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What Will You Do With Your Horses if It Really Gets Bad?

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  • What Will You Do With Your Horses if It Really Gets Bad?

    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 am lucky in that I own a farm where my 3 can live very cheaply. But I will still need to pay for farm help when I have to travel for work.

    What will others do if the bottom really drops out?

  • #2
    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 am lucky in that I own a farm where my 3 can live very cheaply. But I will still need to pay for farm help when I have to travel for work.

    What will others do if the bottom really drops out?
    They will remain on my farm and stay fat and happy as always. I would probably stop all showing and lessons though.


    • #3
      We've talked about this more than once, but I'd euthanize my 2 Arabians and bury them at home. Cloud would go back to his breeder, if she was able to take him. Otherwise, he'd be euthed too.

      If the vet wouldn't do it, I have a gun and know how to use it. I also have a neighbor with a backhoe.

      I can't take the chance that someone, somewhere would want an older horse, or a younger one with issues, considering the price of good, sound, sane, ridable animals right now.

      This is of course worst case scenario where I have no money, no job, and am in imminent danger of losing my farmette.
      Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.


      • #4
        Both of my horses are fairly saleable, but my family has a ranch about 4 hours north of me with a nice pasture they could live at if we just needed a break for a while.


        • #5
          I think in the worst case scenario, saleable horses wouldn't really be moving. Maybe at "fire sale" prices.


          • #6
            I hope it does not get that bad...

            Mine are at home and I would hope I would get by with maintaining them with bare minimums - hay and feed. The first things to go would be all lessons, shows, and then supplements.


            • #7
              Sadly, like arabhorse2, I'd probably spend my last few "spare" $$ on euthanization.
              With a 26yo TB and 15yo TWH with "issues" I'd rather see them in the ground than off to an uncertain future.
              If that sounds hard or cruel to you, to me it would be proper repayment for all they've given me.

              But let's try to think Positive - things will improve or at least level off.
              Gas prices here fell $.70 in a week.
              Banks in Europe and Asia are rebounding, hopefully US will fall in line.
              *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
              Steppin' Out 1988-2004
              Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
              Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


              • #8
                The old girl with the cracked pelvis would be put down.

                Everyone else would be walked here and there and grazed during every waking hour of my day that I wasn't working. I work in public safety, so while my paycheck mightn't be reliable--the WORK isn't going to stop.

                For me the worry is the deep of winter, if there is no grass and I can't get hay due to lack of fuel or something. We'll figure it out. There is quite a bit of pasture right next to me that is a land trust for the network of homeless shelter systems I volunteer for. We'd figure it out.

                OTOH, if there is no gasoline, horses might be rather useful.
                InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                • #9
                  I have a list of the order in which I will be eating my horses if things come to that. However, those damn deer that ruined most of my garden this summer will get et first, along with that flock of damn pigeons that hovers around at feeding time. And those damn coons that keep ripping into everything.

                  All I really, really, really need is a few bucks to keep the property taxes paid. For all else, I could scrounge and improvise. It would not be easy; it would not be fun. But it could be done. My parents were raised poor during "The Great Depression" with no electricity, no running water, no automobiles -- and the epitome of "mechanization" was the cream separator. I only have that one generation of disconnect and have knowledge of a lot of "the old ways" that would come in handy.

                  However, the possiblity of being my farm being overrun by hordes of human hogs who think they have a god-given right to the fruits of other's labor is something of a worry. Might be time to stock up on the shotgun shells while I still have money. Maybe get a couple of good rifles and ammo for them as well.

                  Originally posted by monalisa View Post
                  I am lucky in that I own a farm where my 3 can live very cheaply. But I will still need to pay for farm help when I have to travel for work.

                  What will others do if the bottom really drops out?
                  Ummmm -- if things get as bad as all that, won't you not have any work anymore, thus no need to pay farm help?


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sparky Boy View Post
                    I think in the worst case scenario, saleable horses wouldn't really be moving. Maybe at "fire sale" prices.
                    Of course you're right. I just meant that I didn't think euthanization would be the resort- "fire sale" prices, even giving away to someone with money to keep them... they are both lovely horses with some nice training, in their prime.

