Ask Emma: Should we let our daughter have a horse?


We’ve teamed up with our sister magazine Woman’s Own and their counsellor Emma Marlin to solve your relationship problems. This week she helps a woman whose daughter is desperate for a horse but can’t afford one


My daughter is nearly 16 and has been begging me to buy her a horse since she started riding at 10. Lots of her wealthier friends have them, but we just can’t afford it. I explained this to her, but she hasn’t stopped moping about it. Recently, though, her grandparents rang to tell us that they’d be willing to buy the horse for her. Do you think we should let them?

Leanne, Essex

 Emma MarlinEmma’s advice

I’m no expert at horse-owning, but my sister-in-law once was and her advice is that you should hold fire on buying a horse. Here’s why:

  • Owning a horse and keeping a horse are two separate things. Horses need to be fed, shoed and stabled. Plus, there are a lot of other expenses – up to £300 a month. Can you afford this on top of potential emergency vet costs?
  • A local stables may let your daughter ride their horses in exchange for her helping with the mucking out and feeding. If she can commit to this every day, you can think about part-owning one.
  • Encourage your daughter to get a horse on loan and ask her grandparents to offer financial assistance towards the upkeep. This way, she can find out if horse-owning is for her.

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