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  1. #1

    Default To buy, or not to buy - That is the quesiton

    Hi everyone,

    Hope you can help!

    I’ve been back riding for 2 years now at a RS, last year I had one of their horses on a summer loan (3 days a week for 6 months) when my loan ended, we then loaned a pony for my daughter over winter (again, 3 days a week for 6 months, this ends in April).

    Now fast forward to now – the intention was to loan again in the summer, both a horse for me and my daughters pony again. This would work out around £420 for both, however the RS owner has a horse coming in for her to sell on, and she believes would be ideal for me, should I want to buy it.

    I keep toying with the idea of buying, I’ve got funds available to purchase a horse and having checked my finances I could afford the stabling etc. I havent been actively looking but when I spoke to the RS about buying ages ago they said they would “keep an eye out” for me if they got offered anything. Now – I apprechiate this horse may not even be any use to me but before it even gets here I want to decide in my mind what I’m doing.

    The downfall of buying being that I wouldn’t be able to afford my daughters pony as well.

    So my options are:

    Loan a horse through the RS for 3 days a week for me, and have this loan for the year whilst loaning the pony for my daughter for the summer only (repeat yearly)

    Buy the horse, let daughter stick to riding lessons (currently she rides in lessons twice a week)
    From the loans – The horses are bought up mid week from the field, and returned at the weekend. If I followed the same routine realistically I could ride 4/5 times a week.

    The Rider in me would love to finally own one (having started riding at 3 its always been a dream) but the mum in me feels like I should put my daughter first and let her have the pony on loan too.

    I'm leaning more towards loaning if I'm honest but purely because buying is a huge cost and although I can afford it, it doesn't mean I should.

    What would you suggest?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: To buy, or not to buy - That is the quesiton

    What exactly does the part loan entail? Are you responsible for all aspects of the care on your days? Do they live in from midweek until the weekend? I'm not used to this arrangement, my horse's routine is out in the morning and brought in every evening so her needs have to be met each end of the day. Also, my favourite time to ride is the weekend. Would a new horse be on full livery at this riding school?

    Is it £420 per month for both horses three times a week? If so, that's not a bad deal and is £17.50 per day for safe horses you know and experienced staff on call.

    But most importantly and notwithstanding the questions above, you need to be committed to horse ownership. It can't be a whim and done to see if it suits you IMO.

  3. #3
    Veteran alainax's Avatar
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    Default Re: To buy, or not to buy - That is the quesiton

    If your planning on buying look at other horses and other yardsband weigh them up equally. I'd never let someone else choose a horse for me, by all means cast an opinion on ones which I pick if I value their opinion.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: To buy, or not to buy - That is the quesiton

    Making some assumptions here, but: If I could rent a known quantity, at a yard I knew, trusted and liked, and with the option to change it if my needs or finances changed, or to hand it back if it breaks significantly, for £210pcm, I'd take your arm off, frankly.

    In your shoes, I'd loan both, and re-evaluate when you have more horse time under your belts to establish the keenness of both you and your daughter.

    I also agree with alainax - soooo many people seem to buy a horse because it's right in front of them. If this has been a lifelong dream, you need to be sure you're buying what you want to buy, not what someone you know wants to sell!

    Is there any chance of having this particular horse through the loan scheme?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: To buy, or not to buy - That is the quesiton

    Sorry - Mummy here. I would never get a horse for myself over my daughter. I can wait. She only has a finite number of years as a child. But - looking at your costs. I think you might be seriously overcharged by your RS. Buying is a capital cost - but keeping a horse costs the same day to day to loan a horse as buy one. If you have the capital to buy the day to day costs don't change. Might it be time to look a bit further than your RS and see what the outside horse world has to offer?

  6. #6

    Default Re: To buy, or not to buy - That is the quesiton

    Morning, Thank you all for the replies.

    The loan: essentially, it's yours for those 3 days and you're responsible for the horses needs. In winter the horses are bought in mid week, (your loan day is 2 of these days, the other days they are used in the riding school) then returned to field at the weekend (you have them 1 day over the weekend). In the summer, they're turned out every night.

