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Dressage Riders...does the downturn in the economy affect your riding?

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  • Dressage Riders...does the downturn in the economy affect your riding?

    Just a quick survery- but I don't like polls- although this topic would be worth one. Does your riding/training/dressage showing/breeding and showing seem to be affected by the drastic downturn in the economy. If so- what are your plans for next year?
    Have you developed or designed a better strategy- if so what is it? Where do you cut back and how do you justify it?

    All answers are welcomed and all suggestions for cost-cutting are encouraged...

    here in SoCal- I know we have lost the size in the shows for sure- I am starting to see empty stalls- which was an unheard situation before...trainers are a little bit less visible (this is in a big EQ center..) but I am not sure if this is true in other parts of the country as well...?
    "the man mite be the head but the woman is the neck and the neck can turn the head any way she wants..." -smart greek woman

  • #2
    Yes, we see the same thing around here, although I do not live in a big "english riding" area here in the Midwest. I have two horses I ride and a two year old that I am starting. In the past, I would take lessons on both and show more for fun, or to get the horses out. Now, I have narrowed it down to only spending money on the one horse that is more advanced and talented and I think next year, will funnel any spending only my very talented young horse. It is a matter of decision making- the money spent on them is an investment in their training and value. No more going to schooling shows or the clinic just for "fun"- which can cost with gas $100-$150 a day. I have always been a bit this way, since I have a low income anyway and CANNOT afford to go especially to recognized shows unless we are 100% ready and can meet the criteria. I am flabbergasted at people who continually go to one show after another, spending $500 or more a weekend that ALWAYS score in the low 50's.
    "The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli"

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    • #3
      i live in the pacific northwest and am fortunate enough to have small acreage. with the price of shavings going through the roof, grain etc, i am attempting to leave my horses out for as long as i can with water proof blankets. i can only afford to buy the one load of shavings this year vs the two i bought last year. and instead of having their feet done every 7 weeks, i have moved to every 8 weeks. that will add up with the number of horses i have to trim. i am surprised with barns becoming increasingly vacant, that the price of board and lessons are not coming down. i would think it would be better to have horses making less money then no horses/money at all. i am having problems finding a barn that will allow me to trailer in, and again i would think that section would bring in more money to help keep these barns afloat.

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      • #4
        Yes.
        We are cutting back on horses as well. Im preplanning all my stuff and have a few shows in mind, but they are going to be few this year.
        I cant really afford extra clinics and Im prob going to have to cut back some on lessons. *sigh*
        I HATE this economy.
        www.spindletopfarm.net
        Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion
        "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"

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        • #5
          andy lover I am curious what you pay for a truckload of shavings. 2 years ago we paid $165. The last load was $365! We buy 3-4 loads a year for 4 horses. We also bed minimally and have rubber matts to provide more cushion. We've begged use of neighbour's pasture in the summer to save on hay- they like to look at the horses and it keeps their grass short.

          The only positive effect is the abundance of free and cheap prospects. For fun, someone gave me a perfectly healthy, sane 6 year old mare the other day. Fortunately, she's also a very easy keeper.
          "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

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          • #6
            I haveto cut back on lessons, most definitely.
            I'm also delaying bringing in my 3 year old until March/April of next year so that I can use all this time to save for it
            In my opinion, a horse is the animal to have. 1300 pounds of raw muscle, power, grace, and sweat between your legs - it's something you just can't get from a pet hamster.

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            • #7
              Yes, it's hitting everyone hard. It's all people talk about. I think the dressage trainers at my facility are safe because they both are pretty small operations, but the rumor mill has it that the larger barns are feeling the pressure (and I know it's true for the barn my daughter rides in).

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              • #8
                I keep mine at home and I am feeling it a bit. Hay prices have gone through the roof. Orchard grass is $27/bale locally. You'd think with gas coming down that would change but so far - not. My shoer said many people are getting out of horses last time he was here.
                See those flying monkeys? They work for me.

