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The tack room

any tips for saving £££ ?

32 replies

MitchyInge · 26/07/2009 14:34

Just wondering where, how or if any of you cut any financial corners with your horses? Would like to trim enough from current outgoings to get new pony on loan (one interntational sideways showjumper horse between 4 of us is just not working!).

Are there cheaper alternatives to stuff like Blue Chip, Cortaflex for example, but that are as good? Do you hunt around for second hand bits of tack/body protectors? Try to improve your riding by yourself/with friends instead of paying for lessons? Sell off unwanted rugs? Or do you trim the £££ from other areas of your lives? Or are you all stinky rich?

OP posts:
Owls · 07/08/2009 21:27

Ah Alice thank you! Sorry I was a bit vague wasn't I. Will ask in an effort to cut down on my Blue Chip addiction usage.

Skihorse sounds like you've made a good move. Can't believe the difference in price that is amazing. Mind you, I wouldn't mind the confidence of the average 14 yo. Minus the attitude. Grrr. Were we like that do you think?!

MitchyInge · 10/08/2009 17:51

am going to have a bash at calculating how much am spending on horse stuff - we have one pair of shoes every 3 weeks or so at £30 (but slightly less often in the summer actually), livery for my one is £50 a week all-in, the pony loan is also £50 a week all-in, insurance is £25 a month, no jabs due until next year now and can't remember how much they were anyway, blue chip about £20 a month, cortaflex seems to last forever but was about £50? something like that

in Sept. was thinking of doing the stage 2 which will be £150 every 5 weeks, ouch, my daughter was having a half hour lesson once a week at £18.50 but has joined a riding club instead for £22.50 every other week. I really really need my lessons but they are £35 a time so might have to cut back to alternate weeks

I make that £8million or something?

OP posts:
Southwestwhippet · 10/08/2009 21:00

Go barefoot. £10 a trim, every 8 weeks. Has saved me a fortune. And yes, I still hunt/showjump/hack etc. A knowledable farrier will be able to tell you what to expect and how to help your horse through the transition.

Buy all tack/rugs etc second hand on ebay (obviously not saddles as they should be professionally fitted).

Get rid of unnecessary tack - like caverson nosebands or 'just for show' martingales.

keep horse out 24/7 if possible. for most people it isn't but if you can it is SOOOO much cheaper.

Avoid clipping or clip to a minimum - that way you don't need 16 different rugs for every possible change of temperature.

I feed my pony Nestle balancer. Although it is not cheap initially, you only need to feed a tiny bit of it, it provides all the vit/minerals pony needs and works out much cheaper than blue chip. If your horse doesn need extra calories on top, there are cheaper brands than blue chip that are still perfectly good.

Cortaflex - it is expensive but there are other joint supplements that are cheaper. I would only use cortaflex if my pony was elderly and had a specific joint issue such at arthritic hocks. For general maintenance and to reduce wear and tear I would pick something cheaper.

I am a real bargain hunter with my pony! He has everything he needs but I'm not into the fashion buying that a lot of people get sucked into. I'm sure he doesn't care if his rug is second hand or his bridle isn't a stubben...

skihorse · 11/08/2009 11:01

I'd definitely echo the barefoot thing. My girl found the transition quite hard (she was 6, shod for 3 years) and took a good month for it to work its way through via abcesses but it's so worth it now.

Trims are much cheaper and you can do them yourself. I did a barefoot trimming course and believe me, it taks some real bloody muscles & effort to do "damage".

n.b., not all horses will have abcesses after having their shoes removed.

Butkin · 12/08/2009 21:10

Whilst horses are out at grass we get our farrier to do re-fits when possible (rather than new ones).

We feed Baileys Lo-Cal feed balancer but that is because the ponies need hard feed but we are always on Lami alert.

We buy Horseware Ireland rugs (Rambos for horses, Amigos for ponies). Initially expensive but so worth it in the long run. We buy them off the internet and often out of season when they are reduced - Winter soon comes around...

We have rubber matting and we bed horses on straw although we have ponies on shavings (usually buy cheaper BedMax rather than Hunter etc).

Try to borrow bits/gadgets, before buying, from friends.

Often buy jodphurs and other things which need trying on from county shows/Burghley etc when there is a huge choice and lots of show discounts available.

We try to support our local feed merchants. May pay a little more but you save it in petrol and good to keep the local little people going.

ohnelly · 29/09/2009 13:27

Do you have group lessons or private? will save some money if you share.
Buy nuts not coarse mix - they are basically the same but coarse mix looks nicer (the horse doesnt care what it looks like!)
Why do you need blue chip? Is feeding good quality feed and maybe adding some oil not enough? (cheap oil from supermarket will do)
Can you deep litter to save on bedding?

GothMummy · 29/09/2009 14:13

Hi there
I am on a strict budget. I have two horses, my Appaloosa x connemara and a part thoroughbred. Both are expensive to run - the appy has cushings and the part TB is a poor doer. I have had to work out the best way to spend my money.

I ordered a whole winters bedding on a pallet from Corley Biowood (the wood pellets that you add water to as shavings were SO expensive). This has cut my bedding costs from £7 a bag to £2.38 per bag.

I use Feedmark Benevit Advance instead of pelletted balencers. Check out the vitamin/mineral spec. Again, if you order a large amount it works out really cheap (I got 9 months supply for 2 horses in one go).

Pelletted feeds are cheaper per kilo than chops or chaffs. So if you are feeding Alfalfa, consider alfafa pelletts instead - you have to soak them but they are about £4 abag cheaper.

Does your horse really need supplements? Most healthy horses on normal diets dont. Its easy to fall into the expensive supplement trap.

Equipment - secondhand is always good. But I find sales can be just as cheap to be honest. Plus my mum's horse got ringworm from secondhand rugs so be aware!

Weighing hay also helps to avoid waste.

Look in pound shops for brushes etc.

Really think hard about all purchases before buying!

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