    The new horse I was looking at part livery - there are 2 days a week that I work late (well, until 5pm...) so I would like the yard to care for the horse on those days.

    The £420 is to loan 2 horses for 3 days a week on a 6 month contract each time.

    Oh I know it cant be a whim thing, I've seen it myself where people buy and aren't interested after a month or so and it's not fair on anyone. The care side of things (I don't just mean mucking out but worming, getting rugs repaired, booking in for shoeing, dentist etc), as well as the riding etc I'm pretty much doing this anyway and for anything I'm unsure about, the RS are always there to help as well as the other liveries.

    The yard aren't choosing for me, they're pointing me in the direction of horses they think are suitable, It will be down to me to go out, try it, then go from there myself. The only reason I haven't been looking myself is because I don't want a random horse from the newspaper. I want something that I know (or rather, a friend of a friend type of thing) - there's SO many dodgy people out there that I daren't risk it. I know things happen, and that you can never ever be 100% sure but if it's someone that the RS know at least I'll have some idea about the horse already.

    I've been riding since i was a kid - but I had a really bad fall in my 20's and stopped (Wasn't just because of this, I then fell pregnant and was then diagnosed with a tumour... everything ran away from me) - I started riding again when my daughter started having lessons, but it was a one off monthly thing for me, it's been 2 years since I've ridden weekly.

    My daughter - She wouldn't be riding any horse I bought (She's only 10 and quite petite where are I'm tall, I need something 16hh) but it could be something she would eventually ride. I wouldn't expect her to muck out etc (after all - It'd be my responsibility) but I know she would help if i needed her too. She's done the winter loan and although she has stuck to it, you can tell when its cold etc that she's pushing herself to go muck out so I spoke to her dad and we said that we'd loan her pony in the summer and see how it goes, but she will not do any further winter loans until she's older (That said, If she just rode and i mucked out she'd be up for it..... shame I'm not daft haha) - Daughter doesn't know any of this by the way in case it doesn't happen. As far as she is concerned, after her winter loan is up, she is going back to lessons.

    The costs - The actual cost of the stabling is low - similar to the loan cost, but I got base figures from friends about how much the farrier is, the dentist, wormers etc and worked out how much it would all be for the year and divided it on a monthly basis. What I would do, as i do with everything else, is put the money to one side for when its needed so instead of having a lump sum to pay, I've got it stashed already - I hope that makes sense?

    The RS isn't the cheapest in the area, I know this. But it does have some really good facilities on hand, plus all my friends are there - as well as the staff who I've known since a kid and more importantly I trust them. If I am unsure about anything I know I can also find someone to ask. I'd rather have that "safety net" than opposed to being in a yard where I don't know anyone, and won't have the support.

  7. #7

    Default Re: To buy, or not to buy - That is the quesiton

    This isn't the first horse I've looked at (I actually saw 2/3 last year but didn't think they were what I was looking for) where as on paper, this one seems "right" (although I know this may not be the case in real life....)

    Before I even go to the yard I want to decide what I'm doing once and for all - I'm rubbish with decisions but once I've made one, I will stick to it. I was the same when I loaned, It took them 3 months to convince me I could do it before I actually went "ok" and do you know, last summer was the best time I've had in ages. When my loan ended, I've gone back to the weekly lessons (riding different horses each week, none being the one i loaned) except for last week when I finally got the loan horse in a lesson and everything just "clicked". When I'm riding different horses each week it takes me a good 15 minutes before i sort my riding out, I'm trying to remember whether i need to have long reins or whether this horse prefers kicks to squeezes etc whereas when i got on the loan I just instantly knew. And that's the thing i miss.

    There's no guarantee with the loan that I will have the same horse throughout the year. After 6 months they could swap me and so on. Whilst it would be a good thing if my riding ability had changed etc, but I personally would rather stick to one, have the fun and love that comes with that but also build up the bond and trust.

