Now, this is a big and open question. There are no right or wrong answers here, I’m just here to…
Now, this is a big and open question. There are no right or wrong answers here, I’m just here to share my thoughts with you all.
How many times have you been on the receiving end of the following comments:
‘Mummy and Daddy must pay for that horse for you’
‘You must be really well off if you have a horse’
‘You must come from a posh background’
If the answers to all of the above are a resounding NO, then you’re in the same boat as me.
Owning a horse is a massive commitment of both your time and money BUT it is possible on a budget.
If your horse is on full livery at a fancy pants beautiful yard with indoor and outdoor school, gallops, solarium, HOT WATER (imagine that), then yes you are going to be paying a fortune each month in livery costs. In the South East, you’ll be looking at £500 a month and upwards for this sort of livery.
However, I’m here to talk about equestrians on a budget. Your options aren’t quite as fancy as described above, but that’s not to say your horse-owning experience is going to be any less enjoyable. It will be harder doing it yourself, there’s no denying that part.
So, before you decide whether or not to buy the horse, there is a long list of costs you need to factor in:
– Livery (monthly)
– Farrier (every 6-8 weeks)>
– Feed & hay (monthly)
– Insurance (monthly/annually)
– Vaccinations (annually)
– Dentist check (annually)
– Saddler check (6 monthly)
– Physio visits (quarterly)
Now, the above frequencies are just what I do personally, as advised by the professionals I use. That’s not to say anyone doing more or less is doing anything wrong, some of it is just personal choice!
Your livery is likely to be the bulk of your monthly outgoings, so think carefully about what option you go for. Grass livery or DIY will be the go-to for an equestrian on a budget. I am incredibly lucky to be on a beautiful grass livery yard where our monthly rent is £75 per month. Around here the average for grass livery is about £100 per month. Grass livery is where you have access to a field with 24/7 all year round turnout. Some may be located on a yard with facilities, others you’ll be out in the sticks (like ours).
If you are looking at DIY as an option (where you have access to a stable and probably some facilities too) from experience you can at least double that monthly overall cost. Where we are in the South East (Oxfordshire to be precise) DIY livery tends to be around £35-£40 per week for a stable. You then have to factor in your bedding and hay costs on top of this, not to mention the time each day for turning out, bringing in and mucking out. DIY livery is HARD, especially so in winter. Make sure you think about whether or not you have the time to commit to having your horse stabled as opposed to them being out 24/7.
What does all of this ACTUALLY COST per month, you might be thinking? Well, I’ve totalled up all of the above and where a cost is annual I’ve divided it by 12 to get a monthly cost (eg, my dentist visit is £60 once a year divided by 12 which works out to £5 per month). I reckon that on average including ALL of the essentials I’ve mentioned above I’m spending somewhere around £200 per month to keep my horse.
As well as the costs mentioned above, you are going to have some other things to consider £££. Do you want to get out and about on your horse? If so, this is EXPENSIVE (just to warn you). You’ll need a new saddle from time to time, new rugs, grooming essentials, supplements etc. These things will all need to be taken into consideration when considering getting your horse!
So in answer to the question, how much does it cost to own a horse, it can be done for around £200 per month. Achievable if you really want to make it happen? I think so! Go get the horse.