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What do your finances look like with horses in your life?

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  • What do your finances look like with horses in your life?

    Maybe it's a rude question, but I'm hoping some of you would be happy to answer.

    Because of the state of the economy, my own household income has been steadily shrinking. We've been selling off things over the past year and are now down to bare minimums. Granted, we were not well-off to begin with and are really still just starting out in life, having been out of college and married for only 3 years (truth be told, we started out in the hole with student loans and credit card debt, but slowly are climbing out). We are down to one horse, my old mare who I competed in my teen years and who I've managed to hang onto through college and marriage and one baby so far. We rent and live in a high cost of living area, and as much as I'd love to have her in my backyard that's not possible so I pay board. It's not as expensive as many areas of the country considering So Cal's different way of horsekeeping, but it's still an expense.

    Anyway, I'm just curious what the horse life looks like for the rest of you, especially now with a crappy economy.
    1) What do you (and your SO if you live together) do for a living?
    2) Do you do anything with horses professionally? If so, what and how did you get into it?
    3) How many horses do you have?
    4) Do you keep them at home? If so, how do you get there? Did you buy non-horse properties before buying horse property? Did you wait and pay rent and board until you could afford horse property? Or are you renting horse property?
    5) What part of the country do you live in?
    6) Do you compete?
    7) What is your general style of financial management? For example, do you avoid debt entirely, do you use credit for some things and carry balances up to a self-imposed limit, do you finance everything you can, etc.?
    8) Would you say you have adequate savings for a rainy day, or do the horses (or just life) drain every penny you have?
    9) Are you able to save for retirement?
    10) Are you able to save for children's college (if applicable)?
    And finally,
    11) What did your horse life consist of when you were 28 (my age)?

    Basically I'm asking because I always pictured myself being a lot more immersed in horses than I am now. Either working professionally in the horse industry, or just having more than I do now and being able to ride regularly and compete, and someday having them in my backyard. So I'm just curious if my mental picture of an ideal life with horses is reality or if I'm totally off-base.

    Obviously, you can answer any questions you feel comfortable with, because I know they are pretty personal. Thanks in advance!
    Happiness is the sweet smell of horses, leather, and hay.

  • #2
    Back at ya in a minute...was just sofa diving for loose change
    *Every horse is a self-portrait of the rider....Autograph your work with excellence.*
    Supporting Nokotas www.nokotahorse.org
    Lipizzan's rock! http://rigitta.blogspot.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      We dont have much debt--I hate it. We use LOC for car & house pmt. If we cant afford to pay for it pretty much now we dont get it. Thats why we dont have much! We also dont do much "fun" stuff. Between kids and horses that is our fun stuff.

      We climbed into hosses gradally. I never had one but I rode. When my kids got old enough to ride, we did. Then we got a 1/2 lease. We bought a horse, then another. We dont buy expensive horses. We dont show a lot except locally. DH has a nice job, I have several, but we are solidly middle class. DH had a retirement plan and the kids had a college fund until the market tanked! We have little savings but thats not because of horses--thats due to living on more than we make. I got more jobs and now we are a little bit ahead. Until the next vet bill.

      When I was your age I coudnt afford a horse. The last time I thought about it was when I was 23 and got a job with a bit more $$. Not enough so I stayed out for a long time.

      My horses live with someone else. I dont have time to do rough board so we full board. Im happy with that. I know they are taken care of.

      Be patient. Youve got a kid I assume and that will take a lot for a while. Once the kid likes horses then you can ease int o it.
      “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker

      Comment


      • #4
        What do my finances look like??

        Well frankly, I just choose not to look at them.

        Just kidding. Kind of.

        I don't compete, not really into trendy gear, lesson sporadically. I'm on a budget, sure, aren't we all? I invest the most $ into care and maintenance, a good living situation, good feed, etc. The leftover is the "fun money" for tack, lessons, etc.

        Hubby does not object to my horse keeping but expects me to keep it reasonable. The one rule both hubby and I keep is that we are a one horse family.

