We moved from the UK to Canada just over 6 years ago to come farming, knowing full well that land is cheap here on the Canadian Prairies because the life is tough, and yes it has been tough, what with the weather, hail, record wet, flooding, lack of snow, too much snow, a tornado, the weather hasn't been kind. Record fertilizer prices at seeding a couple of years back followed by a crash in the commodity market, so when we actually came to harvest the crop was worth a fraction of what we had expected, yup all that is tough, and it nearly wiped us out, so cash has been an issue.
At the same time I was building my horse herd, both riding horses and my gorgeous little Haflingers as a small breeding herd. But as horse numbers rose gradually I started to feel the pressure, whoever I was riding and working with I always felt that I should be doing something with someone else.
The final straw, last year Ace colicked, I knew starlight away what the issue was, but could see the look on husbands face as I went to call the vet, it was another bill to pay. It struck me how lucky I had been with illness, injury and foaling problems, and how sick I would feel if I lost a horse because I couldn't pay to do something simple, like call the vet.
I agreed that I would sell a bunch, and get to a number that was affordable and enjoyable, and 4 was the token number, so 4 it is.
They money from horse sales has quite frankly kept us going over the winter, but now we have sorted out the business finance and I will be able to..
Upgrade my old stock trailer to a nicer and safer horse trailer.
Bank a chunk of change to have as a cushion for vet bills,
Not get scared of the bill every time I buy wormer or have vaccines done,.
Have the farrier on a tighter schedule rather than trying to stretch the time between visits.
So when I respond to a thread saying call a vet, and if you can't afford it think about your horse keeping, because I have been there and done that.
I knew that I was close to not being able to do the right thing, so I made hard decisions, some horses I let go gladly, some I have cried buckets over, but they have (cross fingers and hope) all gone to the right homes for them.