Somewhere along the line, you head into the show office to pay your bill with a checkbook, but a parent’s name is no longer on the checks. The checkbook is yours.
And your bill is, say on the safe side, a hundred dollars more than you thought it would be. You needed extra shavings because your horse paces the stall and ruins them quickly. You also needed to add a warm-up round because your horse is pretty hot and needed the extra trip to calm down.
It adds up and life becomes a guessing game of which credit card to put your groceries on after you’ve cleaned out your bank account during a horse show. It becomes embarrassing to continue to ask your parents for financial help. “You’re doing fine. Other people do this too,” becomes a mantra. Unfortunately that mantra doesn’t accomplish anything besides slapping a Band-Aid on a gaping, festering sore.
You might kid yourself into thinking you’ll pay off your credit card bill the next time you get paid. In all reality, you won’t because your horse will need something. He’ll need spring shots, or he’ll throw a shoe, or you’ll need to fit in another show because you’re only a handful of points shy of qualifying for a year-end medal. It’s always something.