Sunday, June 29, 2008

Slot Machine Pays Out... Hay????

I guess I am a lucky lady. On Friday, after I finished up a short ride in the arena aboard Wally, Ron whisked me off to a nearby Indian casino. Neither of us had ever been before, but we thought we'd give it a try just to have something to do on a hot afternoon.

Trust me, there's no need to contact Gamblers' Anonymous on my behalf. Neither Ron nor I are big time gamblers. We aren't high rollers. In fact, we have a tendency to just wander through casinos (like the ones in Las Vegas) in a sort of hypnotic trance. All those lights and sounds-- not to mention the over-the-top characters you encounter-- just make us dizzy.

But I did arrive clutching a $20 bill in one hand. I strolled through the Pechanga casino staring at the video slot machines, waiting to feel some kind of warm vibe from one of them. After I tried a few, limiting my losses to just a few quarters at a time, I decided to put 75 cents into a machine where Ron had been idly sitting.

I immediately won $300!

I couldn't cash my winning credit slip fast enough. I slipped the trio of hundred dollar bills into my pocket and exclaimed, "Now I can buy Wally some more hay!"

Isn't that the way it goes with horse people? We get a nice little windfall of unexpected cash and where do we spend it? On our horses. Whether it's at the feed store or tack store, or it's used to pay a vet or farrier bill, any extra money is happily spent on our horses. And such it was with me.

Well, okay. I did buy a couple of sleeveless western shirts for trail riding this summer, but other than that, my little slot machine dividend went all to Wally. With orchard grass/alfalfa hay (more commonly called "50/50 mix") selling for $24.25 per 110 pound bale, my money didn't go very far.

But don't worry. I'm not heading back to the Indian casino next time the feed barn looks a little empty. I'm not that lucky! However, with the price of horse feed skyrocketing right along with gas prices, I am beginning to wonder how some people are able to afford their horses. While Wally is certainly pampered, and I am financially able to take care of him, I couldn't possibly afford a second horse right now. Even if the second horse were given to me free, I'd still have to come up with the monthly upkeep. And juggling my finances and my horse budget to accomodate two horses would be too much of a gamble.

If you'd like to comment on hay prices and horse care costs in your area, just click on "comments" below.


Anonymous said...

Any extra money I have goes straight to my mare Emma, whether its for food or supplements. Its been years since I have had any new clothes, but if I see a really cool blanket and it's on sale, I buy it. As I explain to non-horsey people, its well worth the sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

ANy extra money i happen to get goes to my "horse fund". I also make a list of things i need that i cant find used/cheap anywhere, that i dont need ASAP. Once a year, i go to a sale at Broken Horn, Marys, or an online sale, and buy all the things i have on my list, plus other things that catch my eye. Its very fun to finally have the helmet or boots i've been waiting for all year!

Anonymous said...

Haha, I'm the same way! Just the other day I made something like $75 picking up trash at the park, and my first thought was, "A new halter!"

The thing is - if you have horses, you're not going to be rich! LOL

Nancy said...

I bought a used horse trailer last year, and this year i bought a 2001 Chevy Silverado 2500 pickup truck to pull the trailer. And of course i had to get the vanity plate - LEO LIMO. I'm always saying - damn horse has his own truck!

Cindy Hale said...

Aren't we all alike when it comes to our horses? I like the idea of calling that secret stash of cash "The Horse Fund."

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