A while ago, I had lunch with several barn friends and the men in our lives came up.  One who was single at the time said, “I just want someone who won’t get upset about the horses!”  It’s a pretty valid request, as we all know just how much time and money horses take up in our lives.  Today I want to focus on the money part though.

Does your significant other get upset about the money spent with horses?

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I realize that’s a pretty personal question.  For me, we’ve been through all different phases of this.  While I won’t put out my entire personal life on the table, I’ll say that at this point in time my husband is extremely supportive of my hobby.  This is an extremely good thing, because riding to me is pretty much like breathing and I can’t imagine my life without it.

It was hard for us to get here though, and I have to be careful with myself.  For example, complaining too often about a bad show, ride or lesson to my husband has not so great consequences.  When he hears me complain, he doesn’t interpret this as part of the journey… but instead as me not enjoying something that is stupid expensive.

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Also, I have to be very careful about how we talk about budgeting/money in our household.  We keep our finances separate, which I’m mostly okay with.  However, it’s maybe not the best idea to be critical of how the breadwinner spends his money when you have a 1200 animal that eats dollar bills for breakfast.  Nom nom.  Dollars.  Nom nom.

One recent funny though, is a conversation we had driving to his parents for Christmas.  This was recently after my disaster of a year end show, and previous to that show I had been contemplating meeting an old trainer for a week of an A show outside of Austin.  I told my husband that I had nixed those plans entirely.

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“You shouldn’t rule it out though, you never know how things will look in a few months.”  (He is a really good cheerleader)

“You’re right, but I don’t want to go spend $1500 on a show if I’m too nervous to ride properly.  I feel like I need to get miles in a cheaper setting.”

This is when he started to sputter.  “Is that how much they cost?!?  They really cost that much?!?  Oh my god.  That’s like… 1/2 the computer I want… and I get to KEEP the computer!  Please never tell me how much shows cost again.  I’m going to try and forget this conversation now.”

So now I’m not going to tell him how much they cost anymore 😉

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Basically, I’m very lucky on the money-horse husband scale of the world.  He doesn’t present me wads of cash and say, “Please honey, go buy breeches!” but I don’t really want him to either.  He helps in so many other ways, and being limited a little by my personal finances actually reigns me in some.  The dynamic between husbands, horses and money is never super simple though, that’s for sure.

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Is this a harmonious partnership in your household, or do you tip toe around the money issue with your SO?

68 COMMENTS

  1. We are about where you are. Separate finances, I don’t complain about where his money goes, I don’t ever mention what things cost, and not one dollar of his money goes to the horse. He did buy me reins for Christmas and promise me a saddle if I make it to third level Dressage. But mostly, he supports my riding by having dinner ready for me when I get home at 9:30 on lesson nights and things like that.

  2. Great post!

    Johnny is super supportive of my horse endeavors and has been since I met him. When he’d come to Wichita to visit for the weekend, he’d come to watch me at polo practice. When I moved to Tulsa, he helped me buy Gina because I was horseless, sad, and thought she was a good buy. Currently, he listens to me natter on and on about the struggles, the break-throughs, the reason I scored a 7 instead of an 8 on a movement in dressage, how ugly the distance on that jump was, etc etc. He even comes to the occasional show and fetches whips or towels or ShowSheen and holds the horse while I go to the bathroom.

    We also keep our finances separate; as the breadwinner with a salary that is much higher than my tack store earnings, Johnny picks up most of the household expenses like the mortgage, utility bills, groceries, etc. (I contribute by paying the Netflix bill.) I’m responsible for paying all horse expenses: board, farrier, vet, supplements, shows, tack, etc. This works well for us, because when I come home with a new pair of breeches or saddle pad, there’s never a question about who paid for it or what part of the budget it came out of.

    Our current horses/finances dilemma revolves around housing: we’re torn between staying in the house we currently live in, with about 10 years left on the mortgage and moving out slightly out of town to a 20-30 acre property and keeping the horses at home. Johnny’s nervous about the work that a horse property will entail while I am super enthusiastic about this idea.

    It’s great to hear that other people have totally awesome horse husbands, too!

