The expenses don't stop though! The horses still have to eat, even if nobody's paying me to sit on them. It's not like they can be packed away in a garage like a delicate antique car, waiting for spring.
Not that it matters. For years I fed horses who didn't earn their keep. They aren't here for the sole purpose of making a living, because I am not making a living with them! Not yet! We have them because we love them, and they bring us happiness that we can't find in anything else. Not TV and movies, or sports, or vacations. Having these horses is a wonderful privilege, one that comes with a cost.
I didn't get into the riding lessons business thinking I'd get rich off it, and I knew winter would slow things down to a crawl. So for now, the horses are just eating and pooping and existing.
And I still love them. Even if I feel like all I ever do is clean up after them. Even if I've only ridden a couple times since the new year.
They are so worth it!