One point has come up several times in the slaughter discussion which I think is an important one in general. It is the idea of having a budget for keeping horses.

Jesse and I have been through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace classes and live by his principals. Even before this process when we lived by many of the same ideas, but with less of it in writing, we knew the importance of keeping our ‘herd’ in line with our money.

As one of the leading arguments FOR slaughter seems to be based in finances it does seem logical for responsible horse owners to have a budget for their horses. Gwen Confalone posted the following under slaughter alternatives and I think it is worth re-posting here:

“Predictably, this is a hot topic. I’d like to add one final thought. Not everyone should own a horse.

Just as most folks would agree that you shouldn’t have a child unless you can provide for it, one needs to realistically asses ones current and future financial resources, including the fact that this animal is likely to live at least 20 years. Horses are not cheap. Buying a horse is the cheapest part. Keeping it healthy and thriving throughout its life is the costly part. I understand that people may suddenly fall upon hard times such as the loss of a job or unforeseen health problems, but it seems to me that some forethought should go into planning for just such situations. The cost of death is part of horse ownership, regardless of whether it comes after a long, healthy life, or sooner and unexpectedly.
When purchasing a new horse, or breeding one, regardless of its initial cost, the horse owner should establish a separate bank account which covers it’s expenses. That bank account should contain enough money to provide basic care for the horse for six months. I’d estimate that to be around 1,000 dollars. If that owner is suddenly left without income, they should use some or all of that 1,000 to humanely destroy and bury or render the horse. If you cannot afford to keep 1000 in the”kitty” at all times, you should not own a horse. There are plenty of other ways to spend time with horses other than owning one – spend time at a local farm or boarding stable, or volunteer at a rescue.”

Will this slow the number of horses sent to slaughter? Maybe. It would make people realize that they have a problem BEFORE they are completely backed into a corner. Either way it can’t hurt. Do you have a ‘horse budget’? What amount do you think would be reasonable per horse?