With all this money saving going on and people referring back to “The Old Ways” I thought it would be fun to look back at our past and consider the option of replacing your car with a horse…. Who wouldn’t want to ride into town for a few beers and a pizza on the back of a giant stallion?
Traveling by horse was the old Wild West way, and also the way still employed in many countries and areas with large poor populations. Here in Cairo it’s not uncommon to see people traveling by a horse / donkey pulled cart and usually these people are from the poorer demographic…. They would suggest running a horse is cheaper than running a car, right? But I have always been led to believe that horse ownership was something for the rich, at least in USA and UK, so let’s take a brief look over the financial s and see how it pans out.
Disclaimer: I really don’t know a whole lot about horses, I just thought it would be fun to see how this would work out and this is by no means a comprehensive guide.
The Cost Of Buying A Horse – $3500
The initial cost involved in making the switch will be actually purchasing a horse. According to Horse Trader Classified you can pick up a working horse in the United states for anywhere between $1500-$8000. A mid range of around $3500 seems to be normal.
Housing The Horse – $ 4349
To even think about making this idea viable you will have to keep your trusted stead at home. This requires a fair space of land in the Garden and ideally some land nearby to house the horse. If you go the kit route then Barn Pro’s offer a simple Pasture Barn for $4349.00. However you could possibly build from scratch using some barn plans or your own ingenuity!
Kitting Up – $ 1764.95
Your horse needs equipment for carrying your daily items and comfort-ability for you and the animal when riding. Outfitters Supply have some Saddle’s available at $1,675 and reasonable sized sadle bags for available at $89.95.
Basic Start Up Costs – Approx $9613.75
Ok, already getting a horse is looking like a bad option as you can pick up a reasonable used car for a few thousand less! But there is the running costs to consider, if a horse is much less to run than a car, then maybe, just maybe it’s still a viable option
One Years Running Costs – Approx $2899 – $6086
I found an excellent article on Equine World (UK Site) that listed the rough costs for livery, food, Vet’s Fees, Insurance, Farrier, Dentist, Working and some cash for unexpected Extras. As we talked about stabling the horse in your back yard they estimate owning a horse will cost approx £1935-£4061 per years. A straight convert to dollars gives you the figure you see above…. Actually looking at this it seems to be comparable and possibly cheaper than running a car.
I don’t have to go on about this too much but owning a horse is probably like adding another family member. You will have to become friends and treat each other well. Some days the horse may just not want to go and stand in your work car park all day! It may want to join you in the bar and if you drink more than a bottle of beer you can’t leave your horse at the bar and take a cab home!
Also from a family perspective, at most the horse will take two people so you would need more than one horse for the family. Your local town may not welcome a horse being parked just anywhere and I don’t think they meet the minimum requirements for riding on the highway!
How to further save money…
The start up costs could be dramatically reduced by building your own stable and buying items used rather than new. You could probably knock a few thousand off the estimates with no real problem.
On the running costs you just have to look after your new friend as best as you can and you could save on medical costs. If your friends and family need their grass cutting you could kill two birds with one stone and save a bunch on feed. Also the manure could possible be sold on to a local garden store for a small bit of helping cash.
My Conclusion, What Do You Think?
Playing with the idea of replacing your trusty Ford with a stead and playing out your Clint Eastward fantasies sounds fun but for the majority of us it’s a little too impractical. Cross country travel would take weeks and your general pace of life would have to slow down. However for the Green minded folks in us it’s not going to necessarily cost more than owning a car and is probably far better for the local environment. Grass instead of gas and useful emissions!
What do you think about this whole idea?
I would more than love to know your thoughts in the comments and if you can help me improve this article then I would be entirely grateful.
Thanks a million for reading.
PS: I was inspired to write this quirky article by fellow Yakezie Member TJ’s awesome recent article on How Green Is Your Sex Life… It’s a fun read so I suggest you go check it out.