My Pony Story and How I Mange to Afford Them 8/9/19

Picture Taken: 11/4/18

These are my two ponies:

Buttercup, the fat little shetland (age 12), and

Shelby, the 14h paint (age 21).

I was given these beautiful girls for free. Buttercup belonged to a little boy who didn’t ever ride her and his mother knew how much I wanted a pony so gave her to me for free. She also found Shelby for me, Shelby use to be a performer. She retired, and her owners just didn’t want her anymore and were going to give her to anyone, she was going to end up at the slaughterhouse. So the same woman brought Shelby to me as well.

Free horses, can be scary. You dont know where they came from, if they are broke or not, green, hurt, have medical issues, okay with children, dogs, men, ect.

I got lucky for the most part. Don’t get me wrong I had to do much needed ground work with them both. And still have to every other day with Shelby, but that’s expected from an old stubborn mare who use to have it all and was thrown out and not ridden for 2 years.

We moved from the city to the country a year ago. After fencing in our property (6 acres of the 10 for the animals) and getting my husband to build a shelter, I was on the hunt for some horses, I’ve dreamed of having a pony since I was a toddler. Three months after we moved Buttercup and Shelby arrived. Buttercup – scary obesed, terrified she’d have a stroke, and

Shelby – skinny.

•I have a low income, but luckily have a good piece of land so my horses live with me, I don’t pay to board. My husband build their shelter for about $200. It’s actually pretty nice – 3 walls, roof, and I got them a big rubber mat to go inside for about $70. I also bought a solar fan to go in it for $60.

•Buttercup strickly eats the grass and given a carrot or slice of apple for a treat. Shelby eats the grass in the yard (we live in Alabama, so it grows pretty quickly…they have plenty of it)

Shelby also eats 4 cups of Triple 10 for Seniors 2x a day with about a cup of:

Powerade, sugar, salt, vegetable & coconut oil mixed. And then I add water until it’s all mushy, don’t want her to choke.

Her 50lb bag of feed cost $13 at my local feed store that lasts a month (she was getting a bag of sweet feed from Tractor Supply only $10 and messed up her stomach…you don’t have to get the most expensive bag of food, but do your research).

Her “mix” costs about $6 a month, much better than most add ins people buy.

-$1Tree for 30oz Vegetable oil

-$1Tree for 8oz Coconut oil

-$1Tree 2lb Sugar

-40cent 26oz Salt

-$3 Gallon Powerade

I don’t buy a $10 bag of treats from Tractor Supply, I buy a 3 lb bag of apples for $3, 99cent bag of peppermints and 98cent bag of carrots at Walmart that everyone in the household can enjoy.

It costs me about $25 a month to feed my horse. (In the winter – an additional $8 for hay) but again I live in southern Alabama, so even in the winter the grass isn’t completely dead, somewhere farther north, you will need much for hay.

• I make my own fly spray – $1 vinegar and $1 mouth wash , beats $12-$20 fly spray sold everywhere else.

•TACK I buy all my tack used! I think for the blankets, bell boots, polo wraps, saddles, pads, nose bands, ect. I probably spent $200 total on everything.

•I only call my farrier 3 times a year, every 4 months. My ponies hooves don’t grow too quickly, so I keep them trimmed with a mini rasp I bought used for $10. I also pick them every day. My farrier charges $30 per horse for trimming (I do not shoe). So for me it’s about $180 a year.

•Every single day care: picking their feet, brushing, massaging, making sure their water is clean, stretching their legs and neck, lunging, and exercising. All this keeps them healthy, which also leads to de-worming. I buy a tube for $2.99 every month.

• Annual visit from the vet:

Physical exam, coggins test, vaccines- rabies, west Nile, flu & rhino all leads to about $75 per pony….this is pretty cheap, my vet that I use isn’t far from my house at all and being in the country it’s common many people have farm animals. Other places around the country can be much more expensive.

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