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$$$ Money Talk $$$

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  • $$$ Money Talk $$$

    I am one of the few young (mid-twenties) professionals (teacher) I know actively involved in eventing who aren't being supported by their parents, a trust fund, or a wealthy partner. I'm always curious how other average income everyday people make it work. Feel free to answer any or all of the questions below, but please number your responses so we know which question you're answering.

    1) How much do you spend on your horse(s) each month?

    2) How does your significant other feel about your expenditures?

    3) How do you save for big ticket items (ex: saddles, trailer, new horse, etc.)?

    4) How much do you spend on events/competitions/schoolings each year? How do you save for them?

    5) What is the most you would spend on a new horse? How would you come up with that amount of money (ex: saving, selling something, second job, etc.)?

    6) How much do you spend on training each month? Do you feel like the $ is well spent?

    7) How do you budget for emergency medical expenses? What is the most you've ever spent on a vet bill? Do you have a dollar limit?

    8) How do you balance an expensive hobby with other financial priorities, such as investing, paying off student loans, buying a house, and saving for retirement?

    9) Are you willing to go into debt to purchase something horse related? (ex: I have a friend who recently "raided" her 401k to buy a new prospect and another who took out a loan to buy a horse. I've recently seen horse ads where credit cards are accepted.)

    10) Have you ever taken a break from horses or downgraded your competition schedule, training, schooling frequency, etc. due to finances? How did you feel about it?

    11) Have you ever found yourself upgrading (ex: horses, tack, trainers, shows, etc.) to keep up with wealthier clients at your barn? Do you feel pressured by your trainer or barn friends to spend more money? What is your approach for dealing with that pressure?

    12) Have you ever experienced buyer's remorse for something horse related? How did you address the issue? Did you learn something from the experience?

    13) What are practical ways you keep costs down? Lay on the frugal tips!

    14) Do you have a separate income/job/side business to fund your eventing obsession? If so, what do you do and how do you find the time?

    15) Have you ever seen someone make a horse related financial decision that you thought was just crazy?

  • #2
    I started teaching in 1997 and had to quit showing at that time. I was eventing alot up to that point. I had a different job and more money. I took 10 or so years to pay my house off and I continued to ride and take a few lessons. I showed dogs to satisfy my competition drive. When I got my house paid for, which was about 3 years ago, I started eventing again. I take lessons about every 4/6 weeks. I have too many horses and too many dogs, my advice to you would be to not overextend yourself in that way. However I do think riding so many helped me stay in practice. Currently, I can do about 5/6 shows a year without difficulty.
    I live very simple, and eat alot of oatmeal, cereal and sandwiches. I rarely eat out unless am on the road. I do not buy saddles or horses to impress anyone, only have the ones I really like for myself. My friends would not pressure me to have anything other than what I can afford, and I really am not around anyone else but my friends so what someone else thinks doesnt affect me in that way. I have on 2 occasions paid alot for a horse, but mostly my horses are not that expensive. I ride in used saddles and love them.
    I do not borrow money to buy horses but I dont think there is anything wrong with it. I just dont do it. I save a set amount every month and that is my emergency fund, saddle fund, hay money, etc. My trailer is 20 years old, but it is an good trailer and I bought it with expectations for it to last. It was an expensive purchase at the time. It has taken some time to be back in the position to show horses since I started teaching. I value it alot more now but also dont really stress if I dont happen to have the money. I used to be alot more driven about showing but I also had more money. Teachers just dont make alot of money and if you want to show alot or have expensive taste, maybe find something else while you are still young.

    Comment


    • #3
      1) How much do you spend on your horse(s) each month?

      Approx. $900.

      3) How do you save for big ticket items (ex: saddles, trailer, new horse, etc.)?

      Very carefully. The new horse, I buy super cheap and go with untrained, unproven animals. Trailer is on a loan. Buy a saddle? I keep the ones I like as long as possible (10-20 years).

      4) How much do you spend on events/competitions/schoolings each year? How do you save for them?

      It depends. Low level stuff, $2K. High level $10K or more. The key is to get a high paying position. I save by living as cheaply as possible.

      5) What is the most you would spend on a new horse? How would you come up with that amount of money (ex: saving, selling something, second job, etc.)?

      My last upper level horse was $8K. I had that already saved. My new one was a special negotiation between me and the owner based on performance. There are lots of ways to buy a horse without gutting the budget. You have to be imaginative. I don't think I would ever willingly spend more then $10K on any horse.

      6) How much do you spend on training each month? Do you feel like the $ is well spent?

      $0. I barter training given that I help my trainers, e.g. building paddocks, barn repair, help them when they ride (eyes on the ground).

      7) How do you budget for emergency medical expenses? What is the most you've ever spent on a vet bill? Do you have a dollar limit?

      Insurance.

      8) How do you balance an expensive hobby with other financial priorities, such as investing, paying off student loans, buying a house, and saving for retirement?

      Participate in a 403b, pension plan etc. I pay on student loans.
      Why the hell would I buy a house?! Read the business pages. Home ownership is really a bit of a fallacy to prop up the economy. A balanced economy should basically have 50%-60% home owners with the rest renting. When you go above 70%, the economy goes out of balance - see the recent housing melt down and loss of values.

      9) Are you willing to go into debt to purchase something horse related? (ex: I have a friend who recently "raided" her 401k to buy a new prospect and another who took out a loan to buy a horse. I've recently seen horse ads where credit cards are accepted.)

      Having horses puts you in debt. Competing puts you in debt. Some manage by not competing or training and just enjoy their horses. But if you want to go big, you have to accept that you go when the horse is ready, not when you or your checkbook is.

      10) Have you ever taken a break from horses or downgraded your competition schedule, training, schooling frequency, etc. due to finances? How did you feel about it?

      Yes. It sucks. The good thing is that I can do my own training. I look at that down time as when I fix and improve fundamentals. Many times we come back at or above the level we took the break at.

      11) Have you ever found yourself upgrading (ex: horses, tack, trainers, shows, etc.) to keep up with wealthier clients at your barn? Do you feel pressured by your trainer or barn friends to spend more money? What is your approach for dealing with that pressure?

      Nope. I like kicking their asses on horses others write off. My trainers have NEVER pressured me because I work and perform to their and my expectations. I work harder with the pressure.

