The cost of keeping a horse at a stable keeps on rising, and horse owner are always looking for ways to save money. Economizing doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on their care or suffer the upheaval of a move.
Here are some tips to save money, without having to move somewhere cheaper or reduce the level of their care.
Order in Bulk
Sometimes you can secure discounts on bedding and feed by buying in bulk. It’s a good idea to work together with other horse owners when you place orders to save money with quantity discounts. Always shop around to get the best deals.
Another good way to save money is by splitting call-out fees for vets and farriers by coordinate vaccinations and shoeing.
The cost of driving is always on the rise. See if any of the other people at your stable live near to you and arrange to share rides on a rotating basis to cut down on fuel costs. If you travel to competitions or lessons, see if you can arrange to share a ride with someone else to split the cost of fuel and time at the wheel.
Maintaining and running a truck to transport your horse to competitions is a big expense. Ask around to see if anyone would like to co-own a truck with you or consider the possibility of selling it and renting one as needed.
Full or DIY Livery?
One of the biggest costs of horse ownership is stable fees. If you have enough time outside of family and work commitments, the cheapest way of keeping your horse is to look after him yourself on a DIY basis. There’s also the option of ‘assisted livery’ where you can pay for services as and when you need them rather than totally going it alone.
In or Out?
Horses are designed to live outside 24/7 and are often happier if they can. There are considerable health benefits to this and, if you have good enough grazing, you can also save money on bedding and feed. If you decide to opt for a grass livery, make sure there’s a sturdy field shelter so that your horse can get out of the worst of the weather and check that his rugs are in good repair and adequate for his needs.
Many busy yards will appreciate extra help especially at busy times of the year when hay needs stacking or fences require painting. It might be possible for you to negotiate a discount from your stable bill if you can provide an extra pair of hands when required.
It is possible to keep your horse on a shoestring budget without making compromises in their care or your enjoyment. Just apply a little lateral thinking and see where you can save money.
Image source: Your Horse