  8. #8
    Veteran alainax's Avatar
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    Default Re: To buy, or not to buy - That is the quesiton

    Quote Originally Posted by Alana25 View Post
    The yard aren't choosing for me, they're pointing me in the direction of horses they think are suitable, It will be down to me to go out, try it, then go from there myself. The only reason I haven't been looking myself is because I don't want a random horse from the newspaper. I want something that I know (or rather, a friend of a friend type of thing) - there's SO many dodgy people out there that I daren't risk it. I know things happen, and that you can never ever be 100% sure but if it's someone that the RS know at least I'll have some idea about the horse already.
    Do they still sell horses in newspapers! You won't know this horse, you said -
    Quote Originally Posted by Alana25 View Post
    however the RS owner has a horse coming in for her to sell on, and she believes would be ideal for me, should I want to buy it.
    They are buying a horse to make some profit on, and if they are lucky they have a buyer already lined up - you! This is no different from buying from a dealer in terms of how much you or they truly know about the horse. The only difference is they know how capable you are.

    If you were to buy it I presume you would have full control of all aspects of its care, and be able to move it to another yard whenever you want. (Has been previous threads on here where people were duped by riding schools into "buying" when really it was being used by the riding school.

    If you don't wish to at least look around for horses or yards else where to compare - I'd stick to loaning for now until you feel more comfortable in both horsey shopping and choosing yards away from the riding school which you may find tick more boxes for you. That doesn't mean take no advice when you do, by all means have an experienced friend/professional go with you while you try horses, an plenty of yards offer part livery and a bit of assistance to new owners.

    Just don't feel trapped in the riding school bubble.
    Last edited by alainax; 17-01-18 at 12:00 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: To buy, or not to buy - That is the quesiton

    Quote Originally Posted by alainax View Post
    Do they still sell horses in newspapers! You won't know this horse, you said -

    They are buying a horse to make some profit on, and if they are lucky they have a buyer already lined up - you! This is no different from buying from a dealer in terms of how much you or they truly know about the horse. The only difference is they know how capable you are.

    If you were to buy it I presume you would have full control of all aspects of its care, and be able to move it to another yard whenever you want. (Has been previous threads on here where people were duped by riding schools into "buying" when really it was being used by the riding school.

    If you don't wish to at least look around for horses or yards else where to compare - I'd stick to loaning for now until you feel more comfortable in both horsey shopping and choosing yards away from the riding school which you may find tick more boxes for you. That doesn't mean take no advice when you do, by all means have an experienced friend/professional go with you while you try horses, an plenty of yards offer part livery and a bit of assistance to new owners.

    Just don't feel trapped in the riding school bubble.
    Oh I know that they will make a profit. The horse is the YO's friends though as opposed to a dealer who buys them from markets etc which is where the knowledge comes into it - I wont know it, but the YO does (And I do trust her - I've known her for nearly 20 years)

    Yes, If i was buying a horse it would be my choice of where to keep it. I'm still new to the forum but I'll go have a search and read the other threads - If I bought one, it wouldn't be used in the RS.

    I've purposely stayed away from dealers because I don't know who I can trust. I know I don't have enough experience to go and buy on my own.

    Yards away from the riding school, I actually know a few (having ridden at others) but the one I'm at seems to be the better one in the area (for facilities anyway). To begin with I'd want to be there, that doesn't necessarily mean I will stay there. I think in the early stages of owning it would be beneficial for me to stay where I am until I am more confident (within my self) then look at moving if I feel the need to.

    When I've looked before I've spoke to the YO about it, then when I've gone I've taken my cousin with me (who has her own) - It would be the same with this one, If I got to the stage of "actually, I think I might buy this one" I'd ask my cousin to come and see. I wouldn't rush into the sale (If anything I'm more likely to drag my heels deciding)

    I know the RS isnt the be all and end all - I honestly do know that - It's just somewhere I am comfortable at the moment but as I say, in a few month(s) / year(s) this may change

  10. #10

    Default Re: To buy, or not to buy - That is the quesiton

    The key for me is that you said in your OP that if you bought you could not afford for your daughter to loan. Assuming she is keen then I would not put my own riding wishes before my daughter's. If she is losing interest, well that's different. But if not then I think you should stick with an arrangement that allows her to carry on loaning.

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