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Help - Advice Needed!

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  • Help - Advice Needed!

    Long time reader, first time poster here. I know this is a bit off topic, but I need your advice. My husband is incredible to me and supports my hobby/obsession with horses, but claims that I put it ahead of him/the family. He says I have no perspective at all when it comes with anything that has to do with horses. I spend around 15% of our (post tax) income on the horse and a great deal of time as well. I also lost a good bit of money by buying a horse that I didn't research well and had to sell at a loss.

    The most recent thing is my saddle: I have a Bates Caprilli right now but want a Devoucoux. His response is that even the Bates is "more saddle" than I need (I only jump 2'6").

    Anyway, I could go on for pages but I'll spare you all - I just wanted to see if you all think he's being unreasonable with this.

  • #2
    Too funny ...

    That is EXACTLY my situation, right down to wanting to wanting to trade in the Bates for the Devoucoux, and the husband who doesn't see the necessity of a nicer saddle because he doesn't think someone who rides at my level needs a high end saddle I don't have any great advice, sadly, but I do think your husband is being unreasonable and I'm hoping some other poster will have some helpful advice!


    • #3
      My husband says he is a horse widow -and in many ways he is right. I admire his patience as he is left alone another weekend while I and/or DD are away at a show. He does the occassional whine, but he is also the first to lend support in the down times and boy does he delight in the successes!

      On the expense side... well you guys already know the issues. Is your SO being unreasonable - that depends on what has to be given up to get that new saddle ...


      • #4
        Thanks you guys. Magmir, I'm glad I'm not the only one with these issues.

        Juststartingout - I've never heard of the term horse widow, but I'm sure my husband would call himself that. Fortunately he has a lot of his own friends, activities, etc, so he's not sitting at home idly waiting for me. Nothing is being given up directly for the saddle, but he is in the process of selling his BMW M3 to facilitate the purchase of my new horse. Cars to him are much like horses to me, so I feel somewhat bad about that (but I'm getting over it!).


        • #5
          If he's so "upset" about it taking time away from him and/or the family, when then does he not try to be more involved??? Perhaps make it something you can share?

          (In Loving Memory of 'My Escort' 3/25/1985 - 3/17/2007)


          • #6
            I think you are the only one who can answer if you put the horses ahead of him/your family. I know that with my husband, he didn't realize what a huge responsibility it was to own horses until we moved to our farm. Yes, it is a hobby (and an expensive one) but it is also a giant responsibility. My husband started taking lessons, and he quickly realized that my time at the trainers barn was not just "mess around time". Even though horses ARE a huge responsibility, it is still really important to set aside "couple" time. Maybe start setting a date night or something with your husband and see if that helps with him feeling that the horses come first. If you have kids I suppose this gets a little more tricky.

            I don't know how you have your finances set up, but I will share with you what my husband and I do. I work, and my work money goes into the horses. Sometimes I come up short when we have a huge expense, and he is more than willing to pitch in, but for the most part I support the horses with my income. My income ONLY goes towards the horses. I guess we are lucky that my husband has such a good job where he can afford to support our lifestyle in other aspects very comfortabley. I also do almost all of the work at our farm.

            As far as the saddle goes, is there any way you can contribute to the purchase? It may seem like a really unneccessary (expensive!) thing to your husband.


            • #7
              Originally posted by StorybrookeFarms View Post
              If he's so "upset" about it taking time away from him and/or the family, when then does he not try to be more involved??? Perhaps make it something you can share?
              I think the $$ bothers him more than anything. We're both professionals and he says 15% is a lot to squander. He did try to get into it (which was very cute), but for whatever reason it didn't work out. Also, I feel bad about pushing him since I've made no effort to participate in any of his activities. We used to play tennis together fairly regularly but haven't played once since I got back into horses (three years ago).


              • #8
                Well, I can think of one thing you could do that would probably make him happy and get him to stop complaining, at least for a few days

                It may just be a bitter pill for him to swallow right now if he is selling his car so you can get a new horse and now you want the new saddle too. Maybe you could just put off the saddle purchase for a bit until the loss of the car is a bit less fresh? To him it may seem like you are getting all the "new toys" while he is giving up his.

                I know I can be guilty of getting horsey blinders on and only focusing on what my daughter and I are doing. But then I have to remind myself that there are 2 other kids that don't ride and a tolerant husband who requires tending from time to time. He may just be feeling neglected and unappreciated. Pay a bit of attention to him, wait on the saddle and he may return to his supportive self.


                • #9
                  From what you've said, it sounds like it's less about the money, or even the time, but more that he's feeling like you've put horses as a higher priority than him. If it were me, to help the situation, I would just make it my aim to make him feel as special and important as possible. Date night. Playing tennis together more. Trying to participate in things with him.

                  Don't think of him as the enemy - remember, you love him, right? :-p (I'm sure you don't actually feel that way, but sometimes it's easy to slip into "him vs. me" mode during disagreements, and that never helps!)


