So I had to do some budgeting. In order to do that, I had to make a list of priorities. Like most riders, I have a very long list of wants. There's always some bit of equipment/clothing/tack that I feel like I need. Not want, need. However, the budget doesn't support this list. So what's a real need and what's a want?
Actual Needs to Show Dressage:
1) Horse that is appropriate to the work.
Papi!2) A safe place to keep said horse.
So much grass to eat3) Food and care for said horse.
Biggest stall in the barn because he's a princess
4) A saddle that is professionally fitted to the horse.
Check. Two times.
Such an amazingly comfortable saddle
5) A bridle that fits with an appropriate bit.
Check. And stylin'.
He woke up like this
6) A safe place to ride
Safe enough for me to feel comfortable being a dingbat
7) A trainer appropriate for desired level.
Sorry teach, only picture I have
8) A show appropriate outfit including helmet
Check. Bland, but check.
We clean up nice
9) Appropriate support crew (farrier, vet, massage therapist, chiro, saddle fitter)
Check. So many checks.
That sound is my paycheck whizzing out the window
10) A way to get to the shows
So . . . I guess I don't need anything. What a bizarre, somewhat horrifying thought. I don't need anything. Which means that my budget shouldn't be focused on getting stuff. Ugh. I don't like that much. I want to buy stuff. But I don't need it.
But what it does mean is that my highest priority should be my training. That is the most important check right now. Training and board, no cutting corners there. I thought about cutting down to one lesson a week, but that's a bad idea. My training is my biggest investment. Then my show budget, since that's most of what we need as a pair. We need show miles. Then the massage therapist, supplements, chiro, saddle fitter, all of the extras a performance horse needs. And finally, assuming anything is left (HA!), comes the stuff. The blingy browbands, the fancy new saddle pads, the set of Baker blankets to use for away shows. All of that has to go to the bottom of the list, since I don't actually need any of it. I need to get Theo in more dressage rings. I need more position lessons. I don't need new flatwork boots.
I'm not enjoying this adult decision making stuff very much. I want to buy sparklies!