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What Price a Dream?

If you have horses and show them, in whatever discipline, you know how much money you spend following your dreams. If you’re smart, you don’t add up exactly how much you spend each year. The truth is just too painful. If you don’t own a horse and show it, try guessing how much showing a horse costs.

You guessed way too low. Trust me.

I have trained horses professionally and have instructed students for over 30 years. I have trained horses and riders for the Arabian round ring (western, hunter, show hack, saddle seat), and I have trained horses and shown through the FEI levels in Dressage. Here is what I have witnessed; some of them are past clients, some are just people I knew.

I have seen friendships fall apart because daughters competed. I have seen marriages strained to the brink over the purchase of a horse. I have seen families filled with resentment over the amount a parent spends on a horse habit. One woman told me, “My husband keeps track of how much I spend, so when I bought my horse, I went crazy, spending as much as I could. I did it because I knew he would tell me to reduce my spending by 10% the second year.”

That said, most people I have been involved with responsibly budget their horse expenses. But most of them still feel just a little guilty about it. Parents feel guilty if only one child rides, and adult clients, while they oversee their own finances, still maintain a small sense of hush hush about what they spend.

As one old joke states, “If I die, please don’t let my husband sell my tack for what I told him it cost.”

This is an interesting phenomenon. My clients are all employed or retired women who have earned the freedom to follow a passion, usually, from childhood. Some have waited their whole lives to own a horse. What is up with the guilt?

And now I’m in a similar conundrum. Our Arabian Sport Horse National show is in the Midwest this year. For the past 8 years it has been in Idaho or North Carolina. Hauling distance is a financial killer for clients, so we’ve skipped it. This year it is being held close to us. I have worked very hard to prepare my personal horses for this show. The problem is, for a variety of reasons, my clients cannot go.

For two years I have been investing my own money into training and qualifying my two horses for Nationals. The horses are good. They will be competitive. They are a good advertisement for me and how well I can train and show. The problem is now I don’t have any clients going to this show, I will have to cover the whole cost to compete myself. We can afford it, but it’s going to hurt. I feel nervous and insecure.

The rational part of me says, “Sorry you can’t do this. Sometimes life sucks.”

But I have invested every ounce of my soul into the pursuit of my sport and my passion, and I know this opportunity might never arise again.

Should I take this risk and spend this much money to compete and possibly completely fail?

“Hell YES! I deserve this!”

53 thoughts on “What Price a Dream?

  1. a horse is a big expense but they are noble and very affectionate animals

  2. Pretty horse!!!!!

  3. if it makes you happy it is worth it!

  4. Reach for your dreams❤️

  5. A Dream is always priceless

  6. If I want something bad I will buy it not looking at the price.

  7. It is pricey

  8. Yay! Always follow your heart and your dreams!

  9. sending this to my neighbor!

  10. Do what makes you happy, there is nothing else to even consider!

  11. Supeerbbbbbbbbb

  12. I say go for it since you have invested every ounce of your soul into this!

    I wish you the very best in your endeavor!

  13. Thanks for sharing this article with us.

  14. so cool!

  15. So true, I don’t have a horse but am saving up for one

  16. Always persevere. Live your dream!

  17. That’s a funny old joke! It is expensive!

  18. You can’t put a price on your happiness

  19. smiling…

  20. smiling… it works

  21. Pricey, but follow your dreams 🙂

  22. Follow your heart

  23. If it makes someone happy I say go for it:)

  24. thanks

  25. The price of a dream is whatever price you’re willing to pay to make it come true

  26. Go for it you only live once and follow your dream

  27. Follow your dreams. Tell us how it goes.

  28. Love horses but wouldn’t want to own one myself.

  29. Go for it, your happiness is important 😀

  30. You can never pay too much if it’s harnessing your dream!

  31. “But I have invested every ounce of my soul into the pursuit of my sport and my passion, and I know this opportunity might never arise again.” Seems like the answer is in this sentence – there will be much regret if you don’t do this. It’s close, you have trained the horses and know how good they are, and there is always more money to be made. Things have a way of working out. Yes – Go For It!!

  32. I can’t even guess how much having a horse costs. Like most things- if it’s your dream……then in the end it’s worth it.

  33. Follow your passion

  34. Dreams and ambition makes the world go around

  35. All it takes is one little injury to ring up a big bill. You have to decide whether you want a pet, or a family member. Everything costs money for better quality.

  36. Lovely horse, bit of a risk, but end of the day life’s a gamble.

  37. Interesting

  38. Loved the article.

  39. A great article for great dreams.

  40. aren’t dreams priceless?

  41. What’s that old saying?….”dont look a gift horse in the mouth.”

  42. You can still find good horses, for fairly decent prices, but it takes a lot more time, a lot of work, and a little bit of luck

  43. One Love!!!

  44. Go for it!

  45. The expense is a shock to some owners

  46. alright then

  47. Great reminder to always follow your dreams.


  49. Even though it’s a big purchase I feel like investing in a horse is investing in yourself because it would be good for you and your happiness

  50. nice read

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