Do you know if you have enough time to share a horse?
Let’s face it, anything to do with horses is a commitment –for both time and money! I’ve often tried to explain to people whysomeone would spend what is the equivalent of a sizeable mortgage on keeping a large pet that can do you a lot of damage. The answer? For the love of it. Owning a horse is not like owning a dog or a cat – it’s a lifestyle choice!
What are you really committing to?
If you have decided to share a horse, it’s often because you either don’t have the time or money to own your own, or you want to experience it without the commitment. It’s a very personal choice, but like anything to do with horses, it’s still a commitment. So what excactly are you committing to?
By sharing someone’s horse you are effectively promising to ‘own’ that horse for an allotted amount of days per week (let’s say two days a week). For those two days are week you are saying you have to have enough time in the evenings or daytime (whatever you have agreed with the owner) to ride, bring in, feed and groom all to a sufficient standard that gives the horse the best care it needs.
Now on the face of it, that doesn’t seem a lot, it kind of sounds like the equivalent time of going down to your local stables and having a riding lesson. No! It’s definitely not the same. It is a big commitment and you have a few people relying on you – the owner, the yard owner, other members of the yard, other sharers and of course, the horse. It isn’t a decision to take lightly. But don’t let this scare you! In short, you need to make sure that for the two days a week you have committed (usually the same days a week) that you will not change those days or be late. If you have had a stressful day at work or could really do with another two hours in bed? Well you’ll have to do those another time because your lovely share horse is waiting for you!
Test it out with a trial run
It’s very hard to know how much time you’ll needwithout actually doing it.Our best advice? Do a trial run. It’s not unusual for sharers to have a break clause in a contract and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. Have a month’s break clause where you try it out for a month at a slightly reduced fee – this gives peace of mind to the horse owner that you are taking this seriously.
It can be easy to be overwhelmed by sharing a horse, you suddenly have this living thing that is requiring you to keep it alive. Ah!!! But you can find our latest tips, tricks and horsey updates on our blog and keep your eyes peeled for our latest share ponies.