Smart Horse Keeping

Care For Your Equipment

To conclude this past month’s segment on farm equipment, I want to emphasize the importance of maintaining your truck, trailer, or tractor to prolong its lifespan and value. A quality piece of equipment kept in good working condition should last and last – the money you spend on maintenance and upkeep is a fraction of what it would cost to fix major repairs or purchase a new machine.... Read More

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Trucks and Trailers

A good truck and trailer are “musts” for the horse owner that does his or her own hauling and horse care. Weigh all the pros and cons of investing in a powerful tow vehicle or new trailer, however, before taking the plunge. How often would you use it? Can you trailer share with a friend or neighbor? Will owning and maintaining a truck or trailer outweigh your yearly shipping and hauling costs?... Read More

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Tractor Talk

I’ll be honest, the topic of tractors and farm equipment is not one I’m particularly versed in. One resource I found quite educational, however, was Cherry Hill’s book Equipping Your Horse Farm. Hill grouped tractors into four categories according to size and purpose: Lawn and garden, compact, utility, and farm.... Read More

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Farm Equipment: Buy or Lease?

Shopping for a new vehicle last year I had to decide whether it would be more practical to buy or lease based on my budget. The same case can be made for farm equipment – from tractors to all-purpose vehicles to trucks and trailers. You can find significant savings in either buying or leasing depending on your needs and objectives. First determine those needs and objectives, factor in maintenance cost, and then compare the affordability of lease payments versus purchase price.... Read More

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Labor Pains

If you own your own small farm with a few horses, chances are you do much of the gruntwork yourself. But when is it necessary to hire out for labor, and under what circumstances could you be saving money by doing chores and maintenance yourself? Not all of us are handy enough to make fence repairs or equipped to hay pastures, but we can certainly clean some stalls and turn out some horses.... Read More

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Farm Care

If you own your own property, you know maintenance and upkeep expenses never disappear. But whether or not you own a barn or board your horse at someone else’s, there are some steps you can take to help ease the pain of general upkeep costs:... Read More

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Bedding Selection

This week’s excerpt on stall bedding will be more relevant for those horse owners who house their horses on their own property. Bedding is a necessity if you bring your horse into a stall, and there are a surprising amount of product choices, but which is the most economical? This primarily depends on what’s available where you live.... Read More

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What is Your Board Worth

Moving on to the next chapter of our Thrifty Horsekeeping project: Housing. Over the next four weeks I'll be discussing ways to save on board, how to cut costs around the barn, and economical choices for barn essentials such as stall bedding. This first segment will cover boarding costs. Ultimately, keeping and caring for your horse on your own property is the most cost-efficient way to house a horse, but for many of us, myself included, it's just not an option.... Read More

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Easy on the Supplements

Equine supplementation is a hot topic: Are supplements necessary? Effective? Over-used? Dangerous? Expensive? Supplements have become a major part of equine nutrition, and there are countless types of horses out there that benefit from and need them – high-performance athletes, horses with certain health problems, horses without access to high-quality forage, etc. – but over-supplementation is becoming a common and costly problem. ... Read More

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Giving Up the Grain

Now that we’ve discussed the value of quality forage for your horse’s diet, let’s talk about grain. If you’re going to try to save money on your horse’s feed you may need to ask yourself if your horse even requires grain. You may be feeding (or over-feeding) him something he doesn’t even need.... Read More

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About This Blog

Smart Horsekeeping aims to provide practical advice for managing horses in a more environmentally friendly way, and on navigating difficult economic times as a hands-on horse owner. Our bloggers believe it’s possible to keep horses in an environmentally savvy way without breaking the bank!