From Endurance to Dressage
I am utterly fascinated by horse keeping in other states and countries. Most of us spend our whole lives living in one place. Sure, we move around a bit, but not many of us get to pack up and change our zip codes that dramatically. As such, we're experts in our own small corner of the world.
I've ridden horses in the Canary Islands, Ireland, Scotland, Portugal, and Belize. Each time I had to be pried out of the tack room and barn with threats of you can't come back if you don't put that manure fork down! I can't help it. We all manage our horses so differently, so when I get a chance to see how YOU do it, I soak up every minute.
In 2012, I launched my first Horses Are Expensive series. I figured that if I wanted to know what keeping horses was like in far off places, other riders must want to know too. It was really difficult sharing my actual equine related costs with the rest of the world though. We all know more or less how much we spend, but when you see it actually presented in a Quicken report, it'll make you quake in your tall boots. In 2013, I gratefully returned to a state of not quite knowing what I was spending, and I loved being blissfully ignorant. By 2016 I was curious to know if my expenses had increased, so I did it again with Horses Are Expensive II.
It's been several years since that second series, and my curiosity is back. Have prices changed that much since 2016? Am I spending more or less? In 2012, my year-end total for showing and maintaining two horses was $21,101. in 2016 it fell to $16,266.92 for the year. I showed less that year because Speedy had a tendon issue. And surprisingly, we didn't make up the difference with vet bills. Go figure.
With tax season in full swing, my husband and I are re-evaluating our expenses which is why I was reminded of this series. I've already had some whopper vet bills this year, again because of Speedy, so it seemed like a good time to revise the Horses are Expensive series. So here it is, version 3.0.
January started out with trouble. Right away I had to pay for the new vent lids for my horse trailer. From there, odd expenses started pouring in. I spent $330 in "show costs" even though I didn't show. Ouch. Speedy was diagnosed with Cushing's Disease so there went $240 in Prascend tablets. Izzy's last SmartPak had to be paid for as well. And of course I also had to replace my truck's fuel pump. To the good, I did manage to get three lessons, which is always money well spent.
Speedy's vet bills for the two abscesses, Cushing 'sDisease diagnosis, and then the lacerations to both front legs will all be on my February bill. And because Speedy needs to go back to the vet tomorrow to see if the sutures can be removed, I decided to save a trip and get all of his and Izzy's spring shots and dental work taken care of in the same visit. February's vet bill is likely to be huge.
All in all, January's costs were pretty typical. If I hadn't spent the money on memberships and Prascend, I would have spent it on breeches or well, breeches. I have a thing, don't judge. Good thing February was short as I couldn't afford a longer month. I'll get that report out in another week. You never know, some other random bill might come up between now and next Thursday.
Have a great weekend, and try not to spend too much. Unless it's on breeches. Or tack. Okay, spend whatever you'd like. It's just money, and we can always get more!
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 the lower levels. 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%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: