15 Top Tips For Horses On A Budget

 

  1. If you decide you really can’t afford to buy and keep your own horse right now, but you want to be around horses, make friends with someone at your local livery yard. Help out, offer to muck out, and maybe you’ll be offered some riding in exchange.
  2. If you can afford some but not all of the cost of a horse, find someone with a horse who wants a sharer. This will usually mean paying some of the costs of keeping the horse, as well as doing a fair share of the work in exchange for riding.
  3. If you already have a horse and are finding it difficult to meet the bill, think about finding a sharer. Some people are horrified at the idea of sharing their baby, but for others, it can work well – just make sure you have the same outlook and expectations as your potential sharer.
  4. When you buy your horse, try to find one that comes with tack included in the price. This will be much cheaper than having to buy everything new from scratch. Of course, if you don’t want or need the tack, this can be used in negotiating the price.
  5. Use straw rather than shavings as bedding if you can as it’s usually cheaper. Some horses though can have allergies to straw, so if your horse begins to cough excessively in exercise, change to shavings.
  6. Always put hay in hay nets. Hay left on the stable floor often gets wasted, and can’t be saved when you muck out.
  7. If you want a horse and to ride, concentrate on that and not on completing a trendy horsey wardrobe for you and your horse. Second-hand equipment for you and your horse can be bought and sold at budget prices on ebay.co.uk and at other online tack shops.
  8. Go to equestrian boot sales – these are aimed at horse owners and are great places to buy and sell second-hand tack – don’t forget to barter!
  9. To avoid paying for extra livery at the livery yard, make friends with other owners and muck out or turn out for each other.
  10. If possible, have insurance for your horse. Vet’s bills can be very expensive, and you’ll need very deep pockets for some bills. Shop around for horse insurance just like you would your car insurance, online.
  11. Keep your horse turned out as much as possible in the summer if you can unless the weather is really hot. Summer bills are always much lower than winter ones because of the cost of bedding and feed in the winter. In some ways it’s better to buy your horse in the winter – they can be slightly cheaper because of the cost involved in keeping them, and lower summer bills will come as a nice surprise. Better than beginning in the summer and then landing the nasty shock of winter bills. If you can survive the winter, you’ll be fine in summer.
  12. If you have space and cash, buy horse feed in bulk as it can be cheaper. Get together with a friend to buy if you’re worried about going over sell-by dates.
  13. Don’t be tempted to buy new rugs just because they look nice or everyone else has got them. Always keep your priorities in mind – it’s about riding, not rugs! Instead, pay to have your rugs washed and mended.
  14. Buy wormers and other horsey medical care and supplements on line – these are always cheaper.
  15. Don’t throw away any vegetable peelings at home – save them for the horse! Horses can eat most vegetables – but not potato peelings.

As with lots of things, it all depends on how much you want to have a horse and what sacrifices you’re prepared to make. Lots of people do keep a horse on a modest income – so long as you keep your priorities clear and don’t try to keep up with the Joneses! Be clear, it’s all about riding!