Buying and owning a horse can be a highly rewarding experience, but it can also be very expensive. Not everyone is ready for that kind of commitment. The good news is that there’s still plenty of ways to get involved in the horse community. You can ride and hang out at the barn without owning!
1. Lessons: Horseback riding lessons are a great way to spend time around the barn. Usually, students are required to groom and tack up their lesson horse. It can be a wonderful way to learn the basics. Some barns may even let you work off lessons by cleaning stalls or feeding.
2. 4-H or Pony Club: Your child doesn’t have to own a horse to get involved. While many of the members do, it can still be a great experience to assist at shows, take lessons, and attend meetings.
3. Riding Vacations: There’s many horseback riding vacation options, including dude ranches and adult summer camps. Relax and enjoy a week filled with horses!
4. Volunteer: Horse rescues and therapy barns are always looking for reliable help. You can spend time around the animals you love while making a difference in the world.
5. Leasing: Not ready for owning, but looking for more than just lessons? Leasing is a good next step! You’ll have the chance to connect with your leased horse and get a taste of ownership.
Your first step should be to find a barn you like. Most of them are usually very welcoming and interested in getting you involved!