Top tips for managing finances and our season

There’s no doubt that keeping horses is an expensive habit. So here are some tips for managing finances to see you through the season.

  1. Do as Tuffy Stockley says in our first Showing World of the year and ‘create a budget plan to allow for expenses like society renewals and height certificates that need completing at the start of the year’.
  2. Get routine veterinary or health-care done as soon as you can. That way, you won’t have to pay for those as well as entries, diesel and so on all at the same time.
  3. The same goes for you JMB height certificates. Get your slots booked and certificates issued now whilst there aren’t many shows.
  4. Ask for society memberships to be given as slightly late Christmas presents. If your birthday is early in the year, they work equally well as a birthday gift you’re guaranteed to use.
  5. If you, your horse or children need new kit for the season, start to shop around now. Trawl Facebook, Ebay or Preloved for second-hand, and if you can’t find exactly what you want, place a wanted ad and reach out to stockists who may deal in what you want. Ask them to alert you if what you’re looking for turns up in their store.
  6. Ask friends if you can try or borrow items of tack rather than buying and finding it’s not what you’re looking for after all. I’m speaking from experience here.
  7. Think about what you really want to achieve and be realistic about it. We all dream of qualifying for several finals, but if it’s not realistic, we’d be better off saving our money and only heading to the qualifiers we really need to in order to get to our preferred final.
  8. Do the shows you really enjoy. I have a rule that with my open ponies, I only do shows I love that have plenty of atmosphere and a good food hall. That way, if it all goes wrong in the ring, I’ll have had a fun day out and the diesel won’t feel wasted.  
  9. Get organised: fill up the diesel tank and stock up on snacks locally. Diesel will be cheaper than in services and days at shows can be long so if you’re buying every snack and every cuppa on site, it can add up quickly. That’s not to say that the odd splurge on a fancy snack in a food hall isn’t acceptable!
  10. Plan your route carefully. It’s possible that there may be added costs such as tolls or ‘clean air’ charges that can be avoided.
  11. Take Hannah Turnock’s advice and next autumn, put some cash aside to kick-start next year’s season.

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