Living with horses on a budget (my first rant!)
Ok -- we all must do it right? Surely we all have a limit on what we can spend on our horses. Everyone's limit is different.
I just wanted to say that for those of you who have thousands and thousands of dollars to spend on your horses if something goes wrong, that's nice. Good for you. Some of us don't though and I don't think that makes us bad horse owners.
I'm going out on a limb for everyone to bad mouth me now, but I'm sure there are other people like me and the purpose of this post is to support them and encourage us all to be open-minded.
I don't call a vet for very much. 90% of the things I look after myself. I do my own farrier work (barefoot). I have dealt with colic, choke, severe cuts that I've been told should have been stitched (BTW, no scar, no problem), ulcers, bowed tendons and I don't know what else where either a vet wasn't called or the $vet$ was no help at all. Yes, I have called a vet for choke and I have called a vet for idiopathic shock and for dental work and ultrasounds (priced out first!) and other stuff. But just because what I deem to be a valid vet call doesn't jive with Susie's ideas down the road doesn't make me wrong/right or Susie wrong or right. Just different. BTW, a vet call here is $200 right off the bat. A farrier, if you can get one that comes regularly is $50 for a trim. No shoes. No care. No exam. No nada. Frankly, the information I have gleaned from other horse people (that means YOU) has been far more valuable than any vet call I have made. I love the internet -- now I can learn from hundreds of horse people instead of just a handful of locals who all deal with the same local issues I do.
Also, I would not, in any way, ever, EVER spend 5 or 10 THOUSAND dollars on surgery for my horses. So does that mean I should give them up? Obviously, I don't think so or I wouldn't have them in the first place.
People that have the money and choose to spend it that way, fine. People that choose to put 2nd mortgages on their homes to pay for surgery, fine. But that doesn't mean everyone will. Please let's not put our own individual financial situations and priorities into everyone's backyard. We're not all the same. And we're not all living with the same options open to us anyway, no matter how much money we might have to spend on our horses.
Oh, and we all expect different things from our horses too. I ride in my backyard. That's basically it. Of course, that also determines what each owner deems "necessary". A $15,000 horse bought for competition is a financial investment. My girls are on the other end of the extreme as free rescues and all I've promised them is that they will never be sold and they will never suffer. In return they follow me around the paddock or snub me when I take the "other" one out and leave one behind!
Do y'all hate me now? Sorry, but I just had to say this. Horse people, including me, have to be the most critical sport people out there. Honestly. Sometimes I think we need to take 10 deep breaths and try standing in the others person's barn. Here's to not judging, but being supportive when asked.