An Off The Wall Crazy Thought

I had the most wacked out crazy thought this morning. Yesterday Jenn from Stories from the Saddle posted about her field boot woes. I’m sure most of us have been there. Who wears off the rack field boots anyway!?!?!?IMG_0321

She made a comment about saving for customs. Ugh! Other people chimed in saying yes save for customs or get a cobbler. That got me thinking about saving money and how hard it can be.

As equestrians we put so much out for board, lessons, and things that the horse needs. That leaves little left for the things us as the rider wants/needs. At least for me anyway and I’m sure a lot of adult ammys are the same.

Currently I would love a shad, a pair of field boots that don’t bubble at the back, a couple more show shirts, and enough $$$ for next year’s show season. Is that asking too much? Riding is a luxury after all. Should we just be happy with what we can get? Should we settle for good enough? Or close enough to our dreams?IMG_4870

Here comes the crazy. Have you heard about sites like GoFundMe? For some strange reason this popped into my head this morning. Would this solve Jenn’s field boot woes? Would I be able to afford to show next year?

Obviously I’ve heard of the site before but I’d never looked into it. I thought for sure I was nuts. It would be for people looking for donations for things like surgeries, rebuilds after a fire, support for families that have lost a family member, etc. You know things people desperately need. It wouldn’t be for luxury items/sports/wants/etc.IMG_1365

When I went to the site that is exactly what I found. Funds for people that really need it. But when I looked deeper there were also funds for things that seemed a lot like luxuries. Currently there are people seeking donations for things such as beauty pageants, weddings, travel (including honeymoons), random pet related things, Etc. I’m not saying these aren’t good causes. What I am say is that there are people on GoFundMe looking for funding for wants and NOT just needs.

At first I was like WTF. But then I started thinking about. If there are people out there willing to donate to help you live your dreams why not ask. If your goal in life is to get to that big body building competition but it’s a little out of your budget why not ask for help. If people are willing to help then they will, if not then they won’t. There’s no harm in asking. Right?

"Please sir. I want some more."

“Please sir. I want some more.”

What are your thoughts? Should we as equestrians, arguably wealthier than most, ask for donations for things we want? Would you set up a GoFundMe fund for yourself?

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19 Responses to An Off The Wall Crazy Thought

  1. Hillary H. says:

    I am frankly pretty offended when I see go fund me for things that are not necessary. I’ll help a farm rebuild after a fire… Or chip in to help a friend in need but while I see there being more difficulty for some riders than others but I don’t see myself ever “donating” to someone’s custom boot fund or show season. Just my opinion though – to each his/her own 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Erin says:

      I agree and disagree. I’m a bit of a fence sitter really. But I know I won’t create a fund for myself. It just doesn’t make sense for my goals and aspirations.

      Like

  2. Lauren says:

    I don’t know how I feel, and I currently had/have two gofundme’s out there (created by other people) in light of what has happened. One of them was created by barn friends so I could go horse show. Is that necessary? Not at all.

    I’ve never been one to ask for hand outs, so partially the idea makes me pretty uncomfortable. The other half of me realizes that finances are REALLY tight right now, and people want to help. So basically I’m not sure what I think. I don’t feel like I can criticize someone for creating a gofundme for custom boots when there are people much worse off than me out there with less help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Erin says:

      Your situation is slightly different though. People genuinely care for you and want to help you through this rough time.
      It’s such a grey area really. What if your favourite top rider didn’t get to where they are today without a little help at some point in their career. I’m not saying we’re all destined for greatness but it shouldn’t matter how big the dream is.

      Like

  3. Amanda C says:

    I absolutely detest seeing people begging for handouts for items that are non-essentials. If you are in the financial position to own a horse, take lessons, and horse show, you obviously aren’t hurting for money. To be honest, it makes me a) think considerably less of the person asking for handouts, b) angry. When I had two horses in training and a show barn and doing A shows, I worked three jobs, THREE JOBS, to afford it. But I never once asked for handouts from others. Why? Because having those horses and showing them and buying nice things were choices that I made. It’s not right to ask other people to pay for it. I think a big part of what’s wrong with our culture today is the entitlement that so many people, especially younger people, seem to have, and yet it’s also accompanied by laziness and lack of real work ethic. If you really want something, work for it. Never ever beg. There’s no dignity and no reward in that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Erin says:

      I totally see what you’re saying. I have some of those thought and feelings too. But what do you think about the top riders riding horses owned by other people? Is that not essentially a higher level of handout/up?

      Like

      • Amanda C says:

        No, I don’t see it that way at all. Usually the people that own those types of horses specifically WANT to be owners of high level horses, and all that comes with it, and they seek out the top level riders to build that relationship. Totally apples and oranges compared to some random amateur (who makes a living doing something completely different) asking for handouts so other people can buy them things for their hobby.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Erin says:

        I don’t disagree with you. But why does the level matter? If there are people out there willing to help why shouldn’t an amateur or a pro live their dream?

