HafDressage wrote:I think Straight Forward makes a good point that there are a lot of high income earners in the US and wealthier people do tend to get involved in horse sports. That being said, I know a lot of "wealthy" people with good jobs, who still live way beyond their means and who end up wheeling and dealing in unethical ways to maintain their image.
In terms of Linden's point of why not spend the money -- Well sure, if you have it, why not? BUT, I would say that not saving for the future or having a rainy day fun does lead to financial problems down the line. The reason people who don't save get into trouble is because then once you are hit with an unexpected expense (like a medical bill), you quickly find yourself in debt.... and super sadly debt begets debt.
A segment of people will live beyond their means at every income/wealth level, always. Tons of people spend $75K on a fancy truck or car, and it doesn't raise many eyebrows. But if you are otherwise living a reasonable lifestyle while pulling down $500K/year, you could easily buy a $100K horse every 5 years and not have it be a big impediment to savings and investments. There are also lots of "stealth wealth" people out there, who are living below their means and socking money away, but they are way less visible, because their wealth is not on display. Much like an expensive horse doesn't eat more than a cheap horse, medical bills aren't necessarily more for a rich person, but their ability to cover, or recover from, say, $100K in medical bills is much better than someone making $50K. My brother and his wife, for example, both make good incomes, and have real estate investments and rental income. They work for startups where they're in line for good pay-outs if the company gets acquired. Their situation is not at all uncommon in the Bay Area. If I was in that situation, I wouldn't hesitate to blow a good part of that payout on a dream horse.
I think we can all agree that no one should spend more on a horse than they can afford to lose, because any horse's value can go to zero in an instant.