This was inspired by the thread re. what you do for a living and what you can afford to do with horses.
I'm curious what sort of financial cushion other horse owners maintain. The general advice for non-horse owners seems to be keeping either 6 or 12 months worth of expenses on hand for emergencies. What do you do? Do you account for medical emergencies? Insurance deductibles? Board?
Personally, I go with 6 mos of board + shoes and have a Plan B barn where I could move and cut board in half if I needed to.
Emergency fund does not account for medical emergencies specifically in my book. It is a dollar amount that is maintained in a bank account for whatever emergency may come up (whether it be medical emergency, loss of job, unexpected car problem, etc).
I calculate it as a minimum of 6 months of expenses (including horse and all other animal routine expenses).
You mean an emergency fund dedicated to the horse?
I so include the horse costs in my SHTF fund.
I don't usually insure my horses but rather have a decision *pre-made* about whether or not I'd do big things like colic surgery or a week in ICU at a clinic.
I don't ever want to be one of those people sobbing in a vet's office about "save him!" and "but I don't have the money right now!" I'd either want to know I had the dough, or want to know that I could live with myself if I didn't spend big on the horse.
A job loss is devastating- I'm still in the recovery phase almost 5 years later. I chose to go back to school, so 2 years without any real income. Fortunately I never had to touch the 401K, but I no longer have the cushion I used to.
As far as horse emergencies, well, there better not be anything major. I have my own farm so Dr. Green is always available at minimal cost. I will NOT do a colic surgery or anything like it and don't feel the least bit guilty about it. I think of my horses more as livestock than pets. If the cost of treatment exceeds value of animal or does not have a near 100% positive prognosis or will cause undue stress on the animal I have no objections to euthanasia.