Whether keeping a horse on your own property or boarding it, the cost of owning a horse can be so expensive. Although managing a horse on a tight budget isn’t always easy, there are many ways to trim expenses. It is never recommended to cut costs on anything related to your horse’s health, such as food, supplements, vet care, etc. And when it comes to anything that will be used topically on your horse, it is always recommended to consult with your vet first.
One of the many ways to be cost effective is to go to the Dollar Store for basic items that you need. Dollar Stores have really stepped up their game and carry so many useful items for equestrians that tack shops overprice. You can get items such as buckets, sponges, Vaseline, baby wipes, hairbrushes, bandages, topical wound creams and so much more. This can also be very convenient because depending on where you live, tack shops can be far and few between, so driving just a few minutes to the closest dollar store for those necessities also saves time and fuel costs.
Buying products in the off season is another great way to save! Although this doesn’t apply to all products, it applies to those that are seasonal, such as winter blankets and fly sheets. Shopping items that will be discontinued is another great option. Whether you’re shopping online or in the store, searching for a “discontinued items” section is never a bad idea!
Purchasing gently used tack is very cost effective. There are consignment tack shops that sell gently used tack as well as groups on Facebook that are specifically for the equestrian. There are many people that use Facebook as their number one source for buying used horse equipment. Another great perk of using Facebook is that sometimes people are willing to trade. If you have items lying around that you no longer use, trading is another great option to help save money.
In addition to saving money on products, don’t forget that you can also make a little money with your own skills or equipment. For example, if you own a horse trailer, consider leasing it out for others to use when you’re not. If you are skilled in a certain trade, say sewing, consider repairing saddle pads, gloves, blankets, etc. in exchange for riding lessons from a trainer. Go through all your tack and sell any unused items to help make extra money as well. Offering to help with farm work in exchange for a lower boarding fee is also never a bad question to ask and would help lower costs tremendously. When it comes to showing, learning to braid is a great skill to have and can both save you money by doing it yourself and make you money by doing it for others.
Another great way is to make things yourself. There are several ways that you can DIY many products that are otherwise so expensive when geared toward the equestrian. There are recipes out there for homemade horse treats and fly spray as well as ideas on how to make your own fly traps and lead ropes. Making things yourself can also be so fun, especially when done in a group setting, so it doubles as a great activity to do with fellow horse owners!
We all love our horses, but sometimes the expenses can get a little out of hand. Take comfort in knowing that there are so many ways to help save money. It just takes a little bit of research and time, and before you know it, you’ll start to notice that owning a horse doesn’t have to break the bank.