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Monday, 10 October 2016

Are you a single-horse or multi-horse person?




My family has owned a few horses over the years.  Some were shared between all of us, some were more my dads and some were more mine.  The first horse that I contributed to the bills on (in a small way) was Blue.  I was his primary rider, save the odd ride from my mom or a friend.   I was 15 when my parents bought him.


For about 6 years I was a single-horse person with Blue.  I really didn't understand people who had more than one horse.  I actually found them sort of ridiculous. How could anyone possibly work full-time and keep more than one horse in work...?  It seemed impossible to me.


<3 




After some NQR-ness in our 4th year together... Blue was diagnosed with navicular.  He was eventually sound again after a year of experimentation.  I decided not to jump him again. I was in college during that time so some light riding on the weekends was all I really had time for anyhow.  However, I had always wanted event (sound familiar?) and I didn't feel like it was fair to ask that of him.  So in my 6th year of ownership of Blue I started shopping.  I was just about to graduate college.


And then this big galoot stole my heart.


Apollo's sale ad pic.  Back when his name was "Booger" (cringe).




I actually didn't really like paints.  Or blue eyes.  But I decided to go and ride him anyway.  I kept talking myself out of him.  But after three test rides... I made an offer.  I think part of what appealed to me about Apollo was that he was the opposite of Blue.  He was young, sturdy looking and a bit cheeky. Apollo also cost exactly what remained on my student loan*


*that I am still paying for.  Because I am a multi-horse person.



So my journey into poverty multi-horse owning began.




Even though Blue was in a fairly light work I found managing both horses very challenging.  Financially and time-wise.  I was also in a very serious car accident that lead to me taking a lot of time off from riding.  I told myself that I would never own multiple horses again.  It was too hard.  Whenever Blue's time came, I would just keep Apollo and wouldn't get a second horse.

Sadly a year and half after I got Apollo, Blue had an irreparable tear in his colon.  It was his time. :(




And so I was back to single-horse life.  My heart was completely shattered after Blue died.  I didn't ride a lot.  I honestly think that if I didn't already own Apollo, I would have quit horses altogether. I was a single-horse person with Apollo for 4 years.  We had our ups and downs.  I struggled to find a good place to board him and proper instruction.  But we muddled through.


I have no idea what possessed me to decide that I wanted a second horse again.  I thought a draft cross filly would be a good addition.  So I got one.  And also a warmblood colt too...


Hello human!  We came to be cute and spend all your money!




In January 2017 I will have owned three horses for 4 years.  Wow.  I have spent a fair bit of time being a single-horse person and a multi-horse person.  They both have their own challenges.


The relationship sometimes feelsa bit closer when you only have one horse to work with.  But as someone who can get really stuck on one issue having other horses to ride really helps me.  With Apollo's mounting block issues lately I probably wouldn't be riding much at all.  Luckily I am still working away with Henry and Mystic while Apollo and I figure things out.


I've heard quite a few people say that even if they had all the time and money in the world they would still only have one horse.  I've also had people tell me that's it's not fair of me to have three horses, as how could I possibly give them all enough attention.  I honestly feel like I do a pretty good job managing all three.  But I am incredibly boring and don't really have much of a life outside of my horses and work.  I could see if I had other hobbies or a more active social life it would be pretty much impossible.

So what about you?  Are you a single-horse or multi-horse person? :)  


47 comments:

  1. I'm a bit of both. I don't have time (or money) for a second horse and I love to hop on other horses but I adore my idiot. It always feels like home on him.

    I'm sure if I had the time and money I would have a collection because I want all the pretty horses...

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    1. Yeah totally! I remember having a "home" on Blue for a lot of years and it was really special :)

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  2. I've been a multi-horse person for a long time -- at one point, I think we had 8 at our house (7 were mine). I did start downsizing at that number, because it was too much. Currently I'm down to 4: 2 geriatric semi-retired geldings who just trail ride occasionally, and 2 young mares that I ride/show. I'm like you, not much in the way of hobbies or a social life, so this is way more manageable for me. I like have multiple horses because they all have their strengths and weaknesses, so I think dealing with all the differences makes me a better rider. At least, I hope so!