    • When we started to shop in Texas, we briefly thought about doing land. For us we ended up deciding against it because it was going to be more expensive AND more work for both of us. At the end of the day, Tim just didn’t want that kind of responsibility and work and I can’t say I really blame him!

  3. I don’t have a SO unfortunately. I used to back in HS and early college, and he went with me to shows etc….but money wasn’t an issue with us because the parents usually footed the bill. I do admit, it is kind of daunting to think about how I will explain that EVERY LITTLE PENNY I EARN goes towards my horses….to a future boyfriend, etc. I have plans to keep my finances separate as well, since I definitely don’t want the future SO to feel put out that his hard-earned money is going to feed my hobby. Then again, if he offers…… 🙂

    • One thing that helps in my opinion is having the horses established before you start dating someone. That way they KNOW what they’re getting into! For me, when I took a few year break from riding my husband got used to the nice life that was horse free.

      • Agree! My horse lived in WA when my husband and I met in Hawaii and I ended up selling her while I was living there so she didn’t end up just sitting. So even though I *had* a horse, she wasn’t real to him. When we moved back to the mainland and I wanted to get a horse, I think he had a hard time wrapping his head around it because he didn’t really know me as a horse owner, he just thought his wife liked horses a whole bunch. Poor guy!

  4. Stealing this idea for a post because I think I’m one of the few whose SO foots the whole horse bill…and is totally okay with it.

  5. My husband and I also have separate accounts. He previously had a long term relationship with a woman who was very critical of his spending habits. Since I am spending a fortune on my horses I am more supportive of him spending money on his hobbies. He makes more moolah than me and I know he would help out with horse bills if needed 🙂

  6. My SO also foots the whole horse bill. At least he will until I finish vet school. I haven’t had horses from the beginning and getting our first was more his idea than mine! I was sure he would freak when he realized how expensive it is, but he handles everything in stride. I don’t show though, or really plan to other than local charity type events, so our horse costs are relatively simple and routine. He supports my habit enough to move out to the country this spring and keep our horses at home. Pretty good for a city boy 🙂

  7. My DH doesn’t foot the whole bill…but he does foot a large portion of it. We do have joint finances but basically what he made me do is write up a monthly horse cost sheet, and then we deposit that amount every month into a separate account (he gets the same for his hobby, boating). That is essentially my monthly horse “budget”, that includes any board, training etc costs as well as a little extra that I could save for other things. So far its worked out great because before we did this, DH was getting resentful of the time and cost. However now that he doesn’t have to see the checks being cashed AND he has his own “fun money” all has been right in the world 😉

    • Yes! This is the way to do it. I still end up getting more each month realistically, but I NEVER give him a hard time about spending money on his hobbies. I also am always gung-ho about doing trips he wants to do and don’t bring up the fact I will miss riding time. We make about the same amount of money so it just works generally.

  8. No SO on the scene & sadly (or perhaps luckily) thus far haven’t had as serious a relationship that this topic came up. Makes sense to keep finances separate *nod*
    Shall be keeping an eye on this post and taking noted of things for the future as hopefully i am not destined to be a spinster 😉

  9. When my now hubby and I were still dating, my mare became very ill with a mystery illness (it turned out to be cancer). To say the vet visited frequently is an understatement. As I wrote my billionth check, hubby asked ‘have you hit a full paycheck yet?’. Ha! That and then some. I asked him ‘Do you really want to know?’ and he said ‘You know what – I don’t.’ Our finances are combined, so he knows what things like board cost, but both of us prefer he stay in the dark about the extra stuff.

  10. I literally came out the gate and warned my husband about my horse obsession the day we met (scary, maybe? oh well). When we got married we decided our joint account would support any necessary animal bills (vet, food, and yes, board) but any elective costs would be my own- so shows, lessons, tack, etc- all on me. He knows to ask me how my rides go and I keep him up to date on all my horsey hopes and dreams. I think I’m pretty lucky really!

