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On money, sacrifice & never feeling like I've done enough

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  • #21
    Maybe the winter blues are getting you down. I know I am so sick of winter and I get overwhelmed and depressed easily. The snow and cold just won't end! I would definitely lease your trusty steed--this will cut expenses drastically. There has to be someone at the boarding place looking for a horse like that.

    I just wanted say that my two pairs of designer breeches (Pikeur and Schumacher) were given to me, and Lord knows how old they are LOL! Good luck and keep your chin up!
    I LOVE my Chickens!

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    • Original Poster

      #22
      Twostinkydogs: ha! That's kind of funny. The grass is always greener I guess

      OBXpony: I really like what you said about waking up next to your love like being a daily trip to Paris . No matter how much I love horses, he's the most special, important part of my life, and that's a great reminder not to lose sight of what a pleasure it is to be married to someone you're crazy about .

      Comment


      • #23
        It's always a juggling act, isn't it?

        I'd also seriously reconsider the training board, though. At least around here, that is a HUGE expense. I consider having a trainer a luxury, honestly. Since you're not riding, how about turning out both horses until August or so and saving some dollars there? Send the ridable horse in for training about a month before YOU'RE ready to get back on. If you can pull his shoes during that time, even better.

        What I've found interesting is how my priorities change as I get older. Ten years ago, I just HAD to have a barn with an indoor, just HAD to have the horses shod all around, just HAD to have them blanketed all winter, just HAD to have them on a variety of supplements.

        Now? Basic, no frills, mom and pop boarding barn that feeds great hay with lots of room to ride out, but no indoor, horses live out on acreage. Everyone is barefoot. Everyone was naked all winter, although one is blanketed now with her spring clip job. Supplements are basic nutritional items that don't cost much.

        If you're feeling pinched, take a look at your "required" items and honestly evaluate just how required they really are.

        Comment


        • #24
          I was lucky enough once to be able to afford basically anything I wanted, within reason (no new Hennigs, but nice used Countys and the like, as well as name-brand breeches). But life happens.

          One thing that worries me about you and your situation is: are you actually saving any money? Do you have an emergency fund for the horses and yourself? If not, and if you can't save one because of the horses, that's an entirely different story from "I want x and y." That means you really CAN'T afford the horses on what you make now. Which is fixable.

          Stop comparing yourself to others. You have no idea how they acquired their expensive stuff. They may have $30,000 in credit card debt to look that good. Or -- they may have done their homework and gotten great bargains. Even when I had the money, I revelled in finding the bargains. Klaus Krehan breeches on the clearance rack for $25. A County dressage saddle in perfect condition, that fit me and my horses, for $500.

          If you want a new saddle, start a penny jar for one. Or get a second job, if you can find one, or work a few more hours at your current job if you can. But if you aren't showing, and it all fits you and your horse, and it's in good repair -- then you don't really "need" it.

          Sorry if I sound at all harsh here --

          Comment


          • #25
            I read your post, and it sounds to me as if you really can't afford to own two horses, not at the expense of saving for a home and possibly having children (which, granted, it sounds as if you are very ambivalent about). I also agree with the earlier poster who said that paying someone else to train your horse is a luxury. I know you are emotionally attached to your horse, but really--if you can't ride him, but you're paying someone else to do it, what is the point? I would get the retiree in an inexpensive field board situation where you can check on him periodically and sell the younger one. You love your horses and you are in love with the idea of owning them, but they are eating up wayyyy too much of your income, and you need to ask yourself if you are taking advantage of your husband's good nature.

            There are ways to ride without owning. You need to investigate these. Wait until a later point in your life--when you have more disposable time and income--to own. It sounds as if you are going to have serious regrets if you continue as you are.
            I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne

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            • #26
              Don't have kids unless you really, REALLY want to be "Mom in the Minivan" as the Number One priority in your life more than anything else in the world. Because if you have them, that's exactly what your life is going to be. The world of Mom's is now "child-centered" to an unprecedented degree, and if you are NOT involved in each and every moment of their lives, you will be found wanting by your new peer group. Whom you should go and watch. Go sit with Moms at a "Travel Soccer" game (the Dads, too!) and ask yourselves really hard if that's where you want to be at all costs in 5 years.

              If the answer is still "meh," then DON'T.

              Comment


              • #27
                Your husband sounds like a man who loves you very much and wants you to be happy. Personally I think you need to do something with the horse you can't ride. If you had a place of your own to keep him that is one thing. To pay board and all the expenses on a horse that does nothing is wasteful and selfish on your part. That is money that could be used to do something that maybe your husband would enjoy. I don't mean to be cruel or harsh, but you are 30 years old and you need to face the facts. Sometimes you can't have it all, even when you scrimp and save. It is a place many of us have been to in our times of ownership , it hurts and it is hard, but you do heal and get past it.

