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May 5, 2015: Horse Poor, Horse Rich

The subject of being horse poor is perhaps one of the most important subjects that I might write about in a dispatch. I don’t think that I could publish an article on this subject in a magazine because it alludes to the not-so-good aspects of horse ownership.

Defined, horse poor is an instance of supply side economics – one no longer has adequate funds on hand for animal care, health, management, or training, consequently, the owner and/or their horses are going without.

What brought this topic to mind is the fact that we are now low on in-state hay. We have nine bales left. This will last us 12 or so days. This means that in the next few weeks we’ll most likely go to M Bar D in Anchorage and purchase a ton of out-of-state hay. We’ll also most likely purchase another ton in the next month or so. This will get us through until July.

In first considering this additional expense (and it will be an additional expense) a knot formed in my stomach for this will be yet another springtime horse expense. Add to this, next week we have a scheduled appointment with Dr. Wellington – he’ll do a routine exam and give the horses vaccines. He will also float all the horses’ teeth, perhaps remove Hrimmi’s wolf teeth, and do a lameness exam on Mr. Tinni. Ruth and Vickie will also bring their horses over to our place This will save us all money on the farm visit, since we’ll be splitting Dr. Wellington’s travel costs three ways.

I have not yet mentioned this to Pete, but we’ll soon need to schedule another farrier visit. Raudi’s shoes are wearing thin -- I’ve been riding her a lot these past few weeks.

And here I am, wanting to get another horse. Bottom line: there are just four corners in a stall. Cut any of them and you/and your horses will suffer the consequences. I want a fourth horse. I could go ahead and purchase Tyra, and rationalize my decision. I could eat less (I need to lose some weight), floss more (this will keep the dentist at bay), and postpone getting my hair cut (fewer public outings, I can handle this). I could also cut back on the horses’: feed less (Raudi is fat, fat, fat), wait on having Hrimmi’s wolf teeth removed (she is not yet ready to carry a bit), and put off the upcoming farrier visit (ride on soft ground). Bottom line. There are only four corners in a stall. Cut any of them and you and/or your horse suffer the consequences. A sobering, and very realistic thought.

I’d say that we are on the verge of being horse poor, but have not and will not step over the line. Pete and are too smart for this.

I once remarked to my friend Heather that we were horse poor, and she said no, we are horse rich. This is very true. We have three wonderful horses, all of whom are doted upon, and receive the absolute best of care. And they are all content being in one another’s company. I myself am in horse heaven, because this is something I always wanted. Each day that they grace our presence, I find something to celebrate. Today it’s the fact that it’s Hrimmi’s third birthday. Horses are fillies until their third birthday. Today she who is three is now a mare.

I am so glad that we have her. And glad that she’s doing so well. She has another year of hanging out before we put her to work. And she will continue to (like the rest) receive the best of care. How good is that? Horse rich, horse poor – it’s really easy to cross the line – and I’m not going to do it.

Next: 119. 5/6/15: Clinic Update

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