Keeping Up With the Equestrians: Financial Aid for a Riding Hobby
Horses aren’t cheap. They come with a lot of responsibilities. Boarding. Farrier and veterinarian care. Trainer. Feed. Supplements. And that's not taking into account the costs of shows or even traveling for trail riding. Owning horses or even just taking lessons at a local stable seems to consist of spending money and seeing no fiscal return. However, there are ways for you to offset the expenses. These ideas range to incorporate you or your child’s age and available time to put towards them.
Working It Off
If you’re in high school or college, teaching riding camps over the summer is a great way to earn money to support your riding. Whether you can bring a horse or not, horse camps can help you not only maintain your riding skills and form in the off-season, but it can add to your resume. The camp can offer a great reference to any future employers if you are a good employee, and if you leave on good terms at the end of the summer, you have a great chance of being asked back again.
One job that can be done year-round is offering to clean riders’ tack or muck stalls for a fee. If you're good at braiding manes and tails, be sure to post on social media groups who are advertising shows in your area offering your braiding services. If you're good at braiding hair, odds are you can also advertise as one who can do show hair for horses and riders. A lot of times, trainers will also appreciate help cleaning the horses and tack to get them show ready.
A horse requires basic necessities: saddle, bridle, saddle pad... The list can be overwhelming, and these things don't last forever. It's also often more expensive than the horse itself. Ever since the great World Wide Web came about, people have harnessed its power to save a dollar. Need new tack but can't afford that steep price tag? Try Tack of the Day. If that site doesn't have what you need, there are always Facebook groups full of people wanting to exchange tack or supplies. A simple Google search will show that there are plenty of places to look for high quality, low price supplies.
This is the dreaded word that most parents cringe at. Not a lot of people will want to support you or your child because of the perception that being an equestrian is elitist. Don't let that deter you. Horses are for everyone who enjoys them, just like dogs and cats. It doesn't have to be just about collecting cans or going around asking for money. There are several ways for you or your child to go about this slippery slope.
If you or your child enjoys photography, take a bunch of pictures and create a local horse calendar to sell. I recommend using Shutterfly, VistaPrint, or Snapfish. Be sure to get permission before snapping the photos, but this is a great way to earn some extra money. Sell them in local stores, and advertise them through Facebook. Anyone who loves horses will enjoy this. It's the perfect gift for the holidays, birthdays, or any occasion.
If your child is old enough, he or she could also open up a lemonade stand on your street. Another great idea is to get some old horse shoes from other boarders, paint them, decorate them, and sell them either at local shows, local shops, or your local farmer's market. Pinterest is full of great horse shoe decor ideas!
You'd be surprised how many people will be glad to help your child if they're willing to show they are working for what they love. Your child will likely appreciate the amount of money you put towards their hobby if they have to pitch in a bit as well. Though horses are an expensive hobby, they are some of the best teachers, companions, and friends.