Horse ownership on a budget: Is it possible? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 27 Old 05-28-2013, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Dustbunny View Post
It sounds like this horse is a long way from being an arena horse for someone else to ride...and pay for the ride. Then you need to consider insurance for liability.
Just consider all the issues before you take this on. Sometimes we want something so badly that it hurts. But it hurts worse to have it and lose it not to mention the hole in the wallet.
If you can handle it, fine. But don't plan on any sort of imcome until way down the road. You need a very well trained horse for that.
Good luck with your decision.
Couldn't agree more! Ask around here just how expensive liability insurance is-and how important it is to carry it to protect yourself if you are thinking about trying to make money off someone else riding your horse. Heck, my spouse got bucked off one of our horses last fall and broke his wrist. We quit counting at $50k in medical expenses Although most were covered just imagine what a mess that would have been had that been a "friend" riding our horse who didn't have insurance and looked for us to make things right.
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post #12 of 27 Old 05-28-2013, 06:44 AM
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Oh and to expand on the thought about insurance/liability here is a timely thread from another spot on this board:

We grow too soon old, and too late smart.
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post #13 of 27 Old 05-28-2013, 10:22 AM
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Main thing is you do not have the funds for a horse, of any age. And the mere fact that you are thinking of giving lessons? Shows it.

At the age this horse is? There is more than likely a reason horse is not riding, and good chance horse is sound because it is being given something too.

You just don't have the money for a horse at this point.

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post #14 of 27 Old 05-28-2013, 10:26 AM
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While it's something you might be able to do, with your financial situation and experience level, it might be better to look into a partial lease instead. The exact terms vary, but you should be able to find one that is a flat rate each month (easier to budget for). Usually you get 3 days a week to ride with a partial lease, but if you find someone who's flexible enough they might even be ok with you riding mornings and they take the evenings (or vice versa).

Like others, I'd be wary about taking on a 22 year old who needs work. If you find that she's more than you can handle, needs more vet care than you can pay for, etc. you're going to have a hard time re-homing her.
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post #15 of 27 Old 05-28-2013, 04:06 PM
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I would suggest getting riding lessons and leasing a horse first...then easing into horse ownership. I am on a small budget with a horse who's an easykeeper. But she has had an injury and has been found to have some health concerns such as EMS or cushings and possibly both. We will know after the tests are complete in the fall per the vet. For now she's on a strict diet. We found those 2 conditions during a lameness exam which cost me $400 and that was them trying to alleviate as many costs as possible. After testing for these health concerns, she will be on medication and will have to continue to be monitored with her diet. Just before the lameness exam she had a random episode of colic which was $200. Now she likely has a popped splint and maybe more serious. These are relatively small bills compared to what many experience. We have also been working with a trainer which has come at an expense. And I even get free board from a family member and don't need hay as she has 6 acres of pasture for her and one other horse and grass hay. I was told she needed a refresher when I bought her almost 2 yrs ago but we ended up needing a trainer. She's my 2nd horse, my first one was given to me at 22 yrs of age. When test ridden she was great, got her home and she tried to buck me. Was going to try to work with her, but she ended up dying 3 months after I got her, and of course there were those bills, and the replacement of a fence she tore up. While I loved her very much, and was more greatful beyone words to the friend who brought her home for me from the person they got their amazing barrel horse from...I would do things differently if i did it over again. I even passed on a mustang mare that was going to the sale barn that I desperately wanted for free after I lost my first mare, but after careful consideration, I decided I was way out of my experience level. It broke my heart knowing what may happen to her if someone else didn't come along, but I believe it was the right decision. I'm not saying don't (although I definitely wouldn't use the horse and try to offer arena/trail lessons) just some things to consider along with some great advice in this thread as you make your decision.
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Last edited by Phura; 05-28-2013 at 04:09 PM.
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post #16 of 27 Old 05-28-2013, 04:25 PM
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22yo and "needs work"--you'll be a sucker if you pay ten cents for this horse. 20yo+ horses can drop dead, and you'll have to pay to have the body removed. Last time my old horse (27yo) died Animal By Products charged me over $200.00 to pick up the body.
I think you should start taking lessons and hanging out at a local stable. You can ask lots of questions there and get the local horse keeping prices. I can be "horse poor" cheaper bc I live in a rural town, in a rural part of Illinois. Suburban Chicago horse owners pay far more$ than me/yearly.
ALL of us here are on a budget. If there is any horse owner here NOT on one, can I be in your will?

