Thursday, July 17, 2008

Supplemental Income

When I bought Wally over a year ago, the seller was upfront with me about Wally's hocks. They have arthritic changes. Wally's creaky hocks certainly don't prevent him from being a wonderful horse for recreational riding, but it's always lurking in the back of my mind that I need to baby him a little.

Wally was on an oral joint supplement when I bought him, and my vet, Jennifer, suggested keeping him on it. I gambled once and tried stopping the supplement, just to see what would happen. Well, guess what? Wally didn't go lame, but he seemed stiffer at the jog. While I realize that's hardly a scientific study, it was enough of a scare to prompt me to rush out to the local vet supply store and buy another canister of joint supplement.

I'm a confirmed comparison shopper, so I stood in the aisle for at least 15 minutes, comparing amounts of glucosamine in one product versus MSM and chondroitin totals in other products. I also got caught in the trap of, "Surely the most expensive supplement is the best, because it must cost more to make the superior product."

Yeah, right.

So now Wally is back on his daily joint supplement, pricey as it is. Each time I fill up the itty bitty scoop with the pelleted supplement I think about how much each one of those tiny green pellets cost. It's like I'm feeding Wally a heaping spoonful of granulated gold.

This most recent purchase of buying an equine joint has led me to this discovery: Owning a horse is expensive!

I know. You came to this conclusion a long time ago.
Fortunately I've learned to appreciate the cheaper things that help make my life with horses enjoyable. Not every purchase has to be a big ticket item. About twice a month I'll satisfy my urge to buy something horsey, but force myself to stick to something cheap. A squeeze bottle of tail de-tangler, a new lead rope or a funky cowgirl t-shirt off the sale rack are some of my latest finds. And each one cost less than a dozen dollars, which leaves me more money for Wally's next jug of diamond dust. I mean joint supplement. For other suggestions of nifty, thrifty ideas to use around the barn that cost under $20, click on this link:Not Everything Horsey Costs a Fortune
It's the latest installment of HI Spy on Horse Channel. If you can think of other things that cost under $20, add them to the comments section at the end of the article. Who knows, your ideas might end up in Horse Illustrated magazine!


Anonymous said...

I bought a toilet scrubber a few months ago out of the dollar bin at Target. I use it to scrub out my mare's water buckets. It comes in handy,especially during the summer months when it is dusty and the flies and bugs decide to commit suicide in her water buckets! I think she appreciates the extra effort! :)

Anonymous said...

Well, I worked overtime last week, in a factory, next to the paint line oven, ten hours a day, and what did I do with my hard-earned, sweat-soaked money? I bought my mare a fancy Classic Equine ESP blanket, you know- with the memory foam- to protect her sore back. After all, what's the use of working so hard if I can't spoil my "Horse Babies?"
My husband thinks I'm crazy. I could've had lots of other things, but I have to confess, it felt really nice to be able to buy the blanket I had been coveting for the last 6 months!!! My "bargain buy" was a new pair of bell boots for Skipper. LOL! You gotta love them!
It was SO hot at the show yesterday that I felt sorry for the horses. Some of them girls were running their horses in every event (it was strictly a speed-event show) and they wondered why their poor horses were wound up, and misbehaving. They were hot and miserable.
I kept getting buckets of cool water, and sponging my gray gelding down all over. It probably ruined my silver breast collar, but that's ok. I love my horse more! And to top it off, the smarty-pants at the trailer next to us was making fun of me for being kind to my horse... and for wearing a safety helmet (the ONLY person I've seen wearing one around here is ME!) I just smiled, and kissed Skipper's nose. Some people.... I wanted to sneak over and cool their horses off too while they weren't looking, but I didn't.
Take Care, and please give Wally a smooch on the nose for me! And plant the poor guy something edible, ok???
p.s. sorry this is so long. I love your blog though.

Cindy Hale said...

Ah yes, the Suicide Dive of the Dunking Flies! I have some of those too, but I also get these gigantic metallic green beetles in Wally's water during the summer. So I appreciate the tip about the toilet scrubber. Beats cleaning the water tub with my bare fingers!

And Jamie... You are so much like so many other of us horse crazy folks. Believe me, there are times when I look for ways to earn an extra few dollars or two and where do I spend it? At the tack store. Or the feed store. Or the vet supply store. And I ADMIRE YOU for taking such great care of Skipper. You're a wonderful Horse Mom!