      13) What are practical ways you keep costs down? Lay on the frugal tips!

      Live as cheap as possible. Work off part of your rent, if possible. Learn how to do all of your own maintenance (vehicles, home repair, etc.). No going out and not a lot of eating out.

      I train my own horses so I don't need extensive lessons etc. The barter system is alive and well.

      14) Do you have a separate income/job/side business to fund your eventing obsession? If so, what do you do and how do you find the time?

      I am an amateur so I have a job, yes. I ride when my schedule allows.

      Comment


      • #4
        1) $1350 (board, farrier I have 2 but only one competes)
        2) He's very supportive but I pay my way
        3) Pull a few extra call shifts
        4) We are brand new to eventing so no shows yet
        5)$15,000
        6) About $350
        7) If I don't have the cash, it goes on a credit card. Limit maybe $15,000 but it depends on the prognosis.
        8) We are lucky. The house is paid for, student loans are paid for, we have no children but we are better off due to being older (51)
        9) Yes but I'm not dipping into my retirement.
        10) Not yet....
        11) No, not at all. I'm the only eventer at my barn so I am the Joneses! haha
        12) No
        13) I would think it would help to have my horses at home and not trailer out 2-3 times a week. At 12.2 miles per gallon, gas is a big expense.
        14) No, just one full time job.
        "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope

        Comment


        • #5
          1) How much do you spend on your horse(s) each month?

          Averages $100-ish total (one retired, one semi-retired, one green and young, all barefoot, living out at my parents, I do my own shots/ worming) Also ride one horse just starting to do recognized training, but his owners pay his keep, I only pay entry fees/ lessons/ gas.

          2) How does your significant other feel about your expenditures? NA

          3) How do you save for big ticket items (ex: saddles, trailer, new horse, etc.)?

          I try to put about 30-40% of my take home pay into savings for emergencies and the occasional big item, but I also try not to buy big items unless absolutely necessary, buy used etc. My truck and trailer together cost $10k, my young horse cost $800, my saddles were $350 and $800 etc.

          4) How much do you spend on events/competitions/schoolings each year? How do you save for them?

          $5000-ish for ~10 recognized events and a fair number of unrecognized events, dressage shows, lessons, gas etc. I did get a scholarship last year which is paying for 10 dressage lessons.

          5) What is the most you would spend on a new horse? How would you come up with that amount of money (ex: saving, selling something, second job, etc.)?

          $5k, maybe, if it was truly awesome and I had it on hand. I've never spent more than $1400.

          6) How much do you spend on training each month? Do you feel like the $ is well spent? $200- $300 on lessons.

          The jumping lessons absolutely, I make visible progress. The dressage lessons, ehh. I feel like for every step forward...

          7) How do you budget for emergency medical expenses? What is the most you've ever spent on a vet bill? Do you have a dollar limit?

          Dependent on my savings/ credit card-- realistically would put the two older horses down at this point, and possibly the young one. I did colic surgery on the semi-retired one last year (he was not semi-retired then, he was competing Prelim.) It cost about $7k plus about $800 in additional vet bills. I had decided to put him down when my mom came and insisted we go to New Bolton, do surgery, etc. My parents paid for the surgery upfront and I paid them back half from my savings and will sneak them the other half somehow eventually. He is healthy and happy post- surgery but not quite the same horse, and I would probably not go that route again.

          8) How do you balance an expensive hobby with other financial priorities, such as investing, paying off student loans, buying a house, and saving for retirement?

          Paid off my loans, not planning on buying a house, need to work on putting more in the 401k.

          9) Are you willing to go into debt to purchase something horse related? (ex: I have a friend who recently "raided" her 401k to buy a new prospect and another who took out a loan to buy a horse. I've recently seen horse ads where credit cards are accepted.)

          Horses are a terrible investment! If my young horse turned out to be a true **** horse or something maybe I would scrape and borrow from family to get there, or live on credit cards, but I would never borrow money outright to buy a horse. The purchase should be the least of it.

          10) Have you ever taken a break from horses or downgraded your competition schedule, training, schooling frequency, etc. due to finances? How did you feel about it?

          Sure. It sucked.

          11) Have you ever found yourself upgrading (ex: horses, tack, trainers, shows, etc.) to keep up with wealthier clients at your barn? Do you feel pressured by your trainer or barn friends to spend more money? What is your approach for dealing with that pressure?

          Not really. My trainer definitely understands being poor, and so do most of my friends.

          12) Have you ever experienced buyer's remorse for something horse related? How did you address the issue? Did you learn something from the experience?

          I try not to buy stuff right away-- I'll think about them for a few days, count up how many hours work they'll cost, etc.

          13) What are practical ways you keep costs down? Lay on the frugal tips!

          DIY as much as possible!

          14) Do you have a separate income/job/side business to fund your eventing obsession? If so, what do you do and how do you find the time?

          No.

          15) Have you ever seen someone make a horse related financial decision that you thought was just crazy?

          Taking out a loan to buy a horse= insane. Letting your 16 year old kid choose between college and a horse that will give them a shot at NAYRC= insane.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm 25, recent college graduate with 2 degrees. I'm currently a working student/pseudo barn manager on a small farm. I have one horse with me and 1 dog.

            1) How much do you spend on your horse(s) each month?
            Rather not think about this to hard... I work off board/rent/lessons valued at close to $1600 a month. About $300 a month comes out of my pocket to pay for shoes/supplements and grain.

            2) How does your significant other feel about your expenditures?
            I don't have one so I don't have to worry about it!

            3) How do you save for big ticket items (ex: saddles, trailer, new horse, etc.)?
            Get a project horse and sell it (when that is an option, which its currently not) I don't currently have a truck/trailer but will probably have to sell current horse at some point to buy those things.

            4) How much do you spend on events/competitions/schoolings each year? How do you save for them?
            I have a side job outside of the farm serving tables/bartending a couple nights a week to make money to buy groceries and pay other bills.

            5) What is the most you would spend on a new horse? How would you come up with that amount of money (ex: saving, selling something, second job, etc.)?
            Depends. Current horse was free, last project horse was free. I had a $400 pony growing up and my first ottb was $800.

