Horse Cost Case Study: June 2020


It’s odd how time flies and seems to go so slowly all at once. For several months now, my horse has been laid up with a popped splint and small fracture. Yet, here we are already in the midst of summer and clinic season once again!

Last month was the first time I managed to stay under budget this year. I managed to get within $30 this month — even though I had to pay for another round of x-rays.

The quick summary below for Savvy Horseman readers who want to continue following my budgeting journey.

You can read my full June 2020 horse expense report here

(If you haven’t seen my earlier Savvy Horsewoman article about this process, hop over there for additional context.)

Horse Cost Case Study June 2020

How I Did This Month

My goal is to always keep monthly horse expenses under $1,000 after adjustments (e.g. trades). This month, I was only over by $28.54 over budget.

Granted, this was only possible because I didn’t need to pay for board or lessons in June. That freed up funds for additional x-rays and new shoes. 

In June, my horse expenses were $1,448.54 BEFORE adjustments.

The chart below represents the total dollar VALUE of my equestrian expenses for 2020. 

It does not factor in any trades for products or services. In other words, if I didn’t trade for anything, this is how much money I’d be paying each month.

The next chart adjusts monthly expenses to account for the situations when I’m able to trade for products and services. 

These adjusted numbers are what I actually PAID OUT to support my horse habit per month. 

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In June, my horse expense was $1,028.54 AFTER adjustments.

The chart below shows my monthly expenses (value) by spending category. 

Healthcare is my most expensive category, and I anticipate that it will be yet again next month, too. Until the popped splint is fully healed, and no more x-rays are needed, a sizable portion of my budget will continue going towards my horse’s vet care. 

Obviously, this isn’t ideal. However, I’m glad it wasn’t something more serious — and that I have enough savings to handle unforeseen expenses like this.

See the average horse cost by state to get a sense of typical expenses in your area. 

See all the details in my June 2020 horse expense report.

Reflections

In the midst of the broader national and global challenges, waiting for my horse’s leg to heal is a mere inconvenience. I know how lucky I am to still be able to spend time with my horse during these times, even if I’m not behind my favorite pair of ears. 

As we continue to ride out the ups and downs of 2020, horses remain a touchstone for all equestrians seeking a sense of normalcy. For that, at least, we can be grateful.

I said it last month, and I’ll say it again: this isn’t forever, and you’ll be living, laughing, and loving your barn time once again. Take care, wear a mask, and hug your horse!

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See all of my monthly horse expense reports.

Horse Rookie

After 25+ years in the saddle, I bought my first horse at 33. I love practicing dressage, eventing, stadium jumping, reining, trail riding, and cow work with my Quarter Horse in Montana, USA.

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I started HorseRookie.com, an educational website, to help equestrians of all levels (especially rookies) answer common questions, make informed decisions, and have more fun with their horses.

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