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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
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    VA
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    My BO and I were discussing this a few weeks ago. If we really did have a true great depression again.

    Since neither of us own the properties we live on (the bank does), we figure that if her hubby and I both lost our jobs, we could commune at their farm for at least 6 months after a foreclosure....and we'd garden and we decided in which order we'd eat the horses. So in total, we'd have a place to live for at LEAST a year if not a little longer (depending on when we lost our jobs and how much we had in savings)....and then we'd have to move in with her hubby's father who actually does own his home outright--but no room for horses.

    We were sort of kidding. Sort of not.

    What we came to realize is that owning your own land outright in an area where you can live off the land is the ultimate "safe spot" should our economy totally tank.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2008
    Location
    Latvia
    Posts
    920

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    We are lucky - we have a property to keep our horses happy and fat - property is ours, not bank's. If things will go really bad, Puika will need to remember his main purpose and work on hay instead of tractor, but that's about all. Vet is our friend and I can relay on her just in case. So horses can feel safe under our wing in better and worse.
    Last edited by AnnaCrew; Oct. 15, 2008 at 03:07 AM.
    ** I LOVE PUIKA FAN CLUB*** member



  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2006
    Posts
    404

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    I guess my boys would have to be barefoot - 2 of the 3 are already. However I will sell my trailer, truck, buy a beater for work, live on cheap food, and anything else I can give up. But I wil never, never, never lose my three boys, or put them down. Never. I will live in a cardboard box first. Or with them in their stalls (I board so they are not at home). I don't think it is going to get that bad, but my horses will never have to be without or worry.



  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    3,862

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    Worst case... and it would really have to be bad to get to this... Trav would have to go back to resuce... although if things are that bad they would probably not be any better able to take care of him than I would. Rico would be trailered out to Chincoteague and turned out with the ponies... which he'd ADORE! Come to think of it, so would Trav. Do you think they'd notice 2 lovely TB's when they do the roundup?



  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    9,064

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    Quote Originally Posted by monalisa View Post
    Have any of you thought about what might happen if things really get bad, say as bad or worse as The Great Depression or the Panic of 1873? I think it is safe to say that we have already surpassed the downturn that hit in the early 70's. How bad it is going to get is anyone's guess at this point.
    I'd get a second job if it came down to keeping or selling my pony.

    Can't really agree with you on the Carter years. It was horrible back then. Interest rates 19 percent???

    It may be bad right now, but nothing compared to the Carter Administration. Ack!
    MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
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    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2007
    Location
    small town, Ohio
    Posts
    613

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArabX3 View Post
    I guess my boys would have to be barefoot - 2 of the 3 are already. However I will sell my trailer, truck, buy a beater for work, live on cheap food, and anything else I can give up. But I wil never, never, never lose my three boys, or put them down. Never. I will live in a cardboard box first. Or with them in their stalls (I board so they are not at home). I don't think it is going to get that bad, but my horses will never have to be without or worry.
    How optimistic of you, to think that if things get really bad you can sell your truck and trailer.

    Exactly WHO do you think will be buying it?

    My husband has had his corvette on the market for almost 18 months. No one is even inquiring even though he is advertising it for less than he bought it for, with tons of upgrades. At a local (out of business) restauant there are no less than seven pickup trucks, 3 trailers, and even a tractor for sale that no one can afford to buy.

    Obviously you don't have children, 'cause if you did, then you'd realize that living in a cardboard box IS NOT AN OPTION.

    If things get worse than they already are. giving up things like shoes, suppliments, trainers, lessons, shows, will be the least of your problesm. And the assets you THINK you have will be worthless (kind of like real estate, nowadays.).

    I, too, hope things get better soon. But don't kid yourselves: if they get worse, you'd better have a better plan than selling off assetts that will be worthless in the present economy.
    Rhythm the perfect OTTB;Spock the will-be perfect OTTB;Mia the Arab/appendix COTH giveaway



  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
    Location
    between the barn and the pond
    Posts
    14,495

    Default

    Each of our stories will be very personal and there's no reason to get snippy about 'who do you think will buy your truck, ding dong?' I mean is there, really?

