The notion of equinomics

What do you do if your checkbook is crying out for cash while your horse is neighing for attention? In these tight economic times, what’s a horse addict to do? Everything seems to cost too much money these days, from showing your horse to paying the farrier. So what can you do? Easy… practice equinomics with these money saving tips that will keep you and your horse healthy and happy!

Equinomics, or the practice of having fun with your horse without breaking the bank, falls into three categories:


Health care


Equinomic Activities

It may no longer be practical to truck down the highway to every horse show, but that doesn’t mean you can’t travel with your horse and still have fun. Here are some great equinomic ideas on what to do with your horse.

1. Socialize

Getting together with friends to ride can be fun and cheap! Many people used to being on the show circuit are economizing by riding trails (or even riding in a neighborhood stadium) with friends. To save money, carpool and haul the same trailer. If you still want to take lessons, save by taking a group lesson and taking a friend over to the trainer’s house.

2. School and local show

If you’re not ready to ditch the show circuit entirely, consider transporting yourself to local shows. Local shows are an inexpensive way to educate your horses. Use these shows to increase mileage for young horses or to tune up experienced show horses. Either way, the show rates are usually 1/4 to 1/3 of the cost of the highest rated shows.

Equinomic Healthcare

This inexpensive “downtime” is the perfect opportunity to really focus on your horse’s health from the inside out.

3. Focus on the cure

If you have been treating your horse’s health problems, now is a good time to transition to curing, as curing is a less expensive and more permanent long-term solution than alleviating the symptoms. For example, if you’ve only been “dealing with” your horse’s ulcer symptoms, stop and look at what’s causing his symptoms. Do you need to live on pasture instead of in a barn? Do you need supplements like stomach soother, probiotics or slippery elm and aloe vera? Or do you just need time off from work to relax?

4. Health Maintenance

With fall and winter just around the corner, now is a great time to float your horse’s teeth and take care of any other health maintenance he may need. A healthy horse that easily assimilates nutrients will be less expensive to feed during the winter. To offset the cost of these veterinary services, consider pulling your horse’s shoes and giving your horse’s hooves a break, especially if he won’t be showing. A barefoot cut costs less than four horseshoes and is healthier for your horse.

5. Find out your horse’s five-element type or temperament

Once you know your horse’s type, read about it in the book “Horse Harmony” to find out the best way to handle it. A well-managed horse is healthy, happy, and less expensive to maintain.

6. Barter or buy in bulk

People are always more willing to barter in difficult economic times. If you have goods or services to offer, consider suggesting a trade with your trainer, hay supplier, or vet. Another technique that works well is to buy hay and feed in bulk. For example, you can organize an informal “co-op” of horse people in your neighborhood and order a large load of hay or feed for a discount.

Equinomic Finance

Ultimately, this economic downturn is the perfect opportunity to implement healthy financial practices. I’ve saved my best equinomic advice for last.

7. Learn to support your horse habit

Horses are an expensive addiction, and luckily there are ways to support that addiction, especially now.

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