How Equestrians Justify Certain Purchases

Whoever said money can’t buy happiness?

SB July 2014

‘Tis the season to spend lots of hard-earned money and buy frivolous items? Not really. I try not to buy into commercialism but rather enjoy spending this time of the year with relatives and friends! It’s really not about the gifts and “all that stuff,” it’s more about being grateful for what I have and spending time with loved ones. And yet, amidst all this holiday chaos and advertising, it’s hard to dismiss the idea of money and how we view the green paper.

Which makes me think how incredibly hilarious and amazing it is how equestrians justify the money they spend on their horses. Have you ever noticed that? It doesn’t matter how broke you are, if you’re a determined and competitive equestrian, you will either find the money or justify spending the money rather than spending that limited amount on something “sensible.” A few examples:

  • “I can’t buy that laundry detergent — it’s too expensive. But that $275 event… now that I will find a way to enter!” Personally, I might shy away from buying extra groceries on any given week if that week conflicts with a horse show opening date when entry money is due. Who needs extra hand soap and peanut butter when you are desperate to get another event under your belt!
  • “Heck no, I’m not buying new sneakers for myself. These pathetic and ripped sneakers will do just fine! What’s that… we should go cross country schooling next Tuesday for the same amount as those sneakers cost… SURE!” Maybe we do really need new sneakers but jumping seems like more fun and more logical… am I right?
  • “I REALLY need to go to the dentist. I have not been in several years… it’s just so expensive and I don’t have dental insurance. But wait, my horse needs her teeth floated next Friday, so let’s go ahead and schedule that appointment instead of mine!” For many of us, our horses always come first. They are our priority and so often their needs come before our own.
  • “I have four bills due at the end of the month and one horse show I REALLY should/want to enter. Perhaps I’ll pay two bills now, then pay for the event, and make payments on the other two bills that are due at the end of the month.” When push comes to shove, we always find a way to justify going to THAT event because we just have to.
  • “Dang it, my car has a quarter tank of gas… I really should fill that this week, but Rose really needs that new five-way breastplate that looks oh-so-good on her! I’m sure my car will make it for another 20 miles or so!” Famous last words.

I’m not insinuating that all equestrians are irresponsible or delinquent when it comes to dealing with money. I’m just speaking from personal experience and I have met countless individuals who have at one time or another justified paying for something for their horse when they couldn’t really afford to, or they didn’t really need to. This is our life, and we can chose to spend our money the way we’d like!

My name is Lila Gendal and I am 27 years old. I am from Vermont and have been riding horses since I was 6 years old. I have been eventing since I was 10. I have been riding and training with Denny Emerson for the last 7 years. My goal is to compete at the upper levels someday. I currently have a 2005 Holsteiner mare, “Valonia” (Contester X Parlona), who is currently going training level, and I am riding one of Denny Emerson’s horses, a 2005 Selle Luxemburg gelding, “Beaulieu’s Cool Skybreaker” (Beaulieu’s Coolman X Une Beaute by Heartbreaker) who will be moving up to training soon! When I am not on a horse or in the barn I am likely working in my office on what I like to call Equine Media… or social media for equestrians and equestrian websites.

Lila and Vinnie Aug GMHA 2014.

Lila and Vinnie Aug GMHA 2014.


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