Horses can take owner’s wallet for a ride
When six-year-old Amber Fry mounted a horse for the first time, she immediately knew what she would ask Santa Claus at Christmas time. But because of the costs of buying and keeping a horse, it took Santa 10 years to make good.
Fry, like many throughout America and throughout the world, loves horses enough to overcome rising costs.
Cassie, a 7-year-old thoroughbred, is Fry’s most recent addition to her stable. She bought her for $900 four months ago, and said she got a big price cut because Cassie is green broke, meaning she should only be ridden by experienced riders.
"A well-trained horse can be anywhere from $1,500 to $40,000 or more," she said. "We’re just training her right now. We’re working on getting her calmed for trail riding and then we might use her for jumping or speed barrel racing."
When Fry, who lives in Oakley, bought her first horse, she said the cost to keep the animal surprised her.
"The vet costs surprised me, because you usually don’t have insurance on a horse," she said. "And with some things, you can’t see them coming."
Since buying Cassie four months ago, Fry has already had to make a few emergency trips to the vet, costing in excess of $250.
"I had just taken her to the vet for immunizations, but she got sick the day we went in," she said. "We don’t know why she got sick, but they gave her antibiotics that gave her a severe case of hives. She had an allergic reaction, so we had to take her in again."
Generally, Fry estimates she spends around $350 on monthly expenses, $60 on bimonthly expenses, $100 on biannual expenses and over $3,000 yearly. That does not include tack, or equipment that includes saddles, blankets, bridals, and reins, which can cost anywhere from $500 to $3,000 dollars to buy initially and about $200 per year to fix and replace.
"The boarding can be expensive, but if you haven’t ever been into horses, the tack all the equipment you need can be very expensive," she said.
But buying certain types or horses and tack, as well as keeping the animal on private property instead of boarding, can help save money. Some horses can also save by not needing shoes.
"Shoeing is between $50 and $60, usually, and it needs to be done every four to six weeks," she said. "Most people need them, but you usually take them off in the winter."
The U.S. Federal Food and Drug Administration estimate the total equine population in America at 6 million. They suggest preventative maintenance rather than emergency care for saving money.
"It’s a hobby. Just like people buy old cars and fix them up, horses are a hobby for people," Fry said. "Others use them on a ranch and need them for work, while other people show them. Others like them for trail riding or teaching their kids. It was just a hobby for me. I just enjoy training and riding them."
For information on horses, boarding, tack or lessons, contact Rino Ranch at (435) 649-9527 or Tally Ho Farm at (435) 649-4126.
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Another ski season is in the books, and much to the relief of the restaurant industry, the outlook, like the weather, is looking sunny.