I have always, since purchasing my first horse at age 12 with all the money in my savings account, been a shoestring budget horse owner. My lack of abundant finances has required me to be both creative, and humble. "Never be too proud to clean stalls" is my motto.
But, I have to confess, that as I get older and money still isn't in excess, and it gets tougher physically to clean stalls on a large scale, there are times I find myself thinking wistfully about being the horse owner who just writes a board check every month without thinking about the dollar figure.
Sometimes I want to be the rich lady who has an unending bank account to pay for her horsey endeavors. Who doesn't have to work anywhere else to replenish that bank account, who just shows up at the barn mid-morning (my preferred time of the day to ride) and has plenty of energy to catch, groom, and school her horse. Not just plenty of energy, but also plenty of time. She doesn't have to watch the clock, or do a quickie grooming job, or forego cleaning her tack thoroughly at the end of her ride in order to just plain have time to ride that day.
While I'm confessing, I might as well go on and say that some days I want to be the rich lady who doesn't even have to trudge out to the pasture to catch her horse. (Honestly, some people don't, I've worked at a couple of places where there were boarders who expected--and paid for--someone else to retrieve their horse from turnout.) Right now, with the boot-sucking mud and puddles that splash dirty water onto the back of your breeches when your horse steps in them, I'd really love to be that kind of rich lady.
But I wouldn't be snooty. And I wouldn't be 'too good' to speak to the barn staff. Because inside I'll always be humble and not too proud to clean stalls.
(But while I'm fantasizing about being rich, a nice hefty shopping budget for my next horse, the one I hope to buy this summer, would be awesome. I'm not expecting a five digit price tag kind of dressage horse. Anything in the mid-four digit end would be acceptable--and about three times what my current budget allows.)