Husbandry 10 of 13

How to Afford Your Horse and Still Have Time to Ride

I have recently embarked on a huge project of purchasing raw land and moving myself and the horses into the country so I can ride and advance my horsemanship. I thought I had my income managed to make this move but shifts have happened in the economy that have caused me to step back and regroup. As I have looked into my future I has also looked back to the past 28 years—at the financial decisions I have made along the way that have affected me and my horses.

In 1998 I read 2 books that totally changed my life. One was “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and other was “Cashflow Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom,” both by Robert Kiyosaki. In “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” Kiyosaki looks at belief systems about money, and in “Cashflow Quadrant” he goes into detail about the different kinds of income. His quadrants are E for employee, S for self-employed, B for business, and I for investment. While one quadrant is not better than another, it is important to match your income quadrant with your life goals to avoid frustration.

In the E quadrant it is possible to earn a very high income but you give up your choice of when to have free time. Most of the time, your work hours and vacation time are determined by your boss.

In the S quadrant, you have more freedom to set your hours because you are your own boss but any time you take off means that no income is generated, so you are still trading your time for money. To have more time you have to have less money, and vice versa.

In the B quadrant, you buy or create a business that brings in income without you having to be constantly present. Generally you are leveraging your time by creating something once that can be sold repeatedly or your leverage the time of others by having employees.

In the I quadrant you leverage your money to bring you income. Examples of investments include real estate and the stock market. In the B and I quadrants you can have income and time freedom, but you often have to work hard with no immediate return to launch a business, and the investment of money generally involves some risk of losing it.

Here’s how the quadrants have manifested in my life. I graduated from vet school in 1980 and began working for another veterinarian. After putting myself through school, having a $1000-per-month salary seemed like a fortune. Even though I worked hard I was not a very good employee. I had my own ideas of how I wanted to do things and I wasn’t good with details like showing up to work on time. After five years with a decline in the horse market, I was fired and I found myself without a job.

Luckily, I had invested part of my salary in a piece of raw land so I sold it and moved into the S quadrant with a practice of my own. I enjoyed the freedom of having my own practice and I stayed very busy. After 17 yeas in practice I came to realize that, as much as I loved working on other people’s horses, I really missed riding and spending time with my own horses. The challenge was finding a way to cut back my working hours and still have a continuous stream of income. I had again invested in raw land and was building some equity in it but it was not generating income.

At this point, after reading the Kiyosaki books, I was looking for a way into the B quadrant. I began looking at ways to work with the internet an a friend introduced me to network marketing. At first these ventures just took more money and time, with little return, but I resisted the temptation to give up and return to working more hours. Over a period of 5 to 10 years I was gradually able to create residual, consistent income from my network marketing business to cut back on my working hours and still have the income to meet expenses. I was also able to cut back on my overhead as I downsized my practice. Now that I was learning how to leverage my time I wanted to leverage my money by moving into I quadrant.

I began to set aside money for retirement in a SEP account, but due to my late start I did not feel I could count on increase from this account to provide for a secure future. I attempted to do some stock trading but did not have the discipline to learn a system and stick with it. I decided to focus on real estate and I built an office to rent on the raw land on which I had been making payments. Instead of renting the office space I ended up selling the land, which gave me cash to invest in other rental property as well as the land in Fischer, where I am now moving.

I share my story because I meet so many other horse lovers who, like me, were never given a financial education. No financial system is perfect. I did not count on fuel and feed costs doubling in the last five years, or taxes on my rental property going up 400% even as its value dropped, but at least now I feel I can make wise choices instead of simply working harder and hoping I will have enough money to make things work.

If you find yourself staring out of your office window wishing you were riding, thinking about reading the Kiyosaki books. I wish I had known about them and read them much earlier. Even with minimal time and money you can get into the B quadrant with a business such as network marketing. More importantly, you can expect to see results in as little as six months to a year. With some shifts in your belief systems and working smarter instead of harder you can afford to have both your horse and the time to ride!

About the Author

Madalyn Ward, DVM, owns Bear Creek Veterinary Clinic in Austin, Texas. She is certified in Veterinary Homeopathy and Equine Osteopathy.

Memberships include American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, Texas Veterinary Medical Association and the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy.

She has authored several books and publishes at her blog.

Madalyn Ward DVM