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post #17 of 27 Old 05-28-2013, 06:19 PM
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No because budgeting means cutting corners and you cannot and should not cut corners with a horse's care or training. Ever.
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post #18 of 27 Old 05-28-2013, 06:37 PM
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I think, unless you have endless pots of $$, all of us are on some sort of horse budget. HOWEVER, I do not ever agree that you should have a horse that you cannot GUARANTEE you can afford to pay for for the forseeable future, which would include about a $5K emergency fund. So, in your case, no. Sorry, but save the $$, while continuing lessons and/or lease. It is not fair to BUY a horse and risk having to not give it everything it needs or having to get rid of it because your hours get cut or something similar after a couple of months.

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post #19 of 27 Old 01-08-2015, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
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UPDATE: a horse on a tight budget

Hello again, and thanks to all for the honest and helpful input from so long ago. I didn't listen to the majority of you and I went ahead and got the horse. And boy, did I get lucky! She is unusually healthy and sturdy, but the fact that I expected this good fortune rather than anticipated more financial and labor-intensive needs was very foolish (given her age and my lack of experience).

To be honest, I did not even ride my mare before I agreed to take her. I made a lot of potentially disastrous decisions, from taking on an older horse in the first place and with minimal experience, to making some unwise financial decisions afterwards. Within about 4 months, I had to begin borrowing money from predatory lenders at very high interest rates, just to pay for my horse's board/ care and grain.

But my luck (or whatever you want to call it) changed, and I began seeing my amazing boyfriend. I hated to even ask but before long I borrowed from him the $700+ I eventually owed the barn.

It became clear I was stuck and jumped into horse ownership too soon. I moved in with my boyfriend at his request, and while happy to join his solid and loving household, I definitely made the move faster than I would have if I had not been struggling so much financially.

At my boyfriend's house I do not pay rent, though I help where I can. Amazingly my non-horsey boyfriend doesn't resent the money I spend on board/ care, grain, supplements and remedies, vaccinations, "extras" (tack, brushes, coat shine spray, etc.) and for the cost to address an injury (more on that in a moment).

Look, I know everyone here loves horses. And I know many of us have budget constraints. But if you do not have *any* extra money each and every month, you won't likely be able to care for a horse ("free" to obtain or not).

I got very, very, very crazy-lucky. Do not expect my luck! Here are some more details: my mare is unusually sturdy and healthy for 24 1/2. But all older horses need some extra care (which costs money). My horse needs senior grain about 3-4 times a week. I pay for the grain and also for the barn owner to give it to her. She gets supplements for a healthy coat, electrolytes (she doesn't drink as much water as she should), arthritis, allergies, and biotin for hoof health. Vaccinations, worming and teeth (which were checked recently) all cost money. Thank goodness I live with someone who helps me to be able to provide what my horse needs!

I still need a bigger veterinary expense reserve, which I am working on. My horse sustained an extensive vulva injury which we first thought was caused by a pasture gelding pretending to be a stallion. It turns out she pretty much impaled herself on a post or branch. She required careful daily treatment for about a week but is doing fine now (some scarring but she can still eliminate normally).

You just never know! And my inexperience could have been a huge problem too. I did take some natural horsemanship lessons (Parelli) but not many due to the expense and because I found more suitable guidance in a new friend who, as it turned out, studied equine science and also trained some quarter horses. This new friend has been a major asset to my horse's care and riding skills, but again- I got insanely lucky to find a person who would devote her time and knowledge to me and my horse!

Furthermore, the barn I board at is very attuned to my horse and even when I am not there, she is in great hands. So you see, I got lucky! It is funny, even though it worked out fine that I got the horse, I see how so many things could have gone wrong. I just wanted to update you all about how nicely it all worked out, but to agree with those who warned me that it takes a lot (money, time, skill) to keep a horse. Proceed with caution! Get things in order before, and not after, you buy a horse. Don't expect my crazy luck!
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post #20 of 27 Old 01-08-2015, 09:41 PM
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So glad to hear everything has worked out for you and your horse. :)
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