Originally Posted by leonalee
If you will be stalling horses, bedding costs an arm and a leg, too. With 15 horses, our bedding bill is over $400 per month (we use baled pine shavings - like the consistency and scent). To do this all yourself while working full time will be a major strain on your personal time and family life. I can't stress this enough. What does your family want? You havn't mentioned that, at least that I recall. Also, what exactly is your horse handling experience? You need to consider whether or not you'll allow stallions. If you do, will you charge more? Whether or not you'll allow young'uns who may not be trained? What level of training do you expect the horses you handle to have?
I'm not too familiar with Kansas, but don't you guys have pretty cold winters to the extent that you'd have to worry about water freezing over? In Mi, where it is below freezing for 3 months straight (that is a low estimate), we can count on our electricity bill being over $900 a month with tank and bucket heaters running ONLY during the times the animals are in the stall (bucket heater) and outside (tank). You can cut costs by dumping/refilling tanks throughout the day, but you'd basically need to be at the farm ALL day to make sure you don't leave your horses out without water. In the summer we are consistently about $190 a month, so it more than quadruples our bill!
Again thanks for the insight. Bedding is something I don't have a great idea what the cost would be. I know of several places tht buy it in bulk and obviously it can be bought in smaller quantities. It seems your cost is about $27 per animal a month. I think I have enough extra in my calculations to cover that. The time envolved is a major concern. I think (not always my greatest strength) that for the most part this would be work I love. As far as the family is concerned they (mostly my wife at this point) would have to be envolved. I am self employed in the insurance business now and am think of going to a 4 day work week which may help. Right now my wife is a stay at home mom that does a small daycare. The daycare would no longer exist if we did this. I have three kids that are are 8 (girl), 5 and 2 (boys). The oldest two would be in school most of the day. I grew up on a farm. It was cash crop and beef cattle. We did have horses throughout my childhood and I have raised and trained a quarter horse. Once I went to college I left the farm behind. So I am a bit worried about level of experience though I have been doing quite a bit of research. My wife thinks this is something she would enjoy though she hasn't any experience. As far as the children go, this is an experience I want to give them. Definitely a big question which is one reason I am here. I would not allow any stallions at this point and we would not be providing any training. I would expect all horses to be easy to catch, train to lead and stand for vet/farrier, ect.
It seems we would have an average of about three month that we would need to heat water or break ice. All three of those months have average highs above freezing. The are: MonthLowHighJan17.2°F37.2°F
My larger concern was lights and fans. I didn't even think about heaters.
If turnout was most of the day I am positive I have plenty of hay budgeted. I have always thought a average sized quarter horse would get about 2/3's of a square bale per day. IS that an accurate statement?
Thanks again for the information and advice.