When we're kids we think, 'when I'm an adult I can do WHATEVER I want...'
And I guess that's true...to an extent.
I am a BIG planner. I plan out my goals for a horse show season, I plan meals for the week, I plan out finances for the month to include horse shows, board, and other non-equestrian bills. *yuck*
No matter how well I plan, there will inevitably be things that happen to force me to reconsider or restructure my plans. That's life...
Things were going well. I was riding and showing and winning. Yeah, there was the little hiccup and missed distance (or a few) along the way, but I felt like things were finally going my way!
I think I jinxed myself.
I had taken a weekend off from showing and drove up to Middleburg to work on a few client horses at Winterfell Farm. *If you didn't know, I'm a certified equine sports massage therapist in my "free time"- whatever that is.
Anyway, it is so pretty up there and far different from the Hampton Roads area. That all went well; I was happy. The horses were great, responded well to their sessions and were ready to tackle another few weeks of showing.
The next week I had a great riding week - lesson was great, I felt amazing, Stella was her normal unicorn chestnut mare self (yes, I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it's true!). Wednesday rolls around and I leave work to head home. As I accelerate out of the parking lot, I notice the dreaded Check Engine Light illuminated. *UGH* I think to myself as I continue to drive home. The next day I take it to the garage to have them run a diagnostic to see what the issue is.
Diagnosis: a busted intake manifold. *womp womp*
Usually not a big deal, it can be pricey, but not a huge deal. But for me? Oh no, not that simple! The year and make of my car threw it all to hell. They stopped making the intake manifold for my car years ago and the mechanic basically gave me two (and a half) options:
Oh - and that 'and a half' option I talked about was to buy a used part. But with no warranty (cause they don't make them any more!) or guarantee of the life of the used replacement intake manifold I was strongly urged not to go down that route. And I gladly took their advice.
Put high performance parts on an '05 Mazda 3 with 150,000++ miles?
Uhhhh, yeah, thanks but NOPE.
Oh, did I mention that I received this news while at work, so that was great -- NOT. I was naturally frustrated. Adding another stressor to my life is the LAST thing I needed.
I took my husband's Jeep into work on Friday cause my car was basically a ticking time bomb - could stop working at any time with no indication and I just didn't feel safe. Plus, I LOVE the jeep. I mean who wouldn't?
The weekend rolled around and my husband and I went car shopping. We took a look at a few different vehicles: a Jeep Compass Trailhawk; Dodge Ram 1500 5.7L Hemi; and a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 2.0 Turbo. I liked them but wasn't uber thrilled about any of them so we left the first dealership and went to a Toyota dealership to check out a Tacoma TRD Offroad hubby had found online.
I'd always like the Tacoma's but didn't know much about them since the last time I was in one was the early 2000s.
When we saw this TRD I loved it. I loved that it was a manual transmission, the gas mileage wasn't terrible for a truck (and coming from a Mazda 3 that was very important!), and not to mention it's a sexy truck!
Hubby liked it cause it's a 4x4 and has a locking rear differential. He'd been wanting me to get a new car for a while, but I preferred my extra money to go towards riding and showing versus a car payment.
As much as I love the Taco, as I affectionally call it, now I really have to plan and budget even more for my riding and showing. Luckily I'm pretty good at it naturally, despite like most equestrians love spending money on horses, tack, clothes, etc.
I have a spreadsheet that I calculate all the money coming in (paychecks, extracurriculars like the massages, and clipping and trimming that I do) versus all the 'grown up' bills (rent, insurance, and now a car payment *fart noise*) to see what's left over in the budget for horse shows and other fun stuff.
How do you budget for horse shows and equine endeavors? Do you write it out with pen & paper or do you use the computer, whether it's an Excel spreadsheet like I use, or a more specified budgeting software?
Moral of the story: change (good or bad) is inevitable. It's the only constant in life. It's now what changes in your life that defines you, but how you handle and react to those changes that does. Do you sit and complain about "nothing ever goes my way" or do you dust yourself off and get back on the proverbial (and maybe sometimes literal) horse? No life will not always go your way perfectly, it takes grit, hard work and determination to reach your goals and succeed. So during the times when life seems to keep kicking you while you're down (whether it's financially, work or equine related), keep your head up, add leg and press forward. Things will get better if you persist. When things do turn around, it'll feel like you're on top of the world and all that hard work and bad times will all be worth it.