The problem of unwanted horses is not going away any time soon unfortunately. Many factors contribute to horses being left in danger of entering the slaughter pipeline. Everything from increased horsekeeping costs, sudden illness or death of an owner, overbreeding, etc…. But for some horses, being left by the wayside could be preventable if only there was a little nest egg for them.
Anyone who owns a horse knows the cheapest part is the initial purchase price. It’s the daily/weekly/monthly costs that add up. And everyone hopes they will enjoy a long and fruitful partnership with their equine buddy.
But what about hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst? If you are spending $500 – $1000 a month on boarding/training/farrier/feed/vet care what difference does another $50 to $100/month matter? Seriously. Think about it – how much money goes out the window every month on wine, lottery tickets, fidget spinners, etc….
Putting a little money aside every week or month can add up over the course of years. If you take on the responsibility of a horse, planning for its future is part of your job as a good owner. I know of several horse sanctuaries that take on aged equines. Rarely do the owners that beg these sanctuaries to give their lame, elderly horses a soft landing offer any sort of monthly assistance.
Let’s suppose an owner adopts a 7 year old horse and at the age of 22 it has become too arthritic to work, but can still have a good quality of life in retirement. If that same owner put aside $20/week as a nest egg, beginning when the horse was first adopted, there would be more than $15,000 available to provide for its retirement! A welcome admission for a sanctuary, or a way to help cover monthly costs at a private retirement facility.
And while the horse lives comfortably after serving as a loyal partner, the owner has time to build more significant savings to cover the horse’s retirement in the future years.
A 401K for a horse? Makes total sense to me.