            6) How much do you spend on training each month? Do you feel like the $ is well spent?
            I work this off and I feel like the time I spend working is time well spent. I have a very nice horse that is allowing me to work through confidence issues who is also an athlete. I'm convinced that he may be perfect (but slightly quirky)

            7) How do you budget for emergency medical expenses? What is the most you've ever spent on a vet bill? Do you have a dollar limit?
            Insurance. I recently spent about $400 on an abcess :/

            8) How do you balance an expensive hobby with other financial priorities, such as investing, paying off student loans, buying a house, and saving for retirement?
            I don't have any student loans or dept.

            9) Are you willing to go into debt to purchase something horse related? (ex: I have a friend who recently "raided" her 401k to buy a new prospect and another who took out a loan to buy a horse. I've recently seen horse ads where credit cards are accepted.)
            No, not at this point in my career.

            10) Have you ever taken a break from horses or downgraded your competition schedule, training, schooling frequency, etc. due to finances? How did you feel about it?
            I have never taken a legit break. I have spent a couple months hacking and riding lightly (3-4 times a week) but no real time away from riding.

            11) Have you ever found yourself upgrading (ex: horses, tack, trainers, shows, etc.) to keep up with wealthier clients at your barn? Do you feel pressured by your trainer or barn friends to spend more money? What is your approach for dealing with that pressure?
            No.
            I have nice tack because I wanted it and worked hard to get it.

            12) Have you ever experienced buyer's remorse for something horse related? How did you address the issue? Did you learn something from the experience?
            No. I do a lot of research before buying. I may look at a piece of tack for 3 months before I buy.

            13) What are practical ways you keep costs down? Lay on the frugal tips!
            Research everything. Work off stuff. Eat 89 cent pot pies.

            14) Do you have a separate income/job/side business to fund your eventing obsession? If so, what do you do and how do you find the time?
            Currently everything is devoted to riding. This is what I'm doing with my life right now.

            15) Have you ever seen someone make a horse related financial decision that you thought was just crazy?
            Ehh... I've seen a lot of people do a lot of things, it's really none of my business.
            -Chelsie
            "Hell yes I can ride. I was riding when I fell off!"

            Comment


            • #7
              1) How much do you spend on your horse(s) each month?
              $3500
              2) How does your significant other feel about your expenditures?
              He took off when he realized the answer to #1
              3) How do you save for big ticket items (ex: saddles, trailer, new horse, etc.)?
              When I sell a horse, I buy new stuff.

              4) How much do you spend on events/competitions/schoolings each year? How do you save for them?
              I sell a horse or two per year and that funds the above. I spend about $1200 per month on lessons and fees, and about once every two years, I send a horse out to be started.

              5) What is the most you would spend on a new horse? How would you come up with that amount of money (ex: saving, selling something, second job, etc.)?
              $5000

              6) How much do you spend on training each month? Do you feel like the $ is well spent?

              On average, $700, which includes paying gal to exercise young horses.

              7) How do you budget for emergency medical expenses? What is the most you've ever spent on a vet bill? Do you have a dollar limit?
              Insurance and my vet allows me to carry a tab. Vet bills have been as high as $20k per year. Welcome to upper level eventing, Tildren, and OCD surgery.

              8) How do you balance an expensive hobby with other financial priorities, such as investing, paying off student loans, buying a house, and saving for retirement?
              I don't have student loans or a mortgage. Work pays for 401k.

              9) Are you willing to go into debt to purchase something horse related? (ex: I have a friend who recently "raided" her 401k to buy a new prospect and another who took out a loan to buy a horse. I've recently seen horse ads where credit cards are accepted.)

              No. But I've done it. Logic not.

              10) Have you ever taken a break from horses or downgraded your competition schedule, training, schooling frequency, etc. due to finances? How did you feel about it?

              Oh yes. I quit riding for over 10 years at one point and had a "balanced" life. Like someone else, I satisfied my craving to compete with animals by going with a more affordable species: I showed dogs,

              11) Have you ever found yourself upgrading (ex: horses, tack, trainers, shows, etc.) to keep up with wealthier clients at your barn? Do you feel pressured by your trainer or barn friends to spend more money? What is your approach for dealing with that pressure?

              Nope. Nope. Nope. And my barn is my barn. I'm fortunate to have my own little place on the family acreage.

              12) Have you ever experienced buyer's remorse for something horse related? How did you address the issue? Did you learn something from the experience?
              I've regretted buying certain horses and sold them as soon as I could.

              13) What are practical ways you keep costs down? Lay on the frugal tips!
              I'll get back to you on this one.

              14) Do you have a separate income/job/side business to fund your eventing obsession? If so, what do you do and how do you find the time?
              I'm an amateur. I have a full time day job.

              15) Have you ever seen someone make a horse related financial decision that you thought was just crazy?

              Oh gosh yes. Daily. Among friends, I see people pour a lot of $$ into a horse that they shouldn't own to begin with. I think the most unfortunate aspect of horses is that a lot of us keep a horse that isn't a good match. I also cringe when people buy marginal mares that are cheap and breed them to top stallions, incurring big fees and vet bills. The cost of the horse is the smallest expense in the long run. Buy top quality mares, and the rest will work itself out.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hey! I know it's so hard! I might be the exception because I have a teeeeeeeny salary (less than $40k) but I figured that might be more what you are looking for. I have two horses who eat better than I do.

                1) How much do you spend on your horse(s) each month? $700 (counting board, feed, farrier)

                2) How does your significant other feel about your expenditures? He was very supportive but I lost him to cancer.

                3) How do you save for big ticket items (ex: saddles, trailer, new horse, etc.)?
                I don't get big ticket items, I never have a big ticket. Saddles have been kind gifts, as was trailer. I cannot afford these large items. If I did have to buy it, I would have to save slowly and carefully.

                4) How much do you spend on events/competitions/schoolings each year? How do you save for them? Maybe $2k. I cannot afford to go very often, that is how I save.

                5) What is the most you would spend on a new horse? How would you come up with that amount of money (ex: saving, selling something, second job, etc.)? Around $3k. I would have to sell something or save for a long time. I'm a fan of the CANTER route.