    We'd plant a garden- I suck at that but I suppose that's fixable. Might do it anyway.
    Have ample pasture so that's good that way.
    Pack more lunches from home.
    Telecommute one day a week...would up that to 3 or more if I can get permission
    coupons!
    no buying frivolous stuff...but we're honestly not terrible frivel-friendly, anyway.

    I can't fathom pondering eating those goofy horses so I'll not go there. Tough old hides! I can afford to do what I'm doing with them and don't forsee that changing. if it does- you cope. They live at home-land is paid for...mortgage is manageable even if I lose my job, we're young and ok and will recover...hell if my parents move in we'll use their sweat equity to make something work for all of us.

    Dried beans are cheap cheap and good protein. I'll brush my teeth with pond water. Dry my hair with the window down. Sleep in the loft, use a snake as a pillow...

    Let's not get too morose and too dingo's gonna eat my baby! ...it surely doesn't help!



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2007
    Location
    Pen Argyl PA
    Posts
    4,122

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    i'd go hungry as long as possible( and live off my fat).

    But if it got that bad, i'd put him to rest. Can't let him suffer.



  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

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    If it really, REALLY gets bad, I suppose we'd eat them. Love them I do, but if it came down to my kid eating or the horse eating, well, there's no contest.

    But if it were just a matter of really and truly not being able to afford to feed and keep them in the manner they deserve, I'd euthanize them before I'd let them just go somewhere to an uncertain future.
    Click here before you buy.



  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    6,891

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    In general, these threads are be part of the problem and not part of the solution. Economic doom, gloom, and speculation just make the whole situation worse, and it's not like someone's going to show up with some brilliant and clever solution other than "pull shoes, rough board, and if it gets bad enough put your horse down."

    That said, I think that even in a piss-poor economy that vets would be extremely reluctant to euth a healthy young fella like mine. If that dark day ever came, I'd hire a local marksman to shoot him, which kills instantly and painlessly when it's done correctly. I would guess that if the economy were really THAT bad, most of the marksmen would gladly accept meat as compensation for the job.
    ________________________
    Resident COTH saddle nerd. (CYA: Not a pro, just a long-time enthusiast!)
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  11. #31
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    185

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    The sad thing is if things do get really bad a lot of us will have no where to turn, we won't be able to give horses back to organizations because they also won't have the money to feed them. Nor will you be able to sell the horses because no one will buy them.

    You may think you can cut back on the luxuries so you can save money to pay your horses board but there won't be enough boarding stables open because they will be feeling the pinch as well.

    I also feel that I would euthanize but who knows would I be able to pay that cost to euthanize?? Granted I would not want to shoot my own horses, but I certainly don't want to see them starve to death either.

    I already see the domino effect going on now, I see all kinds of adds out there for free horses or horses for a few hundred dollars and no one wants them because its just too expensive to feed the darlings.



  12. #32
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2003
    Location
    Eastern Shore of Virginia
    Posts
    1,234

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    I've found a good round bale supplier and installed a hitch on my light truck so I can get by this winter on grass rounds and ration balancer, which saves a load of money right there (compared to $5-7 small squares). However, if disaster strikes, I will have to move along the horses I can and reduce the numbers as low as possible. I would go the route of free lease or giveaway to good homes before euthing, because they are all young but 1. I'd probably donate to a veterinary school before euthing as well. Depends on the school, etc.

    I do spend a lot of time working with them, so if the day comes, they are ridable and usable, not just pasture ornaments. I understand the retired horses are the hardest to place and it's important to keep adding to their value as much as you can, so they have a chance at placement if the day comes.



  13. #33
    Join Date
    May. 26, 2003
    Location
    Frisco, Tx
    Posts
    741

    Wink Sold out

    I've heard people say "I'd live on Ramen noodles" to keep my horse, etc.. etc...

