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Essay: If Wishes Were Horses

“Horse people of the internet, I was clueless.”

The author circa 2005, rocking the breeches in a western saddle. Photo courtesy of Klaasje Prins

As a new graduate and horse lover, I could not wait to buy a horse. I was privileged to have parents growing up who indulged my horse-crazy with horses of my own, lessons, and showing. However, the financial reality sunk in when I was in my second year of university and I had to sell my horses. I told myself when school was over, I would have horses again.

Flash forward to now. I had started a new position as an Executive Assistant, working in my field of Human Resources. Thinking to myself that I had everything in order, I began my horse hunt. I set a budget and began touring to different farms, trying out potential horses. It was like Goldilocks and the Three Bears — one was way too big, and one way too lame. That is, until I found what I thought was my dream horse — and boy, was this one was just right. He was a solid bay, close to home, and had the sweetest personality. I was head over heels in love. He was sound, healthy, and vet checked before coming home.

Horse people of the internet, I was clueless. You see, five years had passed since I had last had horses. I was lucky enough to keep horses at home, and had parents that were extremely generous in paying for hay and vet fees (Mom and Dad, I truly appreciate all the sacrifices you made for this)! I am going to say something I should have listened to: purchase price is one thing. Upkeep, board, and emergency vet fund is another thing. Going over the numbers at home and constantly asking my amazing non-horsey boyfriend for his advice, I came to the conclusion. In order to fund my new horse at a boarding stable and pay my student loans, rent, car, and other expenses, I was going to be left with mere dollars and cents. Was this dream of mine worth it?

After many sleepless nights, I came to the conclusion that it is not the right time. As much as I want to have my own horse, my time will come. And after going over my debts, that time is going to be when I am debt-free. In the meantime, I am going to continue to take lessons and improve my own skills. It turns out when you take years off riding, your body is not quite the same.

On a positive, I was able to provide information to my old childhood coach on how amazing this little bay gelding was, and she purchased him for her lesson program. I will be lucky enough to see how this great horse works out, and that is a win in my books.

Klaasje Prins is an adult rider working hard to get back in the saddle Battling nerves and a tight budget, Klaasje hopes to one day jump an entire stadium course again. Stay tuned for that. 

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