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                • #28
                  It sounds as if you truly are going to have to choose between horses and two-legged beasts. (Just kidding kind of!) We cannot choose for you, but know that there's no right or wrong answer as long as you and your husband are happy.

                  If I were in your shoes I would stop or reduce the training board. Maybe a month before you're ready to ride again, start lunging and having your trainer ride a couple days a week. Maybe you can find a good part-lessor who can ride a couple days a week?

                  If your 18hh boy is sound and sane enough, I would absolutely consider putting him to work with a lease or free lease. You could really just wait until you find a rider you can trust. Sounds like he's quite capable of working.

                  If your newer horse is in a stall, maybe pasture board is an option?

                  At some point you do need furniture, savings, a vacation. If you give all that up for too long, you may start to resent the horses. Hope you can find a balance that works for you and your hubby (who sounds like a great, supportive guy!).
                  Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Agree about the pasture puff an expense you need to eliminate. Especially at only 10 years old. You're looking at a potential lifespan of 18 years +/-. If you're that strapped for cash you really need a reality check. Also agree you should find someone to lease your other horse. Your husband may be a saint, but at some point he would only be human if he began to resent the money spent on their upkeep. I don't mean to sound harsh, but if a relationship only has sacrifice on one side it tends to crack. And you may not realize it until it's too late to fix. Sorry, but I have a friend in that position right now and, sadly, there doesn't seem anyway to fix it.
                    In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.—Thomas Sowell, Is Thinking Obsolete?

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
                      Don't have kids unless you really, REALLY want to be "Mom in the Minivan" as the Number One priority in your life more than anything else in the world. Because if you have them, that's exactly what your life is going to be. The world of Mom's is now "child-centered" to an unprecedented degree, and if you are NOT involved in each and every moment of their lives, you will be found wanting by your new peer group. Whom you should go and watch. Go sit with Moms at a "Travel Soccer" game (the Dads, too!) and ask yourselves really hard if that's where you want to be at all costs in 5 years.

                      If the answer is still "meh," then DON'T.
                      IMHO, as the mother of two young men and someone who enjoyed being a parent very much, this is an absolutely horrible way to evaluate whether or not to have kids. Just like it isn't mandatory to wear Pikeurs to enjoy your horse, it most certainly is not mandatory to behave the way you describe in order to have kids and be a good parent. There are many ways to Rome re: childrearing, just as there are for owning horses.

                      One thing is true tho: if you can't ignore the peer pressure in horse owning you certainly won't be able to find your own style in raising children. So really, the lesson here for the OP is quite pertinent to both situations.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        I agree, oldernewbie...that's just not accurate. If that's the kind of parent you envision yourself being, maybe...but it's hardly an accurate depiction of all parents, or all parents who are considered "good parents" by other parents. I have plenty of more low-key mom friends like myself who do not feel it is necessary or healthy to micromanage offspring.

                        HOWEVER -- OP and her DH do not sound like they really want children, and my advice for anyone considering kids is to only have them if you can't bear not to. I would not trade mine for anything, but parenthood is often challenging so you need to really want it. If you hate it and check out, human beings pay the price.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          I think you need a budget. Not just a monthly budget but a 5 year budget. Where do you want to be in 5 years and how do you want to get there?

                          Reading your initial post, my first thoughts were:

                          - lease out your retired horse
                          - take your second horse out of professional training.

                          I know you hate the idea of someone else riding your old horse but if he won't do what you want to do, you need to get over it. Screen potential riders carefully and try to get out from under the expenses. If you can do an "on farm" lease where he's still in a place where you can keep an eye on him, that might make you feel better.

                          I'm not sure why your packer needs to be in professional training. If you're not competing at a high level and the horse doesn't need to stay "tuned" why not get a friend or a teenager to ride him for you. Or, just turn him out. You could get a few training rides put on him before you put him back to work but if you're worried about $$ then that's an easy way to save money. When I was pregnant and for the first month after I had my children I had a talented junior rider keep my horse in work. She was a lovely rider who enjoyed having another horse to ride with no expenses. I'm about to take over the ride for a friend who just had knee surgery and wants her horse kept in work so she'll sell. Find someone like that. It doesn't need to cost you $$$.

                          My own personal experience is that two horses are too many. My husband and I both have our own businesses and we have two kids -- one in high school and one in college. I have occasionally had two horses and I find that it's too much money and too much work. It really kills the enjoyment for me.

