My Expensive Reality

When I got Frankie, I started tracking my monthly expenses for him in a spreadsheet I made (which should surprise none of you that know me at all). It’s broken out pretty broadly and probably has room for improvement, but at a glance it’s good for me to see what I’m spending in different categories at different points throughout the year.

The way I have it set up currently has the following categories:

  • Board
  • Lessons
  • Training rides
  • Show fees paid to my trainer (which covers all the various pieces therein)
  • Other fees paid to my trainer (minor meds, blanket cleaning, random stuff like that)
  • Vet
  • Farrier
  • Insurance
  • Shows
  • Other

I don’t include tack/equipment (though I probably should), and I don’t include clothing for myself. So my tracker runs a little lower than what I truly spend on the sport, but it’s decently comprehensive for the expenses that are specific to the Frankenbean.

Vet care costs have crept up over the years as we figure out how to make him feel extra special best. And don’t worry, chiro/massage goes right in that “other” bucket.

The reason that I bring this up is because I read Emma’s post about budgeting and how that has changed over time to account for reaching for certain goals. It’s a cool post with some cool comments on it, def check it out if you haven’t! But it also got me thinking about my own budget and my own goals, and what the investment looks like for those goals and for goals that may be a bit out of reach. Starting with WIHS.

Last year I peaked at 89th in the rankings for WIHS before dropping right off the radar altogether. While I was very pleased with our performance over the season, I simply didn’t have enough outings to get the points needed. Granted- WIHS wasn’t one of my big goals in 2018 and if it was I could’ve been MUCH more strategic about it by getting points at some of the smaller shows around here. But if I was aiming for that I still would’ve had to go to a lot more shows in total, so I don’t think the cost of showing would have been drastically different for the year. And certainly the money spent on training and equipment would not have gone down in the least- if anything, they would have gone up.

My big goal for the year was Lake Placid and all monies went right to that.

Between all those categories shown above, the investment money-wise was not trivial. Far from it. If I was one of those people that needed to recoup my investment on Frankie (HAHAHAHA RIGHT THAT ALWAYS HAPPENS), I would need to get an absolutely absurdly out of reach price for him. It ain’t ever gonna happen, despite his theoretical increase in value due to training and show record (I say theoretically because homeboy obvi isn’t for sale so we’ll never know what he’d go for).

I’m comfortable with my show results. I’ve never done this because I need blue ribbons, I compete because I love the atmosphere and trying new adventures with my horse. Ribbons and points and qualifying are the nice but unnecessary icing on the cake for me.

I mean clearly I’m never MAD about the ribbons

But I can absolutely understand the frustration of someone who DOES want to qualify and be a stronger competitor. Knowing that the the time and money and soul I’ve poured into training and showing has gotten me to be a solidly middle-of-the-pack competitor could be disheartening. If that’s the investment it takes to be mid-range, I don’t even know what it would take to be consistently in the ribbons.

If qualifying and ribbons were my goal, I would step down a level. Do the local rated shows instead of the biggest AA ones I can find. Maybe step back down in height and get really really perfect at that. There are definitely plenty of things I could do differently if that was my aim.

I’m not gonna do any of those things though. I’m going to keep reveling in the atmosphere and presence of great riders at the big shows, even if I’m out of the ribbons in a class of 60. I’m going to keep feeling like I’m flying over the big jumps with Frankie, even if we have a rail here and there. And I’ll keep signing those checks, even if that monthly investment has hit embarrassment levels.

All I want to do is All the things in All the places with this creature.

The first step to fixing the problem is admitting that you have a problem, and I’ll be cold in my grave before you get me to admit this one.

16 thoughts on “My Expensive Reality

  1. Liz 01/22/2019 / 8:38 am

    Frankie is one lucky fella to have you!


  2. Emma 01/22/2019 / 10:53 am

    my horse habit might be hella expensive, but i wouldn’t have it any other way ❤


  3. Rachel - For Want of a Horse 01/22/2019 / 11:07 am

    Why did we have to fall in love such an expensive sport???? Budgeting has been on my mind a lot lately and I have to be an adult this year. I will be reducing my showing as a very large chunk of my money will be going to putting up fencing at my house for my other 4-legged baby. Winifred also will be upping his vet bills to help keep him comfy. Of course like you I LOVE to show and not for the ribbons but for the atmosphere and challenge but at least I will still get to enjoy my boy and do a few shows.


    • hellomylivia 01/22/2019 / 11:20 am

      Why does being an adult and making responsible decisions have to be so hard??


  4. Tracy 01/22/2019 / 12:12 pm

    I realized (and learned to be okay with) the fact that I do not have the money to be a top competitor in this sport. It just is what it is! But like you, I get a lot of value from other aspects of showing so for me, continuing to write those checks is worth it.


    • hellomylivia 01/22/2019 / 1:41 pm

      Absolutely- it’s all about figuring out what you want to get out of the experience and aiming for that.


  5. carey 01/22/2019 / 8:18 pm

    I’m still in denial. I know the rough monthly numbers that go into Cosmo. I tend to forget about the vet visits and shows when I think about how much he costs me.


    • carey 01/22/2019 / 8:18 pm

      Boo, submitted too soon.

      I WAS going to say. It’s totally worth it. I’m in it for the pictures. And the experiences. But mostly, the pictures.


  6. Stacie Seidman 01/24/2019 / 10:42 am

    I don’t see a problem…
    I’m living happily in denial over here, not tracking expenses, and just making sure I can pay the bills and eat a couple meals a day. I may never retire however.


  7. greysnbays 01/29/2019 / 3:05 pm

    You just inspired me to spend more money on my horse LOL


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