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What do you do to afford your horse addiction?

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    My partner and I are both working on our PhDs in biology. We teach as contract instructors at the university, pick up contract work, and have won various scholarships over the years... but that well is dry as I approach the end lol. I half-lease my horse to help cover costs and make sure he's ridden when I'm away for fieldwork or conferences. No kids, currently transitioning from renting to buying a house.


      C level operations! Not the most glam job but it pays very well, I have a good team and can work from home as needed. Sometimes it backfires though and I end up doing really long days.
      Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


        Attorney in “Big Law” firm. Husband was mostly “Mr. Mom” so income was all on me. I work my ass off to afford this. Extremely high cost of living area (for humans and horses alike) and I put two kids through private school for K-12, then one in Ivy League, the other in a state university. And still helping them when they need it. If not for tuition I could have owned a string of Grand Prix jumpers ( but still would have had no time to ride them). No regrets; love the job, love the kids, love the husband, and love my wonderful Ammy horse.


          surgeon. low cost of living area


            First 24yrs of owning horses I worked in Health Care (office, not field)& then in Acctg at a 4-Star hotel. Hotel job was 4DW.
            DH (who joined me in horses at age 56) had his own business so I paid the bulk of the horse bills & we split house expenses.
            We rented for our first 8yrs together, then had rental income from a 2-flat - with us on the 1st floor.
            When I was widowed, I lasted 2more years in the Big City, then sold just before the RE bubble burst & bought my farmette.
            I continued working - lucky to find a job in my new state close to the farm that was also 4DW.
            I retired in 2013 & have managed to maintain pretty much the standard of living & care for my horses as when I worked. Earnings were modest 5-figures.
            Herd grew from my TB & DH's TWH - who were boarded - to my current at-home TWH (ridden Dressage), Hackney Pony (decorative) & Miniature that I drive.

            I showed Hunters, dabbled in Dressage & Eventing from 1980-something until 2000, then tapered off. I mostly had done Regional & B shows & had my fill.
            Now I do County Fair, rare Dressage schooling show & infrequent driven CT along with Trail Drives with my Club & the National Drive in the Fall.

            Somehow my SSI allows me to pay the bills and have some fun.
            I even travel a bit, but only to places I have friends or family to put me up.
            Last Big Trip was 2013 to Spain - combined a 4-day riding vacay with a GTG with friends visiting Barcelona & Madrid.
            Probably not to be repeated anytime soon.
            But I do manage the occasional overnighter or long weekend.
            *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
            Steppin' Out 1988-2004
            Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
            Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


              Sell body parts on the black market, deal in drugs, and pimp the husband out when necessary...

              But honestly, I work in an Equine Studies program at a university so some costs are covered when my horse lives there. Otherwise she is leased out and earns her own keep. No kids. Pay some of her show fees when I want her to do extra classes that her lease can't pay for, and pay some of her expenses such as insurance and supplements.


                I was a development officer in NYC and I was a gigging musician on nights/weekends. I half leased a horse, took a lesson a week and showed at rated shows over the summer. Salary paid my living costs, and gig money covered my horse costs.

                I’m now a grad student in a very low cost of living area. I work 4 jobs - graduate assistant (salaried), paid internship on campus (data management), freelance data management (remote) and web/data project managing (remote). “My” horse belongs to my friend who doesn’t have time to keep her in a program, so she pays board and I train the horse - it’s a win-win situation for both of us. I live on the farm where she’s boarded and I do work around the farm and watch the place for the owner when she’s gone. In exchange, she gives me lessons when I want them. I barter photography for extras.

                I drive a used Honda, haven’t bought new clothes in years, and rarely eat out. No vacations. No SO at the moment, no plans to become reattached and no desire for children.

                I got a job offer in my field (info systems/analytics) at the university I’m studying at - I’m going to take it when I graduate. The salary is extremely competitive for the work and the area. I’m learning that it’s not how much you make, but more about how well you budget.


                  DINK in a high cost area, both DH and I are teachers at the top of the pay scale. Own small farmette, and board retirees to off set my own retired horses. Board my competition horse at a nice H/J barn 45 minutes away (damn traffic! Damn lack of good programs locally!) I also try to coach a sport at school to add income. It was hard to show, let alone just lesson, when I started teaching 27 years ago. Now I’m pretty comfortable and can have a horse in full training and show a few times a year. Mortgage payoff is less than 10 years away. That’ll be a huge relief.
                  Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                    College professor in a high cost of living area. Horse in an inexpensive nonprofit self board facility in the suburbs close to where I live. I have done a little bit of schooling shows on my coach's schoolmaster. I could probably afford to spend more on horse and training and showing, but wouldn't really feel comfortable going too big. I do keep a truck and trailer as second vehicles, because I like trail riding and hope to start horse camping. I stopped riding in my 20s, and only returned to riding about 12 years ago when I got my current job.