  11. Oh! I love this topic!! So glad to hear everyone has supportive SO’s!! Love reading what everyone does! My SO and I have separate finances and I foot most of the horse bill. However with my horse being retired I’ve been fortunate to be catch riding these past few years. however a wonderful part lease opportunity came up this year. My SO has been more than helpful to offer to pay for this half lease for me!! He has even asked if I wanted another horse instead of doing a half lease. So glad he is more than supportive of my expensive hobby!!

  12. Great topic!!! And a difficult one. Before my current job, I could not afford my own horse. It was the cause of many bitter fights with my husband, because I was so desperately unhappy leasing (and still paying a hefty monthly fee). What changed was I landed a job that increased my monthly take-home almost exactly in the amount I would need to step up from leasing to ownership. It gave us the necessary breathing room for us both to be happy. That being said, I do everything on the super-super cheap. And I do still get the occasional raised eyebrow if all the checks hit the account the same week. But seriously, this sport/hobby/passion is ridiculously expensive and financially insane.

  13. My husband and I combine our income, but have separate “hobby” funds that we each can spend out of. Horses came up on our first date so he knew that I wanted one from the start. It helped that he knew what to expect since he had horses growing up. Right now, basic care for the animals comes out of a common fund, but all the extras, tack, supplements, small equipment, etc, all comes out of my hobby fund. We are going to be looking for a trailer soon. Thankfully, that will be coming out of a common fund. He wants to raise some more hogs and I flat out told him we weren’t getting any more animals until we had a trailer. He agreed. We don’t always see eye to eye on which funds everything comes out of, but so far, so good. I have a feeling my vet bill will be high this spring and I’m not looking forward to that.

  14. Great topic! My DH is extremely supportive and always has been. He pushed me to buy Miles and to go to a horse show the weekend before our wedding; He’s never missed a show and is the best holder of stuff I’ve ever met.

    Financially, we’ve combined our accounts and he knows every penny I spend on horses — mostly because I’m a budgeting spreadsheet Nazi. Our plan is to be honest and communicate openly about horses and how much they cost. So far, we’ve always been able to compromise and both be happy.

  15. My husband and I keep our finances separate as well. He doesn’t really understand my love of horses (When he was young, his aunt used to have horses and apparently they bit him. I’m not sure that would stop me, but hey, to each his own!) but he doesn’t *not* support me, does that make any sense? When we met, I was horseless in Hawaii so he never knew me as a horse person. When I insisted that I have a horse to ride I think it seemed sudden and out of the blue to him at first. I think that if I had already physically had a horse, it would have been much easier for him to wrap his head around. I still owned my WB mare, but she was living in WA at the time so she didn’t really exist to him when we were dating.
    I agree that keeping my finances separate does help me limit my spending on my horse and I also think that it is better in that it doesn’t build resentment when I spend money on my horse because it isn’t *his* money I’m spending. We both contribute to the bills so whatever we want to do with our money outside of that is a non-issue.
    I am a bit vague on the cost of keeping a horse. I think I worry that he might start resenting Chloe if he knew that the saddle that I *need* (because mine doesn’t fit correctly) is more than 2x the rent (the rent isn’t too bad, but holy @#$*!!!)
    I am definitely on the lower end of the cost spectrum by pasture boarding at my barn and taking lessons every other week, but it’s still a hefty chunk of change every month. I’m not going crazy spending money on this mare (definitely NOT saying you are and if I could, I’d be spending more on her!), but when you really think about it, it’s A LOT of money that could be going towards vacations or paying off the car faster. So I think in my situation, the vagueness is better than coming home and saying “Hey honey, so I just paid my $xxx(x?!) board/lesson bill for the month.” I can just imagine him calculating how many vacations we could be taking if I didn’t have that damn horse. 🙂

    I think in our relationship this just works for us. I’m vague about the horse and he’s vague about how much he spends on suits (He has a total obsession with suits. To wear for leisure, not for work….) and everyone is relatively happy. 🙂

  16. I’ve got one of those husbands that gets tired of hearing my talk about something I want really badly so he hands me the money or just buys it for me. I am SPOILED ROTTEN. Some time this year he will be buying a large truck and a goose neck trailer for the Bacon to fit in to, and so I can go wherever I would like with her. He is my cheerleader, photographer/video guy, supporter, etc. And he even plays ponies with me. The jackpot has been hit for sure with this one. I don’t even know what I do to deserve all of it either…