    As noble as it sounds to live in a car and malnourish yourself for the sake of keeping a horse, the reality is, if you can't afford it, you can't afford it. What good is it to yourself or the horse if you can't afford the lifestyle or the responsibility.... and I found myself unable to ...so I made the incredibly painful decision to sell out. I made my decsion back in December, but it took 8 months to find the right buyer. Now I have relief in the wallet, some assemblance of a savings account and my mare is safe and sound and happy with a new family that can afford it just fine.

    It was a hard decsion, but the right one in my case. I saved a special browband, a special embroidered cooler, her special show halter and enough tail hair to make a necklace. The rest went on ebay or was donated to the 'school' tack room at the barn. I live vicariously through my friends now....



  14. #34
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2006
    Posts
    404

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    I have no children - they are grown and on their own now. My horses are my kids. I treat them like I did and do my human children.

    Maybe I have rose colored glasses - but I would never put them down or eat them.

    I also have a place I could put my horses cheaper then where they are now. Home grown hay etc. But I would do my damnest to keep them as they are accustom to be kept. I would go without alot if I had to. However I would never give them up.



  15. #35
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2006
    Location
    Plantation, FL
    Posts
    913

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    Quote Originally Posted by Libish View Post
    I've heard people say "I'd live on Ramen noodles" to keep my horse, etc.. etc...

    As noble as it sounds to live in a car and malnourish yourself for the sake of keeping a horse, the reality is, if you can't afford it, you can't afford it. What good is it to yourself or the horse if you can't afford the lifestyle or the responsibility.... and I found myself unable to ...so I made the incredibly painful decision to sell out. I made my decsion back in December, but it took 8 months to find the right buyer. Now I have relief in the wallet, some assemblance of a savings account and my mare is safe and sound and happy with a new family that can afford it just fine.

    It was a hard decsion, but the right one in my case. I saved a special browband, a special embroidered cooler, her special show halter and enough tail hair to make a necklace. The rest went on ebay or was donated to the 'school' tack room at the barn. I live vicariously through my friends now....
    You made the right choice, and if it comes down to it, I will sell soon too! Or free lease. DH was recently diagnosed with cancer, his job "might" shut down, my clients are not paying too well right now, so I've made my first cut--dropped out of lessons, training, full board and went to pasture board with good feed, and only one visit a week. I would love a PCer to free lease him as he's a solid BN eventer, but I am very picky as said horse was previously shot and starved, and I promised him it won't happen again. He's an older horse with giant holes in his training, although I've brought him a long way, he's really not suitable for just anyone.

    The next cut is friend in Ocala, pasture board for free, plus cost of feed, and I won't get to "visit" at all. Last will be free lease, sale, or euth. Hopefully things will change soon.
    T3DE 2010 Pact Group
    Barefoot Eventers Clique
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  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,372

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    Oh come now....

    Of course I wouldn't eat my horses unless I was starving.


    I just went through all of this as an exercise. Were it to REALLY get as bad as the Great Depression, there wouldn't likely BE another job to get....or someone to sell to....or a place to go unless you owned it.

    Just an exercise. Didn't mean to offend regarding the eating.

    But for those not offended...we lined them up by how "easy keeping" they are. As a result, the TB, Arab, and Paint will go in that order (as that's the order in which they require food from most to least). The pony and my Arab/Morgan/QH fatty fat fat would go later as they are easier to keep.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  17. #37
    Join Date
    Oct. 10, 2007
    Posts
    866

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    What an incredibly depressing thread. Cheer up people!



  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2007
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    952

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    If we had already cut cable, cell phones, sold extra vehicles then I would drop down to rough pasture board w/run in shed, forgoing all competitions, lessons and supplements.

    If it was an absolute necessity, the 22 year old would be put down and the mare taken to my family farm in WV to wait out the dark times.

    It can't and won't come to that. It would be unfathomable.



  19. #39
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    3,862

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    I agree, I think this is depressing. We all need to keep in mind that no matter how bad the economy gets, we will all be healthy enough to work at something, anything. There will still be people in the country who need food, shelter, medical care. Hopefully the government will invest in new energy technologies, creating new jobs in engineering and manufacturing.

    One of the upsides of the current economic downturn is that Americans are learning to live within their means and hopefully will never again buy into the credit trap, which in the long run will give us a healthier economy, because it won't be built on rotten debt.



