After you’ve been horse showing for a few years, it’s easy to fall into a sort of comfort zone – a routine that works for you, but that may not be working for your wallet. You go to the same shows year after year because it’s what you know. You stay at the nearest hotel because it’s convenient. Your horse is trailered in a day early, your trainer may school him for you, and you enter a warm-up class. This is all good and well, but you’re spending an unnecessary amount of money.... Read More
Horse show season is in full swing. I don’t care if you’re of the dressage, event, hunter, jumper, or western world, competitions are not cheap. But this week the focus is on training, practicing, and preparing for shows so that they are worth spending the money on. Today’s riders have become incredibly dependent upon lessons and one-on-one time with a professional trainer. Lessons – particularly private – can be quite expensive when they start to add up, so why not cut back? Do you really need all the instruction you’re paying for, or can you get by with less and work more on your own?... Read More
Well, as the month of May wraps up, so does our first full chapter of Thrifty Horsekeeping. We’re moving off of cost-saving health care advice into the world of horse shows and training – but that doesn’t mean the health chapter is complete. Leave some comments of your own thrifty practices for our reader suggestion chapter.
I think if I’ve learned anything from my equine health care research it’s that a lot of what we’re paying for is the luxury of someone else doing the work...... Read More
How much time do you really spend with your horse? Would a few more minutes of grooming and awareness each day save you money farther down the road? According to vets and farriers, it will.
Preventive care includes everything from monitoring your horse’s behavior and doing a run-down of his feet and body to maintaining a safe living environment and reading up on basic equine health care. (Check out Understanding Equine Preventive Medicine on Exclusively Equine, or read through the TheHorse.com’s preventive care newsletter archives.) As a boarder, I think I’ve always put too much faith into the barn staff ...... Read More
Without well-cared-for feet, you’re pretty much going to be out a horse. Routine hoof care is absolutely essential to your horse’s comfort and soundness, but are we paying for special shoes and gadgets that our horses may not really need?
Take, for instance, what Dr. Michael A. Ball notes in Understanding Basic Horse Care :
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OK. Now let’s get into the real hands-on cost-saving. Last week’s introduction hopefully got your mind thinking (or stressing) about reducing your equine expenses. This week we’re focusing on veterinary costs. Unfortunately, this is an area where you can LEAST afford to cut back and still have the best interest of the horse at heart.
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By now we all know the hurting economy is also hurting the horse industry. Even the highest echelons of horse ownership are being affected, so there’s no question that us average equestrians are struggling. Nearly all horse owners are having to make sacrifices – I know I’ve had to make some of my own, from not breeding my mare to bartering for reduced board to not dining out as often with friends.
This blog will take a look each month at a different component of owning a horse – be it horse health, feeding, horse showing, equipment, etc. – and suggest ways you can cut costs and save money. New information will be available for download with each weekly blog post. I’ve gathered a slew of “experts” from different fields to offer their best advice, and hopefully inspire similar advice and suggestions from you via the comment section.... Read More