Ok so the economy sucks... how are you tightening your budgets?
I was discussing on the golden retriever forums about how I am chucking some expenses for my dogs and what to do. And I suddenly thought, "Hmm this could be interesting to hear from the COTH folks also."
So here ya go, where are you trimming the fat from your horse's life or your own horsey life?
For me I got immensely lucky and just moved Lad to a barn that supplies its own feed and hay, something I had previously been paying for while on self care. His shoes remain the same price and his hoof supplements are gone and the MSM is on the verge. (Even at only $6 a month)
Competing is a far off goal and memory. But hey its almost winter!!!
Thankfully I was able to purchase a supply of Legend last year so I am holding onto that.
I am doing his vaccines myself by purchasing them at Tractor Supply. The only one we need the vet for is Rabies. And the nice thing is that I can save the farm call $$ by shipping him to the clinic.
So far he isn't clipped. Probably once we start back into work in the spring.
So what are you doing or not doing???
"Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries
Instead of making an extra trip to the farm to feed in the evenings (11 miles each way), I'm doing the evening chores/feeding after I pick the kid up from school. We used to go home, get a snack, etc. then head to the barn. Since school is only a couple miles from the farm doing this is saving a LOT of gas, and thus a lot of $.
I also shopped around for my hay this year. I used to just buy from the same sources, but I saved $.75 a bale on this last load. As a bonus, the hay is nicer and the bales are bigger. Why didn't I shop around sooner?!
I'm also considering making some changes to some of the beasties' feed. I can't totally do without my TC feed, but it's almost $20 a bag for Complete and Senior now....
Well the Ultra-elite Lytes my mare gets from Smartpak went up 100% so I cut the amount in half. Hopefully she will do fine.
I am also considering not clipping my mare this year, since the blanketing fee is $70 extra a month.
I just canceled a weekend trip to Pebble Beach for a 2 day clinic that would have cost me $500, I am so bummed. I have pretty much decided to stop clinics and any thought of showing until next year when I can re-evaluate.
I also switched from trying to do H/J or eventing to dressage. Around here it's SO MUCH cheaper in every way. I am jumping once a week to keep her going, and I have to say all the dressage is really improving her jumping...but I am still a little bummed.
Well we're only going on holiday for 3 weeks ..... does that count
..can I move in with you? Pleaseeee? I'll bring my horse too, you guys need more stock horses on the other side of the pond anyways!
As for the OP, I try and limit my barn time to one visit per day, although sometimes I cheat and go twice. Helps me to save gas!
I also am cutting down on supps for awhile to see if I notice a difference, if not, I'll save money not using those when they don't even work!
I'm also no longer taking lessons (they were for fun anyways, I don't show), and instead of buying horse treats, I go for mints or apples/carrots, they're all quite a bit cheaper. I also switched my mane/tail product to a human spray conditioner, which ironically is much cheaper as well.
"A Joyous Occasion", AKA Joy - 1997 AHQHR Mare
"Hollywood Blue Gold", AKA Fame - 2011 PHA Filly
1. Not doing smartpak for horses supplements. Just buying what I need.
2. Working off lessons by cleaning stalls 2x a week and would do more if I had to.
3. Not going to barn everyday just to see him. That is partially because I have tons of school work to do also.
4. Making my lunchs more.
6. Trading horse equipment instead of buying new.
There is one good thing about this economy! It inspired me to finally clean out my tack trunk (and the garage that was full of tack, the closet that had old show clothes, my car trunk that had tack in it... you get the picture).
Cleaned up all the bits, martingales, saddle pads, girths, halters, show clothes, etc. that haven't been used in a year and took them all (in a BIG box) to the consignment store. (I hate selling on Ebay.) I had so much old stuff the lady taking my items asked if I was getting out of horses!
I did this a month ago, and I've already made over $400!