                6) How much do you spend on training each month? Do you feel like the $ is well spent? Almost $0. I do not put horse in training. I take lessons sporadically due to finances, but I am fairly competent to bring along a horse at N/T. I'll do a lesson maybe once every other month for $45-100, but I am very picky about my trainers.

                7) How do you budget for emergency medical expenses? What is the most you've ever spent on a vet bill? Do you have a dollar limit? Emergencies go on the credit card and I pay it off. I don't carry a huge balance. If it's an emergency, I will do what needs to be done. Since I live on my own now, I only have to consider me.

                8) How do you balance an expensive hobby with other financial priorities, such as investing, paying off student loans, buying a house, and saving for retirement? I don't have any loans, truck is paid off. I do own a house, mortgage is the same as renting, gotta live somewhere! I don't invest, LOL, and I work for the state, so am earning a small pension. I want to start a 401k, but do not have one at this point. I don't need much.

                9) Are you willing to go into debt to purchase something horse related? (ex: I have a friend who recently "raided" her 401k to buy a new prospect and another who took out a loan to buy a horse. I've recently seen horse ads where credit cards are accepted.) No, not major debt for a major purchase. I would consider financing a trailer eventually, but I'm not going to spend $30k on one either. Would not go into debt to purchase a horse, they all go lame the same, haha, but I do not have Advanced aspirations either.

                10) Have you ever taken a break from horses or downgraded your competition schedule, training, schooling frequency, etc. due to finances? How did you feel about it? Downgrading would make it zero, LOL, so no, my horses are also my therapists. Unless I am living in a dumpster, they stay.

                11) Have you ever found yourself upgrading (ex: horses, tack, trainers, shows, etc.) to keep up with wealthier clients at your barn? Do you feel pressured by your trainer or barn friends to spend more money? What is your approach for dealing with that pressure? Absolutely not.

                12) Have you ever experienced buyer's remorse for something horse related? How did you address the issue? Did you learn something from the experience? No, since my money is limited and precious, I do a lot of research, never impulse buy, and talk to others.

                13) What are practical ways you keep costs down? Lay on the frugal tips! My biggest recent one has been to throw away all horse catalogs before they come in the front door. Helps a lot!!!! I also don't do anything else. I don't go out to eat. I don't travel unless someone else pays (non horse trips). I don't do manicures or expensive haircuts. I haven't bought non horse clothes in years (I wear a uniform for work). I eat super cheap and simple.

                14) Do you have a separate income/job/side business to fund your eventing obsession? If so, what do you do and how do you find the time? You mean my actual full time job? Yes, LOL, they seem to make me allocate the time. But I only have the one job, not a second one aside from the occasional horse/farm sitting.

                15) Have you ever seen someone make a horse related financial decision that you thought was just crazy? Oh yes. Who doesn't love to judge? Basically anything trendy. But hey, if you have the money and aren't going to throw it at me, I guess go for it!
                Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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                Comment


                • #9
                  This is a fantastic thread and I for one appreciate the responses! Keep going!
                  Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                  Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    1) How much do you spend on your horse(s) each month? I have 4 horses but 3 are in Alberta with family and I only pay for there hay about $100 a month in winter and farrier about $100 every 8 weeks. My guy here right now am spending $700.-900. month as I am showing and lessons. when I am not showing and driving to lessons about $600.

                    2) How does your significant other feel about your expenditures?We talk about money and what we send all the time. His answer to me asking last night if I should enter in a Back to back this coming weekend was "If we have the money and you want to go then enter." I am so lucky to have him.

                    3) How do you save for big ticket items (ex: saddles, trailer, new horse, etc.)? By saving, money goes into a savings account and when I have the money then I buy the item. Sometimes I will sell something to buy something else.

                    4) How much do you spend on events/competitions/schoolings each year? How do you save for them? I set a budget and that is what I work with. Sometimes if something comes up that I really want to do I will drop something else to be able to do it.

                    5) What is the most you would spend on a new horse? How would you come up with that amount of money (ex: saving, selling something, second job, etc.)? Will not buy a new horse when I am done with these horses I will lease or just take lessons to stay in the horse thing. I'm at that age.

                    6) How much do you spend on training each month? Do you feel like the $ is well spent? None, Only lessons and that is about $80.00 a month, lesson every other week.

                    7) How do you budget for emergency medical expenses? What is the most you've ever spent on a vet bill? Do you have a dollar limit? We have a set limit for emergencies that I can put on our CC.

                    8) How do you balance an expensive hobby with other financial priorities, such as investing, paying off student loans, buying a house, and saving for retirement? It is called a budget. If I don't have the money for other things that are needed first then I don't get to show.

                    9) Are you willing to go into debt to purchase something horse related? (ex: I have a friend who recently "raided" her 401k to buy a new prospect and another who took out a loan to buy a horse. I've recently seen horse ads where credit cards are accepted.)Not at this stage in my life.

                    10) Have you ever taken a break from horses or downgraded your competition schedule, training, schooling frequency, etc. due to finances? How did you feel about it? Yes, it is part of life.

                    11) Have you ever found yourself upgrading (ex: horses, tack, trainers, shows, etc.) to keep up with wealthier clients at your barn? Do you feel pressured by your trainer or barn friends to spend more money? What is your approach for dealing with that pressure? When I go to the tack store with a friend I always spend more then I plan, so now I only take cash and only buy what I need if with a friend.

                    12) Have you ever experienced buyer's remorse for something horse related? How did you address the issue? Did you learn something from the experience?
                    I got a new trailer once that was a great deal but it just didn't work for my one horse. Ended up selling it and found a used one that would work for that horse. I even made a little money on that trailer.

                    13) What are practical ways you keep costs down? Lay on the frugal tips! Don't buy what you don't need. Set a budget and don't go over it.

                    14) Do you have a separate income/job/side business to fund your eventing obsession? If so, what do you do and how do you find the time?No but if I didn't have horses I wouldn't have to work.

                    15) Have you ever seen someone make a horse related financial decision that you thought was just crazy?Yes but it is there money not mine, so they can do with it as they see fit.
                    My life motto now is "You can't fix stupid!"

                    Are you going to cowboy up, or lie there and bleed

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      1) How much do you spend on your horse(s) each month?
                      $630 Board, $260ish in Lessons, Farrier is $100 every 6 weeks, $30 in misc.
                      So, 950ish not including showing or vet bills since those are so scattered.

