Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Cost of Casey in 2017

Sometimes I find myself wondering how much money I actually spend on my horse. It does really "matter," because no matter the cost I'm going to keep paying it regardless, but just for curiosity's sake.
What does she cost besides all of my love I mean
When Casey got injured, I obviously got slammed by vet bills. I told myself that this is why I had a credit card and just decided to live in denial. I would make payments every month to my credit card, but I didn't want to know how much money I was bleeding. I think that this form of denial really helped me, because it kept me from panicking about the amount of money I was spending. I didn't have a choice but to pay for my horse's care and what I didn't know couldn't hurt me?

However, this December I finally paid of all of Casey's vet bills and so I wanted to know the truth. How much did Casey cost in 2017?
Cost of Casey in 2017
Because I am the nerdiest of all nerds, I obviously made myself a bar graph to represent this data. Since not all people probably care to read a graph though, I'll also explain each section:

Board & Lessons -$1,484

I am actually quite surprised how low this cost is. Considering that this is all of Casey's basic needs (shelter, food, care) AND lessons, I really did pretty good! Part of the reason that this cost is so low is that we really didn't take many lessons at all in 2017, we didn't take any lessons during our 9 month long rehab. I think we only took about 13-14 lessons in all of 2017.
Casey's paddock

Farrier -$385

My farrier bill was crazy low this year, mostly because Casey was barefoot for half of it! It wasn't worth paying for shoes for a horse that was in rehab and could only walk/trot. Now that she's back to work, we've brought the shoes back. Since she's now in full shoes, this cost is most definitely going to go up in 2018.
Casey getting shoes

Vet -$3,309.25

The killer cost of 2017 was 1000% vet bills. This is why I didn't want to know how much they cost at the time of receiving them... This total includes all of the regular things like annual teeth floating and vaccinations, but it also includes not one, but two emergency vet visits for times that Casey cut open her own front leg, and all of the costs from her suspensory injury (a vet checkup every month, hock injections, joint-helping injections, so much Ace, etc).
We spent much more time with the vet than we should have to
The good thing about this, is that I'm pretty sure 2017 was just a bad luck year for us. Surely not every year will have two emergency vet visits plus a major injury?
Casey after mauling her own leg

Misc -$1,461.62

Really what this shows is how much money I spend on things I don't need, but rather want. That includes tack, apparel, safety equipment, basic horse care supplies, and treats. Since 2017 was the first full year that I owned Casey, a lot of this money was spent on things that I needed, but just didn't own yet. I'm expecting that this cost will be lower in 2018 simply because I now own a lot more horse stuff that I did last year.
Gotta supply the goods for the cookie monster

Barn Work $4,351

This is the reasons that I spend so little on Casey's board & lessons. I work at my barn, specifically, I am the Assistant Trainer at my barn. I made $2,010 teaching lessons and $2,341 doing barn chores in 2017. Of course, all of this goes straight back into my horse, but hey, that's a significant amount of money that I saved!
Nighttime feeding schedule
What's most interesting about this data is that it really shows how much more time I spend at the barn during the summer. That makes sense, because my job (teacher) is only 9ish months of the year. I have all of summer off and so I spend a lot more time working at the barn.
The best part of nighttime feeding is when all the horses nicker for me

Total Cost of Casey in 2017 = -$6,639.87

Broken down, that equals $553.32 per month, or $34.58 per ride (assuming that I rode four times per week - probably an accurate estimate). While owning a horse is not cheap (especially when they break), I think that overall I did a pretty good job! Others may keep their horses for cheaper, but I am able to keep Casey at a really nice barn with a really good trainer and give her the best medical care that I can afford.

My goal for 2018 is to hopefully stay closer to $5,000 than $10,000. I'm hoping to do some things that will cost more money in 2018, like weekly lessons and hopefully a few shows so I'm not expecting a dramatic decrease, but if we could spend less money on the vet and more on fun training stuff, that'd be great.
Hoping for more money spent on fun training in 2018!
Who else has been brave enough to calculate the total cost of their horse?

2 comments:

  1. Congratulations on being able to keep most of your costs low! Very commendable :D

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