Convincing your parents that they should buy you a horse is a hard task, but for some families, a child or teen’s dedication to a dream can make the impossible possible! Many adult horseback riders spent years convincing our parents that they should buy us a horse, some with more luck than others.
In this article, we’ll talk about ways to present your dream of horse ownership to your parents, strategies to show that you’re responsible enough for the challenge, and ways to demonstrate that your interest in horses isn’t a passing phase. Collectively, these may be enough to convince your parents to buy you a horse.
Show your dedication
One very real and legitimate concern your parents may have is that you might change your mind about how much you love horses. A lot of kids think they have found their true passion then 3 months later discover a new hobby. So, how do you convince your parents that this isn’t the case this time? The answer to this is very simple, but it is difficult to achieve: You need to prove to them that you are in this for the long haul. This also means that you are probably going to have to wait a long time to get your horse.
There are a few things you can do to prove your dedication. The first is to start researching horses. Make a folder filled with all kinds of information. Have a page-long essay on 20 different breeds, have a few pages dedicated to grooming techniques, add in some information on all the colors. Add in everything you can learn about horses and keep updating your research regularly so that your parents can see you are going to stay committed for a really long time.
Another concern your parents may have is how much time and money a horse requires, so add in some research on those topics as well. Being able to show your parents exactly how much they need to invest may help alleviate some of their concerns.
8 topics for your research
Showing a good general knowledge of horses is very important. Chances are your parents don’t know how to look after a horse. This means you need to prove that you can keep your horse happy and healthy. Our top 8 research topics include:
- Horse breeds
You should know the pros and cons of each breed. Your pros and cons list should include any known health risks, how much food each breed is likely to eat, what sports they are best at, and whether the breed has high or low energy.
- Horse Colors
This is a much smaller task, but equally fun. Did you know each horse color also has pros and cons? For example, a white horse usually requires rugging in summer to prevent sunburn, this means you need a special rug. They also need to be washed with special shampoo to keep their coat white. If you live in a hot state, black horses may also need a rug. Being black they absorb heat which means heatstroke is a real concern. Make sure you know all there is to know about each color to help you select a horse when the time comes.
- Grooming essential
What is the minimum grooming equipment you’re going to need to look after your horse? How do you use each brush? Grooming is essential for horse care so make sure you really understand it.
- Medical costs
You will need to deworm your horse around every 2 months, you will also need to make sure the active ingredient in your de-wormer changes every 1-2 treatments. You need to have a farrier out every 6-8 weeks for a trim. If your horse has shoes, the farrier will cost extra. Your horse needs to see a dentist every year. Do your research to find out all of the care your horse is going to need.
- What equipment will you need?
This includes equipment for both you and your horse. Make sure you list all of the safety gear you both need. This includes first aid kits for horse and rider, helmets, boots, riding gloves, boots for your horse, saddles, bridles, the list goes on and on. So make sure you have a comprehensive list to prevent any surprise costs. Our first horse shopping list is a good place to start.
- How are you going to transport your horse?
If you don’t own a float, what alternatives are there? Is there a hire place nearby? How much do they typically cost for a day? There are also many different types of floats, research the pros and cons of each.
- Where will your horse live?
Make a list of what you need to look for in a place for your horse. Include details like fence type, water access, grazing etc. Even if you have somewhere on your own property to keep them, make sure you know what your property needs to safely accommodate your horse.
- What will your horse eat?
Different horses require different foods. Start researching each food type and what different breeds need to eat. Learn more about the food and snacks that horses like. How much hay will you need to bring in? How much grain will you need to buy?
To convince your parents, be realistic about how much a horse is going to cost
Your parents earn the money for your household, and they won’t agree to purchase a horse if you try to convince them it will be cheap. Instead, be realistic about the cost of keeping a horse and ways that you can pitch in to help cover some expenses.
For many lower and middle-class families, these calculated costs of keeping a horse may demonstrate just how impossible your dream is (for now!). If this is the case, talk with your parents about how they can help you get into the industry through sharing a horse, taking riding lessons, volunteering, and getting your foot in the door for an entry-level job working with horses.
Making a budget is the first step towards these decisions. To get you started we have provided an editable spreadsheet so you can research costs and budget local housekeeping expenses. Download below:
Download our Free Edit-able Horse Budget Planner
Download A Free Editable Horse Budget Planner
How much time does it take to care for a horse
This is a major concern for a lot of people. So make sure you know exactly how much time you will need to invest. You could even make a mock timetable that includes all of your other activities. This helps prove to your parents that you can keep up with your chores, school, homework, family, friends and any other pets you have. You can google lots of timetable templates to help you make your schedule. We have also included an example below.
When you make your timetable, keep in mind that if you currently don’t get out of bed until 8am and you put chores in the 6am slot, your parents may not be convinced you will get up in time to do it. If you put anything at an unusual time, start getting up and following your new schedule now to prove you can follow your timetable, even if you don’t have your horse yet.
Remember, you won’t be able to convince your parents to buy you a horse overnight, so be prepared to stay dedicated for as long as it takes.
Your parents might buy you a horse quite quickly, but it could also take a very long time.
Two authors contributed to this post: One waited over 5 years to get her first horse and the other only achieved the dream of horse ownership after college when she could purchase her own. There were a lot of reasons it took so long, one of the main ones involved the high cost of horse ownership. This meant even after one author had convinced her mom and dad that they could look after a horse, they then needed time to save for a horse. She had her first horse for 13 wonderful years, and never regretted the time I took to prove she could handle it.
Not only did hustling to convince her parents ultimately work to get her parents to buy her a horse, but all those years of research also meant that when the time came, I knew exactly what I needed to do to keep her happy and healthy and thrive as a young horse owner.