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    1. 7? I bow down to you! I find three very exhausting but somehow make it work. I hope the variety is making me a better rider too :)

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    2. Oh they weren't all in work at that time, I just HAD that many.... πŸ˜‚ It was pretty stressful! I'm much happier now. And even now I don't ride the two in work as much as they need! Oh well πŸ˜€

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  3. I'm definitely a multi-horse person. For sure. Probably shouldn't be because I'm a trainer so I always have other horses to ride, but it is what it is!

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    1. I definitely am a multi-horse owner at heart! My bank account wishes I wasn't haha

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  4. I've only owned one horse at a time, though contemplated more than once about twice in my life.

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    1. Time to give it a try and join the club :P

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  5. When paying board, a single horse person- unless I was independently wealthy :) But then I would buy a fancy facility for myself lol

    Now that we have our own place, more then one horse is so do able i think :)

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    1. I would have so many horses if I had my own property hahah... I think my husband is afraid!

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  6. I don't think I could be a single horse person. I don't think it's fair for one horse to have to put up with all of me at once.... my 3 get to share the burden haha

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    1. My thoughts exactly, my horses share dealing with me haha :)

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  7. I feel like there is almost a third category - owning one, but boarding at a lesson barn with a plethora of other horses in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and temperaments that can be ridden basically as much as you feel like paying for lessons/shows on them. Which would be the category that I fall in to. I was actually a little sad when I first brought Leo home because the barn had an influx of fun new horses to try out and I knew I wouldn't be riding other horses for a while. I feel that it's an excellent inbetween - access to multiple horses, but only paying board for one.

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    1. You're totally right, that is another category for sure! Access to multiple horses and only paying board on one is sort of the best of both worlds really :)

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    2. For serious. (: bonus points if your horse is in the lesson program and you get discounted board.

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  8. I've had multiples- but mainly because one wasn't sound and very rideable. It's tough having more than one, but I think it can help you become a stronger rider! I'm enjoying having one currently. And so is my wallet :)

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    1. That's initially where I started with the multi-horse owning... Blue was pretty much semi-retired but needed daily meds. Yeah one would be really nice for the wallet! :)

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  9. I have two and similar lack of social life outside of work & horses. I do manage some cinema outings (thanks for cheaper Mondays & 2 for 1 offers on wednesdays) and some dinners out with friends from time to time.
    It can be a financial struggle at times but the ability to switch off and just be woth them is priceless and I can't imagine not having either of them!
    Seriously admire your ability to have 3! Especially now that they are all in ridden work...kudos girl

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    1. They kind of become part of the family hey? I can't imagine life without any of my three. But it's definitely not easy to juggle all the financial and time-related responsibilities of adulthood haha

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  10. Given that I own multiple horses, I will say I'm a multiple horse type of person. However, I rarely ride any of them other than Nilla, so if I could trust her to stay sound, I'd probably be a 1 horse person. I find the 3 horses per 2 people to work out pretty well. One of the 3 will be injured in some fashion at some point and then there's a backup.

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    1. It's funny you mention that, I think that's where my horse hoarding comes from! I was really bummed out when I couldn't ride Blue, I think I have created a life that involves many "spares" partially for that reason. Hopefully my husband will eventually be as keen as your guy! :)

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  11. I've always owned multiple! My poor parents didn't even know what hit them, I just kept bringing them home. Luckily for them, I paid for it all--easier when you don't pay board on them and just have them live at your parents farm. When I had 7 though (4 big 3 minis) even I was overwhelmed and whittled down to two, sadly. I had a mini and a TB in college, then sold the mini and owned just my TB for 2 years and knew I wanted another. I love working with the younglings. Enter another baby TB. Harder paying board on two and I think thats my max for a while haha.

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    1. My parents are still incredibly confused... "so...why do you need three...?" haha! 7 would be a lot for sure. Two is much more manageable I bet! I like working with youngsters too :)

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  12. Given that I legit never owned a horse until a couple weeks ago idk what I should be classified as lol

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    1. He's pretty big... I think he counts as 1.5 :P

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  13. When I was boarding, 1 in work was my max. And then I bought the little asshole and found him a great, and cheap place to board figuring 1 in work and 1 that had some growing to do was great.

