I was folding laundry at the laundromat a few nights ago and feeling slightly grumpy at the state of finances in my world and so I made up a little game and have enjoyed refining it since.
Imagine someone gave you $100,000 free and clear. Assume taxes are already taken care of and you can spend the whole amount. The catch: you have to spend the whole amount on horse-related things. What do you buy?
Here's my list.
1.) Down Payment for Farm: $55,000
I'm not saying buy the farm right away. I would set the money aside in something slightly more lucrative than a savings account, but not as risky as a stock portfolio. There it would sit until one of two things happened: the right property/opportunity came up, or Tristan was ready to retire.
What's the right property? 20-30 acres of good land: relatively flat, well-drained, somewhat improved. A 3+ bedroom house on the property. Some setup that could be turned to horses easily; it doesn't have to have a barn already (though that would be nice), but it should have the house situated in such a way that adding more outbuildings would be easy, and it shouldn't be entirely forested. It would also be relatively close to my job.
2) 2 Horse Gooseneck Trailer: $18,000
Leftover money would go into a general trailer maintenance + gas fund. For specifics, I don't need an XL or XXL; just standard size. No mangers! A reasonably sized tack room area, and the ability to put a mattress up in the gooseneck. Lots of ventilation from the roof and the sides. Doors on both sides. Possibly a roof rack on top for hay & shavings.
3) 3/4 Ton Pickup Truck (Used): $25,000
I don't need brand-new, but I want a late-model GMC or Chevy truck, less than 50k miles. Never plowed. King cab, but not necessarily a full back seat with extra doors. I would love the extended bed but it's not an absolute necessity. Rigged for hauling. Four wheel drive. Snow tires!
4) Custom Dehner Tall Boots: $1,000
I have coveted these for years. I keep changing my mind about precisely what I want. Something black, but do I want dressage or field boots? Spanish top? Toe cap? I don't know! So many possibilities.
5) Shopping Spree: $1,000
Let's call this the miscellaneous category. I need an assortment of small things that could easily fill up $1,000. A stable blanket for Tristan; a breastplate; a few new saddle pads; a couple of training books; new gloves; new breeches; a new winter riding coat. I could gladly go on a bit of a shopping spree and replace some things in my equipment that have seen better days.
Well - what about you? If someone handed you $100,000 that you had to spend on horses, what would you buy?