Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Horse Hubby: Buy Me All the Things!

This is basically the week of Steal All of Lauren's Posts because I have no blogging creativity of my own. I'm okay with that. Something like "imitation is the highest form of flattery", right? That said, after Lauren's Horse Husbands: The Money Talk post, I wanted to delve into how Hubby and I manage our finances with a horse in the equation and only one of us bringing in a paycheck. I don't work. I have super high anxiety about dealing with society. I also have super high anxiety about being in control. So basically I'm like an OCD hermit, which is pretty much my ideal life.

best horse hubby.

When Hubby and I met, I was working at a horse farm that Hubby was renting an apartment from while he was farming. Yada yada, lots of things happened, and eventually I stopped working at said horse farm, moved with Hubby to a different place, and started working for/with him. It basically involved me sitting on any number of tractors for any number of hours a day, and then going home and making dinner out of spaghetti and butter. 

Welcome to farming in upstate NY. It is not a high paying job. 

It's also a seriously fucking miserable job if you're not really all that interested in growing corn. Disclaimer: I'm not really all the interested in growing corn. Eventually Hubby got a job offer down here in PA, we moved, and Hubby started bringing in a twice-monthly paycheck.  

Because of the farming past, a time of my life I wish to never have to repeat or revisit, I feel I'm owed an eternity of Hubby financing my horse hobby. I told Hubby this, and he was basically like, "Well...yeah. That's true."

Not only am I an OCD hermit, but I am also a boss at Jedi mind tricks. 

um, wrong jump, hubby.

So how do we make an expensive hobby like boarding and showing a horse work when it's Hubby 's money that's paying for it? Seems like the perfect time to use some fucking bullet points!
  • Make yourself invaluable. Hubby goes to work every day and brings home the paycheck, but I do everything else. Laundry, dishes, cleaning, grocery shopping, bills, cooking, vacation planning, etc. This is probably the only way this arrangement works for us. If I just sat around and did nothing all day, we'd have some serious issues. But I work hard to hold up my end of the bargain, and all Hubby has to do is come home and eat.
  • Budget everything. With every paycheck, I have a list for how every dollar is going to get spent. This way when I do have a show coming up, I know exactly how I'm going to pay for it without having to worry about whether or not it's taking money out of something else. I'm in charge of the checkbook and making sure bills get paid, but I also sit down with Hubby and show him how his money is getting spent. 
  • No frivolous spending. We don't spend money on pretty much anything extra--if we get a pizza once a month, we're living large. We don't eat out, we don't go drinking with friends, we're not at a movie every weekend. There are plenty of fun things to do for free, and it helps that we both like being outdoors. 
  • Buy cheap things. Pretty sure I'm the only horse blogger that lives by this rule. If I want something fancy, something expensive, I ask for it for my birthday or Christmas. Otherwise I have to buy it out of the regular budget, and that means it had best be cheap. I'm totally okay with this. I don't need big ticket items to ride my horse. A $100 girth or $300 bridle is not going to make me ride better. I don't need a $60 baby pad or a $150 par of open front boots. My tall boots don't need to be custom...or even real leather. 
  • Be smart in picking shows. Until our stadium is improved, there's no reason to renew my USEA membership and go to recognized horse trials. But even without that as a factor, I try to pick the cheapest shows. I only go to one days so I don't have to pay a stabling fee or for a hotel, and in Area II, schooling shows are essentially exactly the same as a recognized show--run over the same course, just not timed. 
  • The horse is not a pet. That's always been Hubby's number one rule when it came to funding the horse: I'm not allowed to have one that I don't use. 
how a horse husband survives the wait between ride times.

Hubby also knows how to ride, and genuinely likes horses, but sometimes I do feel like I'm taking advantage of him when he's been working six days out of the week and on the seventh day I make him wake up at three in the morning to drive me to a show. But Hubby pointed out that there's a light at the end of the horse showing tunnel for him: summer is for my shit, and the fall and winter months are for his shit. Horses go on the back burner, and he gets to spend all his time hunting and trapping. 

Hopefully that comes out as a somewhat cohesive post. It was interrupted halfway through by me having to go murder the puppy for gallivanting off to the neighbor's yard (which is not close) and pretending like she couldn't hear me when I called her. 


  1. Damn, I should have farmed for a few years. ;-) Your system works well for you guys. I like the organization and it definitely sounds worth it to hubs.

  2. "Buy cheap things. Pretty sure I'm the only horse blogger that lives by this rule. If I want something fancy, something expensive, I ask for it for my birthday or Christmas. Otherwise I have to buy it out of the regular budget," I do buy more expensive things, sometimes, but they come out of my regular budget. It just means I don't get it right now or right away. Whether its setting aside $50 by eating cheap every month or whatever, never going outside or running heat (you should see how I spend NO dollars on utilities!) but yeah I get it.

    1. I get this too. I like nice stuff, but I definitely can't just buy whatever I want whenever I want it. It comes out of commission checks, gift money, or I save for it. Love your system of working out your relationship, finances, and responsibilities! And I will totally be with you at those cheap one-day events this year... I've been stalking everyone's 2015 event calendars already!