                      Small house, older cars, low cost of living area, very supportive husband.


                        I live in a shithole so my horse doesn't have to.


                          First have to say that I had to google what DINK meant...perhaps that indicates to my age?? And is interesting because I am one - I am a Chartered Accountant at a private manufacturing company and very supportive husband is a retail manager.


                            DINK couple in a fairly expensive area (both for houses and horses). I'm in software sales and my partner is an attorney, though we keep our finances entirely separate. I do a few A shows per year and I do keep my horse in training board as I travel for work. I'm frugal with things like my car/groceries/self-care so my horse can have everything she needs to perform at her best... Oh, and I'm still saving for retirement.

                            Horses are expensive but I love it too much to step away.


                              DINK (dual income, no kids) active duty military. DH is a first responder/EMS. We have a small farm and keep the horses at home. Currently not showing due to multiple factors (deployment, farm projects) but hope to again in a couple of years. When I do show, I only do 5 or 6 local A shows a year. We don't buy clothes, eat out much, or go on vacations. I'm 100% fine with our life choices. DH is supportive most of the time.
                              A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's does that...



                                Re-rider (had to wait some years in order to get horses back in my life again), now we are in a "DINKish" category (kid graduated and has secured a well paying job, own apartment, etc). Me institutional director, hubs CS engineering, medium cost area but I made a lot of adjustments similar to the above- don't eat out much at all, no vacations, extend clothes. Also downsized house, other life costs, streamlined things. DH never was exposed to horses before me, is extremely supportive and thank goodness subscribes to "buy nice or buy twice".


                                  DINK in a very expensive area. I just retired my horse and I am shopping for another. SO has a good software job and a horse of his own. We kind of spend uninhibitedly on our horses because we both share the passion and neither of us dares to take a good hard look at our finances. So we have agreed to drive our cars until the wheels fall off and live in a shitty apartment.

                                  I am self employed and my work is weather dependant, so somewhat seasonal. I work as much as I can so that means in busy seasons I work 3-4 weeks straight with hardly enough free time to brush my teeth. But in slow seasons I only work a couple of days a week.

                                  It's a challenge because I do more working than riding during show season, and have to schedule myself very carefully around competitions. But being my own boss is pretty cool, and explaining to my boss that I was taking a 3 day weekend to go to a horse show or a clinic always resulted in weird questions like "do you race your horse?" or "how long do horses live?" and that got old quick.


                                    DINKS here. My husband makes 6 figures in oil & gas which covers our true expenses and I own a liquor store which pays for our "fun money" (including horses).
                                    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                                    My equine soulmate
                                    Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


                                      I am a Medical Biller and Coder at a doctors office, and my husband is a musician. We don’t have kids. I also teach beginner riding lessons part time to help with horse expenses, like my own lessons and the occasional small show. My horse is a retiree living at a small, no-frills private farm. He lives outdoors, so board for him is pretty inexpensive. I’ve pretty much always worked a second part time job to fund my horse hobby. Teaching lessons is perfect cause I’m part time enough that it never feels like a “job”.


                                        I'm the website copywriter for a large tack store. I have access to discounts plus great networking. My area is expensive but we downsized when daughter #2 went to college. Husband is self-employed and that's our main income; my job is strictly for the horses (plus health/dental benefits!)
                                        My son is a high school senior and plays interscholastic polo. He has 2 polo ponies but the program facility is in a much more affordable area. Board is cheap and no extras that I used to pay for when I had my own horse at a show barn. I had to euthanize my horse last Fall, but I ride the polo horses now. They are amazing.
                                        I am also not nearly as fancy as I used to be. No facials, massages, manicures etc. I swapped a Mercedes for a hybrid SUV that gets great gas mileage and I don't care if it's covered in dust all the time.


                                          For me, there are two components that are equally important. One is having a PhD and working long enough (25+ years) in my field (environmental science) to attain a higher level position with a good salary. The other is no longer having any kids on my payroll.

                                          Having kids is a huge resource drain (not that they aren't worth every penny). I had horses when I still had kids at home, but it was strictly a do-it-yourself endeavor. No trainers, no horse shows, no boarding.

                                          Now, I no longer support, or even help support, any kids and I've got sufficient disposable income to board both horses, pay for lessons, and, if I choose, go to horse shows, although my interest in doing so has dwindled as I get older.
                                          "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                                          that's even remotely true."

                                          Homer Simpson