Living with horses on a budget (my first rant!) - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 29 Old 09-05-2008, 02:21 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SE Kansas
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I think a lot of it depends on how you were raised. I was born and raised on a farm. Death and injuries where a common occurance. A call to the vet cut into profits if any. I don't remember my dad ever calling a vet out. We doctored, birthed, euthanized cows ourselves. I'm not quite of the same mindset, I will call the vet for something I can't deal with. But you have to be realistic as Tiffany stated.

I think if I could afford a mega $$ horse I could afford a vet call. I don't have that kind of money or horse.
I see that sort of posts too and I must admit I'm usually a bit taken back that people are willing to spend that kind of money on an animal. I love em but geesh

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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post #22 of 29 Old 09-05-2008, 02:39 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Missouri
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I think you may be onto something Vida. I know that we have a "budget" as to what we will be able to do for our animals. Dogs, cats, and Horses. If its too expensive, I'm sorry old've been a good friend but its time to go.

We had gotten a cat for my daughter 2 christmas' ago. The very next spring the cat got bitten by a tick and got "bobcat fever". I had never heard of it before. Most cats die of the disease and there is not a lot of info on it because so many die. I was straight up and honest with the vet...I said I can't afford the treatments you are suggesting and that we should talk about putting the cat down. The vet wanted to treat her, so I told him that it needed to be kept under $200...I know I sound cheap but she wasn't anything special and my family wasn't overly attached to her yet and the outcome was grim at best...besides I had just spent a load on her to have her spayed and vaccinated. The vet treated and kept her for 10 days and sent me home with special food and meds for $160. Thankfully Oreo is alive and well and I don't have to wonder "what if"...Bless my vet!!! Today after having her for this long I would have thought differently...*sigh*

My point here was not to write a long story but rather that all of my animals have a price tag on them...
They are all vaccinated, fed, cared for and loved but Yeah, I get it Northernmomma...Don't judge me becase I can't/won't pay more t get my horse surgery than I pay for a small car.....I'm a good owner too dangit! If I did have that money tree...I probably still wouldn't pay for every cut/bruise/injury...

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

1 Chronicles 28:20

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post #23 of 29 Old 09-06-2008, 02:23 AM
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I have started to write this post four times know... I've been trying to stay out of this topic, because I am one who has dropped $10K on colic surgery...for my $1000 26 year old horse. Was it realistic? No. Was it necessary to save his life? Yep.
Did I have the money? (heck no!)

If it were any other horse, I might have been able to say no...but (selfishly) I am not ready to let this one go yet (first horse, bought him when I was 11...long history...longer story). Since surgery, he looks and feels better than he ever has - and I don't care if it takes me 10 YEARS to pay the money was 100% worth it.

I try my absolute hardest to provide the best I can to my guys (as i will to my kids and hubby when that happens). I'm definitely not rich, and it will take me time to pay the money back. I am very thankful that "financing" was an option for Justin.

I guess I am of the mindset that I owe it to the horse to give it my best shot. In my case, Justin has given me over 11 years of service. Do I not owe it to him to at least try everything I feasibly can to make his retirement years long and happy? It might be just me, but I just can't rationalize me saying "Well bud, it was good while it lasted, but now it's your time to go" without even attempting to fix it. That said, I didn't grow up on a farm...and am definitely not "hardened to the facts of life".

I realize that my option of financing may not be an option or route all people will want to take or be able to take. I don't think any less of anyone who chooses not to go the route I took - but I do not agree in any case that the animal should "just die"... take care of them properly yourself or get someone out there who can! I know that all of the members here strive to be the best horse owners out there...that's why we are here afterall

sorry for the long post

Justin (qh/tb)
Boo (asb)
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post #24 of 29 Old 09-06-2008, 02:03 PM
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In my opinion, as horse owners, our #1 responsibility is not to let them suffer unnecissarily. That means adequate feed, proper worming, hoof care, vaccinations and first aid as necessary. If you know what you are doing with the minor first aid cases or with the trimming - I see nothing wrong with an owner doing that themselves. Same with vaccines - if your state allows you to give them and you are comfortable doing it, I see nothing wrong with that. (I'm squeemish about needles - so I let my vet do that when he pulls the yearly coggins for travel). Besides, it leaves vets available for the real emergencies.

