Budgets might seem tedious and onerous to some, but they can also aid in decision-making related to starting a new business, operating an existing business more efficiently, or planning for tax purposes. In addition, for those who have horses but do not necessarily operate a business, budgets can help provide an objective estimate of horse ownership costs.
To give the everyday horse owner or manager access to a set of relatively easy-to-use budgets, the University of Kentucky departments of Agricultural Economics and Animal and Food Sciences have developed online budgeting tools available on their website. The budgets found on this website are called enterprise budgets, which provide an estimate of revenues, costs, and the resulting profits from a single business enterprise. These budgets are interactive and can be modified to accommodate differences in prices and costs across all types of operations as well as overtime.
There currently are four specific equine enterprise budgets available on the website for individuals who:
- Own broodmares and sell yearlings (Broodmare Marketing Yearlings);
- Run a boarding operation (Boarding Operation);
- Have horses for personal use on property and facilities they own (Horse Owner on Owned Land); or
- Own horses that are boarded elsewhere (Owner Boarding)
Other budgets will be added as they become available.
Detailed instructions for understanding and using these budgets are available from the UK Cooperative Extension Service.
Keep in mind that the equine industry is very diverse, and establishing a set of budgets to fit all types of operations is challenging. Thus, while default numbers are included, actual values might vastly differ. Since these budgeting tools are interactive, however, users can change values to fit their individual needs.
Jill Stowe, PhD, is an assistant professor in the University of Kentucky Department of Agricultural Economics.
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Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.