Thursday, October 9, 2014

Home horse keeping costs, written on morphine.

Edited to add that this post was written entirely under the influence of morphine.  If it makes little sense now you know why.

Well plans are made to be broken or something like that, so they say.  With the minus 9 days until Team Challenge my appendix decided it did not care to spend anymore time with me.  So just a little major surgery to test your true eventing blood.  I am in conversation with the surgeon about whether or not I am going to pull it off.  Right now I have to play it by ear.And I need to dedefinitely find a stronger bit for XC before then.  There is no way I can relay on pure brute strength to keep Steady under control out there.  So give me your best slow the 'F' down bits. But the real trick is it can't be so harsh it makes him reactive.  LAZ mentioned slow twist last week but i wonder if that will be enough in my condition.  Anyone out there riding a over exuberant, insanely fast OTTB XC horse who is also reactive and easily pissed off?  I need help here.

enough about the crap that has totally ruined my week.  I wanted a distraction and thought i would go over the cheap horse keepers budget.  I am the farthest thing from an equestrian diva you could meet.  I require quite little.  I actually take a bit of pride of taking very little and making a lot out of it.  No fancy barns, no plush arena, oh wait no arena at all.  But what I do have is happiness and 3 very healthy happy equines.  I know others do require much more to make their equestrian dreams come true and if someone was handing out million dollar equestrian facilities I by no means would turn that down and reality is when we movewe will be moving 'up' and a nicer barn and arena are high on the priority list. So i am not saying it is perfect and best way i am only saying it can be done.

So here it is. And i have been told that i need to take into account home costs to be fair since they are on my property. Which i don't completely agree with because even if you board you still have to pay rent or mortgage.  unless you sleep in your horses stall then you are paying to live sonewhere.  But my mortgage for a 2700 Sq ft home with 15 acres with taxes and insurance include is $1050 a month. We wouldn't have a lower Morgane if we lived in a subdivision so I am comfortable not including that cost.


Feed $100 mo. progressive nutrition diet balancer, fat supplement and oats
hay $30 mo.
shavings $10 mo.
vet $200 yr
farrier $35 6 x yr
deworming $15 3× yr

Total for the year for Steady is $2120 that is $176.66 a month.

The ponies are far cheaper.  They eat very little and don't have shoes.

2 ponies

feed $25 mo.
hay $60 mo.
Shavings $10 mo.
vet $400
Farrier $35 6 yr
deworming $15 3 yr

Total for a year for 2 ponies is $1895 and monthly $157.91.

With a grand total for 3 equines $334.57 a month.

This is solely horse care.  There is obviously more expenses when it comes to horses when you actively train and compete.  Tack, equipment, truck, trailer, fuel, lesson/clinic fees, show fees, hotel costs.  But that is a whole other ball game and also not basic necessities of everyday care.
Keep in mind I live in a low cost of living area.  Happen to have an awesome Amish farrier that completely under charges for his work. Rent 9 acres of our land to a farmer and trade for hay and only stall horses in inclimate weather.
I am not usually honest with people who are wanting to get into horses about my expenses because I believe I am an exception to the ruke.  I made the mistake of being honest with someone once and they assumed they could do the same bought themselves a horse and cut corners to save money.  Now THAT pissed me off.  Cutting corners is absolutely, positively unacceptable.  I would never sacrifice any of my animal's care to save a dime, ever.  And if I couldn't provide them with the utmost care then I would give them to some one who could before they went without anything.  Period.


  1. I have a very similar bitting problem with Fiction. Super sensitive mouth but so crazy on XC that I need something to bring him back to me. I've recently found that a hackamore works wonders on him, so I will eventually test him out in a combination bit with 2 reins. Perhaps that could be an option with Steady? If you do fine a great solution, let us know haha :)

  2. Take it easy and recover Amy! Hoping the surgeon gives you the ok for Team Challenge, though :) I go back and forth of if I ever want to keep our horses on our own property - should we ever move somewhere with land. I never kid myself that it would be cheaper than boarding!

  3. Sometimes the happymouth three ring is awesome for brakes on sensitive dudes. Feel better soon!

  4. hope you recover quickly! and good luck choosing bits. a waterford worked pretty well on my sensitive arab mare when she was in a charge-y, wild phase

  5. Feel better soon!

    Im about $400 a month for 4 horses, who live indoors and eat a lot of grain - interesting we are close in numbers!

  6. I was also going to suggest a 3 ring. Hope you feel well enough to compete!

  7. Someone at work recently asked me how much it cost to keep a horse with the bare essentials. I figured it out at this (costs for western Sydney, Australia):

    Feed: $30 a week
    Hooves: $50 every 5 weeks (trim because I'm a barefoot person)
    Teeth: $150 by vet dentist with sedation once a year
    Vaccinations: $300 a year

    So bare essentials = $6,690 a year.

    That made them forget they EVER wanted to buy a pony for their daughter!!

  8. Ouch!! So sorry about your appendix! I hope it doesn't interfere with your ride. Wow your mortgage is twice as much as mine was in the city... I don't think it should be included in horse costs. People who board still have to pay their mortgage and it has nothing to do with their horse lol. Things like pasture maintenance and fences, etc. shoulder probably be included, but whatever. My costs are very similar to yours actually. I love having my horse at home even if it is more work. :)

  9. Have you tried a Waterford bit? I've used one on Hamps who can have a sensitive mouth at times, but then other times just want to lean and run on the forehand on cross country. It did help quite a bit without being too harsh.
    Also, get well soon! Glad the surgery was at least laproscopic!


Steady and I love your feedback, so don't be shy!