    Now that we've got our own place, 4 is the max because the bylaws say we can only have 4. And I have a 4 horse trailer. But it didn't take me long to get 4, and now I really, really want a driving mini.

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    1. A driving mini would be so cool! Sounds like the 4 number was sort of meant to be though haha. How do they look at minis in your county? Do they count as a full horse?

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    2. Unfortunately they do count as a full horse, so it will have to wait. Also, I sent you an email for the ears contest last week. Did you get it?

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    3. I didn't get it! Want to re-send it? I'm going to extend the ears submission to friday as I was out of reception for a few days and couldn't post a final reminder :)

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  14. I have always been a one horse person thus far. I can't see myself buying a second horse while I'm boarding for financial reasons, at least not in the near future. However, my dream is to one day buy a weanling or yearling and bring them along myself. In that scenario I would definitely be a two-horse person, one for riding, and one for doing ground work and growing up. I would love have my own place someday, and that would probably involve at least three horses: a packer my SO or friends can ride, my current dressage horse, a young horse, and also retired horses if needs be.

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    1. I like your long term plan! Buying a weanling/yearling is one of the coolest things I've ever done (twice haha). I'm going to need a packer for my eventual acreage too :)

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  15. I think my magic number of ponies is actually two. Though I don't regret having four at the moment. I'm probably going to be making some changes to the herd in the next year or so. But I change my mind a lot. So we shall see...
    I don't think it's fair for anyone to judge the amount of horses you own so long as you're able to pay your bills. From what I've read here, you did a fabulous managing your herd, and it's obvious they all get plenty of attention.

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    1. You seem to handle having four beautifully! But that would a lot for sure. I am definitely maxed out right now haha!

      I do pretty short rides on my young horses, when they are in "real" work things will be trickier for me I bet. Yeah I find it really odd that people are so bothered by how many horses I have. I mean I guess it's a bit weird but they are happy and healthy so I don't really get it.

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  16. I think I'm going to write a post on this subject now that you've posed the question!

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  17. I just have one, but would like lots more! Maybe someday.... BTW people shouldn't judge if all horses are cared for its your time and money. Unless that person is your SO!πŸ˜ƒ

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    1. One is much nicer on the bank account haha! Thanks, I don't really get why it bothers people so much... although my SO doesn't love it haha

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  18. Well, since I have multiple horses I guess I would fall into that category. We currently have five but have had as many as eight at once. However, some were rescues that were old and couldn't be ridden, just taken care of until the end. For myself I have had three, Dusty and Erik who are no longer with me and I have Blue. He's the only one I can ride at the moment. My daughter has two of which one is retired...Mellon is going on thirty years now but he was one great jumper in his day. Sami is too small (I think) for us to ride but he gets work and Donnie is a wild card who has problems and can't be ridden. So all in all we have only two that can be ridden between us. As my husband says the rest are very expensive lawnmowers! I'd like to get another to ride, maybe in the Spring. We'll see. In my opinion you can never have too many horses.

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    1. I agree you can never have too many! Even expensive lawnmowers are fun just to groom and hang out it :)

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  19. Multi-horse person for sure! I have three now (but technically the pony doesn't count because she is my kid's). I did have three in work up until lately. You're so right about how good it is to have another horse to work with when you're struggling on something with one horse. It can provide the mental brake needed because really, horse training is just hard!:)

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    1. Horse training is so hard, I am really appreciating the variety... then at least I can continue to bank some riding hours and work on myself. :)

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  20. Great question! I have always struggled with having more than one horse. My family had 9 at one point but I have a tough time not playing favorites. At some point I'd like to have my own property where I could have a couple of ponies but that's a ways away :)

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    1. Yeah I am really hoping to have my own property in 2017, we'll see! You're lucky your family had 9 at one point, that would be pretty awesome! :)

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  21. Multi-horse person for sure! I have three now (but technically the pony doesn't count because she is my kid's). I did have three in work up until lately. You're so right about how good it is to have another horse to work with when you're struggling on something with one horse. It can provide the mental brake needed because really, horse training is just hard!:)

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  22. I don't technically own more than 1 horse, but I do half-lease a second horse and so far I really, really like it. It's nice to have a ride that is different and poses different challenges... and I like having a backup horse.

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