“I believe that horses bring out the best in us. They judge us not by how we look, what we’re wearing or how powerful or rich we are, they judge us in terms of sensitivity, consistency, and patience. They demand standards of behavior and levels of kindness that we, as humans, then strive to maintain.”
Horses are beautiful, majestic creatures that allow humans into their lives. Humans then use them for work, fun, and even as pets. In the wild horses do not necessarily live as long as their domesticated friends, but they are pretty self-reliant. The issue in giving a tame horse a job is that we then introduce new dangers, work against natural instincts, and often ask them to perform actions that, while possible, are confusing for a certain period of time.
While horses, especially those that are well cared for, are more than happy to do as their owner asks, it does mean that the horse must be reliant on the owner for many things that would be available in the wild or not necessary. There is probably not a single horse in the wild that cares if he or she has mud from head to toe or who worries about the fence line and property boundaries. Humans have put these restrictions on these amazing beasts.
If you own a horse, simply love horses, or are considering buying then hopefully the cost of caring for such an animal has crossed your mind. Lack of massive amounts of income is not necessarily a reason to avoid horse ownership, but it should be considered. This text will focus on ways to save or look for bargains while still caring for your horse. While a bargain does not always mean a good product, there are ways to find great deals or substitute human items for the more expensive versions. Read on and hopefully you will pick up some interesting information along the way.
1. Buying a Grade Horse
One of the most expensive aspects of horses is adding to your herd. Even if you want to add to your field of furry friends there are ways to save money. The most obvious is to avoid registered horses. Unless you are showing registered, breed specific shows, a grade horse is just as great. Grade horses are cheaper, but also ride just as well. A registered horse is simply about buying the name, not the training over time. A grade horse can do just as much for half the price. Find a horse you like without a registered name. This is fun as you can choose the name when you show. You also know you have saved hundreds or thousands.
2. Buy in the Winter
Shaggy horses cost less. When you decide to buy a first or new horse, start looking in the fall or winter months. Once a horse sheds its winter hair the price is likely to increase. People often try to sell horses before winter begins to avoid higher feed bills, but if you can take on the expense of another horse this is the best time to buy. Horses naturally look better in the summer and warmer months. Even with photos of a horse looking clean and sleek, once a buyer sees the horse in its furry glory the reaction is the same. This means that people will tend to lower prices to sell the horse quickly. So if you are looking for a new horse, but funds are limited, buy in the winter or colder months. You may not get to enjoy your new steed as quickly, but you will get a better price.
3. Hay is for Horses
Horses eat. For many horses this is the main activity throughout the day. Whether your horse is standing locked in a stall or in an open grass field, hay is still important. Horses are to eat, at a minimum 10 to 20 pounds each for a 1000-pound horse. This increases or decreases with the size of the horse and the body condition you hope to achieve. A smaller miniature horse may only take a couple pounds of hay, but a draft size horse will require about 30 pounds or more of hay daily. Along the same lines, a horse that needs to gain weight will require more forage than one trying to lose weight. Even if the horses are eating grass, the hay helps in digestion throughout the day. Since hay is such a big part of the diet it is a great place to save money. Buying round bales is usually a cheaper option than square bales. This may mean a bit more work for the horse owner as an appropriate amount will need to to be set out each day, but it is the most budget-friendly option.
Find all 50 Tips here: 50 Things to Know About Caring for Your Horse on a Budget Grooming Cleaning, and Basic Care Amanda Wills
About the Author
My name is Amanda and I have been riding and caring for horses in the hills of West Virginia for over 25 years. I started in a lesson program, attended horse camp, survived 4-H, and have both owned and worked in a boarding stable. My first horse, a Quarter Horse mare, was my heart horse and she stayed with me until she had to be euthanized at the age of 26. I have also owned or ridden Tennessee Walkers, grade horses, Paso Finos, and many others. I have trail ridden and guided, driven, jumped, ridden hunter, western, and saddle seat in the show ring, and trained and shown halter. I was injured severely and took a break for a while, but once I got back into horses I had the problem of replenishing all the stuff I had gotten rid of over the years. Luckily, I am a bargain hunter and was able to replenish my stocks pretty quickly. Horses are a true passion and even the years that I did not own horses, I was able to be around them and help others.
Amanda can be found on Facebook and is a member of several online pages dedicated to riding and horse care. She is also working on several blogs on a variety of topics. Feel free to look her up as you read to get a glimpse into the world of horses that she loves.
- Hags with Nags – A national organization of women who own and ride horses. A great source of comfort, information, and friendship. Follow them online and meet others at organized rides across the country. https://www.facebook.com/groups/HagwithNags/?fb_dtsg_ag=AdzqeIulI1RuoZCenFhXx828JLI_Tp1byKa157l665UhWA%3AAdxXsDM4txdy57HFLrH1ims-G0v6fWrRcr1bx7rIspKPqQ
- Learn About Horses – An informative site for everything about horses. Easy to navigate and full of strong, basic information. https://www.learn-about-horses.com/
- Stateline Tack – An online tack store that offers all types of products and amazing sales throughout the years. https://www.statelinetack.com/?srccode=ADSLPH&gclid=EAIaIQobChMImIW529-S3QIVVbXACh3fuQ7fEAAYASAAEgK3yvD_BwE&kwid=12471634087x3294618348x83385828
- Big Dee’s Tack and Vet Supplies – Whether you need a saddle pad, bandages, or anything in between, it can be found at Big Dee’s. https://www.bigdweb.com/category/on+sale.do?gclid=EAIaIQobChMImIW529-S3QIVVbXACh3fuQ7fEAAYAyAAEgKYPPD_BwE