                  • #10
                    Is there something wrong with your Bates? I think I would be leaning towards be grateful your hubby is so supportive and not complaining about the horse and "make do" with your current saddle for awhile, unless you absolutely have to have a new saddle.
                    Is the Devocoux a want or a need? I kind of think it's a want.
                    Maybe compromise? Wait til the new horse comes, sell some other old tack or whatever, sell the bates then get the new saddle.
                    I kind of think you're being a little greedy, esp since the man is selling his beemer to buy you a horse.
                    I am the primary support of my horses too (and they are at home) and also contribute equally to the house expenses. But I think my husband would have to be pretty adamant if I announced I was getting a new horse and a $5000 french saddle too when there is nothing wrong with the saddle I have. And I wouldn't blame him.
                    Esp since you aren't an ULR rider or anything.
                    I have to kind of lean toward your hubby on this one.
                    "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin


                    • #11
                      It looks like I"m going to be the odd one out here, and say I dont' really think he's being unreasonable. Coming from a professional horseperson, it may seem odd, but I do feel that any successful relationship must be equal. He's selling his car to buy you a horse? Would you sell your horse so that he could buy a new car? If your answer is no, then forget the saddle, and thank your lucky stars you have such a wonderful husband. If you HONESTLY answered yes, then you need to sit down and talk with your husband about the horse thing, and what you can do to make it easier for him.
                      Horses are a HUGE commitment, both time wise and financially, and can take a toll on a relationship if communication and sacrifice aren't there on both sides.
                      I"m sure this isn't the response you were looking for. Sorry.


                      • #12
                        Been there, done that.

                        Play more tennis and put the new saddle on hold.

                        Is there a problem with your Bates? Those are fine saddles and are actually more adjustable than the Devocoux.

                        When I've wanted a "new to me" saddle, I've usually waited until I could find one used and then "financed" the purchase price by selling my old tack and maybe an old piece of jewelry. If you're patient, you can usually find what you want for a decent price.

                        There are -- of course -- plenty of very nice saddles that don't cost that much. Maybe you should spend some time at a consignment shop and start trying different saddles.
                        Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                        EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                        • #13
                          my take= hes more than bitter right now about selling his M3 for your horse habit. Did he offer to do so? If so, while he has every right to be bitter, he should keep the comments to himself. Was this his play car? I sometimes think that men want to do right by us so they offer to do things like sell really nice cars and then regret it later but are unable to share the regret. In any case, try to be patient with him and maybe find a compromise somewhere with his cars. That may make him feel more at ease.
                          "to each his own..."


                          • #14
                            If there is nothing wrong with the Bates except it is no longer shiny and new, then particularly given that he is selling a car so you can buy a new horse, it is likely you are the unreasonable one. That said I do not know your financial situation and how big if any impact the Devocoux would make on your overall picture. Why do you want the new saddle? That is likely a more important question.


                            • #15
                              No - to answer your question I don't think he is being unreasonable. Especially due to the fact that he is selling his car. And 15% is quite a lot to spend on a hobby for only one of you. And the fact that he is selling his car tells me there isn't a lot of money to throw at the horses.
                              I think it is time to be realistic about your choices. You are the one that lost money on the first horse. Keep your old saddle for a while, and enjoy what you DO have at the moment. There will always be better "stuff" and better horses. And look at the marriage from his perspective - he wants to spend more time with you - that is a good thing!


                              • #16
                                Add me to the crowd that does not think he is being unreasonable. From your post it sounds like he is being more than generous to you actually.


                                • #17
                                  Invest in your hubby and marriage - Saddles, horses, cars, etc. come and go, but a good man is hard to come by. Besides, most men won't even express that feeling of being "2nd place." They usually ignore it and just become more resentful and angry as time goes by until WHAM.... they leave.

                                  Humble yourself, tell him you understand and are sorry for putting him/kids in 2nd place and then do something about it. Trust me: doing so will reap much bigger dividends down the road than a new saddle any day
                                  <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                                  • #18
                                    My hubby is great about everything but when I bought my Stubben dressage saddle he said that was the last one I get for a long time It was 3000.00 so I understand and my jumping saddle will have to do for a while. You should feel lucky that he does support you and the horses but you do have to sometimes take that time to spend with your family. IMO family comes first and then the horses. I usually show 2 weekends out of the month and the other 2 weekends we spend hanging out or trail riding together (very rarely trail together but sometimes) You need to manage your time so you can spend more with your family. I also can understand that if you have a nice saddle there is no reason for a new one unless something is wrong with the one your riding in. The Bates is a nice saddle is there a reason you want a new one?
                                    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                                    • #19
                                      Take it from one who has been there...you need to meet him halfway and ask him to do the same.

                                      Maybe you can play tennis every week, go to a car show, play a round of golf or whatever. Then he can reciprocate by keeping his mouth shut when you go play horsey.

                                      If you make the effort to meet in the middle and spend some time with him doing what he wants and he still harps on it? Then you have deeper issues then time away from him.

                                      Far as the saddle? Have no idea except he probably is right and you really don't need a 3500 jumper saddle to jump around the 2'6" in. Not now, anyway. Get your relationship issues straightened out first.

                                      Concerned his sale of the BMW to finance your new horse may come back to haunt you as ammo in a future fight(s). BTDT or very similar, did not end well.

                                      Be careful here.
                                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                      • #20
                                        I on the other hand have to give a HUGE thank you to my husband, who supports me and my daughter's horse habit on a daily basis. I do try to encourage him to be a part of it though, he recently took our 2 yr old Swedish Warmblood to Upperville and had been working with her for quite some time to prep her and him. I think this makes him feel a part of it all. He has been supportive, the only time he has spoken up is to tell me showing 2 times in a weekend is a bit much on the family life, so I meet half way and show once a weekend.

                                        Try to encourage his participation with the horses. Marriage is a give and take, try to think "Win, Win" how can we both be happy.
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                                        COURAGE is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. ~John Wayne