Feeding your horse during tough economic times

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With the current state of the economy - and no end in sight, horse owners are having to become creative when it comes to providing for their herd. Last week I was chatting with a friend who I haven't spoken to in a year or so, and he told me about the lengths he has gone to in order to find affordable feed options. He has had the most success in locating affordable feed on Craig's List. The downside is that he find's limited quantities, and often has to get creative when it comes to transporting it across several counties. The upside is obvious - he is able to sustain his herd and not have to put any of his loved horses to auction.

He has also bartered with local farmers, trading goods and services to make ends meet. This undoubtedly takes a lot longer to do than a trip to your local farm supply store. If you play your cards right and stay active - time is an obstacle that can easily be overcome. His trick (as he stated to me) was to stay active. Establish as many contacts as possible, work on as many deals as you can. That way, if one falls through - you have a back-up plan no more than a day or two away.

I asked him if he feels the nutrition of his herd has suffered due to the lengths he has to taken in order to simply find affordable feed. He claims that he has been able to keep them nutritionally sound - with a solid base of quality hay and then using a mix of grains and supplements as needed.

This conversation has me interested in hearing ways that other horse owners have made ends meet. Please share in the comments section!