        Frankly I am the one that is weird about it, and I like to keep my horse money separate from family money.... I used to work off board, but can't anymore, so I work a few extra hours at my "regular job" knowing that is my horse money. I am really frugal about stuff like clothes, etc. for myself and would rather put my extra money (extra after family, kids, house, etc.) to the horse thing as opposed to say designer clothes or spa days, etc.

        It is hard as an adult to be immersed in horses as much as one would really like... especially if you are juggling school, career, SO, kids, etc. I'd say the years after college and when I first got married were toughest.

        But if you get creative, there are always ways to keep horses in your life, to some degree...
        We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would definitely be money ahead without my 3 horses, but I don't even want to think about a life without them.

          I have a job with the government, fairly stable with health and retirement benefits. But no raises, we are and have been on a pay freeze and it's really starting to hurt financially. The cost of hay shot through the roof, fuel, food, etc is up and my pay is the same. Like you I am selling my non-essentials things. No more jump standards, sold a few house items, horses don't get the spendy supplements and neither do I!

          I rent a small single-wide trailer that is on 2.5 acres, so my horses live here. I sold my older pickup and nice car to get just one good rig. Saves on insurance and maintenance too. I no longer show and ride in a clinic 2 or 3 times a year. I only belong to one club and no longer have magazine subscriptions.

          I use a credit card and hold myself to a low limit. Mainly though I only buy something if I really need it and have the money to pay for it. No long credit pay-offs. I live in the PNW.
          Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

          Comment


          • #6
            My husband and I use our salaries for all of life's expenses...house, food, college and retirement. I was able to pick up five additional hours a week at my job....so that's my play money...AKA horse money......When its not enough then I also surf the sofa for some spare change

            Comment


            • #7
              The sofa? What about in and under the car and truck seats??

              Why isn't there an icon that is laying on it's back, rolling around on the ground, laughing?
              When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou
              www.americansaddlebredsporthorse.net
              http://www.asbsporthorse.blogspot.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                1) What do you (and your SO if you live together) do for a living?
                My husband and I are both full-time public school teachers.

                2) Do you do anything with horses professionally? If so, what and how did you get into it?
                No.

                3) How many horses do you have?
                One 20yro Arabian riding mare that owns my heart.

                4) Do you keep them at home? If so, how do you get there? Did you buy non-horse properties before buying horse property? Did you wait and pay rent and board until you could afford horse property? Or are you renting horse property?
                No. We pay to board her at a small public local facility. We had considered horse property when house-shopping a year and change ago, but the purchase price was prohibitive. Additionally, we realized after having her at 100% self-care for 5 years that having horses at home has a steep price of time. By moving her to public board, our weekends no longer consist of runs to the feed store, repairing damages to the property, and otherwise horsekeeping and not enjoying our mare. We donated our mini and moved my Arab.

                5) What part of the country do you live in?
                Sunny southern California, in LA county just west of San Bernadino county.

                6) Do you compete?
                Not really, no. I've done small local shows and enjoy them, and a pair of A-circuit shows, but the time involved (especially considering we have a 2 1/2yro son of our own) and the cost meant it was first to go when things got tight. I do like to go to shows in the summer, though.

                7) What is your general style of financial management? For example, do you avoid debt entirely, do you use credit for some things and carry balances up to a self-imposed limit, do you finance everything you can, etc.?
                We use credit sparingly. We might have a few hundred dollars on the CCs each month, but we pay them off. We do have a small student loan from when we both got our Masters degrees, but again--it's small. Hubby's car is on a loan, and this current economy has me swearing it's the last thing shy of a house we ever buy on credit (unless, as hubby noted, we can get one of those 0% financing deals).

                8) Would you say you have adequate savings for a rainy day, or do the horses (or just life) drain every penny you have?
                We have adequate savings, though we were going to use half of it to remodel the house. In light of the current economy and its uncertain effect on our jobs, we're holding off on it.

