Most weeks, I buy a lottery ticket. Why do I bother? I’m not quite sure to be honest, as my winnings to date can easily be calculated – £0. Absolute, bloody zero and I’ve been doing this for years. I suppose my contributions to charitable causes should make me feel good, but not as good as winning £20 million would do.
Every week I go through the same thing. Buy a ticket … and dream.
Top of the list comes the basic requirement: buy a large house with a big garden that doesn’t need repairing, or decorating and is kept in tip-top condition by expert, dedicated domestic staff. The complete opposite, in fact to my current, or I like to think, temporary [pending lottery win] accommodation.
Next, buy some horse-power, of the four legged variety. I love dressage. I’m too past it for eventing and my previous forays into show jumping left me with varied and interesting injuries. So a dressage nag it is. A middle aged dressage school master would be perfect.
Now, the big house is clearly la-la land for nearly everyone, but might not actual horse ownership be a possibility with, or without, a lottery win?
I would love it. I might actually be able to compete, successfully, at a higher level.
It would cure my dystonia (ssh, no it wouldn’t, but don’t tell anyone).
The big factors in the horse ownership equation are time and cost.
DIY v. full livery. DIY is lower cost, but a big commitment. Many people report spending less time actually riding and more time caring for their horse, once they make the move to ownership. Full livery equates to more time riding, but at an eye-watering cost. Plus add the expense of vets bills, insurance, farrier visits, competition fees to both and suddenly the cost is huge. Other factors such as family commitments need to considered.
So, how do people square this circle? Clearly, many do. Equally, all the equine related charities report they are taking on record numbers of abandoned horses or cases where owners can no long support their four footed dependents due to the cost.
So, if anyone knows of a bombproof, dressage schoolmaster that can maintain its own stable, clean its own tack, google and correctly analyse its ailments, give itself a manicure, cope with my dystonic riding position and live on fresh air, can you let me know? Otherwise, I’m off to buy a lottery ticket.