The Uncomfortable Topics: Money, Horses, and Future Planning

Looking at the books...

2000 $220/ton high-quality grass hay delivered
2021 Summer $240 Fall $385 (previous year's hay as there is a shortage and no more hay until July 2022 when we find out what was actually able to grow.)
4 months of wildfires and drought last summer (we were surrounded by them, evacuating, with ash falling out of the sky) have wreaked havoc on ID, WA, MT, WY, OR, and CO (a farmer friend pulled 60-sixty- bales off one field of his that he normally gets 2,000 800# bales from) or British Columbia hay producers- there was NO hay... dealers were trying to import from the NV great basin with little luck and overseas customers were skyrocketing hay prices.
And this area is cheap compared to most places in the USA.

Full Set of Shoes
2021 Spring $125 Fall $135
2022 Spring $145

Grain increased on average 25%

Cost of Purchasing Experienced Trail Horse 12-16yr
2020 $8,000-10,000
2021 $10,000-12,000
2022 $15,000
In the last three months I've looked at roughly 115 horses for sale- 93 of which were lame- all between the ages of 6 and 15- trained in a variety of disciplines and across the USA.
Finding a sound, sane, experienced equine that is still interested in participating with the human? Priceless (and still looking for many clients)
And there continues to be indiscriminate breeding, and a continued lack of education in "professionals" whose inexperience or limited quality education offered to the horse is then diminishing the chances of young horses' success at surviving the human experience, without getting resold multiple times and ending up at auction or slaughterhouses.

This is not sustainable for many clients. The last time the economy crashed in 2008/2009 we literally had people letting horses loose in both the PNW areas and the desert SW because they couldn't afford them.

Real estate prices are insane, and people are at an all-time high in both spending and debt... never mind world events that are going to continue to affect the cost of diesel, hay, grain, etc.

Many horse owners live far outside the affluent standards a few geographical locations have in the US. They have to choose between their mortgage or hay when the economy crashes. What some people pay in board on the east or west coast, folks in rural areas spend on their house payments. And trying to survive on minimum wage doesn't cut it.
I share this post as an honest warning to open the door for a proactive discussion...
Many horse owners are emotionally hopeful but not financially realistic about long-term care options, emergency plans, and future care for their horse(s) if something happens to them.There is a severe reality that most people don't have emergency vet care funds.
Our rescues are currently overflowing, with 50,000 mustangs in captivity, and slaughter trucks are full.
I remember the days of getting five to six calls PER DAY from people wanting to give me "free horses" because they couldn't handle, manage, or afford them...
So, rather than waiting until you might need a "backup" plan, what are doing in case:
Of an emergency vet bill?
Long-term horse care options if you are unable to provide hands-on (for those who keep horses at home)?
Have you documented your wishes for your animals and found people who are willing to take on the responsibility and care for them if something happens to you?
Is your horse "manageable" for the general public to handle easily- i.e. catch, halter, lead, and trailer? If not who has a skill set that would and could be responsible for them?
If hay continues to be a limited commodity and prices continue to rise?
If your boarding facility increases their fees to cover their increasing costs?
Do you have emergency evacuation options that you've rehearsed in case of flooding or wildfires?

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