Northern Mama, I'm totally with you. I'm on a budget as well. I don't work, I'm a stay at home mom, so I have to rely on my hubby. I don't think it's fair to him if I have the vet out all the time.
Since I've been living here (just over two year) I have had the vet out twice. I deal with most everything on my own, I know how and I am not incompetent in what I'm doing. I don't ultrasound my mares when they are in foal, unless a problem were to arise. I've always had healthy happy horses and foals. They are well taken care of I just don't spend alot of money on them. My mares graze most of the winter, and stay chubby. We trim our own feet, unless my hubby is away at work. I deworm my own horses, and take care of all other shots myself. My horses are not suffering because of the lack of money I put into them. They are all happy, very healthy horses that I LOVE. Noone could tell me that I can't love my babies because I don't have enough money.
The money is there if something were ever to arise and I'm not neglecting them in anyway. I don't have a vet, trainer, or farrier in speed dial. It's me and my horses and they don't seem any worse for wear. They all have all their needs met, worming, farrier, feed, warm water, shelter, and love.
TXHorseMom-Very well spoken. I'm totally with you there. You sound alot like us!
I think to own a horse you should be a realist, that's all you really need to do...