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

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

    Thanks for all the advice everyone. I think I'm going to have a big heart to heart with my husband tonight to see where he truly is on all this. Not planning to sell either horse, but I may try a lease option. I appreciate you taking the time to respond!
    Last edited by KiraSophia; Mar. 25, 2013, 08:35 PM.

  • #2
    ahh....your husband has a choice to be with you....if his life is being ruined it's up to him to decide whether it is worth it.

    If you need extra money, there are tonnes of ways to make extra cash in the horse world, or, pick up a second job.

    I always feel poor compared to many of the other riders out there. Expensive horses, custom tack, nice rigs. I don't let it get me down though, my friends and I embrace it. We love kicking butt on our cheap/free horses. Doing well and being able to ride better than most who have endless cash flow.

    At the end of the day, I am always just so thankful that I am even able to have a horse at home, that I can hop on any time of day or night and take a stroll around my little farm. There are not a lot of people in the world who afford even that luxury.
    Boss Mare Eventing Blog


    • #3
      It sounds to me like you're comparing what you have and what you do, which up until now has been making you happy, with what someone "thinks" you ought to have or ought to do.

      You are under no obligation to conform to anyone else's expectations.

      If buying clothes, taking vacations you can brag on, having more furniture in a fancier house is more important to you than having horses, you know what to do.
      Perhaps you and your husband need to have some honest conversations about this.

      As for having kids, once again, nowhere does it state in Life's Owner's Manual that this is a box that MUST be checked off. The way the world is going today, frankly I don't understand what HALF the people who DO bring kids into it are thinking! It costs by some reckonings up to $300,000 to raise a child to maturity; it's the biggest commitment there is. So if you feel only "meh" about that, I'd be sticking to the horses.

      As for not having the fanciest tack etc. on the block, why are you comparing yourself to other people so much? Just do your own thing and enjoy! If you lift up rocks, you'd find out half of them can't sleep at night they have so much debt!


      • #4
        Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
        I always feel poor compared to many of the other riders out there. Expensive horses, custom tack, nice rigs. I don't let it get me down though, my friends and I embrace it. We love kicking butt on our cheap/free horses. Doing well and being able to ride better than most who have endless cash flow.
        Unless you are Bruce S's daughter, who just got a million $$ horse, you CAN keep showing and kicking buns in the show ring. I did it for years and turned out a better rider than a lot of people who had trainer who did for them the world.

        Your hubby is sticking with you, isn't complaining. Don't see things which aren't there. As for kids, my feeling is if you wanted them that badly, you'd re-do your life to have them, it doesn't seem you are inclined that way from this one posting of yours.

        Another thing, just because things are like this now, doesn't mean in five/ten years it will be the same. Things aren't happening on your time table but life isn't like that. Then again, if you were really that miserable with the status quo, you'd change it, and it doesn't see that way to me.
        GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!


        • #5
          All Pikeurs and a $2000 saddle say is "I have a bunch of disposable income" or "I'm living off credit card debt." They don't make anyone a better rider or owner, any more than spending thousands on designer clothes and handbags makes them a smarter or better person. I could afford to blow a lot more money on pricey horsey labels instead of a used PDN flat saddle, but why should I? That saddle fits him and as far as my clothes go, my horse can't read labels. He's never noticed, that I can tell, what I'm wearing.

          That said, if just keeping horses to any standard is literally causing you to chose between them and children and your husband is sacrificing any sort of his own interests (and clothes, furniture, buying a home/renting a better one) it may be time to really sit down and decide what it's worth. At the end of the day--they're a hobby and pets. Is keeping your horse "in training" and eventually showing so important that you are willing to make your marriage about horses? You won't be young enough to safely have children forever. Do you really want to be living in an underfurnished apartment forever? You're clearly feeling guilty about this in re your husband--is this based on what he says, or are you projecting? Does he WANT to be able to take better vacations? Does he want to start a family? Is wherever you're going with your showable horse more important than all that?
          Author Page
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          • #6
            you are not poor, you have someone in your life that it seems to me would go to whatever lengths it took to keep you horse happy When you see those that have pikeurs and warmbloods etc etc just smile knowing that your pikeur is right there with you I live on the OBX, me and my fiancee struggle with our relationship (my fault not his, I have tons of issues if I were a horse I would have been euthed by now ) but he has always supported me no matter what, and I him. I am having to place my old mare since neither me nor my father can afford it. The OBX seems like a rich place to be but for a local it means during the late spring/summer/early fall months we have to work at least 2 jobs to make ends meet. I am 27, I am in your shoes in a way. I would love for us to see the world but we do not have the money to just up and leave this black hole, and when we do think we have the money something always happens. It sucks working so hard and not seeing any true rewards for it. I mean heck we are living paycheck to paycheck with no horse (only feral kitties that do get their food!) expenses. I don't think I could even afford a rocking horse at this point. But what we loose sight of is, when you have someone in your life that truly cares for you its like a trip to Paris every day when you can wake up and see their face. Or at least that is how I feel Don't despair it will eventually get easy! Oh and one more thing, like Jealoushe said, enjoy kicking their butts