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                • #9
                  Well, I have not cut back this season, only because I did well in my GMO and decided it would be nice to win a year end award. Usually I do 4-5 licensed shows a year, a clinic with a BNT, and a few schooling shows. This year I went to 7 licensed shows (yikes$$$) and 1 schooling show. However next year since we're moving up to 4th/PSG, I plan to do only 3-4 shows and stay home and train.

                  I certainly don't buy as much STUFF either. I am getting by with all the stuff I have, and now just covet new things.
                  From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.

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                  • #10
                    I think it's very uneven with some people cutting back drastically and some making no changes at all. 'Saving money' by bringing horses home is not immediately a cost saving.

                    I'm lucky, this area is very inexpensive to buy hay and bedding even tho prices have gone up.

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                    • #11
                      Apparently things have not slowed down enough at the "big barn" in our area to make it worthwhile for the best trainer to come back over to our "small" barn more than once a week for the 4 of us who ride with her.

                      We are short one trainer though, my normal one is due to foal in a week or two. That may be why there's no slack here.
                      Ring the bells that still can ring
                      Forget your perfect offering
                      There is a crack in everything
                      That's how the light gets in.

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                      • #12
                        cut back in lessons.... will pick thru what shows we can afford next season..

                        It is very hard on most..

                        P~

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                        • #13
                          Oh yes, I have cut all showing and will not be in any riding clinics just auditing. I hate to whine though, we still have food on the table and a roof over our heads which is more than some folks. I feel so sorry for the horses that are being sold at auctions. I would hate to have to give up my "kids". *sigh* I haven't been this broke since college.
                          Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

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                          • #14
                            I'm not planning any lessons through the winter and will not be showing next year. I will bump my lessons up and maybe even take a few more than normal-that still doesn't come close to the cost of showing! I'm lucky that my husbands job is secure-to a point. We aren't really worried about him being jobless, but it's still scary. Want to put a bit extra in the savings just in case.
                            Don't toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!

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                            • #15
                              I didn't think it would but I am seriously having to look at showing less next year. I plan on keeping up with my lessons all winter (but thats only because my trainer is dirt cheap!).

                              Am almost thinking of spending more time doing endurance then dressage this next year as its a heck of a lot cheaper!!
                              I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.

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                              • #16
                                I had already started to cut back somewhat in the area of lessons and clinics. I still plan on purchasing another horse this winter although I am seriously considering a more multi-purpose horse as I want to go foxhunting in the future. The last large load of shavings cost us $765 so we are now trying out the bedding pellets. I am not thrilled with them but they are cheaper and do absorb better than the shavings. I am fortunate to have plenty of pasture plus a good source for hay. I am not doing much equipment shopping and when I do am checking out Ebay and the used rack at the tack stores.

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                                • #17
                                  We usually ship one young horse to FL to compete at Wellington. Not this year and probably not for afew years. We will also be reducing our WB breeding - focus on starting the rest of the youngsters and getting them sold. We'll wait it out. We will continue with the sportpony breeding but just not breed as many mares.
                                  Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
                                  "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"

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                                  • #18
                                    I've notices a HUGE decrease in breeding this year. Last year my trainer was was running around breeding various mares with various stallions like crazy, this year definately not so much.

                                    In fact I'm kind of glad that my mare didn't take this summer so I can see what happens in the next few months.
                                    I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.

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                                    • #19
                                      Well, I am down to 1 horse, because I had to put Spellbound down a couple of weeks ago. I really thought that I'd buy another right away (my trainer has a few that she bred herself that I am drooling over), but I just haven't been able to pull the trigger yet. I can't decide if I am going through a mourning period or just worried on some unconscious level about the economy. Probably a bit of both.

                                      In general though, my plan is to allocate funds to additional lessons when I can and to show less. I can always pick the showing up and do well having had the lessons, but the reverse not so much!
                                      Treat Jockey for Spellbound and Smidgeon

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                                      • #20
                                        We staying local next year. We usually travel all over the west, but next year, it will be just local (just traveling to 3 states instead of 5).
                                        Unbridled Oaks - Champion Sport Ponies and Welsh Cobs

                                        Like us on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/unbridledoaks

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