                9) Are you able to save for retirement?
                CalSTRS is reportedly safer than Social Security, so we have that going for us. Our retirement investments have been slaughtered by the market mess. Thankfully, we're young enough to be able to ride this out, but believe me, it has us rethinking things.

                10) Are you able to save for children's college (if applicable)?
                That's part of our long-term savings. We want to set up something more permanent--we're thinking once our son graduates to the preschool classroom from the toddler class (once he's fully potty trained), we'll put the weekly difference in tuition (about $40) into an account just for this purpose.

                11) What did your horse life consist of when you were 28 (my age)?
                Heh...we bought our mare when I was 29...soooooooo....nothing but wishful and wistful thinking, then.
                SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
                CP Trilogy 2002-2015
                My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie

                Comment


                • #9
                  Here goes....I will answer your q's that are applicable to me (and I'm your age!):

                  1) What do you (and your SO if you live together) do for a living? Barn manager.

                  2) Do you do anything with horses professionally? If so, what and how did you get into it? See above . I worked in a barn while in college and decided that's what I wanted to do instead of pursue an office job.

                  3) How many horses do you have? One

                  4) Do you keep them at home? If so, how do you get there? Did you buy non-horse properties before buying horse property? Did you wait and pay rent and board until you could afford horse property? Or are you renting horse property? I keep mine at work!

                  5) What part of the country do you live in? SE PA.

                  6) Do you compete? Yes, but just a couple of schooling shows a year so nothing very expensive. Well, expensive as far as competitions go!

                  7) What is your general style of financial management? For example, do you avoid debt entirely, do you use credit for some things and carry balances up to a self-imposed limit, do you finance everything you can, etc.? I don't have a credit card, just a check card. I don't have any debt besides my new saddle which I financed. I tend to freak if I spend a lot of money, so that helps. I'm also a fabulous bargain shopper.

                  8) Would you say you have adequate savings for a rainy day, or do the horses (or just life) drain every penny you have? I don't know about "adequate," but I do have a little. I try not to spend all my money on my horse!

                  9) Are you able to save for retirement? I have a retirement fund from my last job but haven't contributed to it as much as I used to.

                  10) Are you able to save for children's college (if applicable)? Don't have any kids so that helps out a lot!

                  And finally,
                  11) What did your horse life consist of when you were 28 (my age)? I hope I jsut answered that for you!
                  I love my Econo-Nag!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ASB...

                    I am about to buy a third horse...need my head examined

                    I am now checking my dog's pockets for his lunch money
                    *Every horse is a self-portrait of the rider....Autograph your work with excellence.*
                    Supporting Nokotas www.nokotahorse.org
                    Lipizzan's rock! http://rigitta.blogspot.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tbgurl View Post
                      Maybe it's a rude question, but I'm hoping some of you would be happy to answer.

                      Because of the state of the economy, my own household income has been steadily shrinking. We've been selling off things over the past year and are now down to bare minimums. Granted, we were not well-off to begin with and are really still just starting out in life, having been out of college and married for only 3 years (truth be told, we started out in the hole with student loans and credit card debt, but slowly are climbing out). We are down to one horse, my old mare who I competed in my teen years and who I've managed to hang onto through college and marriage and one baby so far. We rent and live in a high cost of living area, and as much as I'd love to have her in my backyard that's not possible so I pay board. It's not as expensive as many areas of the country considering So Cal's different way of horsekeeping, but it's still an expense.