  17. So funny to read your post! I wrote about a similar topic a couple years ago..http://www.thenorthcarolinacowgirl.com/horses/poll-marriage-and-horses/

    Now time has gone by since I wrote my post, my thoughts and opinions have changed some and I basically am on the same page as you now-although not married just been together for 8 years, so might as well be! But anyway, I don’t necessarily tell him about ALL the costs because if he knew what I really spent on my horses each month he probably would freak. I’m like you though, I can’t imagine my life without the horses and would rather give up doing other things so I can afford to keep them and enjoy them. I get that if I didn’t have them then I could probably afford to do stuff I see friends doing like traveling, shopping, etc. but then how much would I actually enjoy my life. I’m about 99.9% sure not as much as I do now. Now I just need to get him to feel the same way about having horses as I do. So far I’ve done a decent job because he finally has stopped telling me to sell them and actually did buy me one. 😉

  18. It’s funny, I am the one who came into the relationship being horse-crazy, but now I’m the one who ends up reining back my SO on the horse-related purchases! If he had his way, we would have two horses and a truck and trailer. That is the eventual goal but since I know that horses can be even more expensive than he thinks they are, we’re sloooooooowly edging our way into the deep end to be sure we can financially handle all the horsey things we want.

  19. I wish I could say the same as everyone else, but my husband is just not that on board with the horses. BUT, things are a bit different because we have a farm, and it is a lot of work. It’s my passion, not his, so sometimes the work involved and money spent can weigh on his nerves. We have a joint account, all the money in one pot – he only really gets upset when I buy too much shit online, which might be a bit too often.

    This is our 5th year of marriage and the horse issue is just now starting to neutralize. He will never be the type to be out in the barn helping every day on his own accord, or begging to go to shows with me, but he does allow me to do my thing, which I am grateful for.

    • I’m also on a farm and my husband is not involved with the “back yard”. The only times he is involved is haying season (Love him for it–it is such hard work and thank heavens he is good with tractor and machinery repairs!) and sometimes when I need paddocks cleaned with the tractor in the winter (We get a lot of snow here and I tend to get stuck, whereas he can get through anything!). Money is 100% separate though and I would NEVER talk about the cost of it all. I don’t hide it, just choose not to bring it up on purpose and he is awesome enough to not ask.

  20. My husband and I have a joint bank account, and every penny we earn goes into the communal pot. We also have an intense budgeting spreadsheet, so he knows exactly how much I spend on the pony. Thankfully he is also pretty horsey (he rides when the weather’s nice!) and we are both on the same page about buying a small farm and having horses at home sometime in the near future. I also work my butt off for very VERY cheap board, so our horse expenses aren’t really that big. Michael never complains about vet bills, either! He is 100% all about taking the best care possible of our furry kids. And shows, lessons, and clinics are all carefully budgeted for. He also has some very expensive interests (photography and sailing), so he is very understanding about the price of good equipment! In short, we’re a team, we do everything together, and we find a way to compromise so each of us gets to pursue our passions.

  21. Oooooh, good topic. I didn’t have a horse when I met/married hubs, so I feel like he got blindsided a little bit. I did ease myself back in to the horse thing so it wasn’t a huge $$$ surprise, but yeah, definitely still expensive.

    We keep separate finances and pay separate bills. He is the breadwinner/primary income. I take care of the house, bought the car we take on trips, and pay all of my own horse expenses.

    He has his own expensive hobby, so we have a mutual agreement to never add up expenses for each other. So far, it works for us.

