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Sunday, July 8, 2012

It's all in the numbers...

This is going to be another 'think and do the homework' type of post. I won't apologize to anyone for actually laying the financial information out because it is a constant comment that I've heard a few times too often in the past year - "Your horses are priced too high." That in itself is not exactly true but not the point of this blog...

A few weeks ago this image popped up on my news feed on Facebook -

So if we tally that up, it comes to $9,005 per year for the most basic maintenance costs of owning a horse. Just a horse. Not a horse with any training beyond be nice to humans. Just a safe horse. Not necessarily a sound or competitive horse.

There are no lessons, no Coggins tests, no visits from the dentist or veterinarian, no chiropractor, no saddle, no bridle, no bit, no buckets, no board bill, no hourly wage, no insurance, no 'extras' to consider.

So I have another bit of math for you guys to chew on...

This VERY LARGE number is actually not that bad. It is leaving out all of the other 'extras' from the above list! Many, many trainers charge upwards of $2500 per month for training! This big scary amount of $$$ also omits the breeding fees (mare & stallion), lessons, clinics with BN professionals, clinic costs associated with breeding, bandages, fencing, plumbing, electricity - you know the basic 'overhead' of running a facility. There are still show fees, supplements, medications, maintenance (chiropractor/osteopath/body worker) costs for horse & human, membership fees, emergency vet calls, the dentist, DNA & Registration fees, fuel costs, tractor(s) & other implements and their upkeep to consider, plus the taxes and liability insurance. THAT still leaves out an hourly wage or hired help. :)

So while not every horse can be a maximum in profit and talent, this should shed some light on how 'pricing' is achieved. Horses in the most general sense are expensive. Yes indeed.

Now you might think that there are 'deals' to be had with a rescue or in rescuing a horse. You might be right! However, I am a snob and do not have enough hours in a day to 'hope' to make something out of someone else's cast off. Dealing with an animal that was purpose bred for an entirely different area of sport (i.e. racing)  is not my cup of tea and does not get me fired up to start each day. The rescue will still cost just as much to 'maintain' as the purpose-bred equine and could have been on all sorts of medications, unvaccinated, never wormed, unhandled, never trimmed as a young horse, injured in training, have mental quirks that make them unpredictable or downright dangerous. To each their own though.

Oh and hopefully this explains why I own 1 horse. :) And, no, he is not for sale, he is retired.

So crunch the numbers. Do the math. If you want to question how I arrived at some of the numbers - feel free to comment! If you disagree, hey, I'm all for hearing how to make it cheaper! :)

Happy riding!

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