Money saving tips
As a new horse owner, I'm trying to figure out how I can save money. As you all know, its easy to spend a fortune on your horses without even trying. So I thought it would be a good idea to post your favorite "money saving tips" with regards to horses. What things do you do to save money on your horses care, without compromising their health, safety, quality of care, etc?
After Honey's tail got horribly knotted, someone suggested I use mineral oil or baby oil instead of detangler to get the knots out. Its much cheaper and it worked pretty well.
Any other tips?
(I've figured out how to make a small fortune - start with a large fortune and buy a horse!) :lol:
First rule is to buy the best tack and long-term use stuff that you can afford (I am but a poor college student, so the best I can afford still isn't world class by a long shot :lol:). It's cheaper to buy it once and have it last 10 years than to replace it every two years.
This works for me, but might not be right for everyone: I trailer my horses to the vet's office, rather than have the vet come to me. I only have 2 horses, and by quirks of fate their annuals come months apart (OK for me, 2 smaller bills instead of 1 big one...), so they go one at a time. My vet will do vaccines/coggins draws in the trailer, and my horses are OK with that. An office call costs a lot less than a farm call, at least in my area.
If possible, buy sawdust/bedding in bulk. It can be hard to find, a lot of sawmills contract out, but $30 for a 6.5 cubic yards is better than 3 cubic feet in a TSC bag. Buying hay during hay season helps too. Just like bathing suits cost less in the winter, when people don't swim, hay costs less when people don't feed as much of it. Replacing just the "business end" of shovels manure forks, etc. and putting new ends on the old handles can save money. Putting new buckets on wheelbarrows rather than buying the whole shebang new helps, too.
And, last but not least, always ask yourself, do I really, REALLY, need this? :lol:
^ Yup, Scout rider basically covered everything. Buy what you NEED and later you can get what you want.
When buying leather tack, like bridles and saddles, it's easy to just go for whatever is cheap, but if you want tack that will last you a lifetime get other rider's reccomendations and buy the best brands. Buy used if you can't afford it new. I got my used Keiffer saddle for only $200 and it's going to last for a very long time. (eBay is aweome, if you wait long enough the right thing will show up)
If your horse can go barefoot, do it. Shoes can get to be really expensive. In my case, my mare was more comfortable with shoes on so she has fronts.
I also work at the barn I board my horse at and because of it, we only pay 1/3 of the actual board price.
i ask for stuff for paul for my birthday and for christmas. i also buy some things on ebay (halters, grooming brushes) or on this site. i bought my saddle on tacktrader.com. everyone else mentioned great ideas above as well.
This is similar to what has been said, but if you do your research you can save a lot of money by not having to buy the same thing twice because of poor quality. Asking people you trust, checking reviews on tack websites, etc. can show you what cheap things are actually a bargain and what expensive things are worth the extra.
Also try not to buy horse specific things, because they generally cost more.
Like you can buy the liquorice treats at the Saddlery fro $5 a bag, or $2 for human liquorice at the grocery store. For manes and tails human hair brushes work better. Lots of people use oil (like sunflower maybe) instead of specialised hoof oil, which is much more expensive. You can buy a good paintbrush that lasts longer (for oil) than the special ones for hooves.
I find human shampoo and conditioner works much better than the horse variety and is sooooo much cheaper. You can buy feed buckets from gardening superstores that are again much cheaper.
Buying things second hand can also save you a bit. There used to be a feed store where people could leave their things for sale and if it sold the store would take a small percentage. You could pick up really cheap rugs, saddle blankets, bridle pieces, and even a good saddle here and there. Often people have garage sales where they get rid of heaps of horse stuff for dirt cheap prices, I know I did.
Sometimes a wanted poster, for things like rugs, could save you money. I tend to collect rugs (until I moved over here and got rid of everything except saddle, mounts, bridle, one halter and lead, helmet, boots and jacket). I had barrels and bags full of stuff. People generally will leave stuff sitting around but if they see someone wants to buy it, they might dig it out. Be careful though, sometimes you can get very good quality second hand things but sometimes its worth spending the extra to buy something new.
Swap tack with people. Everyone hangs on to bits and pieces they had for previous horses... I have a bit basket with about 30 bits in it that I don't use, and 3 boxes worth of random leather bits! If you have something that doesn't fit your horse, someone else will love it! Ask around.
Improvise! I've used baling twine as neck rug connectors/a lip strap. I pop-rivett all my leather stirrup leather at the top so the stitching can't come undone = no buying new ones until the leather itself wears out.
But the biggest tip for saving money? DON'T OWN HORSES!!!
Well, anything with the term 'horse' in it is going to be expensive! Like, you could buy a 'tool caddy' from a department store for dead cheap! Or you could buy baby oil and sponges from the dollar store. You can buy half chaps instead of full boots, or rubber boots are a good alternative.
A egg brush makes brilliant hoof oil brushes and their so much cheaper. I swap rugs as I have a youngster and tend to find I can swap his old rugs for ones that will fit with a friend. Share transportation if you don't own a trailer. Ask your vet if they do something I know as a zone visit. In my case its a free monday visit from a vet, this can include vaccs, teeth etc.
I keep mine barefoot as my in particular my youngster feet are like rocks.
Don't try and over complicate feeds- there are so many companies their trying to sell their feeds and most will only suggest their own feeds. I can happierly feed my tb mare hifi, pony nuts, barley and put seaweed and kerguard in it.
Look for what you need, not what you want.
Charity shops are brilliant for picking up clothes for yard work and boiler suits are worth their weight in gold.
Rather than using equine mats its cheaper to buy cow mats as their farming goods.
In regards to things like bedding you can find companies that offer discounts on big orders so buddy up with a friend if you can.
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Buy in bulk when you can for supplements. I second checking out places like ebay and even this forum for tack! In fact, I buy most of my things online or through catalogs. I only go to tack stores and such if I need something in a pinch! You will be paying for convenience at a tack store.
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