I cut out most of the supplements, and they don't get hay if there is grass. I was already doing all my own shots, and I learned to trim about 2 years ago. I have cut back on the splurges (new saddle pads, halters, etc). I have also cut my mare's feed back because she actually goes out and grazes rather than standing in her run-in spending 1.5 hours licking every last bit of hay cubes out of her bucket (she is staying in great weight without the extra feed). I am going to be buying nice round bale hay instead of small squares that are actually lesser quality. The savings on that is huge as square bales are double the cost per pound.
And no shows or lessons for right now. Hopefully next spring I can afford a trailer and maybe take a lesson or so a month.
I just decided to spend more on the horses, doing a part-lease, and hopefully some competitions. I don't own, and have access to several horses to ride for free, but wanted to be able to get more serious about it. I also do vaulting, which is only $15-20 per lesson.
Stay me with coffee, comfort me with chocolate, for I am sick of love.
I moved my horse. My new barn is only $100/month cheaper than the old one, but it's still $100/month I didn't have before. I haven't taken a lesson in eons. I don't buy my horse his Stud Muffins or Mrs. Pastures cookies anymore, he makes do with carrots. I haven't bought anything new in a very long time, there's nothing I NEED right now. I also picked up a part-time job. That job alone pretty much covers my board now. I work like a madwoman, but it's worth it.
I rarely eat out anymore. I buy in bulk where I can. No frivolous driving around just to see the sights. Instead of putting my new horse with a trainer I trailer in for lessons twice a week. No vacation this year. Don't buy new clothes.
I've got two kids in college, too, so things are pretty tight all around, even without factoring in the three horses.
In general we're trying to drive less, eat out less, spend less on frivolous stuff and are putting any big expenses on the back burner for a while. We don't do a whole lot of frivolous spending or eating out anyway, though, so any actual savings are more a theoretical thing. My new horse trailer (planned for spring of 2009) is looking like it's going to have to wait a while. No complaints here--I realize that's solidly in the "want" column--but that's the only real big ticket thing on our horizon for a good while. We really wanted to start paying our mortgage down with extra principal payments next year, but will have to see about that now. If things get really bad I probably won't show much next year. We've been blessed with enough rain so I'm ahead of schedule on my hay supply this year. Any extra will be donated but I never can predict how much extra there will be until spring.
Just typing this makes me go at myself. We're doing OK, and so many people aren't. Or won't be. I have organized a huge food drive at my office and my family will be doing a charity thing for the local animal shelter this winter. Instead of giving my composted manure away on Freecycle I'm donating it (and delivering it) to the local community garden that helps to feed the poor and homeless in our little town.
I'm still going to an out of state horse show next week and bringing 2 horses, but it's not an expensive show- maybe $6-700 for the week including fuel. I'll be staying in the horse trailer rather than a hotel.
I have no problems with feeding corn, so I've been gleaning a nearby corn field for the ears that were knocked down by Ike's wind and not picked up by the combine. Probably gotten over 500# so far...
I really wanted to take advantage of the great bargains on used diesel trucks, but since the economy sucks I'm afraid to take out a loan for anything. The current truck will have to do.
If it ever rains, I'll be again putting up temporary electric and pasturing a couple of older horses on the lawn again.
On the very rare occasion that we do eat out, it's from the dollar menu at MickeyD's or lunch at a Mexican restaurant.
I shop at the scratch and dent grocery and only buy what's on sale at the regular grocery. My favorite is whole boneless pork loin for $1.99/lb that I have sliced into chops. A couple of chops cut up and a bag of veggies make a cheap, quick and easy stir-fry, too.
I have started pulling manes and cleaning sheaths via an ad on Craigslists. Boy are my parents proud, I am officially a weenie washer! It does bring in some extra cash without a huge amount of time involved. A person can only work so many hours in a day and its something that needs to be done. I found one with a bean the size of a walnut last week, I told the owner to have it bronzed and make a necklace out of it! That was one for the record books.
I have started pulling manes and cleaning sheaths via an ad on Craigslists. Boy are my parents proud, I am officially a weenie washer!
Yeah, when my daughter was twelve my boarders with geldings would give her $25 to clean sheaths. My husband wasn't quite sure if he considered this a good thing or not. Is it okay to mention to your friends that your daughter gets paid to ...never mind.