            • #7
              If you and your husband are happy, the rest doesn't matter.

              If you are giving up having kids to keep your retired horse, you really don't want kids.

              If your new mount is so lovely, why not care lease him to keep him tuned up until you are able to ride? You could possibly pasture board the retired horse to save some money, but only you know if that is worthwhile.

              I am fortunate that I make more money than I deserve. I don't feel like I am sacrificing for my horses, but my husband is not as nice about it as yours, lol. He knows to keep his trap shut if he want to keep four-wheeling though.


              • #8
                You aren't a bad wife, nor are you crazy

                You are a bit whiney though.

                You have CHOSEN this life. Stop bitching about it or change it. You say you're "giving up" things to have your horses. Ok, your choice. Many people live in small underfurnished apartments and don't have TWO horses, let alone one in training.

                There will always be someone that has more or better stuff than you do. Or than I do. You can either waste time moaning about it or you can do something to change it.

                Your husband, obviously, is a keeper. My advice to you is make sure HE is still happy, because without him, you are going to be up a creek.

                If you are not happy with how things are, then for heaven's sake CHANGE something.

                Start with yourself, that's usually where the problem really is.



                • #9
                  sounds to me like it's time for a Haagendaaz....

                  'a family of four' it is safe to assume that for the first 114-16 years there will be 2 incomes at most...so much for your family of four....kids are expensive! Very.

                  As for our husband....give him a big hug. He is a good guy, make sure he is happy.

                  As to your choices....well they are subject to change.
                  I did not really understand why the youngish horse is a pasture puff, but I am guessing crap happens and we are not immune...

                  As to your envy of the people in Pikeurs...don't.

                  Pull up the thread with the girl who got a horse from the queen...a downhill build TB, eventually carrying her to the top of the sport. So yours is a QH off CL...lucky you! Sanity seems to trump fancy in your case, no?

                  Clothes and furniture shopping:
                  try secondhand/consignment places.
                  It's tougher for furniture, but you can get name brands in new and like new condition for pittance.

                  and sometimes the odd piece of riding apparel (I have a pair of Ariat ropers a friend found for 3 bucks)

                  you can with a little knowhow and imagination furnish your home on a shoestring budget! http://www.houzz.com/


                  • #10
                    I was into horses for a looooong time. I've been into show dogs now almost as long. I'm now engaged to a man who loves dogs, but never even thought about competing in a show. I try to make all the money that goes to pay for my show habit, but he pays for anything I can't cover, all their food, vet, and there are 6 of them so it's a lot. I have come to realize that our relationship means making compromises, and that may mean we cut back this year. I can't imagine making my man live w/o some of the niceties of what his income could afford us if he didn't have to pay for my hobby.

                    You're in a hard place. If you must keep your first horse (and I applaud you for doing so) I would sell your second horse and try to bank up the money you'll save on board and expenses. If you don't have 8 months of savings in case of HUMAN emergencies, and another couple for EQUINE emergencies then you need to rethink your current situation.

                    Forgetting for the moment that your husband has a choice, do you really think your wants are more important than your husband's? You think that advancing your riding is more important than having a child?? If so, is your husband really okay with that?

                    Further reading your post makes me think you really won't be happy until you have all the things you see others wearing, riding in and owning. Which is really sad, because I think you have the biggest prize of all in your husband.

                    Nowhere is it guaranteed that we get or should get everything we want. You're 30 with a bad fall behind you. Maybe you should rethink your involvement with horses, since it sounds like another fall could be catastrophic. Could your 1st boy be trained to drive if his condition allows? At the very least, you could spend more time with him with the other horse gone.

                    At the end of your life, which statement would you rather say:

                    "I look at my kids and I am so proud of them and my grandchildren."

                    "I won two Bronze Medals at the Training level."