                    But honestly the ranch has a 40 acre, ungrazed wild oat pasture that has kept more than one horse fat and happy for extended periods of time. I should call my dad and tell him not to hire it out just in case Don't need the neighbor's cattle eating my horse's fallback feed!


                    • #11
                      God forbid it comes to this, but I have discussed this with my husband. In the absolute worst case scenario, we would euthanize our horses and bury them here rather than send them to auction.
                      Let's hope we've seen the worst of this downturn and it doesn't come to this for any of us.


                      • #12
                        Well, I have a slightly different approach- If it came to it, I would get rid of my vehicles and use the horses- I live in Amish county, so there are hitching rails even at our grocery store. Also, everything that I would need is within riding/ buggy distance.
                        "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                        So you might as well have a good time"


                        • #13
                          As the UK seems to be going down the pan, fast. I have talked about this with my DH.

                          P would just carry on as is, retired but living out and the Grey Git would get roughed off and live out.

                          If my third chap who is out on loan, had to come home, he would join the other two, living out.

                          Shows, lessons, trimming instead of shoeing.

                          Lorry and truck would be sold first.

                          "Chaos, panic and disorder. My work here is done"

                          ~Member of the "Addicted to Lessons" clique~


                          • #14
                            What do you mean, if it comes to that? I'm already there.

                            Pasture board $100 per month, plus $55 per week in feed and hay. That's half what I "used to" spend on full board.
                            T3DE 2010 Pact Group
                            Barefoot Eventers Clique


                            • #15
                              I'd use three of mine for transportation. I have enough acreage that they could graze most of the year and I make enough hay for the winter.

                              The other two would have to be euthanized.


                              • #16
                                My three live at home and will stay there. If it gets bad, we'll start cutting the luxuries before I part with the horses. My husband and I started carpooling a couple of months ago, saving $600 a month just in gas in my truck! If it gets bad enough, we'll ditch the satellite service, the Netflix, the cell phones, the audiobook book club and whatever other things that aren't essential to survival. My hay shed is full. My pantry shelves are full from this year's garden yield. My chickens are laying very well, my goats are milking and I have four turkeys ready to be butchered.

                                I really don't think this current downturn will get as bad as the Great Depression.


                                • #17
                                  My horses would be protected like gold because like others have said, they are a mode of transporation!!! I wouldn't and couldn't eat them though.
                                  Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

                                  Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.


                                  • #18
                                    I have quite a few things I can sell off before the horses would notice a change in their lifestyle (well, the one would notice the trailer was gone, but she'd do the happy dance as she isn't really a traveler and the current twice a week outings would not be missed that badly!" There would be other trucks and trailers to buy. But, it would curtail my lesson and trail and winter riding (I don't have any indoor)

                                    And, I don't need the car that I have. I could sell it and get a beater.

                                    I think feeding less grain, cutting back on supplements (hoof and sand clear only now). I tend to get them a bit on the fatter rather than thinner side, so I suspect I could save some on hay this winter and they'd still be Ok. But, that's not very material.

                                    I am happy mine are at home now, or that I have a place to keep them at home. I can make my own adjustments.

                                    I would hate to sell stuff off, but fingers crossed, I won't have to. And, if I do, well, that's how it is.
                                    "Fool! Don't you see now that I could have poisoned you a hundred times had I been able to live without you." Cleopatra VII


                                    • #19
                                      Mine will continue to stay home. We've been feeding a lot of hay this year because one of the two foundered this spring. If things got REALLY bad I'd have to have a discussion with the vet about how much she could really got out with a grazing muzzle on versus dry lot with hay. As it is I am goint out now to fix pasture fences. I'm hoping that once grass goes dormant for the winter she will be able to go out and graze without her muzzle. We've burned throught a lot more hay this summer and we were tight to begin with. That being said there is still room in the budget to tighten up a little more and buy some more hay. Horses won't be going anywhere though. They live pretty cheap as it is.
                                      "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
                                      you have a right to be here." ~ Desiderata by Max Ehrmann


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by CBudFrggy View Post
                                        What do you mean, if it comes to that? I'm already there.
                                        yep, we're almost there too Things keep going from bad to worse!