I would never have dreamed of telling anyone else. And I still to this day do not tell anyone (other than my hubby :lol:) what I spend on her. FWIW, I took over all her expenses by the time I was 22, and was paying partially long before that...so including me in the finances worked out pretty well!


To the MAX
Jun. 1, 2010, 08:44 AM
I knew what my horses cost but I also knew not to discuss it with others...You can let them be privy but then say something to the effect of, "Remember, a person's finances are personal. This is not something that you discuss with your friends or strangers, even if they ask."

Life is Good 2
Jun. 1, 2010, 08:47 AM
We consider this a luxury sport and my DD knows what her horse cost but more than that the ongoing expenses. At 15 she needs to be aware of costs and learn to make choices. At the start of each year she is given a budget for her horse. There are fixed costs and unexpected costs to be budgeted for. She has an idea what show costs are and can figure out her shows after fixed costs are taken care of. She has been doing this for 2 years and it has been a great learning experience. She is shocked how fast money disappears. She is surprised at the older girls at the barn who have no clue what it is costing and they are careless with tack and take everything for granted. Those are the moms who complain that their daughters are spoiled. Well REALLY?

Jun. 1, 2010, 08:59 AM
My ten year old only knows that they are expensive and she is very privileged to have the opportunity she does. I don't talk real numbers with her because I find it unnecessary. She knows that she must maintain excellent grades (she is a straight A student) and she must maintain excellent behavior (she goes above and beyond). She is a wonderful, responsible child ,and I give partial credit to the fact that she does have to care for her own pony ( good parenting and an old soul help), not because she knows the pony cost X amount of dollars. When she is older (teenager) I will get into more details of the actual costs. I also make sure she is aware that there are also costs of care and show fees lesson etc., we emphasize the ongoing cost of owning horses more than anything. :)

Jun. 1, 2010, 01:42 PM
From a young age I was always told what horses cost. That included how much it cost to trim feet, shoes, vet bills, boarding in the winter, clinics, shows, ect. I can't imagine a parent not telling their child (above a certain age/maturity) what horses cost to own. If a child doesn't have the maturity by age 12 to know what their horse costs, something is wrong, IMO.

Jun. 1, 2010, 01:53 PM
i started riding when i was 10, and my parents payed for my equipment (jods, helmet, cheap boots) and once-a-week lessons. for a long time i never really knew how much it cost, and it was probably comprable to having me do gymnastics or music, so it wasn't really an outrageous expense like a pony. i payed for my own shows with money i earned dog walking, etc.

i asked if i could have a horse, and my mom's response was always, "you can have one when you can pay for it yourself!" so i always knew that owning a horse was expensive, even if i wasn't aware of actual figures.

when i was about 16 i leased my first horse, and payed for it entirely myself by working at the barn. it was up to me to keep track of my hours and how much money i earned, and make sure everything balanced out at the end of the month. it was a great learning experience! from then on i have been responsible for ALL of my own horse expenses.

i feel if the kid is mature enough to understand, go ahead and tell them how much it costs! i also think at least contributing to part of the expense themselves really teaches a good lesson about the value of money, and working for what you want.

Jun. 1, 2010, 02:40 PM
My 15 year old is competing in the big eq and junior hunters at A shows this year and se knows how much things for her horse cost. I sat with her at the beginning of the show season and we mapped out what shows we could afford on our budget to try and meet her goals for the year.

She is a great kid and appreciates the opportunites she has and does not take this for granted.

Jun. 1, 2010, 03:13 PM
Both of my boys know - one is 10 and the other is 15. Both belong to Pony Club and keep track of everything in their record books. They actually know more about the yearly cost than I do, and I'm not sure if I really want to know :D.

FSU Girl
Jun. 1, 2010, 03:24 PM
Growing up with non-horsey parents I was always well aware of how much everything cost, lessons, shows, tack etc. I remember all my non-horsey friends asking me how much horses cost, I would always respond with too much!

Jun. 1, 2010, 03:47 PM
My parents told me, for many years we couldn't get a horse because it costs to much money. Finally, when the time was right, and I got my boy, they told me how much it costs, and they know I know how much he costs. When I go to a show I usualy split the costs or pay the trailering fee. I sometimes chip in with the farrier bills and things of that. I buy all his tack myself, unless it christmas or my birthday. I work for some people by taking care of thier dogs and that pays for my gas to drive out to the farm. I think its healthy that my parents tell me and let me know that he is my horse and I should be parcially (not fully, since I am a minor) financialy responsible.

Jun. 1, 2010, 04:56 PM
Both of my boys know - one is 10 and the other is 15. Both belong to Pony Club and keep track of everything in their record books. They actually know more about the yearly cost than I do, and I'm not sure if I really want to know :D.

I applaud both Pony Club and 4-H with educating kids about horse expenses. Now at college with my horse (on an allowance) and working part-time to pay for shoes, supplements, an even bartering for lessons, I appreciate my parents' support. Educating kids about money and budgets should begin at an early age!

Jun. 2, 2010, 01:22 PM
my parents told me when we bought our first horse after i asked, but i waited several years for a horse and understood the huge financial commitment made. now as we are getting into more and more expensive mounts i am sure i will have to make even more sacrifices, but it is most deffinitely worth it!

Jun. 2, 2010, 02:18 PM
My daughter has always known the cost of each of our horses/ponies, feed costs, boarding, training, farrier, vet, the works. She also knows what the electric bill is, how much cable is, groceries and everything else. My parents never talked to me about money so it was a rude awakening when I went out on my own. I want my kids to be prepared. Especially with a very expensive hobby.

Jun. 2, 2010, 02:27 PM
I knew what horses cost by the time I was 12, and when I was 14, I worked off all my shows, board, and lessons. I mucked stalls, rode horses for owners who were out of town, fed, started my own lil' tack-cleaning business, and even washed my trainer's dishes to work off lessons (man, she let her dishes sit for a long, long time...). Mom handled vet and farrier. The horse was sold when I was 15 and his sale price went to pay the mortgage - from then on I was on my own to either pay for the horses or find owners who would!

As a mom, my four-year old knows that things cost money, although he has no idea about numbers, of course. He knows that mom rides "his" pony before he does in part to make sure she's minding her manners that day, but also because he gets to ride the pony because mom is keeping her tuned up for her owner - he knows that stuff has to happen in order for him to get to ride.