Top 10 Ways To Save Money With Your Horse
 By mosquito   •   13th Apr 2011   •   11,981 views   •   26 comments
Top 10 Ways To Save Money With Your HorseHorses aren’t cheap, and especially in today’s economic climate it’s a good idea to save money where you can. But how can you do that without compromising your horse’s care? It’s not hard – here are a few ides!


  Cut out the supplements. Does your horse really need all those oils, powders, and other fancy cure-alls? Ask yourself why you are adding them to your horse’s feed. Most commercial grains, pellets and mixes are carefully designed to give your horse everything it needs, and good hay can go a long way too. Talk to your vet about what you are adding, call your feed supplier (most feed manufacturers have on-call nutritionists to help you), and unless your horse has a real medical need for those supplements, save the cash and cut them out, or put that money into better quality hay and grain!


  Repair, don’t replace. Horses break stuff. Sometimes it seems like they get real pleasure out of it. But before you run out and buy a new rug or a halter, check with your tack shop and see if it can be repaired. Most tack shops have someone who can do basic rug and tack repairs – tears in rugs and broken straps can almost always be fixed, saving you a lot of cash. If it honestly can’t be fixed, patched, or resewn, or if you can’t be sure the repair would be safe, then of course replace it. If you ask around, you might be amazed at what can be fixed!


  Buy used. When you do need to replace an item, or you need something different, or your horse has outgrown something, then most people head straight to the tack shop or look on line for a new item. Instead, check out horsey flea markets, the classifieds, Craig’s List, and signs posted at tack shops and stables to see if you can find something used for a fraction of the price. If you want to try out a new training tool, used makes a lot of sense. After all, it might not work out, so before you buy a new item, see if you can test it out with a used one. If used tack is hard to come by, why not organize your own tack flea market and swap meet? Most horse people have a garage full of old stuff, and would love to get some money for it!


  Go group lessons. Sure, private lessons are great, and they are really effective. But if you don’t have a specific issue or problem you are working on, then why not share the cost a bit and try group lessons? If you are hiring a trainer, even adding one other horse and rider will cut your costs in two, you’ll still get plenty of attention, and you won’t feel like you are paying for your horse’s rest breaks! Who knows, you – and your horse – may even enjoy your lessons more with some company!


  Negotiate your prices. A lot of places won’t bargain on prices – your local tack shop might look at you like you’re crazy if you try and barter down a price. But if you don’t ask, you’ll never know. If you are buying large quantities of hay or feed, then definitely ask for a reduction, or free delivery. Even in the tack shop, if you are buying a lot of stuff, don’t be shy – see if they will throw in a free sample of a new product, or give you a ‘frequent customer’ discount. They can only say no, and they might just say yes. If they do turn you down, why not suggest a reward card or a similar incentive for them to keep your business?


  Insure. Vet bills can quickly add up, and what starts out as a small problem can turn into a financial nightmare if your horse ends up needing frequent vet visits or a trip to an equine hospital. And should the worst happen, and your horse is unrideable or the unthinkable occurs, would you be able to get another horse? In most countries, equine insurance isn’t as expensive as you might think, especially if your horse isn’t a highly bred show animal and you insure for the most likely or most worrisome mishaps. With insurance, you might be able to avoid making some very painful decisions because you can’t afford the treatments your horse needs, and it also helps you to budget for your vet bills and spread the cost out.


  Show less. Showing is fun, but do you really need to go every weekend? Do you really need to trailer to that big show a hundred miles away? If you aren’t chasing a qualifier, a points prize or some other big award, then remember you ride for fun, not ribbons and trophies. See if you and your horse can go on a trail ride instead!


  Sell the trailer. For some reason, everyone wants their own trailer. But work out the costs. What did that trailer cost to buy, what does it cost to maintain, insure and store, and how long will it last. The divide that by the number of times you expect to use it and you might be surprised. If you aren’t trucking somewhere every weekend, then the ‘per use’ cost can be shocking. Why not see if you can rent one when you need it for less, or look into whether you can share a trailer with other horse owners at your stable.


  Sell what you don’t need. If you’re one of those horse owners with a garage full of dusty and moldy tack and equipment left over from your very first pony or just stuff you’ve collected over the years, it’s time for a tack yard sale. Get it cleaned, repaired if necessary, and set up a table at your trailer at the next show or at your stable, or even just get it in the classifieds or on Craig’s List. Be tough – get some cash for that stuff that you know in your heart that you really aren’t likely to use it again. If it doesn’t fit the horses you have now, then sell it. Don’t keep that teeny weeny bridle just in case you get a Shetland pony for your grandkids one day!


