If you lived in my state and were a good rider you could come to my barn and have your pick of horses to ride for free. Hauling to lessons and shows included as long as you pay for the lesson and chip in gas.
You can do a lot of horsey things without being a horse owner. I've worked on the track, driven a horse and carriage, horse-sat, transported horses for CANTER, volunteered and judged at shows, done some hacking for other people, and taught a few up-down lessons over the years. I've had to give up riding several times due to work/education, and when I was ready, picked it right back up again.
Not horseless now (NOW I'm trying to find people to ride/play with my horses ) but when I was I did all sorts of things depending on what my time & finances allowed. Volunteered at a couple horse rescue places (including being on standby for the local animal control that sometimes needed to seize horses but didn't really have anyone on staff who was terribly experienced with them), half-leased, took lessons, audited clinics, helped my friends with horses groom for shows, would spend afternoons clipping/mane pulling all the lesson horses at the barn in exchange for a free ride, rented yoga for riders tapes, etc. I also made the effort to do things that I never seemed to have time/money for when I have horses. Like bonsai, season passes to the Natural History Museum, summer concert series, etc.
\"For all those men who say, \"Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,\" here\'s an update for you: Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it\'s not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage.\"-
Thanks for asking Latte is doing just fine, she's bored, getting fat and fuzzy back in New Mexico while I am away at school in Oklahoma. I'm currently without a vehicle, but am hoping to take out an auto loan sometime next semester when I have a clearer schedule at which point, I'll begin searching for a ranch-type job. Until then, I'm feeling extremely "unwhole" without much horsey contact.
"...through his mane and tail the high wind sings,
Fanning the hairs, who wave like feathered wings." William Shakespeare
I totally feel your pain. I'm in school in the city with no car, so as of right now I'm not riding at all. Hopefully, once school is done in April I can start part-boarding, or even just lessons again. It's been really hard, but I try to look on the positive: I have lots of time for my school work, and I'm able to save a fair amount of money so that I will have it to spend when I'm in a position to ride again! I'm considering volunteering at a therapeutic riding facility. I also try and get out to the racetrack or shows as much as I can. Plus, I have COTH to help fill my horsey void, I'm living vicariously through you guys!! I just keep reminding myself that it's just a few more months.
CRAYOLA POSSE - Olive Green
Champions aren't born. They are built little by little, day by day, with patience and love for the art. -Nick Skelton
If you're in Oklahoma, definitely try asking around at the QH ranches whether they need an extra hand. I suspect most large QH breeding facilities are now coming to the harsh realization that they are NOT going to sell their young stock without some training/mileage on them in this economy. If you're exclusively a hunt seat rider, you may be able to explain to them that the saddle type/riding style don't really *matter* when the brief is simply to get a greenie walking, turning, stopping, bending, and traveling in a straight line. Worked for me...
I'm not of course strictly "horseless" but HRH Avery is not really rideable, so I lucked out when I moved to what essentially is a QH foal mill. They have more greenbroke heese and babies than they can work, which means I get to play too! Hopefully you can find something similar.
"The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief
I just picked up a part-lease on a horse, and will be riding just him on Tuesday nights. On Saturdays, I'll be taking an eventing lesson on him, and 3 vaulting lessons for a total of 5-6 hours on 5 horses. On Sundays, my instructor's husband usually rides him, so I'll ride whoever needs the exercise most (probably helping her leg up the two horses she is getting ready for a Limited Distance ride), and I have people at two different barns with multiple horses I can ride for free. We also have some theraputic riding/vaulting programs in my area, which I'm considering volunteering for, but it's tough to make the time for it. I also enjoy volunteering at local shows.
I've had to go entirely without regular riding for a year or two here and there, and made do with the occasional trail ride on a rental horse or opportunity to ride a friend's horse for free. I don't understand the people who say that they need a horse for their mental health - I really miss them a lot when I can't ride or be around them, and they're important to me, but I'm not going to turn into a crazy bitch if I can't!
Stay me with coffee, comfort me with chocolate, for I am sick of love.
Unfortunately I feel the same way. I am 30, got my first horse when I was 8, and never spent more then 5 days (and that was after a hospital stay) with out being on a horses back for the next 13 years.My horse had a freak accident and was put down when I was 22.
That was the start of 7 long years of horselessness.I leased, free leased, took on training projects,taught lessons, volentered. But it was never the same as having my own horse.
It often left me feeling fustrated. And I didn't know why (after all I was getting horsey time). But it just wasn't the same.
Now I have had my youngster for a year.even though I can't ride her yet. Caring for her brings back that same feeling as before.
Originally Posted by nightsong
While all those activities sound worthwhile, I don't think they really do it. It's like making up for not having "true love" by going out with someone else's boyfriend...
I've been horseless for about 5 years now. I've done a lot of moving in the last 5 years (college, then grad school, now living in another city while hubby is in school) so it hasn't been really feasible to get a horse.
I tried the "riderless horses and horseless riders" thread but nothing worked out. I posted an ad on the wall of a local tack shop that found me a ride in grad school and I absolutely adored him. When I got to the city I'm living now, I posted an ad on craigslist saying I'm available to ride/train/exercise someone's horse. I had several answers to that one, and found a good situation here that led to other barns where I'm riding for a few people now.
I guess I've lucked out, but I did go through my share of interesting/not ideal situations before finding good ones. Some people just ending up too far away, others were just those "crazy horse people" that we all know are out there.
So there are always people who need good riders to help them out with their horses, I've found. You just have to get out there, put up ads, and be careful, of course. The first time I ever went to any of these barns to meet them I went with my husband or a friend or something.
I basically have the best friends ever. They're all at school right now, and they let me ride their horses. One of my friends actually said I could pull her mare out of "retirement" and get some practice on her.
Plus I got a job at a local barn with an eventing trainer who gives me lessons on her amazing horses in exchange for working.
I know it's not the same as having a horse of my own, but it's the best I can do right now... I've learned that I can bond with and love pretty much any horse. And it's definitely helping to get me ready to buy a horse when I can save up the money.
I attempt to get my horsey fix by coming here. I've been horseless for a few years and will probably remain horseless for a few more years! I ride when I go home and have looked into doing it out here but I don't have the money or time. So living through everyone with horses on COTH works for now.
***Honorary Member of the "What is BOSS?" Cult...er...CLIQUE***
***Prominent Member of the 'Irrelevent Posters Clique'*** CrayolaPosse ~ Bluegreen
My ponies are currently 1200 miles away from me I can't afford to keep them in the DC area when I have a pasture at home that they adore and a father who loves taking care of his "grandponies."
I try to get my horsey fix anyway possible. Volunteering, going to horse shows and events, looking at my boys on their webcam (they actually have one ), tack shopping, and of course COTH. I get an update of the funny things they do at least twice a week.
I'm going to start hunting soon with a group close to my current location. I'm a decent enough of a rider to find people with greenies needing hunting milage.
mcm- I'm living in Alexandria too!!! PM me if you have free time sometime.