If you are anything like me I am really due for another saddle, but because of the big price tag that is usually attached to purchasing 'the right one', I knew I had to look at my budget and see the areas where I can trim back to jump-start my "saddle account". It all started last fall as I was finishing up the development of my Equine Nutrition Software, 'Feed My Horse'; the thought of having a new saddle started to tickle my mind. This new idea was magnified even more when I attended the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto (November 2016). The Western and English saddles were oh so beautiful and as I toured the booths and asked questions, I decided right there and then that a new saddle was definitely on my list of goals for 2017.
So the first thing I did was to go to my software to test how my horses' diets were fairing out and if I could make some adjustments to save some dollars. The software is really easy to use and after playing around with forages and feeds, including inputting my hay analysis, I was able to see some fantastic results!
Here is what my previous nutrition plan for my two horses looked like:
Per Month for Two Horses (Old Plan)
Commercial Feed $100.00
TOTAL $282.10 per month for 2 horses
Per Month for Two Horses (New Plan, based on Feed My Horse Software)
Commercial Feed $14.00
Probiotic /V+M $66.00
TOTAL: $187.82 per month for 2 horses
SAVINGS: $94.28 per month or $1131.36 per year!!
The new plan not only saves me money each month but it actually is nutritionally better for my 2 horses. The software showed that my old plan provided too many calories for my horses, and I was over nourishing them as well. I cut back in the amount of hay I was feeding per day, and changed the type of commercial feed. I adjusted the feeding amounts in the software while staying within the acceptable guidelines for the nutrients based on my horses' profile. I changed probiotic companies and found one that worked much better with my hay analysis, was lower in iron, and also provided the vitamins and minerals my horses needed to balance out the diet. The Selenium+Vitamin E is still used but with the change in products, I only needed to add half the previous feeding rate to reach optimal levels for my horses.
So voila! I have healthier horses and my "saddle account" is growing very well thanks to the Feed My Horse Software. And hopefully by the end of the year, my new saddle will be sitting pretty under the Christmas Tree!
I just have to decide if it will be English or Western....