How Can You Cut Your Horse-Related Costs?

This is a hard time for horse owners. Not only are economic swings making everyone nervous, but many parts of the country had bad growing seasons, so that hay is already (in New England, at least) at an all time high.

In an effort to keep my horse-related expenditures in line, I’ve been looking into several things:

  • Buying enough hay to last for the winter now. While I don’t have enough storage space for that much hay, I’m talking to my supplier to find out if they’ll keep an extra 100 bales for me until I need it. I suspect that what looks expensive now, may seem like a bargain later. In addition, I would like to feed the same hay all winter for consistency.
  • Selling off tack that I no longer use. Most of us have stuff in our tack rooms that is no longer something we use often. I’ll admit that I have a box full of expensive bits and a saddle that haven’t been used in more than a year. It’s time for me to list them on eBay!
  • Simplifying my feed and supplement regime. Over the years I’ve tried to streamline what I feed my horses. They eat a mostly forage diet, and they get certain supplements based on their needs. But I still buy several different products. It occurs to me that it might be less expensive (and certainly easier) if I could buy one product that met more needs. HorseTech is very obliging about customizing their supplements and I’ve got a call in to them to talk about a variation on their Glanzen Complete product.
  • Take advantage of free or flat rate shipping to stock up on essentials. I love the fact that SmartPak offers flat rate shipping. Although I can easily drive to their store, it’s probably less expensive for me just to order from them. It certainly eliminates impulse purchases. On the other hand, both SmartPak and Dover have clearance sections where you can pick up some great bargains. I often by supplements there because I don’t care about damaged packaging.

For more money saving tips, there’s a great Web site out there with an ever expanding list:!

You might also want to read this article: Horse Owners Look to Save During Economic Crunch.

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