From Endurance to Dressage
Horses Are Expensive II: March 2016
While it doesn't look like it on paper, March was a killer for bills. Both horses went to the vet, I had to pay for part of a show that I didn't get to go to, and my truck needed new tires.
While I actually spent $500 less in March than I did at this time two years ago, it was only because of my husband's generosity. My board and feed bills haven't really changed, for which I am grateful, and my farrier bill is almost half of what it used to be thanks to Speedy being barefoot and Izzy only needing to be shod in the front. This isn't a money saving choice; it's what my farrier recommends.
My lessons with Chemaine are double the price that they were with JL, but I get fewer of them. During the fall, I was getting a full weekend of lessons with Chemaine, two each day, but since Speedy is on the disabled list for now, I am only getting one lesson a month on Izzy, which I suppose makes life a little cheaper. Not as much fun, but cheaper.
I wish I could get more, but since show season has started, Chemaine can't really come here on Saturdays. To take a lesson, I drive 5 hours round trip. It's a long day, so once a month is all I can do. She did offer to come here at the end of April, but Izzy really needs off property rides, so for now, I need to make the drive.
My husband really saved my bacon this month by paying for my truck's tires. They were a completely unplanned for expense and came on the heels of other recent expenses ... a new washing machine, a new hot water heater, a broken toilet, brakes for my truck, trailer batteries, and puppy vet bills for Brienne.
The biggie for March was the vet bill, and I've already paid almost $500 in April. $1200 bucks is a lot of money, even spread out over two months. And to add insult to injury, Speedy needs to go back in a week or so for a follow-up ultrasound and diagnosis. My total vet expenses for April are going to be even higher than they were in March. Big sigh ...
This is definitely an expensive lifestyle choice, but I can't imagine what I'd do if I didn't have horses. I sort of look at these costs as business as usual. I gripe about my grocery bill and the price of gas, but there's no question about paying for them. The horses are like that too. It's just part of the deal.
What was your spring vet bill like?
4/5/2016 05:56:18 am
J said to me last week, "This week we spent 1000Euros on your horse." I said, "WHAT! Oh...." We had fencing repairs done and wood chips delivered. Those are FARM costs, not Mag costs: ) *lol*
4/23/2016 07:33:04 am
Checks are a convenient thing, but virtually all of my payments are made online or with a debit card. The category simple reads "checking" but it doesn't stipulate HOW it came from my checking. :0) The only horse-related checks I write are to my farrier, sometimes my trainer, and show entries.
4/23/2016 07:33:30 am
Better to know for sure!
March wasn't a bad month for my horse costs, but I did do some trailer maintenance that I lumped in with my vehicle costs instead of the horse related lines.
4/23/2016 07:34:08 am
Cha ching! :0)
4/5/2016 07:18:46 am
We are not talking about spring vet bills, as the vet's already been out monthly this year. I'm hoping we can avoid a trip for April...
4/23/2016 07:34:40 am
I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. :0)
4/23/2016 07:35:08 am
4/23/2016 07:37:36 am
I vote for no more vet bills ever. I don't think I want to own a horse that costs more than my vet bills. Over a horse's lifetime, the vet bills will always be pretty darned high. If I had a horse who was that expensive, I would for sure end up breaking him in the first week. I'd rather break a cheap horse. :0)
I have spent so much money in April already, and we're not even a week into the month! I went to my barn's eventing camp (420 including stabling and hauling), will go to an event in two weeks (350 including stabling and hauling), spring vaccines (60 or 80, I forgot), and a third shoe getting tacked back on, which my farrier technically does for free but I really feel that I should pay her at this point since she's come out just to tack shoes back on three times! I will be eating ramen off the stove top for SURE.
4/23/2016 07:38:27 am
My farrier came out three times last month. I felt incredibly guilty. :0)
My Spring vet bill wasn't that bad. It got worse when I had to have the vet come back out because Nilla had a really bad reaction to the vaccines. We haven't done dental yet though and they get some vaccines while sedated (like Strangles). That's due in May so more bills are coming.
4/23/2016 07:39:16 am
I can't figure out if it's less painful to spread it out, or just rip the bandaid off. :0)
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
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