Acquired: Barn / trainer
Posted Mar 01, 2014
In addition to pestering my mother for a new dog every year or two, I was constantly on her about getting a horse. I knew she had them as a kid, so I couldn't quite see why she wouldn't let me have one. Basically it boiled down to the fact that we lived in the suburbs and having/boarding a horse is insanely expensive.
I didn't quite believer her until I got my first job at the age of 14 nad decided I would just get myself a horse. Let me tell you... she was not kidding about how expensive they are to board. There was no way I could have afforded one, but I still desperately wanted one.
I had to get a little creative, but I soon got to have my cake and eat it too. I volunteered to help disabled children and adults learn to ride and care for horses as part of their therapy. It was incredibly rewarding; not only did I get to help people and learn quite a bit of sign language in the process, I got to ride the horses all I wanted.
During summers, I started caring for them on a ranch and riding every day. Sure, I got hurt a lot (bitten, kicked, stepped on, broken leg, etc) especially in the beginning before I learned what I was doing, but I also found an amazing sense of freedom and zen in all the grooming and equipment maintenance that had to be done.
If you can't afford a horse, or if you aren't quite sure about getting one, I strongly recommend volunteering with them for a good long while. I don't regret it for a second!