As equestrians, we have come to accept the fact that a large portion of our income will always be dedicated to keeping our horses healthy and happy. Many people just associate with and assume that this is something that comes along with owning a horse, but what many may not know is that there are quite a few different ways to pinch some pennies when it comes to caring for and enjoying time with your horse. Continue reading for more information on how to save money as an equestrian!
1. Bargain Hunt
Obviously, the easiest way to stretch your dollar when shopping for tack or supplies is to hunt for bargains and sales whenever you can. Check with your local tack shop to see when they are running sales and promotions, and make a point to save your purchases for the day of the sale in order to make sure that you get the best possible price. The same situation applies when shopping in your local feed/general supplies store; if you can schedule your shopping days to line up with whenever the sales are in stores, you’ll be surprised how much money you could end up saving in the long run.
Keep in mind that there are always sales going on online; be sure to check online tack shops before making any purchases, as well.
2. Buy And Sell Used Tack
While the appeal of gleaming new tack is enough to catch anyone’s eye, you can save a considerable amount of money buying your tack used; whether it be online or at your local tack shop, purchasing used saddles, bridles, girths, and more is one way you can save yourself large amounts of money.
We all know that our tack rooms tend to fill up with equipment and tack that over time, collects dust. Make a point to clean out your tack room at least once a year to help stay organized and clean out the items that you no longer want. When you are done using a piece of tack or equipment or no longer have a real use for it, take it to your local tack shop to have it appraised for sale, or list it online. There are a number of sites online, some equestrian and some non-equestrian, that provide a safe and reliable platform for you to successfully sell unused or unwanted items.
3. Limit Your Purchases
We all know the temptation of a new saddle pad, polo wraps, or even treats. Every purchase adds up, especially when it comes to horse tack and equipment. Make sure that any and all purchases you are making are made on a strict “need” basis versus a “want” basis. Of course, it is only natural and perfectly fine to splurge on a special item from time to time, but make sure that you are keeping up with how much you spend on a regular basis.
When you are purchasing on a “want” basis, make sure that you conduct thorough research on the item, so that you can determine exactly which product you want to purchase, as well as to find out where to get the product at the lowest possible price.
4. Buy In Bulk
When stocking up on things like feed, supplements, or hay, make an effort to buy in bulk. When buying in bulk, there is usually a considerable discount offered as a gratitude for purchasing such large quantities at one time. Take advantage of these discounts and plan ahead to do your purchasing all at once in bulk. Not only will this ensure that you will stay stocked up longer, but it will give your wallet a break in the long run, as well.
5. More Hay, Less Grain
For most horses, a diet consisting mostly of hay and supplemented with grain is perfectly acceptable, and can save you some major cash in long run. Grain can be very expensive, so cutting back on the amount of grain that your horse takes in on a daily basis is one way for you to cut costs without depriving your horse of anything he or she needs.
As always, when changing your horses diet it is always best to check with your veterinarian to see what they recommend. If your vet gives you the go-ahead, design a feed plan for your horse that is mostly roughage, supplemented with a bit of grain. Not only is this great for your wallet, but it is great for your horse’s gastrointestinal system, as well; a diet consisting of a large amount of roughage is a great way to promote regular digestion, and aids in the prevention of colic.
6. Work In Exchange For Lessons Or Board
While some individuals are lucky enough to own their own stables and keep their horses on their own property, the vast majority of horse owners board their horses. The cost of boarding can range greatly, depending on the region in which the stables is located, the amount of amenities the facility has to offer, the services that are included in the price of board, and the stall size that you choose for your horse. In addition to board costs, many owners are faced with additional charges for lessons, as well.
Speak with the owner or barn manager of the facility where you board your horse to determine if there is any work that is needed to be done around the barn. Many barns agree to offer discounted lesson or board costs to individuals who do barn work at no cost. Bringing down the cost of your board or lessons could make a big difference, and could leave you with enough wiggle room to put some money away into savings.
It is no secret that owning and riding horses is quite an expensive sport, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. With the proper planning and efforts made on your part to stay inside of a reasonable budget, you will find that you will have no trouble making your dollar stretch a bit further.