Because I grew up with the furry fiends, it was never my dream to own horses.  However, I have met so many people who tell me how lucky I was and still dream of wanting a horse even after reading my book! 


So, sigh, I have to give you credit for believing in your dream and sticking to it. Because I am a firm believer in dreams and in working toward them. For example:


Did you know that The Truth About Horses… was rejected 14 times?  Yes, it was but I persisted and I believed.


Did you know that I have lived in six countries?  When I was eighteen I had a dream of living overseas (I love to travel).  I finally achieved this goal at the age of 33.  Yes, do the math, it took me 15 years!  You have to keep on trying.


Did you know I wanted to sail around the world on a sailboat?  Well, it hasn’t happened (yet!) but I do own a sailboat and I have sailed in many different places.  Also, I am currently deck handing part-time on my Island’s ferry and working toward earning my U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s license.  Sometimes you have to alter your dreams a bit

but they can still make you happy!


So, if you really want a horse, here is some advice from a veteran maker-of-dreams-come-true.


Is it possible for you to own a horse?


Let’s face it, not many of us live on farms or out in the country, surrounded by enough land to own a horse. If you are fortunate to live this way, research how much owning a horse costs (Google ‘cost of owning a horse’), then sit down with your parent(s) and use the following argument:  Here we are living out in the country.  If I lived in town I would have friends and things to do but I don’t!  Therefore, I need to have a horse for company, exercise, and something to do.  Then show your parent(s) your research and be prepared to beg and bargain.


An argument parents will often use is¾but we don’t know anything about horses.  This is a good point.  Be prepared with a back-up plan, which is, can I have riding lessons?  (Make sure you have researched where and how much beforehand.)  Parents will often say yes to this so they don’t have to feel bad about saying no to owning a horse.  Don’t give up!  Accept the riding lessons and you have a toe in the door.  Now, stick with the lessons (not an easy task!) and do everything you can do to prove you are serious about your dream.  I mean mucking out stalls, cleaning tack, volunteering for other duties around the stable.


It may not seem possible but your parents will eventually develop respect for your dream if you stick with it (even if they are negative at first) and you may just end up with your wish. 


What to do when owning a horse is no-way, no-how possible.


Here are your options:


  1. Boarding a horse – you buy the horse and pay to have it live in a nearby stable.  This is an expensive option but easy for folks who don’t know anything about horses.  Some stables will reduce the cost if you go every day to care for the horse yourself.  I have occasionally heard of stables reducing fees if you let your horse be used for riding lessons.  If you believe this option might work for you, get out the phone book, look up ‘riding stables’ and call!  You have nothing to lose.  Having a dream means having the courage to follow it.


  1. Riding Lessons – A great way to learn about all kinds of horses, gain riding experience with help, and meet friends.  Again, get out that phone book and call for times and rates…you want it, you do it…(don’t ask Mom!)


  1. Riding Camp – there are many summer camps that offer riding lessons.  Most of these are the ‘away’ camps where you leave home for 2-4 weeks.  It is expensive to do this and takes courage.  Don’t give up.  Look to see if there are any day camps near you and remember that many of these camps offer scholarships.  It never hurts to write and ask!


If none of these choices are available for you, you can still look for horses at shows and fairs in your area.  Read horse books (link), read horse magazines (Young Rider link) and pin up favorite pictures.  In My Pony by Susan Jeffers, the main character dreams of owning a horse just as the author/illustrator did in her real life.  But it wasn’t possible so she kept dreaming and drawing them instead. The happy ending is that she eventually grew up to become a well know illustrator and finally now owns a horse!


So keep dreaming and planning and let me know what happens…


Good Luck!