                      Anyway, I'm just curious what the horse life looks like for the rest of you, especially now with a crappy economy.
                      1) What do you (and your SO if you live together) do for a living?Husband..engineer Me...Own a flute studio
                      2) Do you do anything with horses professionally? If so, what and how did you get into it? No
                      3) How many horses do you have? 2
                      4) Do you keep them at home? If so, how do you get there? Did you buy non-horse properties before buying horse property? Did you wait and pay rent and board until you could afford horse property? Or are you renting horse property? No, I board...having two, it's a killer...but I just can't bring myself to part with either
                      5) What part of the country do you live in? Southeast
                      6) Do you compete? No, not anymore....with two horses, that had to go
                      7) What is your general style of financial management? For example, do you avoid debt entirely, do you use credit for some things and carry balances up to a self-imposed limit, do you finance everything you can, etc.? We have no credit cards, will never go down that road again...we live on what we make..thank goodness both cars are paid for, but we do have sizeable mortagage, wish we could sell the house.8) Would you say you have adequate savings for a rainy day, or do the horses (or just life) drain every penny you have? The horses do put a BIG strain on savings, I have to admit.
                      9) Are you able to save for retirement? A little, but then I don't feel so badly because there are many people who diligently saved for many years who have lost alot in the stock market...so in some regards, I'm not to upset that I didn't put alot into it at this point. 10) Are you able to save for children's college (if applicable)?
                      And finally,
                      11) What did your horse life consist of when you were 28 (my age)? I worked 12 hours a day, worked on weekends too, to support the two that I owned then, and never saw them. Let me just tell you, your 20s are rough finanically..for me it got much better in my 30s.
                      Basically I'm asking because I always pictured myself being a lot more immersed in horses than I am now. Either working professionally in the horse industry, or just having more than I do now and being able to ride regularly and compete, and someday having them in my backyard. So I'm just curious if my mental picture of an ideal life with horses is reality or if I'm totally off-base.

                      Obviously, you can answer any questions you feel comfortable with, because I know they are pretty personal. Thanks in advance!
                      Don't beat yourself up, you are very young....20s are a tough time finanically for most people.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        LOL at the sofa diving. I tend to search under my car's seats. lol

                        Great answers, everyone! Please keep them coming!
                        Happiness is the sweet smell of horses, leather, and hay.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          OP asks: What do your finances look like with horses in your life?

                          My reply: Pitiful.


                          Gosh darned money sucking devils!
                          Stoneybrook Farm Afton TN

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I"m finding my finances are a lot better now that we aren't racing horses anymore- having spent a small fortune on that venture, its almost like getting a good raise to just keep them at home!
                            We bought our place as just acreage and a small 1930's farm house and have spent quite a bit fixing it up (it isn't "done" of course) where it is suitable for horses- and us. Luckily my huband is really good at putting up fencing and building barns so we've been able to do everything ourselves.
                            Since we aren't paying all that training now I can actually buy clothes again! Ha ha. Although the horses still get more new shoes than me or my hubby.
                            I am pretty obsessive about my horses and would have them no matter what, luckily my husband feels the same way about his classic cars so there isn't any fighting about how much I spend on the horses.
                            We live in the PNW and both have decent jobs and no kids!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Anyway, I'm just curious what the horse life looks like for the rest of you, especially now with a crappy economy.
                              1) What do you (and your SO if you live together) do for a living?
                              I am in the mortgage business as my main job but I do a little teaching on the side. I can't say that I am raking in the dough
                              2) Do you do anything with horses professionally? If so, what and how did you get into it?
                              I am teaching some beginner lessons and ride a few greenies. I was a professional when I was younger. I was teaching the kid that leases my old horse and people started to ask me to help them because they enjoyed watching her lessons.
                              3) How many horses do you have?
                              I own 2.
                              4) Do you keep them at home? If so, how do you get there? Did you buy non-horse properties before buying horse property? Did you wait and pay rent and board until you could afford horse property? Or are you renting horse property?
                              I just recently moved my horses to a self care facility. I wish that I owned my own horse property
                              5) What part of the country do you live in?
                              North Texas
                              6) Do you compete?
                              Right now....no....and I was going through some show bills today and added up what it would cost for me to do a weekend I was adding up what it would cost to do 2 divisions of jumpers at a show and it would easily cost me $600 just in entries and stalls/fees alone. That doesn't even count what it would cost me to have a trainer as well. I just can't justify it right now. Especially since my DH is very non-horsey.
                              7) What is your general style of financial management? For example, do you avoid debt entirely, do you use credit for some things and carry balances up to a self-imposed limit, do you finance everything you can, etc.?
                              If we can't afford to pay cash for it....we don't buy it.
                              8) Would you say you have adequate savings for a rainy day, or do the horses (or just life) drain every penny you have?
                              My DH has worked very hard to make sure we have a cushion. The horses have a budget that we stick to fairly well with the exception of vet bills I work very hard to make sure that the horse's do not affect what we save.
                              9) Are you able to save for retirement?
                              Not as much as we would like but it's not directly because of the horses.
                              10) Are you able to save for children's college (if applicable)?
                              Don't have those yet. If it happens, then I will worry about children's college
                              And finally,
                              11) What did your horse life consist of when you were 28 (my age)?
                              When I was 28, I was in the middle of going back to school to finish my undergraduate degree. I wasn't riding at all. I had given away my horse and my DH's old horse was on pasture board. I wasn't able to really start riding again until I was 32. I am now 39 and it's been about 15 years since I have shown at a decent level. I am trying to figure out myself how I can reach my competition goals without making my family sacrifice. I think the only answer for me is to win the lottery