  22. my fiancé and I have separate finances and so there is no issue about horsey expenditures. He jokes about the other things I could buy if I didn’t have gavin, but he understands that I basically need horses to survive and supports it. 🙂
    HOWEVER – my last boyfriend (who was a giant tool) was NOT ok with my horse hobby. He wouldn’t even call gavin by name, and instead would refer to him as “the beast”. When I’d invite him to the barn he’d say “why would I want to spend time with a beast?” (What a Nancy boy). Multiple times he told me to ditch gavin or we were done. I got very, very close to selling Gavin (thank god I didn’t). I decided not to bc every time I mentioned it to anyone I’d break down crying and also I realized he (douchebag McGee) was JEALOUS of my relationship with my horse. Not a good enough reason to part with an animal you love. He wound up being the one to get the boot!

  23. I’m very lucky in that my husband rides and owns a horse as well so I don’t actually have this issue. We both spend tons of money on horses so it’s a mutual expense. He doesn’t really understand the tack and breeches thing (he has exactly how much he wants and is happy with it and doesn’t understand why I need more), but he doesn’t stop me from buying whatever I want. I have to stop myself, which is harder really.
    I think a lot of it is mutual financial expectations. Neither one of us would want to spend $1500 on one show, but we’re both happy to spend more to buy a trailer.

  24. I’ve blogged about my non-horse husband before. Our finances are separate and we have a sort of don’t ask don’t tell approach with the horse. He hates the expense and the time involvement but I make no apologies. It’s part of me. He has his own hobbies and when he buys toys I never give him a hard time. As long as bills are paid, we should enjoy our hobbies. Although he is not supportive in alot of ways I do have to remind myself that he agreed to building a farm, living in the middle if no where, helps fix fences, now, works on my truck, trailer, etc. He may not attend the shows or want to hear about horses all the time but he does other stuff. I think it’s nice to have my own thing too. Since he doesn’t financially support my hobby if I want something I buy it. I don’t ask. And yes this includes horses.

  25. Good topic! I didn’t ride when we first started dating, but he heard all about my obsession. It is techinically his fault that I got back into horses in my early 30s. 😉 He had a cycling coach that was looking for a part-leasor and the rest is history! We now have our own hobby farm and my horse is at home. He doesn’t really blink at the horse expenses as long as it is reasonable. We have joint bank accounts, but separate credit cards. This is very handy when I go to Congress! I’ve really reined in (har har) my spending over the last couple of years, so that helps. He also does triathlons, so he needs lots of gear and coaching as well, so it evens out…a bit… 😉

  26. Hubby and I have joint finances now. We we decided to go that route I warned him I spend a lot on horse stuff and I didn’t want him to resent that. We have a budget/monthly allowance for horse things. It’s the same amount each month and theoretically, it would cover all regular expenses and then have a little left over that can pool for unexpected expenses or SHOWS! Hah, like there is any left over….maybe next month?

  27. My husband isn’t horsey inclined really (he’s allergic…), but he helps with the farm because the farm is ours, and has benefits outside of horsey things. He does target archery, so he’d like to start using my indoor as his archery range (obviously when it is empty!). So we both have expensive hobbies and separate finances. Soon the finances will be more interesting because I’m going to start boarding horses and can use that as my horsey budget to buy a trailer than isn’t older than me… 😀

  28. Not married so I guess I have no input that’s valid on the financial side. I do have to say my current SO has been supportive of my hobby even back in the day as a friend before we ever got romantic. Emotional support is the most important, financial support is also helpful.

  29. My finace and I have separate finances and will continue that once we’re married as well. That being said, he is VERY supportive of my hobby, in ways like getting up at 4:30 in the morning to go to a show, just to have me cry about how I didn’t ride well later on. Emotionally, he’s there. That being said, we have discussed him helping me out a bit financially once we’re married and I move onto a new horsie journey – he knows I need this to keep my sanity and respects it. Boy, am I thankful 🙂

  30. Past S.O.s: Spend more time with me. You see your horses all the time!
    Me: We’re breaking up.

    The money issue has never come up because nobody I’ve dated gets past the time issue. Pretty amazing how many riders have S.O.s that foot the bill!