  3. I'm too independent for my brain to fathom this approach, but considering how much I hate my job, not working looks pretty damn appealing right now. But I really like buying nice stuff and doing whatever I want whenever I want (within my modest means), so I have to stay a slave to the working world.

  4. ^ this. I don't have a horse right now but I think I would have a hard time if I felt like I needed to ask for everything or couldn't do what I wanted when I wanted. It would be nice to not have to go to a job that I am really not in love with though.

  5. i'd love to know a little more about how you manage your social anxiety in regard to horse-showing? I'm generally a don't-give-two-f*cks-what-people-think person, but at horse shows that all goes away. horse shows are such a pressure cooker of high-stress and anxiety.

  6. I love this post. Seriously.

    When I was unemployed (almost all of last year), I felt sort of guilty because I wasn't contributing any money to the horses. Then I thought about all the things I did while I was unemployed: household chores, meal planning, shopping, cooking, running all the pain in the ass errands like taking cats and dogs to the vet, paying the electric bill, etc. etc. And I felt less guilty.

    Now I feel pretty good because I have a job I like that gives me discounts on horse things and I can pay the horses' board. But you are totally spot on with your advice on how to make a horse work on a one-income household!

  7. We are like, the same person. Minus spending on frivolous shit...because pizza and movies.
    It is one day a dream of mine to have a life like yours. I am perfectly happy being "a stay at home wife/mom" and LOVE doing all that shit. I'm a control freak with money and cleaning and its best left to me. BUt I cant do it if I'm always working. Maybe one day I will snag A Boy like yours too, he seems damn amazing.
    Also your dogs= <33

  8. This is a great write up. I'm not married, but my SO does pay the bulk of... well... everything. I pay for my horse myself, but I couldn't do it without him subsidizing my life. I totally resonate with the 'make yourself indispensable' bit.

  9. Thanks for sharing! Also, good horse husbands are hard to find. Hold onto yours! <3

  10. I generally buy cheap things, too, or I don't buy them. I am often kind of amazed at how people are able to afford so many different things!

    Your husband sounds pretty great, and I'm glad you've both found each other and a way to work life out.

  11. Sounds like a great situation! I'm the sort that couldn't not work just because of how insane it would make me, but I wouldn't mind being on the other end of the equation- I'd gladly support bf's hobbies if it meant that I didn't have to cook, clean, or manage anything!

  12. <--- seriously jealous

    Your set-up sounds primo to me! I work and currently make more than my man, which is how I afford my pony. My fella is currently back in school so that he can hopefully make more money than me at some point, and I'm not shy about telling him that I would LOVE to quit working and be a stay at home horse and dog mom who cooks, shops, etc. I love the errand running and I'm self-motivated enough to not get lazy about household shit.

  13. I would LOVE to learn those Jedi mind tricks :)

  14. your set up seems ideal... I would gladly trade having a little more spending money (and working 45+ hours a week for it) for not working and being budget conscious. You get to ride during daylight hours!

  15. this is awesome - so great that you have such a mutually beneficial system set up that you're both happy with. and the 'expensive things won't make me a better rider' bit? yea, that's pretty much my mantra lol

  16. This is a super cohesive post, and I'm glad you wrote it! Everyone's relationship is different, and I think it's great that y'all are happy and rocking out together. Your advice about buy cheap things should really apply to all people, because that $100 girth WON'T help you ride better AT ALL.

  17. Great post - I'll have to write about my own horse hubby too!

  18. You guys have a great system that sounds like it works really well. I would be terrible at managing household crap (cleaning/groceries) by myself so I tip my hat to you. I think I will have to do a post too... :)

  19. Thanks for sharing, that is really interesting. I don't know if I could do it that way (I tend to panic over spending my own money on my horse, I can't even imagine how I would freak if my husband was paying for him), but it is cool to see how it can work a different way.

    Now, please help us learn from you about these Jedi mind tricks!

  20. Great post, love that you and Lauren both opened up on how it works for you :)

  21. Good post. I also live on the cheap.
    I do work but we are very frugal since we have a few goals to reach in near future. So the horse is always a sensitive subject.
    Aside from board, farrier, vet and occasional inexpensive show, I try not to bring it up.
    I am, however, getting decent at finding deals. Whether it is Ebay, local gently used etc.
    Birthdays... everyone knows. Tack shop please.

  22. I feel like people are missing the point. You didn't ask for this set up. No one with fucking anxiety issues wants the goddamn anxiety issues. Not that I'm supremely jealous of normal brains or anything. You've managed this situation you were handed to the best of your abilities and that's to be applauded. A lot. Also, I don't think people realize how it feels to ask someone else to give you money. I have to ask my husband for help with Archie's medical expenses and it blows. It's almost painful.

    So, yeah, I buy used and buy cheap and buy sale. You aren't the only frugal equestrian. I splurge on his shoes and his smartpak.

  23. I want this life. Plus the farming because I totally wish I was a farmer. Glad you have a relationship that works for you both!

  24. Great post, thanks for sharing.


If you can't say anything nice, fuck off.