                              It's really tough if you are not making $$$$. I can't say that we are poor by any means but when you start budgeting with savings and retirement as a priority, there isn't really much left over for a hobby. I wish I had cherrier things to say right now but unfortunately I am feeling a bit down about my future goals. Good luck!!! May yours be better than mine

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by JMurray View Post
                                ASB...

                                I am about to buy a third horse...need my head examined

                                I am now checking my dog's pockets for his lunch money
                                Oh, honey...I have a mug that shows someone holding their own head, to examine it, for buying an additional horse. That ship sailed, for me, a long long time ago.

                                Now, when someone asks me how many I have, I say, "well, I COULD tell you, but then, I'd have to kill you..."
                                When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou
                                www.americansaddlebredsporthorse.net
                                http://www.asbsporthorse.blogspot.com/

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by tbgurl View Post
                                  Maybe it's a rude question, but I'm hoping some of you would be happy to answer.

                                  Because of the state of the economy, my own household income has been steadily shrinking. We've been selling off things over the past year and are now down to bare minimums. Granted, we were not well-off to begin with and are really still just starting out in life, having been out of college and married for only 3 years (truth be told, we started out in the hole with student loans and credit card debt, but slowly are climbing out). We are down to one horse, my old mare who I competed in my teen years and who I've managed to hang onto through college and marriage and one baby so far. We rent and live in a high cost of living area, and as much as I'd love to have her in my backyard that's not possible so I pay board. It's not as expensive as many areas of the country considering So Cal's different way of horsekeeping, but it's still an expense.

                                  Anyway, I'm just curious what the horse life looks like for the rest of you, especially now with a crappy economy.
                                  1) What do you (and your SO if you live together) do for a living? I manage marketing communications for a fuel cell company.
                                  2) Do you do anything with horses professionally? If so, what and how did you get into it? Nope.
                                  3) How many horses do you have? My 18 year old TB mare whom I've had since she was 5. At some point in the diminishing future, she will need to retire and I will need to figure out how to afford a second horse.
                                  4) Do you keep them at home? Yes. If so, how do you get there? Did you buy non-horse properties before buying horse property? Did you wait and pay rent and board until you could afford horse property? Or are you renting horse property? I waited until I was 27 to buy her - rode other people's horses until then. I rented an apartment (cheap) and boarded (cheap) until I could afford to buy my own (cheap - needed a LOT of work) place in 2002.
                                  5) What part of the country do you live in? Eastern Washington, where housing prices are such that I could afford to do this on my budget.
                                  6) Do you compete? No. I used to on a very small scale and would like to with my next horse, but competing is expensive and that might not happen if I'm supporting 2 horses. May be able to do a few schooling shows here and there. I do take a lesson once a month and really enjoy that.
                                  7) What is your general style of financial management? For example, do you avoid debt entirely, do you use credit for some things and carry balances up to a self-imposed limit, do you finance everything you can, etc.? I try to avoid carrying a credit balance. I am in "hunker down" mode currently in order to pay off the new car I bought last March by this June.
                                  8) Would you say you have adequate savings for a rainy day, or do the horses (or just life) drain every penny you have? I have 5 months of expenses saved up + a savings account for hay and such. I am working to get as much in savings as possible.
                                  9) Are you able to save for retirement? Yes, was given good advice early on and have been doing a 401k since I got my first job with benefits.
                                  10) Are you able to save for children's college (if applicable)? n/a - not sure I could do much of this if I had kids, too.
                                  And finally,
                                  11) What did your horse life consist of when you were 28 (my age)? When I was 28, my mare was a year off the track and I was doing a few schooling shows, some trailriding, and trying to find gaits that didn't involve tension.