  20. #40
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2004
    Location
    Ga
    Posts
    2,109

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    I don't think this is a bad thread at all if it makes people THINK in advance about what they would do with their horses if they lost their job, their savings, their retirement, got sick and ran up medical bills without insurance, etc.

    Anyone of those things can make horse keeping very hard or downright impossible. Loss of a job is normally accompanied by loss of insurance..what if you had to take meds for your health? No insurance and no meds is a reality to many people.

    Loss of a job means more than losing one's income, it means a total lifestyle change for many people because jobs are very.hard.to.find. Even the well educated are having difficulties and some may have to move across country, which means decisions regarding horses must be made. Can you afford to ship them? Are they easily sold? Not right now it seems. So thought should be put into what to do with horses if hard times hit (and believe me, I've lived through some darned tough times!).

    Having a backup plan is being responsible. I don't care if it hurts anyone's rainbow and roses feelings, but I see times as being tough for many horse owners right now. With the economy screwing up the job market, people can't just "sell the horse"..cause you must have that buyer first! With so many free horses on the market and yes, not all of them are "great" horses, but some are pretty darned nice..it makes sense to understand that "just selling the horse" may not be possible.

    Euthanasia is possible. Putting them on rough board is possible. Changing feed and hay is possible, cutting out lessons and trainers is a given if you lose your job unless you are independently wealthy and just working for kicks and giggles.

    Bartering for things you need is possible..trade a skill you have for one you need, such as bookkeeping and tax prep for farrier work or a month's board. Or a vet bill or perhaps some hay from the hayman or some feed from a feed store (independently owned of course).

    Other ideas: Swap your skill with horses for a place to keep your horse. I am paying a trainer right now and have tons of land for a horse to stay if I had a person who was skilled with dressage - I'd board their horse for free in exchange for riding my horse three days a week, one hour a day. Full board at that.

    So keep that in mind, there are others like me out here! Buy feed direct from the farmers..I have bought oats by the bushel directly from the grower, saved me half the cost of buying in the store. First trip I paid .25 for the bag and subsequent trips I took my used bags back and had him fill them minus the .25. There are farmers who sell to the public, you can find them in trade mags, state farm mags and of course, on the net. You say "dobbin can't eat oats"..I say, if times get that bad, Dobbin will be glad to eat whatever you put out there and unless Dobbin has issues, he will be just fine.

    Horses survived very well in the days where oats, barley, corn, etc. were grown by their breeders just for them to eat. Nice show horses as well..so don't think a horse won't eat race horse oats that come from the farm..they will and sometimes eat them better as they are fresher than stored oats.

    Learn to garden. You will save hundreds of dollars over a year. Learn to can and freeze produce and fruit, again a huge savings which can be applied to hay purchases.

    Downgrade your trailer..do you really need a dressing room when you have no money to show?

    Things like that can save hundreds of dollars in costs of horse ownership and as long as the horse feels and looks good, it ain't suffering.

    My thought is to not wait until you HAVE to do something, but to plan ahead to take care of these things before it is necessary. Yes it's gloom and doom, but it is also reality for many, many people these days. Putting a horse down or giving it away may be what is best, I certainly don't want to eat mine, I'd raid my garden first. I hope things never get to that point and would certainly try to trade a horse for a cow first or a Kevin Bacon, a sheep or even a goat. Any of which I could eat before eating a horse.

    Think ahead and be prepared and then be glad when you don't have to cut back or sell or euthanize..but being prepared is part of being responsible. Never think you are expendable..for you may find that the company sees that you are.

    As a last thought, don't discount that someone would never want your old horse..there are those of us out here that purposely looked for an old horse..and now she's living large here and I might add, getting a bit of "I'm the Queen" personality. Aloha is 31 and perfect for my situation. Y'all know how neurotic greenies can be..and Aloha is just calm as can be, which settles the greenbeans down in no time.

    And she's quite spoiled to boot.

    Seek a good home for an older equine - you might be surprised to find someone like me that appreciates them for what they are..saints in horse clothes.

    Sidepasser



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