Don’t Kid Yourself…It Takes Money
If you have ever imagined yourself atop a Grand-Prix horse, looking sharp in your top hat, and sporting your bronze, silver, and gold medals on your proud chest, only to be shook free of your vision and left with a sinking feeling of frustration and disappointment, you may have questioned why. Though you can vividly picture your dreams, you don’t really believe they are a possibility for you in your current situation. You recognize that desire alone will not earn you a gold medal. What is it that you are lacking? You have talent, some time, determination, love for the sport, money—huh?
Money: the missing ingredient. You need money deposited into your “aspirations fund” to realize your dream. Plenty of people (with plenty of money) have tried to dispel this belief, but you know the truth. With enough money you could train with the best trainers, perform flawless pirouettes on schoolmasters in Germany, and ride in a saddle that sits you all own its own, allowing the allusion that you have endured years of lunge-line lessons. Some have money, some have none, some know people they can squeeze some from.
So you are no longer satisfied with the excuse—by a well intentioned, but confused loved one–that money does not exist, thus, your “ambitions” fund can only remain uncluttered by dollar bills. But time has passed, and you see new golf clubs collecting dust in the garage, a Nintendo and Playstation cluttering the coffee table, and a cat that has obviously not been missing any meals. You can have hope in knowing that the error is simply a misappropriation of funds. You can and must succeed at convincing your significant other, parents, well-to-do friends, or long-time acquaintances, clinging their checkbooks to their chests–thwarting your efforts to obtain your goals– to throw a little green into the riding fund?
The first technique I want to explore is one I’m sure you have attempted at some point in your life, or have at least endured others executing the technique on you. Begging has withstood the test of time, as an innate tool rather than a learned behavior. Used unwisely, it only annoys people, but used properly, it can change your life.
So maybe you have sworn off begging, deciding that it is less effective than it had been in the past–mostly because you’ve matured, and the prospect of your sadness no longer saddens the world around you. You are right to have recognized this truth but misunderstand the nature of begging. Begging can only reveal its powers when used in conjunction with extreme infantile behavior, creativity and persistence that knows no boundaries.
Plan your begging session when all victims are nearby. You will need privacy for the initial phase of your plan. Yes, the bathroom will suffice if that is your only refuge. Now, close your eyes and picture a terrible scene: your husband leaving thousands of dirty socks all throughout the house, your children making faces at the dinner table while agreeing loudly that Grandma’s meatloaf taste much better than yours, or, worse yet, your bay gelding snagging his tail on a slivered piece of wood and losing five or six of his precious hairs.
Allow these tears of grief to well up. Once fat tears have reached your cheekbones, it is time. Short cuts are not recommended! Do not attempt creating tears by overfilling your bottom eyelids with eye drops or water. Quickly, yet somberly, approach your money-hoarding victims.
Sniff as loudly and as often as you need to catch the eye of your victim. Do not wait for him to speak—now is not the time for guessing games, you have an agenda. Immediately let indistinguishable jumble pour from your mouth, allowing for a few key phrases to stand out: “they all have awesome horses… sniff, sniff…and I try so hard…but my horse just doesn’t have the ability to collect himself like they do (now is NOT the time to mention that acquiring a well-trained and talented horse will not mean the sale of the older, patient bay who has given so much). If you still have tears left—think of those beautiful hairs stolen by the jagged, cruel wood– go for it all, adding: “My used boots don’t fit properly and bind the nerves in my calves, causing my heels to come up…the torture I endure from my trainer! All because you said my cheap boots were ‘good enough.’ Good enough? Like my meatloaf?”
Begging, however, is obvious and does not work on everyone, especially if you have already used this tactic on a past venture you thought would bring you happiness—like cooking lessons.