                      3) How do you save for big ticket items (ex: saddles, trailer, new horse, etc.)?
                      Saddles/Trailer. I SAVE money by doing extra jobs and things. Usually braiding at shows, or scribing at big dressage shows. Lamplight pays really well and I learned so much!
                      4) How much do you spend on events/competitions/schoolings each year? How do you save for them?
                      I spend around 2k for shows each year. Not including trainer fees, hotel, gas. I save them like I do above. I do extra things.

                      5) What is the most you would spend on a new horse? How would you come up with that amount of money (ex: saving, selling something, second job, etc.)?
                      I am not looking at buying for a long time. When I was looking, I was willing to spend up to 30k. I picked that amount because of what was available at the time. With that said, I spent 5k. If I did it again, I would buy a young one under 4 and look for something under 15k and send it off to a trainer for training for 3-5k

                      6) How much do you spend on training each month? Do you feel like the $ is well spent?
                      200-300 a month. Depending on the month. I don't do as many lessons in Dec, Jan, and Feb because that is my "down" time. I do feel like the money is well worth it. Some months I do 2 lessons, other months I do 4-6.

                      7) How do you budget for emergency medical expenses? What is the most you've ever spent on a vet bill? Do you have a dollar limit?
                      I have horse insurance. If it isn't covered, it goes on a credit card that has good APR.

                      9) Are you willing to go into debt to purchase something horse related? (ex: I have a friend who recently "raided" her 401k to buy a new prospect and another who took out a loan to buy a horse. I've recently seen horse ads where credit cards are accepted.)

                      NOOOOOOO!!!!!!! What happens if that horse gets hurt and then you have a pasture pony????

                      10) Have you ever taken a break from horses or downgraded your competition schedule, training, schooling frequency, etc. due to finances? How did you feel about it?

                      Yes, its not easy.

                      11) Have you ever found yourself upgrading (ex: horses, tack, trainers, shows, etc.) to keep up with wealthier clients at your barn? Do you feel pressured by your trainer or barn friends to spend more money? What is your approach for dealing with that pressure?

                      I have at a HJ barn. Never at an eventing barn.

                      12) Have you ever experienced buyer's remorse for something horse related? How did you address the issue? Did you learn something from the experience?
                      Yes, I still do with my jump saddle. I spent over 4k and I still don't love it. I will not buy another new saddle again. I will buy a demo or used and put new panels on it.

                      13) What are practical ways you keep costs down? Lay on the frugal tips!
                      When buying tack/supplements, I wait for deals and shop Ebay. I have gotten things for way lower than retail. My helmet I bought through a tackstore in the UK for 200 when its 379 in the USA. I also group my vet visits with everyone for spring/fall so I don't pay vet call fees.

                      15) Have you ever seen someone make a horse related financial decision that you thought was just crazy?

                      YES!!!!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        1) How much do you spend on your horse(s) each month? About $600/month

                        2) How does your significant other feel about your expenditures? Not thrilled but understands how important it is for me.

                        3) How do you save for big ticket items (ex: saddles, trailer, new horse, etc.)? Save over time, sell something (like a saddle)

                        4) How much do you spend on events/competitions/schoolings each year? How do you save for them? I foxhunt and it's a good deal -- $550/year in dues.

                        5) What is the most you would spend on a new horse? How would you come up with that amount of money (ex: saving, selling something, second job, etc.)? $5K. Cash flow only. Would never go into debt to buy a horse.

                        6) How much do you spend on training each month? Do you feel like the $ is well spent? Take only occasional lessons

                        7) How do you budget for emergency medical expenses? What is the most you've ever spent on a vet bill? Do you have a dollar limit? Self insure. Most I've spent is $6K

                        8) How do you balance an expensive hobby with other financial priorities, such as investing, paying off student loans, buying a house, and saving for retirement? Carefully. Right now with a kid in college, horse expenses take a back seat.

                        9) Are you willing to go into debt to purchase something horse related? (ex: I have a friend who recently "raided" her 401k to buy a new prospect and another who took out a loan to buy a horse. I've recently seen horse ads where credit cards are accepted.) No

                        10) Have you ever taken a break from horses or downgraded your competition schedule, training, schooling frequency, etc. due to finances? How did you feel about it? Yes. I took 7 years off when I couldn't afford it. I also chose to foxhunt as it's fun and much less expensive than eventing.

                        11) Have you ever found yourself upgrading (ex: horses, tack, trainers, shows, etc.) to keep up with wealthier clients at your barn? Do you feel pressured by your trainer or barn friends to spend more money? What is your approach for dealing with that pressure? No. I actually enjoy having a $300 horse that I retrained myself from the track. My saddles were all bought used.

                        12) Have you ever experienced buyer's remorse for something horse related? How did you address the issue? Did you learn something from the experience? Sure, I have bought saddles I didn't like but usually was able to resell them for at least what I paid.

                        13) What are practical ways you keep costs down? Lay on the frugal tips! Self care board, fewer lessons, foxhunting, buying used tack, keeping feeding/supplements simple

                        14) Do you have a separate income/job/side business to fund your eventing obsession? If so, what do you do and how do you find the time? Self employed so I work as much as I can when I have the work.

                        15) Have you ever seen someone make a horse related financial decision that you thought was just crazy? Sure. I see people spend major $$ on horses, custom saddles, etc. However, if they can afford it, that's their business.
                        Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                        EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          1) How much do you spend on your horse(s) each month?

                          Just feed and upkeep, probably about $1500 (7 horses)

                          2) How does your significant other feel about your expenditures?

                          He has expensive hobbies too. I never whine about his. He occasionally whines about mine.

                          3) How do you save for big ticket items (ex: saddles, trailer, new horse, etc.)?

                          Save up slowly, sell a horse, or use credit.

                          4) How much do you spend on events/competitions/schoolings each year? How do you save for them?

                          Probably $5k. That's 5-6 recognized events for my UL horse, and a couple schooling shows per month for her and my Training horse.

                          5) What is the most you would spend on a new horse? How would you come up with that amount of money (ex: saving, selling something, second job, etc.)?

                          Maybe $2k, but usually I get them free/super cheap, and now I have a few youngsters I've bred (probably about $3k to get them on the ground).

