First it was last summer's hay crop that ended up in short supply, and at higher prices. Next, we got handed higher prices for grain (see one of my previous posts about that). Now it's a shortage and price jump (if you can even locate a supply) in wood-related bedding--shavings, sawdust, chips, and stall pellets. That pretty much spells inflation in prices of every one of our staples.
When I add it all up, the numbers clearly tell me that my costs have risen enough--just from the factors above--to be the equivalent of having one extra horse to support per month. I don't have much choice but to pass this bad news on to my friends who board their horses at my ranch, and to tell them that their boarding fee HAS to go up. Nor can I avoid taking the required hard look at my own little herd and decide who needs to be first to go. (Which begs the next question: Go where? If a horse-owning lifer such as I is starting to feel priced out out of her passion, how must the cost of horse ownership look to someone just now thinking of joining us? And if I'm feeling pressured to reduce my horse numbers, why wouldn't other established horse owners be feeling the same thing--and be wanting to sell instead of buy?)
This isn't going to be a long post. Instead, I just want to put the rising-costs subject out there and ask how it's affecting you. Your input isn't going to change the bad news on my monthly bill from the farm-and-ranch store, but it might at least make me feel like I'm not the Lone Ranger.