Horse Life

2017 Recap

Finally back from vacation and so much to catch up on! We got in super late last night so I’m working from home and then braving the freezing weather (not in Jamaica anymore!) to go ride my pony. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled. Anyway, here was MY 2017:

Some definite lows:

Putting P up for sale, realizing that was a terrible idea and taking him off the market, re-training my already re-trained horse, treating for ulcers. We can also add that time I tried to dye my horse’s tail because it’s STILL growing out.

Some fabulous highs: Obtaining my dear, squishy Volty, upfitting my trailer to save $$$ on hotels, starting to work with Trainer B, moving to a new barn, finishing a HT on our dressage score for the first time ever, jumping big (for us) jumps: here and here, riding bridleless for the first time, and of course, riding my awesome horse in a T-Rex costume that other horses wouldn’t go near. Wasn’t there something else? Hmmm, what could it be?

J/k- it just gets its own line: FINISHING OUR FIRST BN ON OUR DRESSAGE SCORE!

P and I did next to nothing from January 2017 through when I dropped him off in Aiken to be sold mid-February, and then I got him back end of March/beginning of April. So since April, here’s what we’ve been up to:

6,008 miles hauling

31 lessons with Trainer B

9 lessons with Trainer J (rectifying that this winter)

Countless trail rides

1 hunter pace

3 XC schoolings

11 Competitions, broken down as such:

1 dressage show

5 horse trials

5 Jumper shows

Average dressage score: 35

Last year I did a recap of my annual expenses and I was totally expecting that number to go down this year. But with P in “training” in Aiken for 6 weeks, plus ALL THE LESSONS to fix him when he got back, then with a new jump saddle and the upgrades to my trailer, I failed MISERABLY.


Board: $7,900. Old H/J barn was $625 and new barn is $650/month. In my area, full boarding typically runs between $500-$700/month, so this is at the high end but totally worth it. Board includes stall, daily turnout, premium grain (P gets TC Senior plus rice bran), quality hay fed free choice, including daily hay thrown in the pasture, supplements, blanketing, minor injury care, holding for vet/farrier; and has a large outdoor arena with a jump course and lights, a 40x60m dressage arena, a hacking trail with XC jumps, and a galloping lane.

Farrier: $1,455. P gets 4 steel shoes with clips every 4-5 weeks. Farrier at HJ barn charged $115 and new farrier charges $140 (ouch) but so far he’s done a good job.

Insurance: $798.  Includes mortality, major medical, etc. I almost dropped my major medical policy this year due to never using it in the last 3 years, but didn’t, thank the good Lord above. I had to use it for the first time for ulcers and will never be without insurance ever again.

Vet/Bodywork Services: $855. P has PEMF done once a month and then heโ€™s been chiro’d a few times as well. Other than the ulcers, which was taken care of besides the $350 deductible, P had an x-ray done on his perpetually puffy left knee to make sure he was still good, teeth floating, and regular vaccinations/coggins.

Lessons/Training/Schooling Fees: $5,840. This includes the training board for the 6 weeks he was in Aiken, the clinic we did at CHP in June, and then ALL THE LESSONS to fix P’s jumping. It also includes facility fees for schooling.

Shows: $1,924. This includes entry fees, USEA fees, and stalling/camping hookup costs when applicable. Does not include food or fuel.

Tack/Gear/Supplements: $8,140. This is mostly because of the addition of Volty, my new jump saddle. P’s supplements include FatCat and U-Shield.

Trailer: $6,878. Maintenance was minimal, the big expense was when I added the electric awning, AC, camper hookups, battery, and hinge extender.

Truck: $10,155. This isnโ€™t strictly a horse expense, since I use the dually as my daily vehicle as well, but I definitely wouldnโ€™t have the truck if not for the horse, so the expense stays.

Total: $43,945

Well look at that. I managed to outspend my own self by just about $14,000.


Bring on 2018!

32 thoughts on “2017 Recap”

  1. So many ups and downs but what a great last few months of the year you and P had!

    I want to do a spending recap including a ponies coming home cost but I’m totally scared to find out. I’m 99% sure my total will beat yours. I have three horses though so that’s my excuse…


      1. But then my husband will see…hmm. Looks like from the conversation on Carly’s blog I’m allowed to exclude new horse purchase price so that helps. Plus you can’t put a price on happiness right?


  2. Oh boy I’m doing my spending for 2017 at the moment. I am now scared at what the cost might be!

    On the awesome note though… congratulations on a great 2017! I think finishing on a Dressage score is an awesome achievement
    Good luck for 2018 mate

    Mel x


  3. Welcome back!!!!! Just in time to really enjoy the arctic blast!! hahahaha!!! You guys really had a big year! I’d say you guys rocked it coming back with a BN Dressage score completion after the craziness that was the Aiken Training Saga. Now you can start fresh and move forward instead of refixing things so cheers to a fun and exciting 2018 ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also the hunter pace series are starting back up next weekend… hopefully one of the fun ones will fit available dates and we can go riding!!!


  4. The TRex costume ride still stands out in my mind. I’m glad you kept P. He may have some difficulty with fences from time to time, but he’s a flippin’ saint.


  5. Welcome back! Jamaica sounds lovely – T and I were just discussing going somewhere tropical next year (vs cold and snow blech). That is quite the horse costs (though I’m sure the combination of truck and trailer and saddle really sent you over the edge – next year should be a lot less without those expenses haha)


  6. OMG, I think I had a heart attack just reading those numbers! And my husband was getting worried about me spending ~$1500 on a saddle! O_O I think most of the expenses you mentioned were worth it though. A bunch of future proofing (lessons, trailer, truck). Hopefully, 2018 isn’t as bad!


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