Everything... They will cost you... everything.
It's a joke, but not completely untrue if you factor in the time and sweat you'll put in on top of the cost.
Let's break down the bare finances.
Stall: $225 per horse for self care.
We rent stalls at Sidekick Stables. It's like an apartment building for our horses. Every barn is a different price and comes with different amenities. We prefer self care, so $225 is just for the stall and the only other thing the barn does is dump the feed we set up four times a day.
Feed: $30 a bag
Hay: $15 to $19 a bale
Feed and supplements last almost a month. It's the hay that is most important. We feed five to six bales of Orchard Grass or Timothy a month, per horse. Some require more hay but usually never less. After forty years of feeding horses, I've learned that plenty of good quality hay is more vital than any premium grain you'll ever feed. It's also cheaper than a vet bill. The old adage, "Healthy as a horse." is a lie. Horses can get sick on you quicker than slick if you feed cheap hay and don't provide clean water.
Healthy Horse Vet Bills: $200 - $700 per year, per horse.
Vaccinations, dentistry, coggins test are all general maintenance things that must be done. The vet visits twice a year.
Sick Horse Vet Bills: Astronomical. Seriously. I've paid $500 to $5000 dollars depending on how bad the horse is injured or sick. The latest cost for removal of a dead horse was $1200. No, they won't get rid of your husband. Horses only.
Farrier: $40 - $150+ a visit.
My horses don't have shoes. We call them barefoot. A trim from my farrier is $40 a visit, per horse and he comes every 5 weeks. The old adage, "No hoof, no horse." applies and is very valid. We don't mess around with farriers who don't come out regularly and are not qualified to trim hooves.
Now, prices are always fluctuating and I didn't include other incidentals like shavings, pitchfork replacements, wheelbarrows, horse trailer storage, buckets, fly spray, blankets, polo wraps, tack, grooming items and shampoos.
There is always something breaking and always something running out.
Want to help take care of Littlefoot, Sisco and Kraken?
Here's a short list of things we use up quickly.
Stuff you can get at the local feed store:
Stuff you might have laying around the house:
We buy local from Amber Glen Feed Depot but it doesn't matter where you buy the items you want to donate. We appreciate it all.
Sometimes we will lease or use horses who belong to other people for the summer.
If you have a beginner safe horse who is getting fat and lazy with nothing to do this summer. Contact us, we just might be able to give him a job and save you a bit of $ on care.
Sisco is a registered Rocky Mountain Horse who is 8 years old and 15.3 hands tall.
Sisco has a gregarious personality and has proven that a gaited horse can compete and win in Ranch Horse and Jumper Classes.
He's also pretty awesome with beginner riders, camping and trail riding.
Foot is a mix breed pony who stand 13.2 hands tall and is approximately 20 years old.
He is our go to pony for beginners and smaller riders because he is one of the sweetest equines you'll ever meet.
The name Kraken might give you pause but fear not, this horse is nothing like his namesake.
15.2 hands and approximately 15 years old, Kraken is a sweet, handsome mix breed paint horse who loves treats, kisses and having his main dyed pink, purple or blue.
We lease Kraken from his 14 yr old owner, Alley, who also volunteers with our program.