Cheap Horse Keeping? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 27 Old 04-23-2012, 09:56 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
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It is great that you are doing research and asking questions. I would see if there are any stables/barns around that will let you be a working student. You can be around the horses and learn about their care before you dive into ownership yourself. Horses are such fragile creatures that it is really important to learn about normal behavior and the things that can hurt them, as well as the subtle signs of sickness. Some barns will let you help groom/exercise/clean stalls in exchange for lessons. That is my recommendation and good luck!
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post #22 of 27 Old 04-24-2012, 07:00 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
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In re: routine veterinary work.

I COULD give all shots myself, I live in a state where you can buy all the necessary vaccines, but I still have the vet out once a year for a check up and to have a Coggins drawn, because I do haul two of mine to places that require them.

The real reason I continue to do spring check ups and vaccines is that for me, it's important that I have a relationship with the vet, that he/she sees the animals at least once a year, and that all the information about the horses is in their database. This is invaluable in case of an emergency; particularly one that requires an after hours call. It also means I can call the vet clinic and get prescription meds when I need to. I suspect a lot of the posters on the board who claim they can't get a vet out for an emergency haven't ever called a vet for routine work or anything else; if you're not an existing client, vets are less willing to go on an afterhours call.

In terms of the horse living to 35 with no vet or farrier care; yes, I'm sure it's possible, but I suspect the horse wasn't ridden and I also suspect it wasn't in terrific condition.

If I had a horse in a closed herd, where it never left the farm, had no contact with outside horses in an area where there weren't a lot of horses, period, I still would vaccinate for rabies and tetanus. Both are incurable, and both can be contracted by otherwise healthy and well-managed horses through no fault of the animal or owner. I can't think of a single reason for not vaccinating for tetanus, or rabies if you live in an area where it's common.
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post #23 of 27 Old 04-24-2012, 07:27 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
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Originally Posted by Pink Cowgirl View Post
My question's about "cheap" horse keeping came from hearing about this horse that lived without ever seeing a vet (or farrier), he was born without anyone's help, and he lived the life of a wild horse, and he still lived to be 35 years old. How would things have to be done to not have vet visits and the farrier visits?
There are always those "stories" about people or things, but just because there is one exception doesn't mean yours will be to. Like the people who drink alcohol and smoke excessively all their lives and lived to over 100 - yes it might of happened, but that doesn't mean that smoking and drinking is good for you.

Most wild horses generally don't live as long as captive ones. Nor are many of them in a condition suitable for riding. They also generally have a MUCH larger area to feed from, and cover a lot more distance, wearing down their hooves. To have a captive horse in similar conditions would be near impossible - they wouldn't be close enough to catch regularly and may as well just be wild.

Vet visits are not so essential, as said earlier, you can do the shots yourself. I never get the vet out. I've had a vet out maybe twice over a period of 7+ years of owning horses. I only get them out if there is a problem I can't handle. But you still need to have the funds available should your horse be injured.

Farrier - you can learn to do it yourself, but you will still need to purchase all the tools and learn correctly, and even then I'd still get a farrier out semi-regularly to check it all out. To me, because of the strain on your body, and the cost of learning and tools, it's still better for me to pay someone else.

I do horse ownership on the cheap - but I still buy good quality food, rug them well and get all the care they need. I save money by boarding somewhere with less facilities, full time paddock rather than stabling. I won't buy Thoroughbreds because they always seem to end up costing more. I don't buy expensive gear or go to shows. I do not cheap out on feed and care though.
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post #24 of 27 Old 04-24-2012, 10:52 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Texas
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I've learned so much from my trainers. I had read and studied up on horses all my life but realized I knew absolutely nothing when I started taking regular lessons. Being at a barn weekly was a real eye opener. I learned so much about training and care taking from people who had been doing it a life time. Is there a facility where you might could take weekly lessons? You'll learn a lot!

I always find Equus magazine informative. I've subscribed for years and keep my back copies as references.
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post #25 of 27 Old 04-24-2012, 11:26 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
Posts: 22,258
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You can get away with not having the vet out yearly...if you have the experience and knowledge to give your own shots and deal with minor injuries/illnesses yourself, but that takes years of horse keeping to get that knowledge/experience. It is not something that a new horse owner would have the capability of doing.

I get free farrier care for my horses (thank God as there are a bunch of them) from my brother, who is also a farrier, in return for buying hay for his horses and letting him turn them out in our pasture during down times.

For every one of those horses that live healthy and happy lives for 20-30 years with zero care, there are 1000 more that starve, or end up crippled, or foundered, or sick, or dead because they didn't get the necessary care.

If you are wanting a horse but you are already trying to figure out ways and excuses to not spend money on even the most basic of care, then I suspect this may be a perfect horse for you as it's really the only one that fits your ideals.

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Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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post #26 of 27 Old 04-24-2012, 07:04 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ga
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Originally Posted by WSArabians View Post
No. But there are 23 of them. LOL
OUCH. Where is the photo album???

I miss you Rascal. Every day, all day.
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post #27 of 27 Old 04-24-2012, 07:10 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ga
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Cheap and horses are just so far at the opposite ends of the spectrum!

I bought a 200$ gelding, what it has cost in vet bills I could have had the well trained, pedigreed out the wazoo, first class tacked up horse of my dreams.

I do love my boy though
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I miss you Rascal. Every day, all day.
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