So you have achieved the goal your 7-year-old self wanted desperately: you have Your Very Own Pony™. Like most pets, the most expensive part of owning any animal, especially horses, isn’t in the initial price tag – it’s in the upkeep thereafter.
Here are some tips on how to budget when you own a horse! (Not in any way meant to resemble an actual budget)
You will need to find the perfect barn to keep your horse at, with all the amenities you could ever dream of.
How to budget for this: Don’t worry if your board payment rivals, or even surpasses your rent check. Your horse deserves it! Besides, you spend so much time at the barn that your utilities will be negligible.
Your horse will need new shoes every 6-8 weeks; designer and custom-made for her. And a pedicure.
How to budget for this: Never buy new shoes for yourself. Again. If you can’t fix them with duct tape and superglue, you aren’t trying hard enough. Paddock boots are in style anyways, right? Just wear those. It’s like having two pairs of shoes in one!
And forget the mani/pedi. Just let a layer of barn dust settle on your nails; those natural tones are in right now.
Your horse will need saddle pads, ear bonnets, half-pads, blankets, sheets, quarter sheets and coolers.
How to budget for this: Become a seamstress. That way, you can fix all your own clothes, and use that money to outfit your horse.
Your horse will demand all of your time.
How to budget for this: This isn’t even a financial one, so this one is easy! You like your horse better than half the people you know anyways, so now you even have an excuse.
Your horse will need the best hay you can find, a specially-balanced concentrate ration, and a supplement regimen tailored to fit their exact needs.
How to budget for this: You like ramen, right? Frozen dinners? Check out Pinterest and YouTube for creative ways to spice up a package of ramen; then take the extra money you’ve saved from your grocery bill and put it towards finding your horse the best nutritionist and feed expert you can.
To maintain peak athletic performance, your horse will need any and all therapies you can find: aqua/ice boots, ceramic wraps, a massage therapist, a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, aroma therapy, magnetic blanket, laser…go the whole nine yards, because why not?
How to budget for this: You’ve got Icy-Hot, right? And in the words of George Morris, if you’re not headed to the hospital, you’re getting back in the saddle, right? So you’ll be fine. And if you absolutely need to, just borrow your horse’s therapeutic boots for yourself (but not for too long, she’ll need those back).
And with the holidays approaching, your horse is obviously going to need a pile of presents, treats and gear.
How to budget for this: We’ve already established that your horse ranks higher than some of the people in your life…just take whatever you were going to spend on them and use it for the horse instead. Work White Elephant gift exchange? Forget it – you could get your horse a giant containers of Stud Muffins instead, and the look on her face when she sees that container is a thousand times for satisfying than an awkward gift grab.
Let’s be real – just feed your horse your paycheck, that’s where it’s gonna end up anyways.