If you own a horse you have probably gotten use to the idea that horse products and supplies are expensive. In fact the purchase price of your horse is small compared to the prices of basic items that you will need.
The most expensive item will be a horse trailer if you plan on going anywhere with your horse or have an emergency evacuation. Horse trailer prices can run from $800 to $50K with the average price of a newer trailer around $10K for a smaller 2-3 horse stock trailer with nothing fancy.
Hopefully you already own a vehicle to tow the trailer with, otherwise the towing vehicle will be you largest expense.
Buying a new horse trailer? Beware that there is often a sticker inside the trailer that states “not guaranteed leak proof” and they mean it. Mine developed a roof leak over the tack room area that resulted in a wet carpet and rotting top floor.
Now you might think that’s just fine with me, I’ll get a used horse trailer. Thats when the outrageous prices step in. Remember when you bought your first new car and drove it off the dealer’s lot? The price of that new car just dropped off a cliff. New horse trailer buyers don’t seem to realize that once they tow that trailer off the sales lot, the same thing happens. So when it comes time to sell that horse trailer a few years down the road they are trying to get the same price they paid for it. Someone didn’t tell them that auto insurance companies don’t see it that way. So be wise and check with the insurance carrier that will be covering the cost of replacing that used trailer you plan on getting, BEFORE you buy it.
The next big price gouging goes on in the used saddle market. I am sorry but a 20 year old well used saddle that is a working not show saddle, is not worth $800. Yet I see postings on Facebook all the time for overpriced used saddles. The leather is worn and often weak under the flaps (where they don’t take pictures of) and often has a cracked tree (again, that does not show up in the photos). Twenty five years ago I bought an older western saddle at a used tack sale for $150, which at the time was about 1/2 the price of a new saddle. I thought I got a great deal until 6 months later I had to replace a broken stirrup fender because the leather broke where it loops around the saddle tree under the leather seat. No one for 500 miles around me repaired saddles so I had to get the leather and do it myself. In the long run I would have paid far less buying a new saddle.
Just recently the slow feeder trend has been taking hold in the USA. In fact I bought 3 slow feeder hay nets that have a very tight weave in them to slow down a horse when it eats to mimic grazing. The hay nets work great for horses kept in stalls overnight or stalled during long bouts of nasty weather. What did they cost me? Only $7.99 each. Pretty reasonable if you ask me but there are slow feeding hay nets that cost $49!! For a net, yes a friggin net that was probably made for pennies by a machine in China. Yet people buy them.
Then I saw this outrageously priced slow feeder
It is called a Porta-Grazer and it looks simple enough. A big heavy plastic bucket with another smaller bucket with holes in the bottom of it. Put hay in between the 2 containers and you have a type of slow feeder that the horses have to try and get the hay out of. I can tell you right off the bat that my guys would figure out how to remove that inner bucket in about 15 minutes or less bu that is not the point I am trying to make here. My point is that this friggen plastic bucket cost almost $300, yep $300.00 On their website they claim that the plastic is food grade and UV protected and rated down to 30 degrees below zero. Well I got news for them, you can buy food grade plastic drums from canneries, farmers, and food processing plants for about $5-$10. All you have to do is drill holes in the lid and fix it so it can be inserted into the drum. At that price I can afford to replace it each year if it cracks or the horse destroys it.
My personal experience with feeders is with the Quick Feeder. An automatic pellet feeding dispenser. I bought 5 of them at a price of $359 about 10 years ago. They worked great for 3 years then they wore out. The motors died, the little cup inside that turns to dispense the feed would come unglued from the spindle that turns it. The program controller would quit working and all of it was made very hard to repair since the whole damn thing is riveted together.
Yep, cheaply made but expensive to buy.
I really think us horse owners should stand up and say enough of the price gouging. I haven’t even covered the outrageous prices that nationally known horse trainers want for their dumb training videos and equipment – have you been to a Pat Parelli seminar lately?