If only it were that simple ‘just buy the horse’. Just find almost FOUR THOUSAND pounds, that is some serious money. It was money I had, but that money was for our house deposit that we had been working on for almost 2 years. I couldn’t just take a giant chunk out of it!
February 2020 I found myself in a pretty crappy place. It had been over 8 months since I lost Bella, my first mare who I had owned and loved for 5 years. All of a sudden my life changed, my routine changed, it really hit me hard. I felt like I had no purpose, no get up and go, why was I doing a job I really didn’t enjoy, I didn’t need to do it anymore as I had no horse bills.
I missed being a horse owner, I missed getting up early, just going to see Bella for a cuddle after work. Bella wasn’t in ridden work for the last 2 years of me owning her but that didn’t even matter. I just loved being at the yard, being outside, faffing about as us horse owners do.
For those few years, I had been riding at a yard where the owner had a wide variety of cobs to hack, one of them being Belle. There were miles of offroad hacking in company or you could go out on your own. Pub rides, beach rides, sponsored rides, hunting, it was SO MUCH FUN. I would tend to ride twice a week and I loved it. However, it just wasn’t the same as having my own. Belle was by far my favourite but she was also everyone else’s favourite so I wouldn’t always be able to ride her. She was good for the less confident and nervous riders so I would often take Vincent, also amazing, just not Belle!
I often said to her owner would she sell her. Her usual response was no she is too good, which was 100% true. Ryan and I had just put in an offer on a house…. Belle goes up for sale. Her owner said to me just buy her, you’ve always said you wanted her. It really wasn’t that easy at the time. I sat down and had a really good chat with Ryan. We talked it through and found a way of me buying her without stopping us buying a house.
I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing someone else buy Belle, I knew her, I’d been riding her for 18 months, I had hunted her, hacked her alone week in week out, she was the horse I had always wanted. Now how to make it happen.
I was paying almost £200 per month for my lease car, a car I didn’t have any attachment to, it was just a ‘nice’ car. Right, well that luxury has to go. Off my 2014 plate polo went and in came my 17-year-old battered Toyota Yaris, wohoo!
It’s weird at 26 having a car 10x worse than my first car at 17 but it really doesn’t bother me. It bothers me however that I bloody crashed the thing the other weekend and caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage, the car is only worth a grand! Lesson learnt, be less shit at driving. (I can laugh now, I couldn’t at the time I was in tears)
So, the first step in affording the horse was ditching the nice car. The second step was getting the money. I had a small loan with my bank already, £93 per month I was paying. So that I didn’t touch the house savings I went and took out a sizeable loan to cover Belle, and all the bits I’d need to pay for when I first got her (vetting, transportation, vaccinations, livery deposit etc). I’m so glad I got that little bit extra as it helped me SO much at the start and I didn’t have to worry about cash. I could just get her up to speed with her jabs, sort her feather mites out, and get her back checked out, job done.
Anyway, long story short, in order to afford my horse I ditched my nice car, got an old banger and took out a loan. A loan I will be paying back for the next 3 years. Was it all worth it, ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY. My life has changed, I have a purpose, I smile more, I’ve found myself again. Now, don’t get me wrong there is the odd day where it’s ‘bloody horse’ why is she being such a knob. Luckily for us, those days are few and far between. Moral of the story, find a way and just buy the horse!