                          6) How much do you spend on training each month? Do you feel like the $ is well spent?

                          Not as much as I ought to, mainly for lack of time. When I have time, $150-400.... The former being two group lessons, the latter if I go to a clinic.....

                          7) How do you budget for emergency medical expenses? What is the most you've ever spent on a vet bill? Do you have a dollar limit?

                          Savings and credit cards. $2500 for stem cell surgery on a bone cyst in a 2yo. Yes, which depends on the horse.

                          8) How do you balance an expensive hobby with other financial priorities, such as investing, paying off student loans, buying a house, and saving for retirement?

                          Not quite a hobby since I am technically a pro still and can write off expenses, although now I make the majority of my income shoeing horses. Retirement and student loans are hardly a drop in the bucket compared to the horse expenses so those really do not hurt too bad.


                          9) Are you willing to go into debt to purchase something horse related? (ex: I have a friend who recently "raided" her 401k to buy a new prospect and another who took out a loan to buy a horse. I've recently seen horse ads where credit cards are accepted.)

                          Have and probably will again. My first horse was bought with a CC advance, another with home equity line. Have used Care Credit for vet bills.

                          10) Have you ever taken a break from horses or downgraded your competition schedule, training, schooling frequency, etc. due to finances? How did you feel about it?

                          Maybe skipped an event because I was broke, but nothing major.

                          11) Have you ever found yourself upgrading (ex: horses, tack, trainers, shows, etc.) to keep up with wealthier clients at your barn? Do you feel pressured by your trainer or barn friends to spend more money? What is your approach for dealing with that pressure?

                          Nope. Nice thing about eventing is no one really cares what labels you wear if you get the job done!

                          12) Have you ever experienced buyer's remorse for something horse related? How did you address the issue? Did you learn something from the experience?

                          Nope.

                          13) What are practical ways you keep costs down? Lay on the frugal tips!

                          Do everything myself.


                          14) Do you have a separate income/job/side business to fund your eventing obsession? If so, what do you do and how do you find the time?

                          I shoe horses full time, teach lessons when I'm not shoeing, and board horses to pay the barn bills. If I didn't work with my husband a few days a week, I'd never see him!

                          15) Have you ever seen someone make a horse related financial decision that you thought was just crazy?

                          To quote Pretty Woman, "they sure shock the h$$l outta me!" on a daily basis.

                          Jennifer
                          Third Charm Event Team

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Almost all your questions can be answered in 1 word: BUDGET! Get serious about it now and things will be SO much better. I didn't and wasn't when I started eventing in my mid 20s with my very first horse. I think I may still be paying off some of those bills almost 20 years later.

                            It's not glamourous to sit down and work out a budget. And it certainly isn't to roll into a nice event in a trailer that's as old as you are (I did that once and the organizer's brat of a son told me that I needed to go buy a new trailer because mine was ugly). I did end up getting a new trailer not long after that... and the payments to go along with it that hung around for quite a while.

                            There's a huge difference sometimes between what we want to do and what we can TRULY afford to do. Only a couple ways to bridge that gap: 1) take on debt, 2) increase your income or 3) lower your expectations. #1 is the easy road for now but I guarantee it won't be in the long run. Don't get sucked in!! If you have the cash to pay for something, be it a lesson or a trailer, go for it. If you don't, dont!

                            And don't skimp on any debts you own right now. Pay them off! Imagine what you can afford to do horse-wise if you don't have any payments! And do NOT trade your future security (a 401K, IRA, etc) for a horse. If you aren't independently wealthy, it's a risk that is not worth it. Remember, horses go lame all the time. Within 2 months of winning a gold medal at (different) Olympics, 2 horses were humanely euthanized due to pasture accidents.

                            I highly recommend you check out Dave Ramsey and his debt/spending advice. Modified for horses of course (they are my life-blood and sine qua non so I won't give them up entirely but there are corners one can cut -- No I, miss blanket junkie, do not need to buy the newest Rambo for my pony that has 1 body and 6 blankets already).
                            ************
                            "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

                            "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike

                            Comment


                            • #15

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                1) How much do you spend on your horse(s) each month? $500

                                2) How does your significant other feel about your expenditures? Reticent but accepting.

                                3) How do you save for big ticket items (ex: saddles, trailer, new horse, etc.)? Put money away each check that would otherwise go to entertainment, hair color, clothes, etc. Wash, rinse, repeat until I have what I need put aside.

                                4) How much do you spend on events/competitions/schoolings each year? How do you save for them? $1000-$1500, see above as to how.

                                5) What is the most you would spend on a new horse? How would you come up with that amount of money (ex: saving, selling something, second job, etc.)? Hard to say, depends on the horse. Definitely no more than $10k if I wanted to stay married.

                                6) How much do you spend on training each month? Do you feel like the $ is well spent? Not as much as I'd like - time limits keep me from trailering out more often. Estimate probably $50. Always well spent - if I didn't think so, I'd go elsewhere or not go.

                                7) How do you budget for emergency medical expenses? What is the most you've ever spent on a vet bill? Do you have a dollar limit? I pull from savings if necessary. Limit is $2000 or so, depending on the situation. Have spent more once, wouldn't do it again.

                                8) How do you balance an expensive hobby with other financial priorities, such as investing, paying off student loans, buying a house, and saving for retirement? I put myself through grad school so I could earn enough to have a little leeway here. I put away a significant amount into my 401k, pay my student loans on time, just bought a lovely house, and as long as I don't come up with Olympic or FEI dreams, I can dabble a bit with the horse. But I don't have a nice, new vehicle or trailer, newest/nicest tack, etc.

                                9) Are you willing to go into debt to purchase something horse related? (ex: I have a friend who recently "raided" her 401k to buy a new prospect and another who took out a loan to buy a horse. I've recently seen horse ads where credit cards are accepted.) No, absolutely not - but I have student loan debt and a new mortgage (the down payment for which cut into savings).

                                10) Have you ever taken a break from horses or downgraded your competition schedule, training, schooling frequency, etc. due to finances? How did you feel about it? Absolutely. Past 3 years I've only gone to 1 rated event each year and shown at schooling events instead. I've only cliniced once a year. I've lessoned, on average, twice a month. Love it? No, but I was able to have a nice, in-budget wedding to the DH of my dreams and buy a nice house, both things that were/are as important to me as my non-illustrious riding career at BN and N.