  31. I’m surprised how many couples have separate accounts actually. Didn’t realize it was so common. My husband and I make about equal income and have a joint account, but I clearly spend more with two horses.
    I think sometimes I feel I have to justify my spending, especially since I work really hard to give my horses the best of everything. I still remember the day I visited Phoenix after our 9 years apart and I knew he was going to come back to me and how nervous I was to tell my husband. The thing was that he knew before I ever asked that Phoenix was the original love of my life and just told me to get him back. I know a good partner would never want to take away the thing that makes me whole as a person, and his support means a lot to me. He comes to my shows and he’s there if the boys are sick and I need help.
    We have the occassional talk about all the amazing things we could do if we didn’t have two horses (and three dogs, lol), but in the end we are blessed to have the chance to have the boys in our lives. Plus my husband has more time to golf than the average married man, lol.

  32. Oh my…. Good question! As someone who shows two horses at 6 weeks of WEF plus about 10 ‘AA’ shows a year, horse showing is needless to say, a significant expense for us. My husband has played polo for a long time, he is no stranger to spending tons of $$ on equine pursuits… However, we have had our fair share of “discussions” regarding the horse show budget. At first, I was only showing one horse at WEF and two horses at the other shows. My second horse was actually an OTTB that I got for free and I showed her along with my WB mare in the jumpers. However, once it became clear that my freebie horse would be maxed out in the low adults, we started talking about buying something that could do the AOs so that I could do 2 at the same level. Obviously, buying another horse with 1.30m+ potential was a significant expense…. So, my trainer, my husband, and I decided on a deal that would help offset expenses. If I’m going to be showing 2 expensive horses year round, they both have to be for sale. The goal is to have one young greener horse and one more made horse at the same time. When one sells, we’ll buy a 4 or 5 yr old and start the process again. Although the idea of selling them is hard, I am BEYOND grateful for the opportunities I have been given and want to try my best to offset expenses.

  33. True story – a good riding friend of mine actually bought a second horse and had it for a year before her husband “found out”.

    So many folks commenting here sound like they have it made with their horses + partner situation – very encouraging to read.
    No SO to contend with presently – but horses would be a deal breaker. Future partner wherever you are out there – be forewarned. I ♡ my horse, and he was here first. ;D

  34. I’m very lucky to have a fiancé (we’ve been together for almost eight years and are really about as married as we can be without a license) that trains horses for a living. He sees my lessons as an education that can partially be transfered over to our careers. Him understanding what riding means to me makes life together much easier. That being said, he is also used to horses making a profit. So, while he is fine with paying for equipment , education, and therapeutical items to help us perform better, he can’t quite understand why I would ever “need” things like custom boots, more breeches, or bonnets. Honestly, he allows quite a bit of this stuff, but he also is good about reminding me that the cosmetic items aren’t going to make me or my horses better. He says that because I ride well (he’s biased), I will always fit in more than I will for having stuff. I’m not sure that is necessarily true, but it does bring everything into perspective. I’m very lucky to have him!

  35. Mike is really the absolute best in every way, and I got so so lucky. I hear so many friends complain about their SO’s and their lack of support and, sometimes, outright resentment. Mike has always loved horses (before he even met me) and was interested in owning them some day. He’s happy to schlep out to the barn to take care of the horses if I have a late day, even when it’s miserable, wet, and cold. Not only does he allow me to spend my money on the horses without saying a word (I’m pretty responsible in general) but he didn’t hesitate to spend his OWN money on them when I got hurt and couldn’t cover them myself. We are not married yet, but share most of our finances, so he knows exactly how much the horses cost us. It has never been a problem, and I sincerely hope it stays that way. It helps that he also has expensive hobbies, so I can be supportive back. At the end of the day, I think we come out pretty much even.

  36. My guy is pretty accepting of it all. In theory, I pay for all horse related costs and ‘my’ things ie my truck, clothing, student loans. Really though, he foots most of the bills around the house so he’s definitely partly supporting my lifestyle! I;m honest about telling him what all my expenses are if he’s interested and he’s great about being a sounding board for ‘important’ issues like whether I should buy expensive tall boots or cheap ones or just duct tape the old ones lol

  37. My boyfriend and I have already talked about how we’ll deal with horse money and finances in the future, and I think by talking about it BEFORE we combined finances we managed to be really reasonable. Of course, the concession is that he gets to spend an equal amount of money on his beer stuff, which is honestly fine with me (and at least that disappears eventually too!!)

