My horses are my life, they are my sanity and therapy, they are also a large monthly expense. Believe it or not there are plenty of ways a horse owner can save money on their feed bill, tack and plan for that unexpected vet bill. The tips I am about to list are not some carbon copy and paste from another part of the internet but they are things that I have done to save money.
- Buy used whenever you can. Craigslist and eBay are great resources for finding cheap tack, bits and even show clothing.
- Keep your horses’ shelter/barn in good repair. Fixing a small problem now will save you lots of money if it turns into a bigger problem later.
- Work with your hay supplier to lower your hay prices. I use to know a grower who would deliver a stack of hay (74 bales) to my ranch and then I would pay him 3 payments over 3 months for it. You see he had run out of places to store the hay. He only did this for his regular customers. It worked out great for the both of us. See if your hay supplier will do something like that for you.
- Barter your services. Do you have something to offer in exchange for feed, training or even horse sitting when you go on vacation? If you have a tractor you will be on everyones barter list. If they pay for the gas you could exchange dragging someones long gravel driveway for a few bags of grain, fencing or tack. If you know how to sew you could repair a horse blanket or 2 in exchange for someones services. Think creative here.
- Prepare for that unexpected vet bill. You can either save up the money and stash it in a savings account (which will be hard to get to if you need it on a weekend) or you can do what I do. I applied for a low balance credit card. The maximum limit on the card is $500. Once I got the card in the mail, I stashed it in a drawer. It is now my emergency vet bill card. The card has no annual fee so it costs me nothing to have it but it is there when I need it. DO NOT be tempted to use it for anything else besides that emergency or you will end up with more bills.
So there you have just 5 ways to save money and still keep your horse happy and healthy.