Only in Phoenix… four bales of hay, $75! Good grief, I understand the choice to be horse poor, giving up
a little a lot to have one is worth it. But horse broke is a different story! If you’re wondering how much hay one full size idle horse consumes, it’s about 1 1/2 bales a week.
I’ve been seeing big changes in the horse industry here. Prices of feed are way up… and the selling prices of horses are way down. Boarding stables are standing empty and many are for sale… real cheap.
This morning there are 1,741 local ads on Craigslist listed in farm & garden, mostly horses and horse trailers. It would be a piece of cake buying a nice quality broke trail horse for $1,000 or less. That’s the easy part, but the buck doesn’t stop there. Shoeing prices are now $100+ for a full set and $90 for front only, and that’s every 6 weeks. Then, be prepared to spend another couple of hundred dollars a year on vaccines, wormer, fly spray, etc. etc. Then there’s the boarding expense.
Boarding stables are charging on the average $275 -$350+ a month. That price offers little to no profit at all to the stable owner if they have hired help for stall cleaning. I found many ads offering a free pen to boarders in exchange for cleaning 10 or more stalls daily. That’s great if you have an extra two hours a day, but most horse owners work and would still like to have time to ride.
Even a small stable like TBN Ranch can’t fill all our pens and make a profit. Actually, it would cost us money. Between hay prices, manure removal, and water… I would have to charge my boarders way too much money.
So here we are, only a few horses, a beautiful shedrow barn and it’s 1/2 empty. Ten years ago it was full, and I charged $150 a month including hay… when it was $7 bucks a bale.
Cowboy times are changing, and that’s for dang sure.