                                  If I could pass along anything, it's to start saving for retirement NOW. Even if you can only do $50 a month right now. Increase it whenever possible. You will need it.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Anyway, I'm just curious what the horse life looks like for the rest of you, especially now with a crappy economy.
                                    1) What do you (and your SO if you live together) do for a living?

                                    We both work in public relations. He's with a mid-size bank, I run my own firm. He makes more money than I do and has insurance; I handle more of life's chores because my time is more flexible (although I work as many actual hours, it's just not 9-5).

                                    2) Do you do anything with horses professionally? If so, what and how did you get into it?

                                    No - I'm an ammy, although I do try to have some clients in the equine industry when I can find them.

                                    3) How many horses do you have?

                                    One, that's what I'm comfortable affording.

                                    4) Do you keep them at home? If so, how do you get there? Did you buy non-horse properties before buying horse property? Did you wait and pay rent and board until you could afford horse property? Or are you renting horse property?

                                    I board. For several reasons:
                                    - cost of owning enough property to keep a horse is quite high
                                    - my friends who did buy land now take care of the land, and no longer RIDE the horses they bought the land for!
                                    - my back can't support the physical labor involved in keeping up a horse property (car accident and spinal surgery)

                                    5) What part of the country do you live in?

                                    Harford County, Maryland - about 30 miles north of Baltimore, and south of Philadelphia, near I95

                                    6) Do you compete?

                                    Yes, but at the local level. My horse has been lent out for rated shows at the 3' level, but the cost doesn't come with enough benefits to justify it given my own show ring performance (read: pitiful).

                                    7) What is your general style of financial management? For example, do you avoid debt entirely, do you use credit for some things and carry balances up to a self-imposed limit, do you finance everything you can, etc.?

                                    Having had to dig myself out of debt from my first marriage, I'm VERY debt and risk aversive. We use credit cards, but pay them off. We try not to finance things...right now we only have our mortgage, which is very minimal. We bought a house that was far less than we could technically "afford" because we did NOT want to be mortgage slaves. We wanted to be able to live on one full time salary (or two part-time ones) and not be panic stricken every month.

                                    8) Would you say you have adequate savings for a rainy day, or do the horses (or just life) drain every penny you have?

                                    It took quite a while, but we do now have savings. But we're pretty frugal about how we spend our money. We DO spend it, but we don't spend it in the way you might expect a couple in our situation (40s, no kids, professional careers) to spend it.

                                    Yes, we will dine out and dine well. But we don't do it all the time. We pick and choose our expenses. My car is a 1999 Hyundai Elantra; my truck is "new" last year and is a 1997 Suburban I bought for $3800. My husband has a 2004 Honda CRV; we did get him a "toy" car last year, but we paid cash for an old Mazda Miata. Our total car insurance bill for all the cars is less than I used to pay for my old LeBaron when we lived in NJ!

                                    So, we have our luxuries, but they're done at a modest level. We try never to buy something we can't afford right then...it's just not worth it.

                                    9) Are you able to save for retirement?

                                    Yes, that's a priority. I put the max in an IRA each year; my husband donates the max to his 401K. Although honestly, I dont' know why we bother with the current market...

                                    10) Are you able to save for children's college (if applicable)?

                                    We don't have children. That's by choice, and frankly, it makes much of our lifestyle possible. We spend on our toys and fun what we would have to spend on children, and we have the time to indulge ourselves.

