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Spin off: Financial strain of horses

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    I have always been frugal about horse spending, especially board since that's generally the most expensive and consistent expense. Right now, I work off my entire board and am able to keep my horse at a really nice facility with an indoor. My only expense is generally horse shows and I spend between $500-$1000/year on that - depending on the year (I'm at $0 so far this year).

    Without horses, I may have another, better paying job that takes more of my time and may travel more.

    Every once in a while I get a bit envious of other people that have money to travel more, then I remember I have horses and all that envy goes away. So while I would like to travel more, I don't regret the horses and if I never get to visit all the places I want to visit I will still die a happy person.


      I would have lots more money if I wasn't a full-blooded redneck. I can hardly fault the horses.

      My horses cost me next to nothing. Here's why:

      1) I need space. Neeeeeed it. We bought 20+ acres of land to live on, and I'll be keeping my two horses there as well as a few cows, to make a little profit to offset the cost of me needing "space." But my thing is, if you own a house in the woods, but you don't own the woods, then in 20 years it may not be a house in the woods anymore.

      2) I don't change up horses. My two horses fit into the same saddle, and one of them is a pretty easy keeper. One was given to me, and the other was dirt cheap.

      3) I know how to do a basic barefoot trim on my horses, and can do it myself totally, or at least do a "stretch" trim to make what the farrier does last longer. A little knowledge and a rasp can get you an extra 2-4 weeks mileage out of a trim.

      4) I don't show. My two have been brought up from the ground up, and my "goals" all revolve around how far I can take them in my own pasture on my own knowledge. I trail ride from time to time, but my horses' main job is a nice de-stressing ride with me a few times a week.

      Pretty much the only specifically horse costs I have are trims, feed, dewormer, and maybe a vet bill if I'm unlucky. Spread through the year, it's about $100/month.

      Tl;Dr owning horses in a rural area is much less if a sacrifice than in a more populated place.


        I am a frugal shopper- I am lucky to have several options for well stocked Goodwills that have sometimes new with tags options! I don't go out to dinner often and I don't travel as much as I would like as my SO is a union worker and can not take time off as much as it would allow to travel more than once a year. I also started a consignment on the side to fund the horsey activities. If the consignment is slow, the less things I get to do. I do work a corporate job full time so that pays the bills.

        I have accepted that my budget will allow what I get to do and I can make the decision to just pay board- no lessons or showing or go "all in" if it allows for it.

        My mom took a long break and now owns two horses- her 16 yr old steady eddy paint and her newest purchase- a 4 yr old Arabian to venture into endurance.


          Funny, I was just thinking about this the other day. Without getting into the long backstory, the horse I have now is my "survivor" of a herd of three. My two old retired geldings crossed the rainbow bridge, I sold my little farm where they and I lived, and this remaining gelding, Milton, got moved to a nice boarding facility. This is a horse I bought for $500 as a yearling, mostly to get him out of a bad situation and also to have another mouth to help graze my pastures. Now I'm spending more on him than on all three of them combined when I had my own place (and the old guys were special needs and cost quite a bit to feed).

          I often wonder if I'd get another horse were something to happen to Milton. I don't think I would. There are other places I'd gladly shift the money I spend on him...mostly paying off my mortgage early and saving up for traveling (if that's ever possible again!). I haven't been able to travel much over the past 20 years (that's how long I had my farm), so it's something I would love to be able to do. I have 12 years until I can get full retirement (teacher), and I'd like to be mortgage free by then with enough money set aside to do some traveling. I am single with no children, so the horse is kind of the center of my world outside of work. And I love him to pieces and I love riding, etc, but I do think there are other things I'd prefer to spend my time and money on at this point in my life.

          I have no plans to rehome Milton, but if finances became an issue, I would try to find him the softest spot possible to land. Until that time, he's my major expense outside of my mortgage. And that's okay.