                    "The best trip we ever took was two weeks in Ireland."
                    ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
                    Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

                    "Life is merrier with a terrier!"


                    • #11
                      OP, how does your husband feel about this? Is he getting any support for the things he most wants to do, or is all the support going for your hobby?
                      Does he want kids/to travel/a nicer house? If so, you might need to rethink the allocations a little, to be fair.

                      It may be that one is workable for you, but two is really too much. Can you part-lease Mr. Reliable? If he is as safe as he sounds, it should be easy to find someone to help you split expenses on him.


                      • #12
                        You could adjust your keeping style perhaps and squeeze some more money out of the budget if you think that would be a good option. Trainers, new tack, supplements, retirement home, some of this stuff is adjustable. I can tell you that we spend a lot of money on the horses here too but not on supplements, new tack or training. You're spending a lot of money in areas that maybe you don't have to; maybe you could make a few adjustments and spend it more on the saddle, ect. Or furniture or a weekend away with husband.

                        Why don't you buy a house where you can have them at home? That has certainly made it so my entire family could have horses on one paycheck. Can be an option.

                        Lease out the retired horse? Find him a pasture board place? Pull the new horse out of training until a month or so before you're ready to ride again.

                        But maybe you just need to change your perspective. It is what it is; do you feel like it should bother you more than it does? Is DH really bothered or is he ok with it? I think there are different levels of how much this is, or can be, a problem. I have to say this made me laugh out loud: "...unless we decide to part with my riding horse and his training, at the very least. So it looks like no kids for us." LOL You're pretty clear in your priorities, that's good! Your husband obviously knew what he was getting into; you guys are still young and income should increase. Unless you can pinpoint a direction you want to go other than the vague "wish we had more money" then I think you're where you want to be, you're just taking stock.
                        “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                        • #13
                          Oh don't feel alone, I'm in pretty much the exact same boat. A few suggestions....

                          Look into being a money saver in other areas of your life/house. This doesn't mean you have to sacrifice, just means being smarter about what you spend your money on. Shop at the Dollar Store for basics, Goodwill and Walmart for clothes/furniture, shop stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls or Ross for other things for cheap. Look into DIY stuff for products you would normally buy. I'm getting into this whole DIY/all natural stuff lately and it's awesome. I'm saving a ton of money, living healthier and this stuff works way better than store bought stuff. You can make almost ANYTHING, just come up with a random product and type "homemade _____" into google. Shop smarter, start cutting coupons. Don't go out to eat, save that for special treats. There is many ways to save money without "living poor", just takes a little looking into.

                          Does your horse REALLY need to be in training? That's a huge expense, especially if you aren't showing. Might you be able to lease or even free lease him to somebody who is a decent rider, just to keep him legged up until you can ride? You say your other horse is 'basically' retirement boarded. How much are you spending on him a month? Can you move him to a cheaper, true retirement facility? You might not get to see him as often but you could save hundreds a month and you'd have the peace of mind knowing he was safe. Or look into other options for him, like being a kids leadline horse or somewhere he could be 'leased out' to a very low key trail rider.

                          Shop for horsey stuff online from FB groups and forums. There are some serious deals to be had on used but nice items. Save bigger more expensive things for Christmas and birthday wish lists. Clear out the tack you don't NEED(unless you use it often, you probably don't need it) and make some extra money that way.

                          I know it can suck but what it comes down to is, what is it worth to you? I wish I could have nice things and live more comfortably, wish I could afford a second horse to go to shows and do stuff with since my guy is mostly a pasture puff right now. And it's a huge strain on my relationship. But I love my horse more than I love all those material goods. The joy he brings me is far more than I would get out of wearing fancy shoes or winning ribbons. It still stings though. Doesn't make those feelings go away, just have to keep focusing on what will make YOU happy and what you really want. I could sell my horse and go be a show rider and have nice things, but it wouldn't truly make me happy.


                          • #14
                            You don't know how anyone affords all their nice stuff. I have nice stuff I bought five years ago when I had extra money and I pull it out now to use and I am sure my trainer doesn't believe me when I say I can't afford lessons right now.

                            That being said I've never met a trainer that didn't make money off of every service they included in full training. Including charging for services they have built in but aren't having to do at the moment, like keep your horse as show worthy as you might think. I would really suggest thinking of leasing your guy out till August if you cannot ride him, or tossing him out to pasture for the summer. Do you really think that you are going to be healed enough to ride a perfectly tuned athlete properly come September?

