The number one thing that I underestimated when buying a horse was the cost. Oh sure! You are constantly told how expensive horses are, (from your parents, trainer, friends, to internet memes) but never think that it will affect you that badly. “I’m frugal!” “I have a steady job!” “I can work off most of my expenses!” These all worked for me for a little while before reality hit. I am a 23 year old, part time worker with a giant, money eating beast.
I’m here to share with you my tips for making an extra buck (to spend on your horse of course!).
1. Pet/Baby Sitting
Even if you’ve said goodbye to your braces and pigtails, you are still way over qualified to make a little cash pet/baby sitting. I have a small scale pet sitting business (nothing special, just a gig every two months or so) that makes me a couple hundred dollars a year. This side job will usually cover Leo’s yearly vaccines.
Reach out to neighbors, friends, boarders at the barn and let them know you’re available to watch their pets or kids anytime they need to take a vacation, or a night off. Believe me, your wallet and your friends will thank you!
2. Sell Your Stuff
From vests, to boots, to girths, and bridles you can get rid of all of your unwanted stuff online and turn it into cold hard cash that you can use to buy yourself some vests, boots, girths, and bridles. Sites like eBay, HorseClicks, TackTrader, BitsandBridles are all great options! It’s insanely easy to get started on eBay, here is an article if you want a bit more information. The only caveat to online sites is many charge fees (budget about 10% for eBay) so price accordingly. Ready to sell on eBay? Check out my tips to posting top notch listings!
If eBay is not your thing, there are so many Facebook groups dedicated to selling tack.
- English Tack Exchange (25,000+ Members)
- English Tack Trader (61,000+ Members)
- Western WA Tack Trader (3,000+ Members)
- English and Western Tack Sales (5,000+ Members)
- To name a few…
These groups are great as they don’t charge any fees and listings are free, but be careful as they don’t offer the same seller/buyer protection as online sites do.
3. Get a Side Job
This may be more difficult, but can have huge and consistent payouts. When I was working full time, I also had a commission based job at my local farm. For every program I ran I received a cut of the profits. It was an amazing way to make a few extra dollars since I could set my own hours and only run programs when I had the time. Many farms are looking for enthusiastic people who are willing to take on some of the less desirable tasks of birthday parties, group events, sleep overs, and day camps. Talk to the owner/trainer at your farm and see if this would be an option. Farms are also always looking for extra farm hands, so see if you could take a shift one or two days/nights a week.
If working at your farm is not an option keep your eyes and ears open for other possibilities. Friends and family are an amazing source for those “odd jobs” whether it be helping my father with a company mailing, my mother with website design, friends with nanny gigs, or working special events. The best part is most of these jobs require no special skills and is a great way to stash away some green in your horse fund.
4. Offer a Product or a Service
What is the saying? “Necessity is the mother of invention?”
We all have the hidden entrepreneur inside of us and I’ve found that equestrians are some of the best at tapping into that. I am rarely surprised anymore to hear that some of my favorite products were started by fellow horse owners. Products like the Benefab Therapeutic Products or, my personal favorite, Farriers Fix hoof oil were both started by regular horse people. If you’ve come up with a brilliant farm or life hack, a useful product, or have a
certification in a particular equine service invest a little time and effort into growing these ideas. Even if you only sell a few at a local horse show, or offer the service once a month, it is still a great way to make extra money.
For those of you (like me!) who haven’t found their million dollar idea yet think about something you could easily make and sell. My friend makes and sells homemade canned goods, another offers photography sessions and all sorts of PR services. Throughout college I made and sold necklaces. Thanks to the 21st century we are able to connect with BILLIONS more people than we ever could, so, you don’t have to be a self promotion genius to get your stuff out there anymore! If you want to give this method a try, check out popular sites like Fivver and Etsy.
TRUTH: Horse are expensive. More than you could ever estimate. TRUTH: Horses are worth every long day, every pair of sore feet, every lighter than usual wallet. So go forth and make some green! I can’t wait to hear your success story or how you pad your budget for your horse. So don’t be a stranger and comment below. As always share on Facebook, Pinterest, and with your friends!