Keeping to the budget

This has been a hot topic lately around my stable, so I thought I’d put it out there.

I am a bit of a cheapo. HA!

No, I’m not broke or anything.  But I am very aware of my costs in the equestrian world, and manage them to the best of my abilities.  So below you can read up on a few ways that I’ve saved money in the past, and strive to do so in the future.  By doing this it means I can go to horse shows, or splurge when I want to.  It’s a balance it is.

1. O herself.  I negotiated.  Hells yes. In my opinion absolutely everything is negotiable price wise and I personally take great pleasure in getting a good deal.

2. Living accommodations for O.  I knew when looking for a horse that he/she MUST be able to live outside majority of the time.  The hubs believes it’s the only way to go with horses, and personally I think it helps to keep O’s brain installed.  Are there downsides?  Yes.  But I think O loves it, and for the most part I do too. Price compared to a all year stalled board is a huge perk.

Getting her hay on.

Getting her hay on.

3. Amazing, flexible trainer.  She’s not only a rockstar on a horse, but totally gets that we work to pay for the ponies, and treats us with both respect and with awareness of that fact.

4. Farrier. Not that this is an option for everyone, but marrying into a family with a well-known specialty shoer is a good way to go.  Got lucky there.

5.  During college I lived far from the world of tack shops…and first explored eBay as an option for some new riding clothes.  Then I pretty much fell in love.  You have to be careful of course, but this site has given me some of my fav riding clothes including TS, Rompf’s, Equine Couture, all at ridiculously good prices.

6. DIY.  In life, my hubs and I are the king and queen on do it yourself projects.  With equestrian life I use this nifty trait to help pick up the little costs such as clipping, mane pulling, etc. that you can pay for at my stable.  If we head to some bigger shows next spring I am hoping to get the thumbs up to braid my own.  That stuff is expensive at shows, and I used to be a wicked good braider.  Stay tuned for upcoming post on my recent struggles relearn.

The great rhino repair job of 2013

The great rhino repair job of 2013

Pony getting her mane pulled!

Pony getting her mane pulled!

7.  HIGHLY Recommend this site due to the easy budget set up, and the fantastic app.  It keeps my brain in line when I’m off on a tangent staring at gorgeous french saddles and such.

So I realize these traits may fit everyone reading, or no one, but I just thought I’d share how I personally attempt to make this ridiculous expensive sport, a bit more realistic!  Please feel free to share any tips you have!




20 thoughts on “Keeping to the budget

  1. I was a working student to pay off lessons! And now I have 10 free ones to use whenever I want! Plus all the twice weekly lessons I used while working for her. These are just left overs! I have never checked ebay for clothes, but I will definitely look into that! Thanks for the tips!

  2. for the win!! 🙂 I always look for stuff on there before I go retail. I totally feel you on pasture board, most places out here in CA are stalls + runs only with no TO. I searched long and hard for my current place that does 7-8 hours TO.

  3. I negotiated a lot on Miles’ purchase price as well!

    I have a pretty detailed spreadsheet that helps me keep track of everything, as well as a budget column so I can see whenever I’m under or over, and what caused me to get there.

  4. I feel like eBay has really dropped off in the past couple years. Now if I’m looking for something used I tend to shop the big facebook groups first. I also have made a habit of finding the tack shops with good deals (which for me almost all of the ones with stuff I like are in Europe) on the regular and signing up for their newsletter and follow them on facebook. This means coupons, or special sale previews. That’s exactly how I scored my super cheap Animos.

  5. Did my husband put you up to this blog post? He is a HUGE fan of I should be too, but I want to take a nap when I look at numbers. I took accounting in high school and I was not a star student. I’m happier in a world of words and pictures.

    Do you have any tips for negotiating the price of a horse as I’m in horse shopping mode now? Is there a standard % that is acceptable to offer? I am generally not a fan of lowballing someone because when I had a condo in Chicago and was trying to sell, the people who eventually bought it lowballed me so low that it was actually very insulting and it did not make me have nice thoughts toward them.

    Very practical, helpful post. Thank you.

    • Ha! Gotta love mint!

      Okay, so on the negotiating front I’m a bit skewed. In my situation, I was able to “wait it out” O’s previous owner. Several others had already tried O and turned down her offers, so in my case I was very lucky. Over the course of a few weeks, she’d ask if I was interested, I’d say “that’s just too high for me right now” and we’d move on. A week or so later, we’d talk and a new number might come out. In my case I was looking at a greenie baby with lots to learn, so the pricetag started fairly low…and it moved in $500 increments. It was an easy, round, number for me to digest.

      So in hindsight, it was kind of normal, kind of odd way of doing things. I’d definitely talk with your trainer regarding what she likes to ‘ask for a horse’ versus what they actually expect to get. Usually it’s in that area between that you can work.

  6. I’ve been trying to find ways to cut costs recently as I’m pretty determined to keep all 3 members of my herd. I dyed my hair back to my sad (but free!) natural color and am taking a course to learn to trim my own horses too. Great post – it gave me some more ideas 🙂

  7. i 100% agree with ebay – and consignment shops (tho the deals usually aren’t quite as good). being able to cover a couple hours of chores a week at the barn is a huge help too

  8. Knowing the worth of a dollar is super important in budgeting and knowing the differences between needs and wants is important as well. Liam and I are budgeted only the for the needs side of things, but do splurge on the wants every now and again. Liam lives outside as well and I now believe it is the best living situation for horses (I was a non-believer at one time). My wallet does enjoy the outside board too!

  9. I definitely save money in the clipping and mane-pulling by doing it myself. For a couple years, I even made a little money body clipping other people’s horses. That is a job most people do not want to do! Great post with great tips! 🙂

  10. Craigslist has been immensely helpful in my cheap tack searches. I got a Rambo fly sheet for $10 with a single, small stain last month! Search Tempest is my secret weapon and I’m always asking people to ship and use Paypal for things I find out of driving range. The worst they can say is no!

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