Six truths every equestrian should know about money

 

Six truths every equestrian should know about money

Equestrians tend to focus almost all of their time and energy on their horses and riding. It is true that our worlds revolve around riding. But we need money in order to fund our horse habits. Without money, we cannot buy hay to feed our precious horses! If you want to have a successful career as an equestrian or even just enjoy the sport as a hobby, you need to manage your money accordingly.

I have been managing my money to fund my riding habit since I was 14 when I started working a cashier/waitress. Sure, when I was that young I was fortunate that my parents helped out A LOT. However, I still contributed my own money towards tack, lessons, etc. But once my young rider glory years were over and I became an adult I got cut off and had to learn how to sort out my own financial situation. I am nowhere near a financial guru but there are six money truths/rules I have learned to live by very quickly…

1) Planning today avoids problems later in the season. At the start of every show season, you need to determine what your competition goals are then making a DETAILED plan. If you want to do a fall CCI event then you need to pull out the omnibus and figure out which shows you will be attending to prepare throughout the season. Look at the omnibus to find out the show fee and come up with an estimate for your hotel and gas fees to determine how much each show will cost. Then add up how much you will spend on board, feed, farrier bills and other basic horse care expenses. Once you have these costs you can budget for the bonus things like lessons, tack, clinics, etc. You need to do this detailed planning so you can ensure you will have enough money to meet your competition goals. You may have to adjust your plans and take lessons bi-weekly instead of weekly or enter a schooling show with lower entry fees rather than attending a sanctioned show. Planning will ensure you don’t get to the end of your season and realize you are strapped for cash.

2) You need to give your money purpose. Without goals, your money is worthless. If you are not sure how to manage your money you have to imagine where you want to be a few years down the road. Will you need a new truck? Do you want to buy another horse? Are you hoping to compete at a certain level? Most riding goals have a price tag, and the sooner you sort them out, the more motivated you’ll be to work hard, make money and save.

3) If you don’t ask, you won’t get. You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate. Whether you want a raise at work, a lower price on a new horse, or a saddle sponsorship – you won’t get anything unless you ask. I know many equestrians hate to ask but you have to get over yourself and do it. The worst that can happen is someone will say no and the more no’s you get means you are just closer to a yes. The more you negotiate the better you will get at it and you will be in a better financial position.


4) A little guidance goes a long way. You don’t need to make money decisions without any assistance. There have never been websites, podcasts, and other resources available to help you learn how to manage your money. You can also get professional help from an accountant or a certified financial planner when you need it. Plus you can talk to other more experienced people in the horse world to learn how they earn income and manage it.

5) Saving money will reduce stress on relationships. When you are hurting for money you will likely be stressed unless you are one very laidback person. Your stress causes tension in your relationships with other people. This is especially true if you have a significant other. Always make sure you are putting money away and not spending beyond your means. Passing up on buying that new saddle will not cause you any stress. However, realizing you cannot get lessons for a month because you are low on money will cause you stress. Saving money is a huge stress reducer.

6) Money cannot buy happiness but it can buy more horses. One great thing about your income is it will let you buy the things you need to succeed in this sport. Sure having money doesn’t make you a better rider but being able to afford more lessons and better horses will definitely help your career. The next time you are feeling unmotivated to work hard or are struggling not to splurge and buy something frivolous, remember that your money will further your riding career.

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