                                11) Have you ever found yourself upgrading (ex: horses, tack, trainers, shows, etc.) to keep up with wealthier clients at your barn? Do you feel pressured by your trainer or barn friends to spend more money? What is your approach for dealing with that pressure? Nope. I have a really nice jump saddle primarily b/c it is the only type that fit my very tall, long legged frame well with the balance I needed. Past that, my 2 bridles are years old, my pads are rat-nibbled, and the rest of my things are quite average. I am happy for them to have nice things and show more, but it doesn't make me feel bad nor does it make my horse love/tolerate me less.

                                12) Have you ever experienced buyer's remorse for something horse related? How did you address the issue? Did you learn something from the experience? No - saving for everything for so long means that I've done enough research that by the time I purchase, I'm pretty set that it's the right thing.

                                13) What are practical ways you keep costs down? Lay on the frugal tips!
                                Pasture board when possible. Don't replace things until they're broken, lost or empty. Buy used. Avoid tack catalogs and sites and sales - so tempting, but do you REALLY need that 15th saddle pad? Barter and work off cost when possible. Do things yourself (shots, worming, holding the horse for the farrier, braiding). Apply for local association scholarships, if available. If you can't show, volunteer - let's you stay involved at little to no cost to you. Be a cheapskate - it's OK!!!

                                14) Do you have a separate income/job/side business to fund your eventing obsession? If so, what do you do and how do you find the time? I am a finance/strategy/business professional with a full time, non-horsey job. I don't watch much TV, and I trade off sleep when I need to in order to ride.

                                15) Have you ever seen someone make a horse related financial decision that you thought was just crazy? Absolutely, but that was my opinion. To them, it might not have been crazy or outlandish. Their $, their business.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I'm in my late 20s, first job out of school, making under $40K a year as well.

                                  1) How much do you spend on your horse(s) each month?
                                  One horse, just moved to a full care situation bc he was not doing well in rough board - $600 including board, grain, fly spray and farrier

                                  2) How does your significant other feel about your expenditures?
                                  Accepted it. He's a good man lol.

                                  3) How do you save for big ticket items (ex: saddles, trailer, new horse, etc.)?

                                  I bought my saddles with my last 2 tax returns. As of right now, I'm on a big ticket spending lock down.

                                  4) How much do you spend on events/competitions/schoolings each year? How do you save for them?
                                  $1000 or so.


                                  5) What is the most you would spend on a new horse? How would you come up with that amount of money (ex: saving, selling something, second job, etc.)?

                                  My current gelding was $300. If I get my debt paid off and savings made by time he's ready to retire, I'd be willing to spend about 3-5k at most. I'm an ammy rider, I have no grand aspirations right now haha.

                                  6) How much do you spend on training each month? Do you feel like the $ is well spent?
                                  Last year I spent about $100. This year I signed up for a clinic, which will be about $200, plus I'll get a $45 lesson once a month.

                                  7) How do you budget for emergency medical expenses? What is the most you've ever spent on a vet bill? Do you have a dollar limit?

                                  Now major medical so far. I have a cap on what I can realistically spend to save the horse's life, if its more, I will have to put him down.

                                  8) How do you balance an expensive hobby with other financial priorities, such as investing, paying off student loans, buying a house, and saving for retirement?

                                  I pay my debt first. I have a small 401K contribution. I don't think I'll be buying a house for a long time - not that interested in it right now either.

                                  9) Are you willing to go into debt to purchase something horse related? (ex: I have a friend who recently "raided" her 401k to buy a new prospect and another who took out a loan to buy a horse. I've recently seen horse ads where credit cards are accepted.)

                                  I have purchased horse things on my credit card, but no more. Anything else I ever want will have to be paid w cash.

                                  10) Have you ever taken a break from horses or downgraded your competition schedule, training, schooling frequency, etc. due to finances? How did you feel about it?

                                  Yup, didn't ride all through school. And, should something happen to my current horse I've decided I will take a couple years off to pay off more debt and save. It'll suck, but I plan on riding for the rest of my life, a little break will be ok.

                                  11) Have you ever found yourself upgrading (ex: horses, tack, trainers, shows, etc.) to keep up with wealthier clients at your barn? Do you feel pressured by your trainer or barn friends to spend more money? What is your approach for dealing with that pressure?

                                  I've wanted to...but not having money helps haha! I just ride better

                                  12) Have you ever experienced buyer's remorse for something horse related? How did you address the issue? Did you learn something from the experience?

                                  Never should have bought the horse in the first place lol!! But I loff him, and I'm pretty happy its working out.

                                  13) What are practical ways you keep costs down? Lay on the frugal tips!

                                  Don't spend money. Don't use your cc.

                                  14) Do you have a separate income/job/side business to fund your eventing obsession? If so, what do you do and how do you find the time?

                                  I served tables last year, thought about it this year but it sucked, so I got a roommate instead lol. Now my bf is my roommate so its all working out quite nicely heehee.

                                  15) Have you ever seen someone make a horse related financial decision that you thought was just crazy?

                                  Taken a loan out to buy a fancy horse, only for it to not work out. Bummer.
                                  Team Ginger

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I just turned 30, making just under 40k a year.

                                    1) How much do you spend on your horse(s) each month?
                                    Anywhere from $500-$700 a month. One horse is boarded at a nice barn with an indoor arena, one horse (doesn't get ridden, but I'm not going to sell) just pasture boarded at a farm.

                                    2) How does your significant other feel about your expenditures?

                                    I am very lucky as he is VERY supportive and understanding, and pitches in without a hesitation if the need arises. We have separate bank accounts and split bills and large expenses (house, utilities, etc) and then are free to do whatever with our own money. It works well for us.

                                    3) How do you save for big ticket items (ex: saddles, trailer, new horse, etc.)?
                                    I save up as much as I can in a separate bank account in the eventing "off" season, so when it comes time to shell out for that new saddle or expensive clinic, I've got a bit of a cushion. Trailer will be financed when the time comes. I love the projects horses, and will never be one of those people who can afford the "nice" horse anyways, so I'll be looking at either young horses or OTTB's when it comes time to buy. I can't see myself ever spending more than 5k on a horse though, unless I win the lottery, and 5k would be the absolute top, for that PERFECT horse.

