Benefits for a horse operation:
LETS'S ASSUME YOU HAVE SIX HORSES YOU WANT TO KEEP CONDITIONED. The average selling price for a top of the line Priefert 6 horse panel walker with a touch screen control box is approximately $27,000 at retail. Assuming you could hire someone to exercise your horses 5 days a week at $14 per hour, you would spend $29,120 per year in labor cost. In this scenario, the return on investment is less than one year.
Cost of Ownership
|1 Year||5 Years||10 Years|
|Cost of Owning a Horse Walker||$27,000||$5,400||$2,700|
|Cost of Hiring Someone||$29,120||$145,600||$291,200|
Benefits for recreational equestrians:
You have a busy life: work, kids' activities, a social life, community events, church, etc. Let's assume you have 6 horses that you need to be kept conditioned for equestrian events on the weekend (i.e. barrel racing, roping, trail riding, etc.). Most experts agree that to keep your horse sound (physically and mentally) they need to be exercised at least 3 times per week. That would require you (or a hired hand) at least 8 hours a day or 24 hours per week (assuming a 1 hour ride and including time for grooming, saddling, washing etc.).
- Regular exercise keeps horses at their peak performance because it increases lung capacity, builds a healthy heart and blood flow, builds/maintains muscle mass, keeps tendons flexible, etc. Any athlete (human or equine) must exercise regularly to be at or near peak performance. Sitting on the couch eating potato chips is not a good way to prepare for a 10k. The same goes for your horse eating grass in the pasture.
- Regular exercise keeps horses physically sound which reduces injury and related veterinary bills. Just like humans, horses can easily strain muscles and tendons, get sore, and even break bones if not properly prepared for the disciplines in which they are participating (especially high speed events such as roping, barrel racing, cutting, team penning, mounting shooting, etc.)
- Regular exercise keeps horses mentally sound. Any horse owner can tell a difference in the attitude of his/her horses when they have been left on pasture vs. being worked with or exercised frequently.
- Using a walker 20 minutes before a ride takes the "edge" off of most any horse. Depending on the age and temperament of the horse, taking a horse straight out of the pasture and into the arena can be frustrating and even dangerous, especially for young or inexperienced riders.
Don't let the frustrations that come with a fat, lazy horse, a hyperactive horse, or an injured horse hinder the enjoyment of your hobby. All of these things can be minimized by simply introducing an effective, consistent exercise program in a Priefert Walker.