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Parents with kids in the under 16 camp...

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  • Parents with kids in the under 16 camp...

    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?

    When the boogeyman goes to sleep, he checks the closet for George Morris. -mpsbarnmanager

  • #2
    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).
    A proud friend of bar.ka.


    • #3
      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.
      Last edited by superpony123; May. 28, 2010, 09:50 PM.

      Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3


      • #4
        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.
        Y'all ain't right!


        • #5
          Depends on your child. Some kids understand the value of money at 8, some not til 25.


          • #6
            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.....
            Live in the sunshine.
            Swim in the sea.
            Drink the wild air.


            • #7
              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.
              Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique


              • #8
                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.


                • #9
                  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.


                  • #10
                    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 . 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.
                    "To do something that you feel in your heart that's great, you need to make a lot of mistakes. Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes." -B.J. Armstrong


                    • #11
                      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.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by maudie View Post
                        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.
                        A proud friend of bar.ka.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by doublesstable View Post
                          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!!
                          Y'all ain't right!


                          • #14
                            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!


                            • #15
                              The Cost of Horses.....

                              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.


                              • #16
                                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.


                                • #17
                                  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.


                                  • #18
                                    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.
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                                    • #19
                                      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.
                                      "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"


                                      • #20
                                        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!!)
                                        Last edited by bits619; May. 30, 2010, 08:21 PM. Reason: spelling errors :)