                                    4) How much do you spend on events/competitions/schoolings each year? How do you save for them?
                                    Eventing is literally the *only* thing I do, so I usually can scrape by in the summer from paycheck to paycheck. I usually have some extra in a separate account that I can dip into if need be. In total, last year I spent around $3000 on events and clinics alone. Next year, I might change up my whole game plan, hitting some american events instead of the local ones, so I'm planning on saving up as much as possible over the winter and then planning my season based on that.

                                    5) What is the most you would spend on a new horse? How would you come up with that amount of money (ex: saving, selling something, second job, etc.)?
                                    Like I mentioned above, 5k would probably be the absolute highest I could go. I'd be looking at youngsters and OTTB's, ideally I'd want to stick around the 2-4k range.

                                    6) How much do you spend on training each month? Do you feel like the $ is well spent?
                                    I do all my own training, so no extra expenses there. I take lessons on and off throughout the year, as my current coach is very busy and away for shows a fair amount, and I am very busy in general as well. Some months I take 3 or 4 lessons, and some months I don't have any. I enjoy and mesh well with my current coach, so I feel like it's definitely worth it.

                                    7) How do you budget for emergency medical expenses? What is the most you've ever spent on a vet bill? Do you have a dollar limit?

                                    I've been extremely lucky with the vet bills, I don't think I've had one over $500 in all the time I've owned horses. *touch wood* I have a credit card if anything major was to arise, and some savings too. I REALLY need to get insurance for my mare though, I could never outright buy another going prelim-aiming for Intermediate horse, and if colic surgery was needed, I definitely don't have 10k laying around for that. On the to-do list for sure.

                                    8) How do you balance an expensive hobby with other financial priorities, such as investing, paying off student loans, buying a house, and saving for retirement?
                                    On my own I would have never been able to get a house ever, and would have been perfectly fine renting for the rest of my life. For me personally, horses are a higher priority than owning my own house. With my SO though, having a place of our own though was something we definitely wanted to do together, so we more made some sacrifices and made it happen. I have an RRSP through my work, I don't invest, and have no student loans, or other loans. I just have a credit card that I am not that great with, but I keep my head above the water on that one, so I'm not doing too bad in the big scheme of things.

                                    9) Are you willing to go into debt to purchase something horse related? (ex: I have a friend who recently "raided" her 401k to buy a new prospect and another who took out a loan to buy a horse. I've recently seen horse ads where credit cards are accepted.)
                                    For me, I grew up in a small town where loans were not common, if you wanted something, you saved and bought it outright. So for me it's not something I would ever consider, too risky. Heck, I've never even financed a car yet! Haha.

                                    10) Have you ever taken a break from horses or downgraded your competition schedule, training, schooling frequency, etc. due to finances? How did you feel about it?
                                    The first year or so after college was tight money wise, so I took a break there. Then I went back to school over the summer a few years later and didn't have the funds to show as I wasn't working during that time. It worked out fine, it was a sacrifice I had to make, and I felt fine about it. I boarded at a great DIY place for a few years when things were tight money wise, and it worked out great. For a long time I worked off my board at barns, but I found I was more of a slave and didn't really enjoy my horses like I wanted to. It wasn't fun. So now that I can afford it, I have chosen not to do that anymore. I am FAR happier than I was before doing things on my own terms, when it's my choice, not an obligation.

                                    11) Have you ever found yourself upgrading (ex: horses, tack, trainers, shows, etc.) to keep up with wealthier clients at your barn? Do you feel pressured by your trainer or barn friends to spend more money? What is your approach for dealing with that pressure?
                                    Not in my experience. I'm very picky about barns, and don't go for that "follow the leader" stuff. Since I am a trainer and a coach myself, I do my own thing, make my own decisions, call the shots on my own horse's care, tack, vaccinations, deworming, vet care, etc. I'm more of the opinion that everyone is different, and different things work for different people. You can't squish everything into a little box and say you need X or Y for every horse or to do whatever.

                                    12) Have you ever experienced buyer's remorse for something horse related? How did you address the issue? Did you learn something from the experience?
                                    Not that I can think of.

                                    13) What are practical ways you keep costs down? Lay on the frugal tips!
                                    I have one set of show clothes, and only replace them when need be. Same with tack and other horse things. I check the consignment stores before buying something brand new, or will buy second hand when I can. Bulk for things like fly spray and supplements is more cost effective. I try to limit my trips to stores in general unless I need to pick up something specific. No random "shopping sprees" for me, haha. I very rarely eat out, and do all my clothes shopping at Plato's Closet. I'll ask for other clothes and bigger things for my birthday/Christmas. I always take a lunch to work and don't drink coffee. Little things add up!

                                    14) Do you have a separate income/job/side business to fund your eventing obsession? If so, what do you do and how do you find the time?

                                    I used to have multiple jobs to try make everything work, but it didn't work well for me. I was working one job full time, working 7 days a week doing chores at a barn, and doing photography on the side. I was spread WAY too thin. I finally found a decent job that I can afford the horses on if I'm smart, and still have time for myself.

                                    15) Have you ever seen someone make a horse related financial decision that you thought was just crazy?

                                    Just multiple expensive purchases, new horse, new 6k saddle, new pony for the kid, etc etc etc. Though I guess if I had lots of money sitting around or won the lottery, I'd probably buy all that stuff too. Then there's the opposite problem, people on a tight budget buying more horses, and just piling them in the pasture and not getting the regular farrier or vet care. But come home with new clothes and things.
                                    Eventing It Up In The Great White North! A girl, a horse, and a helmet cam!!
                                    http://www.facebook.com/albertaeventer/

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by retreadeventer View Post
                                      This is a fantastic thread and I for one appreciate the responses! Keep going!
                                      Thanks! I think candid $ talk is encouraging and puts things into perspective. Loving the responses.

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                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by tle View Post
                                        I highly recommend you check out Dave Ramsey and his debt/spending advice.
                                        I LOVE Dave Ramsey! Also, Suze Orman has some great advice (my fav is The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke)

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