Why oh Why...and I can't even afford to so why do I even think about it...
Here's the story...I acquired an exciting new prospect a couple months ago and will be getting him going in Jan after coming back from rehab...my problem is that I struggle financially and although I can afford the one, I seem to keep talking myself into wanting more..bad I know!!! But what I found the other day is 2 nice TB mares, both unbroke, one 3 and one 4, inexpensive to purchase but we all know that's not the main issue...anyhoo, I've recently come across a property that has a RV Trailer and 18 acres ready for horses that sets back onto trails, has a ring etc...all for $450...sounds perfect...although it's about a half hour to work etc. I pay more than that right now for one horse!! My only concern is dissappointing my parents (I moved back in with them several months ago to pay bills, and I have been doing that but I know they'd flip if they knew I was acquiring more horses.) At the same time, my career choice is horses and my goals are still upper levels (I'm almost 29.) Phhhewww, tough decisions!! But maybe I should just continue with one horse-I just want to make sure I don't pass up what might be a good opportunity horse wise-I'm thinking of breaking and then selling, and keeping the one or 2 that feel like good prospects. Ok so I'm nattering on, but what might one do if you were in the same position?
Sorry for the rant! Thanks for comments!
Judging from the title of your post, you already know that getting more horses is not the right choice right now. It's your choice, at the end of the day. But here are my two cents:
1. It sounds like your parents are being quite supportive right now. I would be very thankful for that. If you move to the new place and it doesn't work out, will moving back in with them? I think my parents would say "You wanted this. Make it work."
2. As the owner of those horses you assume all responsibility for them. I know this is obvious, but I can't stand the thought of something happening to a horse that I own and having to look them in the eye and "tell" them that I don't have the money to give them the care they need. This is a big thing for me because we can choose to be owners, but horses don't get to choose who owns them.
3. Having your horses at "home" is less expensive in the financial sense, but the amount of time and energy that you will spend taking care of your horses and the property may not be worth it. Do you have to mow the fields? Is the place in good repair or will you be stuck paying out of pocket to fix the fence, etc.? Remember that it a deal sounds too good to be true... it probably is. It sounds like you have a "regular" job so consider what it would be like to come home at the end of the day to the chores of a farm.
4. It might be good for your riding to ride more horses, etc. Maybe a better way to do this is to find some part time work riding or catch-riding.
But again... only you know what your situation is like and what you are capable of affording or handling. Just be careful not to get in over your head!!
"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant
If you buy the two new horses and rent (I couldn't tell from your post, but you are talking about renting this property at $450 a month, right?) are you going to be able to afford to train and eventually compete this other new horse? I would slow down a bit, focus on the guy you get in Jan and put some money into savings. Especially this last one. Money burns a hole in my pocket too, but financially it is so hard to take care of more than one horse when you are living on not a lot of money. What if there are unplanned vet bills, ect? And a show season always costs far more than you plan for it to
I'm going to be pretty harsh here, BUT .....even horses aside, you apparently have no idea what it takes to maintain a place with property. I only have 5 acres, and someone to help me, but it's constant work. We both work full time, and when we're off we're either mowing, or fixing something. I have 4 horses. One is retired yard art. 1 is 2 yrs. old that needs to be started under saddle, but because I have a neck injury I won't be able to start her myself. Also, because of my doctor bills it's going to be difficult to come up with the money to have someone else start her. The other 2 are pleasure/event horses that should be in regular work. Only one is getting that right now, because of all of the above.
I do love my place, and wouldn't give it up, but if you're planning to do this by yourself-forget it!
Like Beam me up said above, there are always going to be cheap horses to be had. If you want to do this for a living then get the one going that you already have, sell him and start another. With luck, and skill, you can eventually turn that into a business.
"Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George
Also -- $450 is your rent. Factor in the cost of utilities, hay, grain, all the STUFF you have to have to keep horses (wheelbarrows, buckets, forks, tubs, hoses, fence repairs, fence chargers, feed pans, feed storage, feed scoops, continue to infinitum) $450 is not what it would cost you per month to keep three horses on rented property. Read all the threads about people who can't make money on boarders, and then factor in that it will probably cost you, per horse, about whatever you are paying per month for your one horse, plus all the startup costs for stuff. You will not save any money by not boarding.
I have 4 at home, and it is NOT cheap. I spent $750 this week alone on the barn due to vet/farrier expenses and regular feed costs. All of it necessary and pretty basic stuff.
You think about it because this is your passion. How could you not think about what you love every time your brain has a free moment. You picture those two mares and your desire is overwhelming - adding more horses is speaking to your wants (perhaps even need) to make horses an even larger part of your life.
And yes, the allure of following your passion is something that everyone who has a passion understands - whether it is art, sport, music, etc.
The trick to life is to follow your passion without it completely bankrupting you and your family.
So, look at what you can do with what you currently have and go from there. Feed what passion you can and try to be some what realistic in how expensive it can be when things go wrong.
You don't need questionable (injuries, feet, mind, potential accident risks, career ending injuries) prospects and like said, mares are much harder to sell, besides figure out and mare issues.
Do you already have hay and bedding contacts fixed and in place? The CASH in hand to pay for them up front? and what fordtraktor just said about all the fixed facility costs on top of that rent. And then factor in other fixed costs; vaccines, farrier, dental, ad nauseum. Plus you are not talking about reselling high end prospects. Can you afford show expenses to promote them, to substantiate 'any' value also??
I 'dream' about who the new horse is going to be everyday. But I have to take care of what I already have and stay focused. And keep some personal cushion money b/c life is not fair. Welcome to a reality check.
Thanks everyone! I know what I should do and shouldn't do-just weighing options etc coz I do have more options than what I mentioned in the post as well. Nothing's set in stone. I've been used to having 2-3 horses the past several years but an unfortunate move (that I wish I never made) left me with next to nothing. Now the past several months I've gotten back on my feet etc and do have a great little horse but as a trainer am alway wanting more . I do know what's involved and costs etc as I've been there done that for over 20 years-I just always ponder the idea around all the time. My only issue is always having more money to compete since each weekend is almost $500-1,000 maybe I'll win the lottery today hehe
To wishful thinking...
I have lived a hard life, one that has had many opportunities that I didn't take because I was playing it safe but looking back I should have because it would have brought me to a better place.
I say at 29 years old you don't need to be loving at home and if you can afford the rent AND the bills then DO IT. Don't let the opportunity pass you by because you may not get another chance. Ask me how I know.
With that being said, do not allow yourself to take on more than you can handle financially. If you have 1 personal horse and 1 sale horse to work with DO NOT BRING IN ANY MORE UNTIL THE ONE SELLS. Live by the motto that one must leave before another comes in because if you have to work a job and care for a farm, you will not be able to devote enough training time to more than one horse.
So I say take the opportunity because lord knows if I had that being offered to me, I would jump on it because it won't last long. Then I would sit down, create a business plan and follow it. I would not allow myself more than I could handle physically and financially and take it one horse at a time.
If you don't you will end up becoming a hoarder and that will be the end of your training career.