There are some that say every little girl wants a pony for their birthday, but in my experience this hasn’t really been the case! Despite growing up near to lots of farms and stables, I was never interested in owning a horse, and of five girls it was only ever my youngest sister who tried horse riding briefly as we were growing up. My eldest daughter has ridden a donkey at the beach before, but that’s the extent of her equestrian endeavours. And then came Bella. This girl is literally obsessed with horses and is so desperate to properly learn to ride. The thing is that we only just got our first pet (a cat) and I am so not an animal person… but can I deny her for much longer? Are we ready to own a horse?
Of course, the cost of all of this doesn’t escape me, but since when did that stop us when it comes to our calling? It’s so hard to know when the kids are serious about new hobbies or activities, and in the past I’ve signed them up to classes they were never destined to stick to… but this feels different. This feels like we might need to start seriously considering this.
Recently, I’ve found myself reading up on the level of commitment we’re looking at if we were to think seriously about investing in Bella’s passion for horse riding. I know nothing about horses,so would need lots of help and advice about choosing which animal is right for us. Also we don’t own stables, so there’s that! Other things to consider: who will teach Bella how to ride? Who will manage the day to day care of the horse? Not me! Can we afford the vet bills, and everything else that comes with owning a horse? Are we really ready for this commitment?
I know that horses require an enormous amount of care and attention and I’m seriously doubting our ability to invest the time or finances that are needed. But I’ve started to wonder whether as part of a co-operative, we may be able to work it out? I know that horses are expensive-both initially and throughout their lives. I’d want to ensure things like food are well researched (yes, I’ve already read up on this and believe our future horse would simply love Spillers…) and that the family as a whole are on board and committed. And as part of a co-operative, I’d need to research very carefully who we invest with.
Of course, I know that if we do choose to go ahead, we’re talking many years in the future. First Bella needs to show her dedication by completing lessons, and as she gets older volunteering at local stables for example. A huge part of me is still very wary (hello unused tap shoes that cost a fortune!) but another part of me thinks what the hell? Invest in their passions, take a chance… what do you think? Bite the bullet or gently encourage other hobbies?