Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
What do you do to support your horse habit?
I feel like I know so many people on this forum as it pertains to their philosophy on horses, but I thought it would be fun for us to share what we do in our non-horsey time, and how we support our oh so expensive habit.
I will start:
By day, I am an elementary school teacher. Fabulous concept to have summers off, but I spend enough money showing and attiring my horse that I work for a construction company full time in the summer, and they are very good about giving me show dates off. I find that teaching children and teaching horses have some very similar requirements :). I love teaching only second to working and playing with horses, and I eventually hope to make enough money on the horses to have the summers off.
Currently, I half lease two of my four horses, which pays for their monthly feed bill. I also use those horses for lessons year round....although we have a lot of cancellations when it gets below zero. It is 20 below right now, and somehow that takes the fun out of riding. I have two students carrying through this winter, and next summer, I plan to open up for anywhere between 4 and 8 students. I teach very beginning horsemanship and riding...Once the students become interested in a discipline, I refer them elsewhere, because I am a generalist myself (just like an elementary school teacher). It is surprising that lessons actually help pay for a lot of the incidental horse costs and my horsey shopping sprees :)
I have debated standing my stallion to a limited number of mares, but have yet to open him up because I am not sure I want to deal with all that goes with housing and breeding outside horses (for the same reason I am not keen on boarding others' horses). I have bred him to our mare, and will likely have a foal every couple of years or so. We will keep one of the foals, but may end up starting a couple and then selling them...unless we get too attached. :)
I have taken horses to "train" or work with anyway...I generally work with fairly young horses or horses with vices (unless they are really dangerous/explosive). I have worked with a few beginner horse people who have gotten in over their head. I like to have the owner there when I work with their horse, so that they can gain skills to use when the horses goes home. With training, again, I am a generalist...great at starting them/fixing problems, but do not specialize in any kind of finishing. I save finishing work for my own horses :) I enjoy training, but it turns out to be A LOT of work for the money (compared to lessons or leasing)...so I don't do a lot of outside training.
I have worked pretty hard to find horsey ways to pay for horsey costs so that I don't feel like all of my day job money goes to horses. It also ends up feeling pretty good because my horses get played with a lot year round.
I co-lead a 4H group also with my neighbor, we do group lessons every Saturday, meetings each month, and shows in the summer.
My non horse hobbies include cross country skiing and hiking. Although, I have recently been teaching my stallion to Skijor (I will get pictures one of these days) - what a trip!!!
I have 3 dogs and 2 cats in addition to my horses.
I think that is pretty much my profile :)
What are your guys' day jobs? What do you do on the side? Do you have any horse related money making activities? If you are still in school, do you work at your horses' stables to help pay some board off? What are your hobbies? Any fun facts about you :)
Don't get too personal with information (seeing how we are on the internet), but do share.