  Work to earn, and work for stuff. Your time is worth money, but not a lot of stables or trainers can pay much these days. Think creatively about offering your time, and see if you can swap your hours for things you need. If your boarding stable needs help, see if you could swap some mucking out for some hay bales or feed, or even a discount on your board that month. If you can’t afford lessons, ask the riding school or instructors of you can exchange some time, either working in the stable or even leading beginners in lessons. The cost to them is a lot less than paying wages, so you might be surprised how interested they are. If you need cash for your horse, then advertise your services. Look for one-off work; that’s often a lot easier to find. For example, braid at shows (or show stables the night before), offer to clean trailers out for a few bucks when people get home tired from shows, and – my personal favorite – clean tack for cash. I can’t tell you how many horse crazy kids I’ve paid to clean my tack or scrub my horse blankets, or how many times I’ve swapped a riding lesson or two for their work!

So, be creative, and be an entrepreneur. If you can figure out a way to save money, earn a few bucks, or swap your time and skills for things you needs, you’ll make your horse dollars go a lot further!

Got any other money-saving ideas? Share them with us!
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  mosquito
Soul Horse  
great article! Thanks for the money saving tips!
  41 days ago  •  6,586 views
Stay Untamed  
These are really good tips,I'll have to try them!
  41 days ago  •  6,596 views
now I just need a horse! =/, I will keep this in mind though if I ever do get a horse (which I always secretly hope I do)
  41 days ago  •  6,979 views
Valkyrie  MOD 
I do my two miniature horses' feet myself, as they don't need shoes and it really isn't much trouble to keep them trimmed down. This way I save on farrier bills, which are expensive where I live.

Minis are pretty cheap anyway XD one tube of worming paste does them both, the halters are often only $5, rugs are half as cheap as big horse rugs, and I need less hay and less land.
  40 days ago  •  6,954 views
Run Free  
gr8 tips
11|see if you could go on a working livery for your horse, its much cheaper and working will help you stay responsible and mucking out for ages builds muscles, really
12|save up all the money you earn so instead of buying that cute but expensive top save up, you never know when you will need the extra cash
  40 days ago  •  6,961 views
Wanderin Boy Memorial  
Great article and tips !
  40 days ago  •  6,985 views
Great acticle!! Very helpful!
  40 days ago  •  7,465 views
Awesome article, I will definitely keep these in mind when I get a horse! =)
  40 days ago  •  7,469 views
Awesome article, as usual. ^^

Although we don't insure our horse trailer. We maintain it and update the tags on it before a show, but that's it..
  40 days ago  •  7,447 views
excellent article, all these things are so true, we have tons of broken leadropes around, but we just loop them through the ring on the head collar and BAM! You've got yourself a perfectly good leadrope and we always send our rugs off for repair after a hard winter of destroying rugs xD These tips are really handy, and as I said before, excellent artilce
  40 days ago  •  7,448 views
T E M P E S T  
Great article!
  40 days ago  •  7,482 views
Cruisin Past Curfew  
Great tips! :D
  40 days ago  •  7,447 views
Topthorn Equestri  
Good tips! I work for my lessons. I also get to help ride some of my trainers horses. It's alot of fun and I learn more than just how to ride my horse. I'm also learning what it takes to manage a barn.
  40 days ago  •  7,471 views
Untamed Heart  
Really good tips... Even though I have onlyu had a horse for 3 years, I already have piled up a mopuntain of tack/equipment
  40 days ago  •  7,465 views
Amazing article! love the ideas! :)
  40 days ago  •  7,451 views
This is a great article. Really well thought out and all the tips were extremely helpful. I particularly liked knowing that I'm not the only person that tries to barter here and there. I have worked out deals with my local tack store to get 10% off (all) purchases for referring customers, or spending some time doing work around the shop to get free or steeply discounted goods.

If you show a lot, on that note, some tack stores will embroider stuff for you, for free, since you get to represent them at shows. Great article!!
  40 days ago  •  7,478 views
really good tips
  37 days ago  •  7,445 views
Good tips! I am getting my first horse this summer, so this helps me know what NOT to spend my money on and how to make money before I even get the horse!
  37 days ago  •  7,476 views
The trainer I work for (finally) let us clean up the tack room and in the process of cleaning, nearly 30 matching saddleseat caveson/brow band sets and about a doze other browbands alone were sent to an auction we were attending. All this plus a bunch of other "junk" we didn't use ended up making her almost $300! And a lot of that stuff was at least twenty years old!

Not only does this show that one person's junk is useful to someone else, but it also goes to show how long your leather stuff can last if you take care of it and don't let it dry rot!
  36 days ago  •  7,552 views
Great tips! I don't have a horse (yet!) but someday (soon, hopefully!) I'll use these (:
  35 days ago  •  7,748 views
great tips !!!!! :)
  35 days ago  •  7,473 views
Great tips!
  35 days ago  •  7,636 views
it's great when/if I ever get a horse then i'll deffinatley be looking at your article!
  26 days ago  •  7,461 views
This is a great article, Love the ideas! Very helpful!!
  21 days ago  •  7,462 views
Great article with good advice.:)
  21 days ago  •  5,604 views
Little Bitty Farm  
Great article as always!
  15 days ago  •  5,501 views
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