Horses are expensive. Lets not pretend. But for some of us its not about if you will buy a horse is it more about when you will buy a horse. Even if I didn’t buy my mare when the opportunity to buy came up I would have definitely been loaning or riding another persons horse, while saving up for my own.
If I meet someone new and end up mentioning that I have a horse I quite often get asked how much that costs or have the comment “that must be expensive“, well yes of course it takes up a massive part of my life but its a massive passion of mine that I couldn’t imagine not having in my life. Therefore I have decided to do a little three part series that will look at what expenses you can expect when buying a horse, in order to give you a realistic view of how much horses cost.
In this part I will look at what expenses you will need to make sure you can afford before you buy, the second part I will look at expenses whilst buying and the third part will look at things you can expect after you have bought the horse.
Before the horse.
Before you buy a horse there are a lot of regular monthly expenses that you will need to make sure that you can afford. These can vary quite vastly in price depending on which option best suits you but it is important you do your research and figure out which option is best suited to you.
First up, where you are keeping your horse?
Livery can range from full to grass, each with there own benefits and downfalls. Starting with grass which is essentially renting a field. All the way up to full were your horse is essentially taken care of for you. While full livery is obviously more expensive, remember that you are buying time. When you go up to the yard you can spend time with your horse without having to do the chores that come with horse. Livery such as D.I.Y is cheaper but you do have to muck out, feed and everything else in-between before riding.
Selecting a livery is a big decision as it is a place where you will be spending a lot of time and money on it therefore it is important you have a good look around at which liveries are going to work for you.
The facilities at the yard are important, but consider what you actually need. When I first got my mare I rented a field with some other people, it was up to us to section off areas for winter and summer grazing and to ensure there was water and haylage in the winter. The second yard we were at had an outdoor arena we could use but she was still on grass. Now we are on assisted livery at a big yard with plenty of facilities but it has taken years to get there and I have slowly worked my way to my current situation. However when I bought my horse I knew she would need time to develop therefore I wasn’t bothered about having lots of facilities straight away.
Should anything happen vet bills are expensive, insurance is good to have. The costs can vary quite widely depending on what you take out but you should definitely do your research.
This will be highly dependant on how much work your horse is in. For my mare I go through about a bag of balancer per month, depending on which brand and type of balancer you choose the price can range from £20 to £40. A chaff can be roughly from £10 to £30 but it will last around 2 or 3 months as I don’t feed a lot of it.
Also depending on the grass available in your horses field you might need to add hay or haylage, although this might be included in your livery cost.
Whether or not your horse is shod their feet should be seen to regularly by a farrier or a bare foot specialist. Farriers tend to be out every 6-8 weeks, although should you horse have any problems with their feet you will probably be seeing them more.
Horses are beginning to sound a little bit expensive now aren’t they ? Just wait until you buy it!