                                    Now, this year will mean some cutting back, certainly. My business is off, and I expect a difficult year. I'm working hard to make it up, but I can't reasonably expect as good a year as last year. So, I'll cut back. Not fun, but it's responsible.

                                    And finally,
                                    11) What did your horse life consist of when you were 28 (my age)?

                                    It didn't. I did not expect to ever have a horse in my lifetime. I grew up in central NJ, and have no idea why I ever liked horses, but I did. I rode as a pre-teen only because Mrs. Fyfe, my teacher, took pity and let me work off many lessons. Even then, I could only afford to ride once every other week, and had to quit after a few years. I never got to show.

                                    As an adult, I retained that love of horses, but figured they would always be something I loved from afar. About 15 years ago, my husband and I moved to Maryland. About 14 years ago, he foolishly suggested that, since we lived in horse country maybe I should take riding lessons. Part of why I so love the man is that in the ensuing time, he has never once said (ok, not to ME at least) that that may have been the dumbest thing he ever suggested.

                                    I always feel incredibly lucky to have a horse. And I always worry that I won't be able to keep my horse. I know the expense and understand the realities of economics. I do, however, also have much more skill and a strong network so that, should I not be able to afford to own a horse I'd hope to keep riding. But I know it's an incredible gift and a privilege that I don't take for granted.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by tbgurl View Post
                                      Maybe it's a rude question, but I'm hoping some of you would be happy to answer.

                                      Because of the state of the economy, my own household income has been steadily shrinking. We've been selling off things over the past year and are now down to bare minimums. Granted, we were not well-off to begin with and are really still just starting out in life, having been out of college and married for only 3 years (truth be told, we started out in the hole with student loans and credit card debt, but slowly are climbing out). We are down to one horse, my old mare who I competed in my teen years and who I've managed to hang onto through college and marriage and one baby so far. We rent and live in a high cost of living area, and as much as I'd love to have her in my backyard that's not possible so I pay board. It's not as expensive as many areas of the country considering So Cal's different way of horsekeeping, but it's still an expense.

                                      Anyway, I'm just curious what the horse life looks like for the rest of you, especially now with a crappy economy.
                                      1) What do you (and your SO if you live together) do for a living?\

                                      I'm a paralegal/office manager and he's a computer operator (both making almost exactly the same salaries)

                                      2) Do you do anything with horses professionally? If so, what and how did you get into it? No

                                      3) How many horses do you have? 1

                                      4) Do you keep them at home? If so, how do you get there? Did you buy non-horse properties before buying horse property? Did you wait and pay rent and board until you could afford horse property? Or are you renting horse property?

                                      I do partial board, at a place that is too far away to get there more than 2 - 3 times a week. Luckily My mother is the asistant manager there, so i get free board, she takes care of my horse during the week, and the only costs I incur are for feed/hay/shoeing/vet

                                      5) What part of the country do you live in?
                                      Florida

                                      6) Do you compete?
                                      Trying to get back into it. Have only done the local schooling show, but would like to get into the hunter/jumper circuit shows

                                      7) What is your general style of financial management? For example, do you avoid debt entirely, do you use credit for some things and carry balances up to a self-imposed limit, do you finance everything you can, etc.?

                                      Well, we have heavy outstanding medical bills due to mine and my 2 sons' medical problems last year, and only 2 credit cards which I pay the max on each month. Both cars are paid off and we rent. We are trying to build up our credit and savings so we can buy our house, but with today's economy, it's hard.

                                      8) Would you say you have adequate savings for a rainy day, or do the horses (or just life) drain every penny you have?

                                      We have my DH's 401(k), which took a hard hit, but still exists, but the horse does not hurt us financially.

                                      9) Are you able to save for retirement?
                                      Just my DH's 401(k), and our keep the change savings account.

                                      10) Are you able to save for children's college (if applicable)?
                                      Working on that, if I could stop borrowing from their savings to cover my checking account.

                                      And finally,
                                      11) What did your horse life consist of when you were 28 (my age)?