In that case, move on to bargaining. If you’re a married woman, offer your husband double the normal “snuggle sessions.” If you’re a man, offer your wife foot massages– no strings attached. If it’s your parents who need convincing, promise not to hang out with kids who have rods pierced through their eyebrows or tongues and to attain exemplary grades, maybe even an academic scholarship. If you’re an adult and trying to squeeze money out of Mom and Dad, pledge to never send them to a nursing home despite how often they may call you by their deceased Poodle’s name. Also, talk to your parents with a financial advisor about the tax benefits of gifting their money to you while they are still living.
Be willing to make sacrifices. Offer to relinquish bubble baths and shaving your legs to make time for cleaning tack and digging manure out of your paddock boots. Clip coupons, and actually bring them with you to the store. Offer to cut your family’s hair—don’t worry, they know better than to take you up on this one. Refuse to watch infomercials! Agree to make hearty meals at home, saving money on eating out– meatloaf is yummy!
Bargaining is versatile in that it is two-folded technique, easily shifted into blackmailing. An example of how this works would be: Bargaining: If I get a new dressage saddle, I will give you a back massage every night. Blackmailing: If you don’t buy me a new saddle, I’ll never massage your hairy back again! You can alternate between the two as needed.
Proving on paper that you can somehow make up the difference in the loss of funds is not a lie, but a return to the past when you actually believed this was a possibility. Explain how you can pick up a shift at work or braid manes to cover the added expenses. Don’t forget to mention how much you will save by shopping on double coupon day at the grocery store. Meatloaf is a cheap meal!
If your efforts are still unsuccessful, suggest a win-win situation. There are plenty of vacations offering riding instructions and golf. Send for a brochure on the golf packages; be sure to hint a few days before it arrives that you think you both need a vacation. Then, low and behold, the perfect vacation idea turns up in your mailbox. What a coincidence!
You will both benefit as well if you can encourage the “tight wad” to get involved in a sport he enjoys. You may want to start taking mental notes of how he nods his heads with a glazed over look when you share stories about your beloved animal and try to mimic the way your horse quivers his lip when you rub his neck; you will need to imitate this fake interest when they start rambling on about the strength required in the wrist to perform a good slap shot. The boring jargon you’ll have to sit through will be well worth it when they become more understanding of the lure a sport can inflict on a person. They’ll be happier and less concerned about you having too much fun.
Of course, this advice has been directed to those fortunate enough to have someone to lean on. I understand that some of you have resolved to only depending on yourselves for financial support. Good for you! You refuse to resort to manipulation, how respectable. But unless you wish to become titled: “The Most Respected Training Level Rider,” you too need a plan. It is possible to attain your goals and retain your dignity by simply conversing with riders who have overestimated their endurance level and unwisely purchased two or three horses. If your riding abilities match the temperament and level of their horses, opportunities will arise for you to ride NICE horses for a small price, or even free. Your conscience can rest easy in that you are providing a service in return for your pleasure.
Now, as for the rest of you, who recognize that guilt is of no use to your cause, but your attempts at coercing continue to be disregarded by cantankerous individuals who refuse to listen to the obvious logic you’ve painstakingly presented to them, it’s time for the big guns! Yep, you need to take up knitting.
Done properly, your consent to change hobbies will not only inflict guilt on the dream killers, but humiliate them as well. Humbly admit that is too expensive to pursue dressage, and he will be too grateful for your compliance to refuse wearing the socks you’ve knitted for him with horse heads that bobble back-and-forth with each step they take. Feel free to grow your new ability until you can knit hats with floppy horse ears. If your tightwad allows this to continue to the point where you have perfected your knitting skills, knit him a pair of shorts with a long flowing tail on the back. If you can convince him to wear a button telling strangers to: Ask me why I am wearing this ridiculous outfit, it would be helpful, but certainly not necessary. Could it be any more obvious, really?
Melissa Boyer is practically a professional at being an adult amateur, I started riding horses as a young adult, and still am 20+ years later. She has recently started a website Judge Our Judges where information is shared and gathered to help us make the most out of our competition and get the results we hope for in our scores.
JudgeourJudges welcomes you to our community and wishes you the best.