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Twenty Bucks and Horses

Published: 3/3/2010
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Twenty bucks goes a long way when it comes to what we spend on our horses.
Mmm, not really.
But when we get SO much in return, who's counting?

Read on for guest columnist Sonia Theobalds' take on equine spending!

By Sonia Theobalds

Several years ago, when we acquired our second horse, my husband made some comment about the cost of things. 
[Note:  this was back in the days when he was just starting to earn the title of The Long-Suffering Horse Husband). 
It wasn't so much that he made a negative comment because, God knows, he is one of the most supportive horse husbands out there (as long as I don't ask him to ride). It was just a remark like, "How many blankets do they NEED?"
It was a crisp Saturday morning in early December and the new horse was very thin and had rain rot.  He NEEDED a blanket.
To prove a point, I picked up a used blanket at the tack store before we loaded him on the trailer.  It was the only blanket his size in the second hand department and I was trying to be frugal, knowing he would soon outgrow it. 
The blanket was a gnarly old thing, with sun-faded blue canvas on the exterior and imitation sheepskin on the interior.  It had a few small tears and was missing the leg straps but it was warm and fuzzy and the little guy was really pleased to wear it home.  I joked with my husband as I wrapped the horse in it before we put him on the trailer:  "See honey, only twenty bucks!".  
To continue to prove my point, I left the tag on for the About-To-Be-Long-Suffering-Horse-Husband to see.  The tag said $20.00.  The horse sported the scruffy old blanket in his paddock and thought he was "All That and a Bag of Chips" with his new winterwear, oblivious to the price tag dangling from the front buckle.  The woman who owned the boarding facility where I kept him found the whole thing hilarious. She nicknamed him Minnie Pearl and the name stuck.
When the horse outgrew the blanket within a few weeks, I had it dry cleaned and repaired and returned it to the second hand tack store.  They gave me twenty bucks!    
The "twenty bucks" comment has become a standing joke in our household and among all my horse friends.  "Twenty Bucks" is now regularly utilized whenever I come home from a tack store, whether I purchased a $200.00 bridle or a $2.00 salt lick. 
"How much was THAT?" is often the question.  "Twenty bucks!" is always the reply.
Soooooooo .... when I wanted to attend The Equine Affaire in Massachusetts last year I asked my husband if he would give me some extra cash, since it's the biggest horse shopping extravaganza on the East Coast.  He gladly opened his wallet.  
Yep, you got it.  Twenty Bucks.

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3/3/2010 Julie de A.
Great story Sonia, thanks for the smiles.....funny, I always keep a twenty dollar "stash" in my wallet,,,,,,,,,just in case! Missed you at the Big E.
3/3/2010 Cathy
Is this the same husband I saw unload a tractor trailer load of useless hay last summer, and then reload it all onto other trailers AND loan HIS truck and trailer to us to get a load home to our cattle? Yup, he's definitely a keeper! By the way, the cattle love that hay - well worth the "twenty bucks" we paid you for it!!
3/3/2010 rosie
It's a good thing 20$ goes such a long way in the equine world. I remember seeing a quote that went something like; If you want to have a million dollars with horses, start with 5 million.
3/7/2010 Sherri
Great Story Sonia, I can see your face as you tell this story!!! Best smile I had today!!

"No horseman or horsewoman has ever finished learning" - Mary Gordon-Watson