                                      I had given up on horses at 28 (after riding all my life). I was focused on my husband, my kids, my work and other life things and thought I could give it up..here I am at 36, getting back into it...go figure!

                                      Basically I'm asking because I always pictured myself being a lot more immersed in horses than I am now. Either working professionally in the horse industry, or just having more than I do now and being able to ride regularly and compete, and someday having them in my backyard. So I'm just curious if my mental picture of an ideal life with horses is reality or if I'm totally off-base.

                                      Obviously, you can answer any questions you feel comfortable with, because I know they are pretty personal. Thanks in advance!
                                      Basically, I am lucky that my mother helps out taking care of my horse, and any extras I may need, and it is not that draining on our finances (unless I get on ebay and then I get in trouble - or go to our local tack store)

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        1) What do you (and your SO if you live together) do for a living?
                                        I am a Systems Architect, work in government contracting supporting the military. My husband of almost 20 years is in HR and is in the lower levels of management.
                                        2) Do you do anything with horses professionally? If so, what and how did you get into it?
                                        No, I do board horses, but that is not "professional" in the eyes of USEF.
                                        3) How many horses do you have?
                                        Complicated answer. I technically own 5. One is my son's old pony who is leased out to a family with a younger child. One is my 24 year old TB, who is leased out to a good friend, one is the "husband" horse, who I also happen to use for dressage, trails, jumping clinics, small children....she's practically perfect. A TB mare that I should have sold years ago, but I didn't, and a 4 year old mare who is my current favorite.
                                        4) Do you keep them at home? If so, how do you get there? Did you buy non-horse properties before buying horse property? Did you wait and pay rent and board until you could afford horse property? Or are you renting horse property?
                                        We bought our first farm in 1993. We had Romeo (that 24 year old TB). I bought the TB mare as a yearling 2 months later so Romeo would have company. That was our first house. We were able to get it because my husband had been in the military and had a VA loan. That enabled us to buy it with 100% financing. We also had a one year old son at the time. We sold that farm in 2004 and built a new one closer to work. I now have a mega-mortgage, but my husband and I both like this farm better.
                                        5) What part of the country do you live in?
                                        Metro DC. Spendy unless you commute a long ways.
                                        6) Do you compete?
                                        Yes, mostly locally though. A very small handful of recognized/licensed shows. Just enough to realize I don't have the money to do as well as I'd like.
                                        7) What is your general style of financial management? For example, do you avoid debt entirely, do you use credit for some things and carry balances up to a self-imposed limit, do you finance everything you can, etc.?
                                        I used debt as leverage in the early days. We were much pretty living paycheck to paycheck and so there was never extra for things like tires on the car. We slowly got pay increases, and our mortgage stayed the same. We started to get ahead and feel like middle class!
                                        8) Would you say you have adequate savings for a rainy day, or do the horses (or just life) drain every penny you have?
                                        We do now. 10 years ago the answer was VERY different. We could get by for several months with one of us unemployed...more, but it would be painful.
                                        9) Are you able to save for retirement?
                                        yes. Currently 11% of my gross salary goes into my 401K. Not that I'm all that happy....at this point of the market, I'd have been better off putting that money into a savings account with .25% yield.
                                        10) Are you able to save for children's college (if applicable)?
                                        No. That is one area that we were not able to do. We payed for private school through 8th grade and just hope to be employed while he is in school. He goes to college this year. It will seriously cut into my show budget because we will be paying out of pocket. Which is fabulous to me...the fact that we CAN pay for it by cutting other items in the budget. This would be in-state tuition we can cover. We cannot touch 40K private schools.
                                        And finally,
                                        11) What did your horse life consist of when you were 28 (my age)?
                                        Hmm, I was 28 10 years ago...will turn 39 later this month. I had my own farm, a 7 year old in private school, 3 horses, a pony, a husband, a mortgage, some credit card debt, an occassional local show and very few lessons. Lots of trail rides with friends. Back then, Compuserve Horses forum was my internet hangout.

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