Budget and equestrian are two words that don’t really go together. Let’s face it, a horse habit is not very budget friendly. But it doesn’t always have to be so expensive. I thought I would share some of my favorite budget ideas with you that may help with your equestrian endeavor this upcoming year.
How To Be A Budget Equestrian
Having a plan ahead of time is the easiest way to stay on budget, even when you have horses. And I like to make budgets for everything. This is especially important when it comes to my horses. I mean there is a lot of ways I can spend money on my horses. And many of those ways are more expensive than my budget allows for. Like horse shows, new tack, riding lessons, and yes, a new barn. And you can have all of those things as long as you plan for it.
Buy What You Need
Just like every hobby, there are thing you will need for riding or having a horse. And if you are planning on showing, there are eve more things you will ‘need’. But this doesn’t mean you need a $500 bridle, or $900 pair of boots. Sure it would be nice to be able to go out and buy these things. But do you really need them?
Think about what your goals are for the upcoming year and plan accordingly.
Only Buy What You Need When It’s On Sale
Right before Christmas, there were a lot of tack shops that had incredible deals just in time for Christmas. Just as an example, Dover Saddlery was having deals where you could buy riding clothing like breeches, shirts, etc. for 60% off. And even now, many online stores are having great sales and have many of last years styles marked down on clearance. If you are a thrifty shopper, you might be able to put together a complete outfit for this years show season for less than $200, boots and all.
But if you already have some pieces of your show wardrobe, and only need one or two items, you can save even more money.
I am hoping to show Ethan this summer, and needed a show coat. I found this coat at Riding Warehouse and thanks to a gift card, I only ended up spending $15.88 for a brand new coat. And now, my show attire is complete!
Showing On A Budget
You can go to a horse show, and still save money. You just have to choose your show schedule carefully. If you are new to showing, or are just looking for a little friendly competition I would suggest smaller and more affordable shows.
One of my bucket list goals is to show Ethan in the jumper division at the Colorado Horse Park. And while I would love for that to happen this year, I think that is a more long term goal, maybe a year or two away. But in order to get him to the A circuit, he and I need to practice. So this summer my goal is to get him to the local summer shows. As a member of a local riding club ($20 membership fee for the year) each show will cost me $75.00 to enter each show. So my total cost for entries will be $375.00. Not too bad for a summer full of horse shows right?
And while you’re at the show grounds, you can save money by not eating there. Horse show food is expensive and not very healthy either. So plan for the day by packing your own cooler full of goodies that you prepared at home. Just be sure the food you pack stays cold if it needs too.
Make Your Own Stuff
When I say make your own stuff, I’m not talking about tack or clothing. Unless you are really good at it. No, I am talking about things like fly spray, shine spray or even horse treats. You can make all of these things yourself, and save a lot of money in the process.
Some of the things you can make:
And if you do have to make some large purchases, like a new saddle or horse trailer, you can find ways to make some money to support your larger purchase. Try to not buy the expensive item with money you have earned from your main job. Rather find a way to earn the money for that high ticket purchase. As an example, my goal for 2019 is to have a ‘real’ barn for my horses. And to help me make this dream a reality, I am going to build horse jumps a long with finally completing my new book of Tack Room DIY projects. When you have a goal in mind, it makes it easier to get the work done. And having something in mind helps motivate me to continue the hard work.
When I am out in my garage freezing (or sweating) while I am putting together a set of jumps I think about how nice it will be to go out to my new barn with my horses tucked in to their warm and completely enclosed stalls.
Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way
You can be on a budget and still have horses. You just have to plan for it. And while it is really easy to justify all of the new things you want, and charge the purchase, it is an even better feeling to not have to worry about how you are going to pay for it all later.
So make a plan now for how you will save money, and be a budget equestrian for the upcoming year. If I can do it, I know you can do it too!