Money saving tips for horse owners
Owning horses. I think all horse owners would agree that once you’re hooked on riding or simply spending time with these beautiful, sensitive creatures, there’s no turning back. Let me tell you the story of how my beautiful grey Thoroughbred Finn came into my life.
Ever since I was a young girl I dreamed of owning my own pony or horse. I spend every free minute around the stables, mucking out, grooming horses and riding everybody else’s horse. Last year my partner took pity on me and when we say Finn advertised for sale we went and viewed him. Of course, I fell head over heels in love with him. He was young, green and an ex racehorse, but he stood quietly while I stroked him, he was well behaved when I rode him and I thought he was stunning. So of course, we ended up buying him. I cried tears of joy, my partner was happy for me and thought that was it. A big chunk out of our savings but you can’t put a price on happiness, right?
A farrier came out to do his feet, then the vet came out for much needed dental work and vaccinations. After a couple of weeks, the chiropractor came out and fixed some minor issues. Bought a saddle and other tack, grooming equipment, rugs, another rug because he wrecked the first, leg boots, new boots for myself, wormers, fly spray, a first aid kit plus contents. Spend money on a fancy dressage clinic, and am now saving for a new dressage saddle. Plus, I’m saving for a float. Does it ever end? No!
So, to try and keep the significant other happy too, here are some money saving tips for horse owners:
- Don’t skimp on high quality hay for your horse. Instead, buy off the field, loading your own hay during season or have it delivered. Hay is least expensive during summer.
- Bulk purchases of grain or pallets can be cheaper than buying by the bag.
- Buy equipment such as saddles, bridles, halters, rugs and accessories from the consignment section of your tack shop or wait for a special to help save you some money.
- Repair instead of replace, learn how to do your own repairs.
- Organize or take part in a tack swap to clear out unused equipment and get stuff you need.
- Clean your own rugs and blankets. A water hose and car brush combined with inexpensive livestock shampoo and elbow grease does a good job on soiled winter rugs.
- Use salt, baking soda or vinegar to make your own polish and shine brass on harnesses, bridles and halters.
- Any item with the work ‘horse’ on it, or a horse image on it, will probably be more expensive that identical items that don’t. Glycerin soap is glycerine soap, regardless of whether the packaging has ‘saddle soap’ on it or not. Anything that you put on your horse’s skin or is meant to be eaten should be made for horses.
- Sell unused equipment to raise money for things you really need or want. Get together with friends to hold a paddock sale.
- Check farm supply stores for inexpensive buckets, brooms, manure forks, de-wormer and other supplies.
- Turn off lights in your barn or arena when not in use. Fix leaking water taps to avoid water wastage.
- Change the type of board you are paying for. If you’re paying for full care, consider switching to self-care. It is more economical and you get to spend more time with your horse.
- Let your horse go barefoot if possible. Try front shoes only if your horse must be shod.
- Good and basic horse care can prevent colic and other health problems resulting in vet bills.
- Don’t breed your mare. In most cases it is less expensive to buy a four year old horse than it is to raise one from a foal.
- If your vet normally de-worms, consider doing it yourself. However, do not skimp on immunizations.
Hope these handy tips will help! Please share with us if you have anything to add.