    Ummm unrelated: is the dude in your second to last picture just having an EPIC tantrum at his horse? I am extremely curious…

  38. As someone who literally came home to some pretty hefty bills after our honeymoon…my husband tends to be a bit defensive, but very supportive. Does it suck sometimes to tell him about the bills? HECK YES. But he’s willing to keep me around non the less. Plus he’s always there when I need him for advice or support 🙂

  39. My husband is in school right now getting a late in life degree so I am the breadwinner. Good news is that means there is no discussion about my horse related expenses; they are a non-negotiable part of this deal. Bad news is there is very little extra money to go around once mortgage is paid and all is said and done. To keep costs down I lease two days a week at a self care barn and own fewer breeches than I would prefer, but it’s mostly fine. I sometimes like to grumble but honestly we wasted a lot of money before when we both worked so this frugality experience has been good for us, generally.

  40. I think separate finances are a good idea… particularly when you have such an expensive hobby as ours. It’s kind of like we have a drug habit and don’t want our significant others to know how much we’re spending on said habit, but that’s the point ;D

    But your husband sounds really great- and even if we stop and think about how god-awful horses expensive, it blows our minds too. We have just become oblivious to the actuality of it…. Ignorance is bliss and all of that…

    My SO is actually very supportive. It’s my parents who think I should grow up and give it up already. I mean aren’t I suppose to be saving for like, houses and stuff!?! I could be traveling the world and pay off all my debt and retire nicely one day! Or, that’s what I hear whenever they talk to me about it anyway.

    My SO doesn’t help out financially in any way to directly support the habit, but he does help out with groceries and the dog etc. I’m definitely the bread winner though, and he’s the irresponsible money manager, so he can’t really criticize me on how my spend my money. He has directly stood up to my parents before and said he’d never ever let me quit no matter what because he knows it’s my sanity and my passion.

    But I will say if he and I- or anyone else- ever get married, yeah, separate finances. 😀

  41. My wonderful Mister is the sole breadwinner in our house (my job is looking after the two, soon-to-be-three little ones, and the housekeeping), so of course he foots the bill for all the horse things.

    Buuuut that also means the horse budget is small. Super small. No shows, no lessons, no clincs…. It’s hard because that’s just the way is has to be due to our circumstances.

    That being said, he is so supportive of my horse hobby. Several times I’ve offered to sell Copper because of financial limitations, but he always said – “No, because you won’t be happy without a horse to ride.” I really couldn’t do it without him, and I’m so grateful for his support! When I do get to do the odd show, he will be the driver, photographer, lunch fetcher and all round good guy. I think I’m super blessed because he had no idea how horse obsessed I was when we got married, so that part of me was a bit of a shock! XD

  42. Not married but living together. We have separate finances for now (of course) and if/when we get married, I’m fine with going either way. He’s pretty aware that horses will be in my life and is used to me spending quite a bit of my income on them. I’m lucky that he met me at an expensive time in my life- taking very expensive lessons each week and spending a small fortune trying to keep an eighteen year old Grand Prix dressage horse sound and showing.

    I think that when I downgrade to young project horses that don’t need joint injections/regular lessons/supplements/fancy amenities/etc, the money won’t be much of an issue. Plus, my industry should pay well and I don’t have any plans to compete at anything bigger than statewide championships, so money shouldn’t be a big deal. But we’ll see!

  43. This is quite timely for me. Buying a house and such SO and I have had many money discussions. When I still had Houston and he was planning to buy a house (himself not together) he was hoping to pay most of the living expenses bills giving me more income for showing etc. When I decided I needed a break from ricing he was my sounding board and never once said “oh yeah well be rich if you stop doing that” but rather said he would support me no matter what and when I did decide that I wanted to be horseless for a bit he totally made me feel better by saying that he will help me buy another horse whenever I decide to get back into it.

    Having recently set up joint accounts and had budgeting discussions we decided to set up an account for all living expenses (mortgage, food, home maintenance, health, etc) and then each still have personal checking for fun money – for example if I want to spent $100 or whatever on something I don’t have to ask because we each take a percent of our income monthly for our fun money.

