(Excerpted from the August 2012 Cost Savings Special Issue)

August 2012

As a young woman in her 20s, my sister is learning about the full spectrum of horse-owning responsibilities, a rite of passage I also experienced in my early 20s (my ramen-noodle-eating years). While we grew up owning, caring for, and riding horses at our family’s farmette, Mom and Dad shouldered the burden of planning and paying for veterinary appointments, hay deliveries, and vehicle/equipment maintenance, among the many other details involved with ownership. And while Sarah still keeps her horses at our parents’ place, she’s taken on a much larger portion of these responsibilities.

Lately she’s had to manage some of the more uncomfortable, weighty aspects of horse ownership. With two senior horses on the farmÑone of which has been navigating significant health issues, from an intermittent hind-limb lameness to heavesÑthe time commitment required for chores and care has expanded.

Sarah’s also been learning firsthand the costs of long-term medication administration and veterinarian farm calls, which has caused her to take steps to plan ahead and watch her pennies while keeping these geldings healthy. These preparations will mature her as an owner, and they will benefit additional horses in the future.

This month’s cover story breaks down the copious financial aspects of horse ownership. In any area of lifeÑand especially with horsesÑbeing deliberate