you know dream, now that i think of it, one of the reasons we moved to the new barn is because they are large and host "vet clinics," where a vet will waive a call fee in exchange for doing 20-30 clients a day. it's pretty awesome. i'm going to their natural balance float. I did the same clinic last year at another barn and it only cost me $350. The procedure was pain and stress free and they were able to cut a button tooth out of tyra that had been bothering her with bitting! I was thrilled.
Usually i have some dispensible savings for vet visits. I always save ahead of time for vaccines and shots but I am not always financially prepared for emergencies, like when we had the EHV outbreak a month ago.
Oh I get not being prepared for emergencies. It happens to med on a fairly regular basis. Since I have 10 horses, plus or minus, at any given time, I TRY to keep at least $1000 set aside for horse emergencies and a separate $1000 for household/vehicle emergencies. But when you get it with that emergency vet bill (like when I had 8 horses down with strangles and one in ICU with a trach in his throat) that $1000 goes up in smoke before you can whistle "Dixie". And then if, God forbid, you have another emergency before you get that fund rebuilt.....you can be in a real tough spot.
I'm fortunate that I have 2 vets (the vet school and a private vet) that I use regularly and can call them up and say, "Hay, I've got this going on, but I need to let you know I can't afford to pay you up front today. I can pay the entire bill if you can wait until Friday.". They both have dealt with me long enough that it's always "Don't worry about it, bring him in." or "We'll be right out, don't worry about it, we know you.". But, I've been doing business with the vet school for almost 20 years, and allow them to bring a TON of students when they come out here, or allow them to do just about any non-invasive procedures they want when we go in, so the students can learn how to do things. I also let the students come out and help with foaling if they want to, otherwise, many of them may not get to see a newborn foal in their whole time at school. Same thing with the private vet, I met her as a first year student at the vet school, about 18 years ago. They all know me, my horses, where I live, my husband, where he works, and we all socialize at various things too. Having a track record with your vet really helps in the long run.
That's one of the benefits of being in a big barn, they can get little things like a fee waiver because of volume of clients. Or splitting the farm calls with multiple clients if it isn't totally waived. And having educational clinics is always a great way to learn stuff too.