Equestrian Issues: Are all Equestrians rich?

Maggie Dempewolf, Staff writer

Contrary to popular opinion, not all equestrians are rich. Now yes, there is a vast majority of equestrians that have quite a bit of money, but not all of us equestrians can live up to that lifestyle. Most of the time, people only see the glamorous side of being an equestrian. They see us being these rich, stuck-up sort of people. They see the fancy designer riding clothes and the high dollar horses. They see the perfectly kept arenas and the huge horse trailers with living quarters. Now yes, this is every equestrian’s dream, but not all of us can live this way, and even if you are an equestrian that can have this sort of lifestyle, it does come at a price.

First, let’s talk about the side of being an equestrian that most people are familiar with—the rich and wealthy. This is the way most people see equestrians. Now, this may be true for most, but it is not true for all. The majority of those rich equestrians are born into it. But even so, these rich equestrians still have to work for their money. They, just like all other equestrians have to make that they are at peak condition to perform at their best. They have to put in many hours of training to make sure that their horses can perform their best. The money they earn comes from shows, but in the equestrian world, you have to place in the top three to win anything. Everybody is trying to be the best, but ultimately, you are your own worst enemy. Equestrians will always try to better themselves, no matter what. But trying to continuously better yourself and your horse can come at a cost, this is because there is only so far that you can go. Oftentimes, equestrians will work themselves and their horses so far that one of them ends up injured. This means they end up with a lot of vet bills. These vet bills are typically what gets every equestrian, whether you are rich or not. The vet bills are what drains the equestrians bank accounts, even if they are rich. That’s why there is the saying “equestrians are broke.” So, yeah, being a rich equestrian is great, but it isn’t glamorous 100% of the time.

Now, let’s talk about the other side of being an equestrian—being broke. Being broke is a common thing for a lot of equestrians, myself included. Now, I can’t exactly speak for all broke equestrians, considering I don’t even have a horse of my own, but I can say that just taking riding lessons can eat away at your money. Even those who can afford a horse can still be broke. These are the ones you see who don’t have the best horse. These are the ones who don’t have the best riding clothes and have to work extra hard to pay for their horse. These are also the ones who “bubble wrap” their horses to make sure that nothing happens to them in fear of facing vet bills. These are the ones who are extra proud of themselves when they are able to go to a show, whether or not they place. These are the ones who are extra proud of their horses and are willing to stay extra long at the barn. Now, I am not saying that the broke equestrians love their horses more than the rich equestrians. All I am saying is that the broke ones value their time at the barn a bit more.

Both sides of the equestrian world put in all their time, money, and efforts for one sole purpose—the love of their sport. So yes, not all equestrians are rich, and some may value their horses more than others. Whether they fall on the rich side or the poor side, equestrians will always put their horse first. They will always make sure the horse can live its best possible life, no matter the cost.