Costs!!!! Where to cut, and where not to cut….

In Uncategorized by Denico Brand

As these are tough times for us all, and everyone is in the same boat with regards to our financial position, it helps to know where to tighten our belts, and which decisions may make us pay dearly in the future. We have all seen the effects of the local economy on the horse market over the last couple of months, and Covid 19 outbreak is in the long term definitely going to have an effect on the horse industry in South Africa, and across the world.
Thus it is imperative to have a constructive plan for your financial future and your horse. Any decisions you make should be based on your individual needs and merits, and I advise to always get more than one opinion from people with experience you can trust. Making the hard decisions up front will save you and your beloved equine partner a lot of heart ache in the future.
The following are some tips for making financial decisions around your horse:
Plan for the worst: Knowing your budget, and its limit, make sure that you are covered for foreseen, and unforeseen costs. Sometimes knowing that you will not have enough money to spend on a 30-year-old retiree for colic surgery, but that money is available to spend on your top performing 8-year-old, gives you peace of mind if the time comes to make that decision. It is imperative for yard owners to communicate this to their clients as well, so the decision is made, and the poor horse is not suffering while the owner is pondering on some form of solution.
Plan for the future: Leading on from the point above, in these uncertain times, please do not wait until the last minute, to pay your stable yard, or inform them that you have run out of money to support your horse. It is your responsibility to make arrangements up front for this living being that cannot talk or feed himself, to make the right decision soon enough. And in times like these, these decisions or relocating, selling, or euthanizing can be very hard. It is unfair for you as the owner or guardian of this horse, to make it someone else’s problem.
Your best money will be spent on good food: The saying “let food be thy medicine”, is as applicable now than ever. The best quality roughage, will go a long way towards saving costs including vet’s bills. Be judicious when it comes to concentrate feeds. Lessen your grain, or quantities of grain fed concentrates if you are not riding regularly. If you have hardier breeds like some pony breeds, and non performing horses, consider to increase their turnout, or do without stabling. This cuts on bedding costs, and increased movement may lead to less colic’s, but has its down side as well. The use of probiotics as a food additive, may lessen your chances of colic.
Try not to buy, but consider adopting or fostering horses from rescue centers. Many a top performer has come from completely unknown back grounds.
Consider to bait, half-bait or lease your horse for lessons, if he is kept at a riding school.
Think in terms of value: Rather pay R400 more for a blanket that will last you 5 years longer.
Do not cut on ample water, sun and forage.
Replace what you can: For eg, there are many cheaper home made remedies when it comes to midge and fly control. Always check on safety first.
Medical decision: Keep communicating with your vet, for even little things may become big disasters if you put a vet visit off.
Now is the best time to be proactive, as genius is normally born out of necessity!!!!