Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Real Costs of Horse Ownership

As many of you have been following, three weeks ago my stud Eddie was injured.

Since the leg was already compromised from an injury as a yearling, I was very worried that this was it.... However, as time went by we finally figured out that he had somehow gotten the smallest of punctures in the side of his leg and developed cellulitis.

The good news is that he will most likely recover! I can't imagine my life without the big goober.

As always, with horses, any small issue can develop into quite the expense. Many people think a "free" horse is a great deal, but I'm here to tell you that the purchase price is the least of your worries.

Now don't get me wrong here. I don't want to discourage anyone from owning a horse. They return your investment tenfold, but I want to make it clear that that returned investment is not monetary in any way. It is emotional. So never get into horses thinking you're going to make a buck.

There's a saying in the horse industry: The best way to make a thousand dollars in horses is to start out with ten thousand dollars. And it's true.

So, by way of example, here is the cost of horse ownership for one horse in three weeks:

Vet visit with meds: $174.00
Antibiotics (two tubs): $108.00
Six tubes of bute (so far): $120.00
2 more tubs of antibiotics on order: $48.00
5 jars of Furazone: $50.00
4 jars of DMSO gel: $40.00
Penicillin w/syringes: $15.00
Additional no-bows: $9.00
Additional vetwrap: $6.00
Plastic wrap and gloves: $5.00

Grand total: $575.00

And this doesn't even take into account the supplies I already had on hand (polos, no-bows), the extra water and electricity from his hydrotherapy, the extra gas going home everyday during lunch, the time off work (approx. $300 lost there), and the hours and hours I've spent treating him.

And the thing is, he's worth every penny.

The point I'm trying to make is that I hope when people decide to get a horse, they realize the responsiblities, possible costs, and the work involved. If you truly love your horse it will be worth it, but Eddie's ordeal exemplifies how a minute injury can quickly turn into $600+ in expenses!

1 comment:

Sydney said...

575? That's milk compared to Indigo's lacerated shoulder last September. If you include my gas to go pick up the meds in the city and other ointments/bute that I had it's well over 800$. And that was just her last injury. That horse injures herself just looking at something sharp.
However I am one of few in the horse industry that can say my horse is around to make me money (and she does) and be a pleasure horse.