                          My horse is laid up right now with a check ligament injury; we're looking at 3-4 months. As i mentioned above, I'm going to take over the ride on a friend's horse because it's a win-win situation. I won't miss my foxhunting season and her horse will stay in work. But even just paying the bills on two horses for that short amount of time makes me feel anxious. And I keep my horses at a co-op barn so the cost is pretty low!

                          It's very easy to keep living day to day but if you and your husband sit down and plan together, you should be able to come up with a plan to get what you want with just a bit of trimming back.

                          I've been married for 24 years to someone who isn't crazy about horses, doesn't like the expense but knows how much it means to me. The trick is not to abuse that!

                          Also think about getting a second part time job -- maybe if you cut back your expenses and put a bit more aside you'll have the $$ to do more horse stuff when you're back in the saddle.

                          And don't stress about tack and clothing. I've seen lots of people who ride in expensive saddles that don't fit their horses just because the brand is trendy!
                          Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                          EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            WHOA! I'm not the mom in a minivan and our lives certainly don't revolve around our kids, never did! Our kids learned how to ride as toddlers and they have spent their childhoods in the wilderness on pack trips; doing what DH and I loved to do before we had the kids. They've had guitar lessons and hobbies and X-boxes and pursuits of their own but I have actually never driven a minivan in my life and I've never sat on a soccer field sideline.



                            It's hard to have kids but by no means does it mean your interests and priorities go out the window and if it did; you screwed up your life and probably that of your kid!
                            “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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                            • #34
                              I sold my 'lifetime' QH to a good friend b/c I wanted a new horse and new hobby (from QH to TWH). Now I need to sell two saddles to finance the gig cart and harness for my next new adventure I like horses and I like to play but I have some notion of a budget. My DH rides so that helps.

                              Neither of us wanted to have kids, and you need to make decisions if you're approaching 'that age'. Don't hanker after children b/c the clothes are cute or b/c your BFF has a sweet toddler. That's a very personal decision, the most personal, I think, and it has nothing to do with Soccer and Chrysler's, that's just shrill drivel from on high. Just don't look up so it won't run down your nose

                              Take some time to talk to your DH, not us. And Lord, don't talk to the "Soccer moms." I can't imagine why that would matter when there are Pony Club mom's too and rodeo, and 4H, and and and. And hey, maybe you like Soccer, and that's ok too. Just don't be assuming you have to play some role someone else slapped on you, that's just stupid.

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                                WHOA! I'm not the mom in a minivan and our lives certainly don't revolve around our kids, never did! Our kids learned how to ride as toddlers and they have spent their childhoods in the wilderness on pack trips; doing what DH and I loved to do before we had the kids. They've had guitar lessons and hobbies and X-boxes and pursuits of their own but I have actually never driven a minivan in my life and I've never sat on a soccer field sideline.



                                It's hard to have kids but by no means does it mean your interests and priorities go out the window and if it did; you screwed up your life and probably that of your kid!
                                I'm sure there are some major regional variations in play. I speak of the suburbs of NYC where there is a LOT of conformist pressure on parents--of the doing it all, having it all or your letting down your kids sort. The academic and extra-curricular demands are very extreme. Most of the moms I know feel more like taxi drivers and maids for their kids than adults with a life of their own. They never get a "day off." Good to hear it's not like that everywhere!

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  As the mother of two, I can categorically say that you do not need to be the "Mom in the Minivan" to be a successful parent. Nor is your interest in other people's children an accurate predictor of how you will feel about your own.

                                  Maybe I'm lucky to live in a town where this level of helicopter parenting isn't necessary. I am involved with the things my children do because they interest me. My kids also understand that I am a person with my own interests and that having happy parents involves some understanding on their part.

                                  I will agree that being a parent is expensive. Even when your kids attend public schools, your disposable income shrinks quite a bit so if children are in your future, it's a good idea to save ahead.

                                  While I would never tell anyone that they should have children, I will say that my own life would have been severely diminished in ways that I couldn't have never imagined without them.


                                  Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
                                  Don't have kids unless you really, REALLY want to be "Mom in the Minivan" as the Number One priority in your life more than anything else in the world. Because if you have them, that's exactly what your life is going to be. The world of Mom's is now "child-centered" to an unprecedented degree, and if you are NOT involved in each and every moment of their lives, you will be found wanting by your new peer group. Whom you should go and watch. Go sit with Moms at a "Travel Soccer" game (the Dads, too!) and ask yourselves really hard if that's where you want to be at all costs in 5 years.