I feel as horse owners we should, at a minimum, have enough tucked away for an emergency visit and a humane euthanasia. If you have enough for an emergency visit and a gun and bullet and know how to use it, I do think you meet the requirement - as long as that horse does not suffer beyond what he needs to. I do not feel someone choosing to put their horse down instead of doing an expensive treatment or surgery is a bad owner. Their decision is hard enough as it is and as long as they are doing something about the horse's suffering, I feel they are being responsible.

Personally I have credit card that is tucked away to only be used for an animal emergency. If treatment is beyond the set limit on that card, most likely the fate of the injured horse would be euthanasia. Its a hard fact to face, but anything more than that would adversly effect our ability to care for the other horses, and that is not fair to them.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #25 of 29 Old 09-06-2008, 08:55 PM
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Great post Cat.
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post #26 of 29 Old 09-07-2008, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Kickshaw, I think there are a few important things you said. 1 -- that you had the financing available; 2 -- that you chose to do it knowing it was unrealistic, but realistically knew you would spend a long time paying it back and 3 -- that this is not for everyone.

If you are happy with your decision, I think that's fine and most important, but would you use this example to try to make someone else go into the same massive debt for their horse? If not, fine; if yes -- well, that's where I have issue with people.

I have been on another forum where people are severely chastised for having a $ limit on their horse care. I left that forum because of it. I don't see that on this forum. Only once did I follow a thread where I really wanted to butt in to tell others to butt out because someone was trying to save a few dollars by asking for advice instead of calling the vet for something IMO wasn't an absolute vet call. I stayed out of it because I figured it would only make it worse.
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post #27 of 29 Old 09-07-2008, 12:12 PM
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I would and frequently do use Justin's surgery as an example both here and in real life applications. I do this not to chastise, but to [attempt to] let people know that "where there's a will, there's a way". A flat broke college student myself, I am in the boat of not having any extra cash - no emergency fund - no cash stashed away somewhere (thank goodness for gracious parents' credit card).

The message I want to be heard by bringing up Justin's surgery is not "you need to spend at least 10K on your horse, or you didn't try hard enough", but rather "If a broke college student like me can find a way to do it, I bet you can too!" - - and that definitely does not mean that everyone should be willing or able to finance such a large risk, but rather, "If you can't afford the whole $___ that your vet will charge for ___, I bet you can find a way to pay it back over time".

We have to keep in mind that we have all levels of experience here - from people taking their first lesson to folks that have been doing it their whole lives and then some. I think it is important to recognize that not everyone has the level of expertise that others may have. There are some people here that could help deliver a foal in their sleep. Other people may have never seen a foal - and even with great online coaching, would not be able to administer proper care.

Being on forums like this one is sometimes hard, because we can't see the problem that people are actually facing...all of the little details that may get left behind by a worried or anxious poster or bad camera angle - or all of the questions we forget to ask in our replies. I think that sometimes people will stress the importance of a vet call to let someone know that "Hey, this could be really serious". For cases like that, a call to the vet doesn't cost any money. They know the questions to ask in order to diagnose the issue and give a treatment plan. So when I see "Call the vet" - I don't look at it as an expense, but as an opportunity "To learn how to treat this next time." And, if it is a serious issue, you have someone who probably has more experience than any of us just a phone call away :)

Justin (qh/tb)
Boo (asb)
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post #28 of 29 Old 09-07-2008, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
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Hmm... well, I think I know where you are coming from, but it definitely isn't true for everyone that "where there is a will, there is a way". For me, for example, while I can afford all necessary care and reasonable emergency care, I just couldn't afford that kind of $ to save a horse. I actually could come up with the money (which is pretty amazing for me), but the cost of the debt would seriously affect the well-being of the rest of my obligations. Maybe that just means that the will to help the horse isn't as great as the desire to keep the family economy healthy and keep the family peace (I would go out of my mind if I had that debt on my shoulders), but I think everyone would agree that family is more important than an animal.

Thanks for the input though. Next time I see a post where this is a topic, I will try to remember that maybe the person saying that the money should be spent is just trying to be supportive in saying, "there just might be a way to do it if you try."
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post #29 of 29 Old 09-12-2008, 06:23 AM
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I have everything budgetted out actually. I take a look at it regularly. Look at the expenses I have coming up, what I have coming in and what I will need over the following 2-3 months.

I tend to be quite good with how I spend and don't spend my money so I think that's what keeps me into horses. I pay for everything myself. From horse tack, vet bills, farrier, board, lessons and any other extra expenses.

You really need to budget everything out when you own these guys.
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