    This arrangement greatly benefits me because my living expenses are pretty much chopped inhalf by splitting a mortgage payment instead of solo rent (my place is way too pricey). He is still the main breadwinner because his salary is pretty much double mine. We decided that instead of saying x dollars each a percent would be better and luckily we are even able to set a pretty significant amount in savings before we even do this split.
    I have expressed that I will want to ride again sometime and it’s not negotiable. He is really supportive and I have been pretty upfront about all of the costs associated because like Tracy I am a spreadsheet nazi. It ends up benefiting us both though. For me I know that we will not be touching future horse money so that I don’t feel like I’ll be resented whenever the time comes that I want to ride again and also by not touching it were building great savings for improvements we want to do on our new house.

    This is way wordier than I intended but basically it seems like all sorts of different ways work for different people. Great post! I’ll be interested to see any more comments.

  44. Fiance is not horsey in the slightest. He likes that it makes me happy, but he has zero interest in going to the barn, would never attend a show, etc. He skis, which is an expensive hobby but not on the same level as horses.

    We have separate finances (generally) and will continue to do so. He is not great with money, and I don’t want him to contribute to horse expenses. I make less, but still put 5x as much into savings as he does, so I manage all of our joint expenses: rent, bills, etc. I’ll take over managing the mortgage and house bills when we buy a house, though we both contribute equally to the account.

    It would be really nice if he were more supportive beyond saying “I know it’s important to you.” I do 99.9% of the cooking, cleaning, and organizing and 100% of the shopping, bill-paying scheduling, you name it. It’s work I’m good at and mostly enjoy but it does wear on me. I think he’s had dinner ready when I got home from the barn…once? Maybe twice?

    Everyone’s relationship is different, and works in different ways, but I have to say I am jealous of the support some of you get!

  45. Haha oh man!

    I’m not married, but my BF is super supportive of me and my horses and he KNOWS how much it costs. He has a super expensive hobby too, so basically if we ever get married we will never eat and all our money will go towards our hobbies and we will be fine with it

  46. My SO is pretty understanding, we pay for our own things but will help each other out if needed. He’s in a band and spends money on amps, guitars etc, so when I buy new pretty horse things he never asks!

  47. Manfriend is actually the one that pushed me to get back into riding! I don’t think he anticipated how much money goes into the whole thing…his eyes popped when I told him how much my new show coat cost! I’m definitely more of a money-manager than he is, so he trusts me to keep the spending in check. He comes and watches lessons despite his hay allergy, and makes sure there’s dinner on the table when I get home late from lessons. Couldn’t ask for more!

  48. Separate finances here too. We’re super open with each other about what we spend money on though and here’s really no criticism either way. In addition to or own personal account we also have a joint account that we each contribute to and this is what our joint bills like rent come out of. Horse stuff comes from my account only and if he ever gave me a hard time about it, he’d have a very unhappy wifey! (And he knows that!)

  49. It depends on the day with my hubby lol!

    Horses were there before hubby, I was the bread winner till recently … Horses being apart of my day and life is something I know he won’t get bc its not his thing but I think we are getting to a place of full acceptance 😉

  50. I’ve talked about this on my own blog many times. Our finances are separate, so there are no issues. The only time it *might* cause some discord is if ALL of my money starts being used for the horses such that it prevents me from doing together type activities. I don’t let that happen though.

    We’ve been married for 20 years, but at some point I had to tell him that the horses are in the category of “deal breaker.” While I love my husband dearly, the horses and I are a packaged deal, so no horses, no me. He’s still around, so I think the horse are a non-issue. :0)

  51. I really love this article and it is reassuring to me that other husbands have horse apprehensions as well. One of the first blog posts that I wrote a year ago when I started my blog was a rant on my husband and his anti-horsism (probably because I was mad. hehe) http://equineenthusiasm.com/life-non-horsey-husband/ I really love your blog and I was thrilled when I found this article! Thank you for a fabulous post 🙂

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