From Endurance to Dressage
This is the final Horses Are Expensive 3.0 report of the year, and I have to say good riddance to bad rubbish. The first year I did this, I learned a lot about my spending habits and how I could control them. The second year that I reported my equine expenses, I learned that the lessons learned in 2012 had stuck quite firmly. For this go round, I can't say that I learned a single thing.
At this stage in my life, I am an expert at budgeting and sticking to it. I sacrifice when required, I pay my bills, and when possible, I stick what's left into savings. With that, here's my last ever report on how expensive horses can be to keep in California.
Nothing dramatic happened in December, so my expenses were average. I took a few lessons, but the show I wanted to do got cancelled, but not before Speedy abscessed, so I wouldn't have been able to go anyway. With nothing standing out, I decided to compare my annual spending from 2018 to 2019 to see if I noticed any trends.
This report is far more interesting. Even though I switched my supplements from Platinum Performance to Horse Guard which cost 57% less, I still spent $3,551 more in 2019. Putting front shoes back on Izzy increased my farrier bill, and Blue Truck needed a few repairs. Other categories rose by small amounts, but two areas in particular stand out as money pits: Tack or Gear and Veterinary Costs. Apparently I indulged in some retail therapy while Speedy was recovering. Out of curiosity, I ran a report to show exactly what I bought that ran me $1,259.
For future reference, spending a little here and a little there will add up to a hefty sum. Given that my vet bill was 83% higher than the year before, I also ran that report.
The three grand wasn't from one big injury or illness. Instead, Speedy just kept needing things. He abscessed four times - I took care of the last two without the need for the vet. He sliced open both front legs. He knocked a tooth loose which we tried to save by wiring, but then it ultimately needed to be pulled anyway. Both horses needed their annual vaccinations, and both felt the need for body work off and on throughout the year. I am hoping for a cheaper 2020, but in the meantime, I need to get out to the vet to get my wall calendar. It's free, and it's a good one.
It's a good thing that I really like these guys because I could be living a fancier and cleaner life with a better padded retirement account without them.
Forget it. I'd just blow it all on therapy.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at Second Level. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read