        Like

      • Amanda C says:

        To be honest, I’m not following your logic here because a) these two things don’t compare at all IMO, b) it seems like you’re asserting that professionals have things given to them like handouts? An amateur has another job, and the horses are a hobby. A professional does this for a living, makes money teaching lessons, selling horses, winning classes, etc. It’s pretty rare that they are “given” anything free and clear. There are stipulations and trade-offs that go along with everything, even sponsorships, and especially top horses to ride. An owner doesn’t just show up with a bucketload of money, hand it over, and say “Okay, have fun with whatever ponykins you buy, send me a postcard!”. If you think them getting nice horses to ride is a handout, you’re not seeing what goes on behind the scenes. A whole heck of a lot hinges on that, and it’s rarely permanent. No one is just handed their dream. Everyone has to earn it and work for it, and continue working on it every day in order to keep it. Comparing an amateur having a GoFundMe to pay for custom boots to a professional being “given” a top horse to ride just is not computing in my mind at all.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Erin says:

        As I said. I don’t disagree with you. They are drastically different things. And I don’t deny it’s not as simple as pro rider X being handed a top mount and told to go nuts. But they do still have people willing to invest in what they want to do. I don’t see a GoFundMe as begging for handouts. I’m not saying I would give to someone’s want, but there are people out there that would help someone live their dreams. I’m not trying to change your mind. Hell I haven’t even changed my mind. But I can see another side of it. It’s not the worst thing in the world to ask for help if you are honest with what it’s being used for and the situation you are in.

        Like

      • Amanda C says:

        Pros have people willing to invest because those people a) have seen how hard that pro has worked to get to that point, b) they have faith in said pro producing the desired results. That’s called business, and it is very much a business relationship. I don’t really understand someone wanting other people to fund their custom tall boots as being a “situation”? That’s called wanting something and not being willing to either work harder/longer to get it, or manage your finances well enough to pay for it yourself. To me there is no pride in that, and it seems lazy and entitled. If someone offered to buy you something as a gift, that’s one thing, but to go around PUBLICLY asking people for to pay for things like that… I think my mother would have used the word “shameful”. But, I sure do see a lot of it in our generation, you aren’t wrong about that. I just don’t understand it one bit. There are a hell of a lot of worthy causes out there in the world, and a lot of people going through tragedy that genuinely need help to get by. Some random amateur’s tall boots, so she can look prettier while participating in what really is an elitist sport – not one of them. I guess at the end of the day it comes down to personal pride and dignity and what you feel is worth working for.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Erin says:

        First of all I want to apologize to Jenn. I was not at all suggesting that she is going to start a fund for prettier boots. It was merely an example and what got me thinking about this and then looking into GoFundMe. And subsequently seeing some of the crazy things people are trying to fund.
        Fully agree. There are much worthier causes out there. Ie the end of deforestation for palm oil plantations but I digress. Lauren brings up a good point… if we didn’t know what she was going through and saw the fund set up by her barn friends to help her what would you think. All I’m really trying to say is who are we to judge someone else? There’s always more to the story that you may never know.

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      • Amanda C says:

        Lauren didn’t set that up herself, so I don’t judge her for it the same way or hold any ill will toward that. Her barn friends did it as a gift to her and she had nothing to do with it, so again… totally different than if someone else, in different circumstances, had set it up for themselves as a way of asking for handouts.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Erin says:

        Again I agree with you. But you may never know what that other persons circumstances are. I think we may have to agree to disagree… although I don’t really think we’re disagreeing. I’m pretty sure we’re on the same side of the coin just looking at it from slightly different angles. I think that I get your point though.

        Like

  4. rachelum33 says:

    Oh boy this is a heated one! I think that GoFundMe was set up for people with needs such as someone who lost their home to fire etc. My nephews’ school used it to raise money for new bleachers. I do not think it was for someone to get a new sports car or new CWD saddle. With that said who are we to judge and if someone gives them money then it is their choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Erin says:

      That is exactly what i thought. That It was for fundraiser type stuff. But when I went and looked at the site I found people asking for help for their wants. At first I got all judgy but then I took a step back and realized I don’t know these people I have no idea what their stories are and if they can find people that want to help them power to them.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. emma says:

    i work in philanthropy so my thoughts/opinions tend to be a little different. i’m quite laissez faire about it all. if ppl want to set up funds for themselves, that’s fine, go for it and good luck. if ppl want to donate? that’s on them and that’s also fine.

    there are a million worthy causes in the world, and even more that are “not” worthy. if we get bogged down categorizing which is which, or which is worthier than another, it’s missing the forest for the trees. and eventually it gets too granular to draw meaningful conclusions.

    like the difference between pro and amateur riders: it’s still horse sports and horses are still luxury items. if we’re judging who is worthier of the two, why not donate to refugees instead? don’t they need it more?

    ultimately people will use their money the way that they see fit. and if it’s financing my dream trip to aiken (any takers?? lol), that’s fine. if it’s fighting poverty in america’s inner cities, that’s also fine. to each his own! there’s no sense in getting upset about how other ppl use their money, or being resentful of the recipients of donated funds.

    Liked by 1 person

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