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Affordable and Effective Horse Care
March 11, 2013
Affordable and Effective Horse Care
You may have chosen your Kentucky derby betting contender for this year and wondered how much it would cost to raise
and train a race horse of
your own, whether it be for personal fulfilment or the
ultimate aim of owning a winning horse. Kentuckyderbybetting.com has a great write up on
the potential winners and its easy to get caught up in the
excitement and imagine your own horse taking the big prize!
Many people stop at this point due
to the costs involved in being a responsible horse owner,
but don't be put off straight away. We may have a solution
to the financial issue by putting together a handy list of
tips to cut costs and provide you some affordable and
effective horse care options.
1. Feeding your horse
It's probably no surprise that the
best feed for your horse is good old fashioned hay. Horses
have been thriving on this basic staple throughout history
so why mess with tradition? Unfortunately the costs
involving in keeping your horse happily fed can really add
up and it's one of the most costly expenses when raising a
You can save money up front from
picking up the hay yourself from a local seller. Deliveries
can be costly and even more so during winter. If you have
the space for storage, stock up on hay before the cold
weather sets in and you can end up well ahead.
Remember that a non active horse
needs to consume at least 2% of its body weight in two
separate serves, morning and evening. By this rule a 600kg
horse should be fed 6kg of food for breakfast and the same
again in the late afternoon.
Hay loses a lot of nutritional
value during the drying process, so we also suggest
providing some fresh grain to supplement your horses diet.
You can save money on grain by buying a generic brand in
bulk from your local co-op and storing it yourself.
Of course your horse needs some
variety and even a treat sometimes, so have a look at this
guide on special
2. Network, network, network!
This can't be emphasized enough.
Finding a local network of fellow horse lovers has benefits
on many levels including the cost savings that can be shared
with your new friends.
Visit your local hardware store,
farming co-op or community notice board to see if there are
any local horse groups. If there aren't any available, think
about starting one yourself.
A horse raising cooperative can
band together to buy feed in bulk, share experience and also
hold swap meets where you can save serious money on buying
second hand equipment and accessories. The only thing we
recommend buying brand new is riding helmets. Wearing a
helmet when riding your horse is a must and should become
common practice, even if you have no plans of having a
career as a professional equestrian. Incidentally, you can
http://www.usef.org/ to learn more about this sport if
you are thinking of trying this professionally or as a hobby
in the future.
3. Horse accessories
That plastic bucket with a horse
decal on it at the co-op costs much more than a normal
plastic bucket bought at a discount store. Your horse won't
mind the difference and the same rule goes for brushes,
blankets, bags and many other day to day tools needed to
care for your four legged friend.
A good rule of thumb is to spend
extra on anything you have to put on the horses skin or
anything that it eats but just about everything else can be
substituted with a generic alternative.
4. Pest control
In some areas this may not be so
important, but if your horse is at risk of bothersome pests
then this aspect of horse care can end up being a
substantial expense. There's an excellent guide about saving on pest control
5. Veterinary care
It may seem obvious, but providing
your horse with the right amount of food and nutrition can
save money on veterinary fees by avoiding common ailments
such as colic.
You could also consider deworming
the horse yourself and this could be something your horse
group does together by buying the treatment in bulk and
sharing resources to make sure the process is done regularly
according to a shared schedule.
6. Stabling costs
After feeding your horse, this is
usually the second biggest outlay each year. Again,
networking can be a huge help in this area and many people
share costs by stabling their horses together. If this is
not possible and you pay someone else to accommodate your
horse there may be a chance to negotiate part payment by
doing chores around the stable.
If you have been talked into buying
a horse by a younger member of your family, then doing the
stable chores in return for reduced stabling costs is an
excellent way to teach them responsibility and enhance their
sense of ownership of the horse. You could also take them
along on the hay pickup trips. Many hands make light work!
special horse treats -