Owning a horse is expensive. It just is. I don’t care where you live in the country, it is expensive to board a horse. Sure, most places are not at $1,000 a month for a stall at a farm with an indoor, but in some parts of the country $300 a month is equivalent to half the cost of an average person’s rent per month. I think that one of my big problems right now is that I can afford to own one horse. Adding on that extra half is a stretch, and when that second horse is hurt, like Lucky is now, well that becomes very challenging.
Let me start this post by saying that I think we can all agree that money is a very personal thing. It was hard to write these posts because I don’t want judgment about how I choose to spend my money. I am not asking for anyone’s approval, nor am I asking for anyone’s sympathy. I work very hard to be totally unguarded and honest in this blog, and right now finances are a big part as to why I am so frustrated that Lucky isn’t getting better.
The way I work my leases is what works best for me mentally, but not what works best for me financially. I know it is me that does this, because I have had several leases now that all end up the same way. It starts off as a set price, often half the expenses per month. Over time though the horse has a problem, or maybe I want them on a supplement or something and so I end up fretting over the difference between the care I want the horse to get and the reality of the situation. Eventually I freak out and just ask the owner if they would mind if I would (insert any of the following) start buying the supplement, have the vet out for an emergency call that I will pay for, get the feet done at my expense, etc. No owner has ever refused the extra care so it usually works out that I end up paying a little more, but at least I am happy with the care. That is a me problem, I know that.
As one of the farm owners of Gen barn says, “Sometimes I just want to shake you to see if it will snap you in to reality when it comes to your leases”. I am the way that I am. I have high standard for horse care and I have learned to cope with that in my leases by having the owners let me do more when I feel like more needs to be done. Having high horse care standards is not cheap. I just don’t think I could ever feel good about riding a horse who was not receiving the level of care that I am used to.
I know my big fear right now is that if I let this normally (i.e. get rid of the past 3 months) affordable lease of Lucky go, I will never find anything ever again.
I am the queen of budgeting, which you will get more on tomorrow. I am starting to wonder though if I can afford to ride anymore, regardless of if I even want to. The catch 22 of it all is that if I get a part time job to help pay to ride, I lose the time I have to ride. I know that horseback riding is literally one of the most expensive hobbies in the world, but it is a hobby that I love (or at least used to). There was a quote in the back of the USDF Connections magazine that really struck a chord with me that was something along the lines of not everyone can afford to ride, and even those that can probably can’t afford to be competitive so you just need to get over the fact you don’t have a fancy horse because not all things in life are equal.
I am starting to wonder if Gen might be it for me…Honestly though…I would rather have Gen cheering me up and making me laugh everyday than to ever be able to ride again. It would just be nice if those weren’t my only options…