                                  If the answer is still "meh," then DON'T.
                                  Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                  EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Didn't read all posts, but have to say, we should try to live within our means.

                                    Sounds like you are not in a situation to have two horses but on a very thin string, so why not be sensible and change something, so at least you won't have to feel guilty?

                                    You want to keep your pasture ornament? Go ahead, sell the other one and take lessons as you can for the next few years and maybe, down the road, if you manage to have extra disposable income by then, again get another horse you own.

                                    We don't have to even own a horse to be involved with horses, if that is what makes us happy.
                                    If owning a horse and that one specific one is what makes you happy and you can handle only one, make yourself happy with that, no one died because they can't ride and go do this or that with a horse.

                                    Then, if you like to live on a shoestring and have both horses, then do so without guilt, since that is what you choose to do for as long as you can.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Lots of good suggestions here, OP, and many good ideas for trimming your horse expenses if you want to, and that might be a very good thing. But you did say in your additional posts that DH has a good financial head on his shoulders, and thanks to his savvy you are saving, etc. -- am I reading that right? So the impression I get is that you are at least not running up debt, you are able to save, etc. even with the horses. So be very glad for that and try not to worry about not having the fancy rig and the most expensive tack, the pricey horses, etc.

                                      But I strongly agree with all who have said that it seems to me the most important thing is to make sure your DH feels like his needs/wants/hobbies get some time, attention, and resources, too. Really make sure that wonderful DH is feeling fulfilled and happy with your mutual life direction, and if buying a home is important to you, then consider altering the horses' circumstances so you can start working toward that goal. If you decide to have children, financially you will likely have to make some big changes. But don't be pressured to have or not have them -- plenty of people have wonderful, fulfilled lives either way.

                                      In short, check in with your DH and make sure you really know his point of view, and take it from there. You said in your first post he feels like he is a bad provider -- well, make sure that he understands that in fact he IS keeping you in your idea of luxury by enabling you to have two horses! And focus on that yourself if you are truly bugged about not having an Hermes saddle or similar.
                                      If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by KiraSophia View Post
                                        3.) My retired horse is an 18hh TB/WB & so I think teaching him to drive might be more of a challenge than some other horses, lol. I could lease my other guy, but unfortunately, I hate the idea of someone I don't know well riding my horse during times I am not there watching...I'm paranoid I guess. I tried to lease him a while back and just couldn't bring myself to do it :P
                                        I was feeling sympathetic up to this point. Everyone wants the nice fancy things and to have the big truck and shiny trailer and the horse in full training.

                                        But, if you want to continue to own both your horses, while somehow drastically cutting down on expenses, "Nobody will love Poopsie like I do!!!!!" is not a valid excuse, sorry.

                                        If this packer is the packer you say he is, he should 1) not be in full training...at least have the trainer cut back to just a few times a week. And 2) he should be leased out, at least for the summer until you have time/the ability to ride him.

                                        Don't know why the pasture pet is a pasture pet, but if he's at all sound and useable, he should be doing SOMETHING to earn his keep. Or at the very least, move him somewhere cheaper.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by oldernewbie View Post
                                          IMHO, as the mother of two young men and someone who enjoyed being a parent very much, this is an absolutely horrible way to evaluate whether or not to have kids. Just like it isn't mandatory to wear Pikeurs to enjoy your horse, it most certainly is not mandatory to behave the way you describe in order to have kids and be a good parent. There are many ways to Rome re: childrearing, just as there are for owning horses.

                                          One thing is true tho: if you can't ignore the peer pressure in horse owning you certainly won't be able to find your own style in raising children. So really, the lesson here for the OP is quite pertinent to both situations.
                                          I was going to say, wow, way to assume that all parents and kids are the same (heck, the kids don't have to have a vote for a long, long time.) Not to mention so what regarding "peer group?" If they aren't paying your kids' way, their opinion is irrelevant. (More people would be a lot happier if they stopped listening to their "peer" group.)

                                          And I don't know if the OP and her husband really want kids or not, but the mere fact it's brought up as something they can't AFFORD, along with really furnishing a home, vacations, etc. sounds like leaning more towards yes/maybe, but not quite ready (at least the OP) to face what needs to be given up first. In this case, one of the horses at least. I really am not seeing why training board on one, and agree with the posters saying they really ought to reevaluate the pasture pet. If that's truly all he is/can be, he should be on retirement somewhere inexpensive, not on stall board. If he HAS to be stalled, retirement board isn't feasible, and the OP can't bring herself to sell him (fair enough, that's a HARD sell to any decent buyer), they ought to really consider if he's affordable or not. If he can be ridden, he ought to be leased or sold.
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