                            The whole idea behind having the horses is to have fun, not to create stress and impoverish yourselves.
                            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                            Incredible Invisible


                            • #15
                              I agree , having a horse in training board is expensive- maybe you should rethink that part for now -September is 5 months off and while I can sympathize about wanting to have the horse progress--if he is really a packer type --which sounds like you need- he really should not have to be in work for five months waiting for you in September. (If he does need it then he sounds like maybe he is not for you right now?)


                              • #16
                                You have to decide on your (and your husband's) priorities. My husband has no hobbies, he plays some video games and plays some disk golf with his brother on the weekends sometimes. I have tried to encourage him with hobbies many times but it is just not his thing. He is an easy keeper.

                                I do have two children, they come first. I make sure they have everything they need before I think about doing horse stuff. We do have horses at home with saves money but my husband would prefer we board them to save the time and constant work it is to keep them here. Sometimes I agree since I would love to just show up and love on them and ride in beautiful facilities instead of spending my entire day fixing fence for what feels like the millionth time. But all in all I love it.

                                But I don't have the designer label envy you do so it makes it easier. I have a very nice stubben bridle and pessoa saddle... The Stubben is at least 8 years old and I paid $50 for it used. My Pessoa is in rough shape (a racoon got into the barn chewed a billet and scratched the side of it! I was so upset!) but was made in England (when they were great saddles!) and cost me $150 due to a patch you would never notice unless you were looking.

                                My FIL does roping and has a gorgeous brand new trailer, new saddles, several not that cheap horses, competes almost every weekend in the summer... I don't envy it. I look at that trailer and go "Well that is nice but imagine the deal I could have gotten on it used" and it is like that for everything.

                                I love my horses, I love that I am able to be around them and enjoy them and I know that labels don't make a horseman. I buy nice things but I save and I buy them used because yes quality lasts. But I don't envy people what they have either, like I said I am lucky enough for what I am able to do. It is more than a lot of people.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks for the responses so far, guys- it's been great reading & I have appreciated all of your takes on the issue and helpful advice. I think mainly I'm just so inside my own head on the issue I just wanted other takes on it.

                                  I thought I would clarify/respond to some of the things that have been discussed, so here are some add-ons:

                                  1.) My husband and I entered the marriage not wanting children. Now my biological clock is ticking, lol. He's on the fence about kids, as in, he'd give me them if it were important to me. Some days I long for them and other days I dont want them at all! it's confusing.

                                  2.) My husband doesn't ask for much, ever, but I know he would like a home of our own. We've explored the concept of buying a home with land, but the problem is that we live and work right in the center of an urban area. If we moved that far away our commute would make spending time with the horses difficult! And there would be no one to watch them in the daytime.

                                  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

                                  4.) I guess I'm just bad with money and want to have my cake & eat it too. I would probably (read:definitely) be in horrible debt if I didn't just let the more practical half of our marriage handle the finances. Fortunately my husband is good with money and makes sure we save a lot.

                                  Thanks again for your thoughts on my silly problem, lol.


                                  • #18
                                    War Admiral taught her 17h TB to drive. I don't see where your guy would be too special to handle it.

                                    As her about Avery, I am sure she will be happy to share her experience!


                                    • #19
                                      OP I am sorry, but your post made me feel better about my own sack of regrets . Sometimes I think it is human nature to want what you don't have.

                                      I spent my 20s & 30s traveling all over, bought a house and a vacation house by the time I was 38, and spent the equivalent of a decent retirement on shoes and handbags (OK that is an exaggeration, but it was still ridiculous). Now I am in my early 40s and what am I pissed off about? That I did all of that instead of continuing to ride. That I would be such a better rider now if I hadn't focused on my career and travel and gobs of worthless STUFF! That I would have my own horses at a little farmette with all manner of goats, dogs, and chickens - happy in my barn clothes. But I didn't make those choices and all I can do is have different priorities going forward.

                                      I agree with the other posters - your husband is a keeper for sure. It would be wise to make sure that he is really OK with the financial impact and not having kids. Particularly the kids part. As far as the feeling inferior to your well-heeled colleagues, there is always somebody richer, smarter, and more beautiful out there. We all have insecurities -sometimes STUFF just provides an enviable camouflage.


                                      • #20
                                        not to mention there are always people who seem to have it all, but don't show you the monthly bills they owe the banks for all the 'buy now, pay later' stuff they own.