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this really is a long way off, ive just booked riding lessons. i used to ride as a child but not sat in the saddle for over 30 years.
i have a bit of a dream that one day, when i am proficient in all aspects of riding and horse care, that i may own one.
what are the options if you do not live on a farm or have a paddock? is it possible to be a townie and still own a horse, having it liveried - i live in a small town surrounded by countryside so i know there are liveries around here.
im not trying to run before i can walk btw....it really is a long way off, but am curious to know about options and costs etc....
Full, part or DIY livery is the norm. Full livery was about £100 per week last time I checked, DIY about £25 per week, depending upon where you live. I keep my horses at home but sometimes think it would be nice to have the social element of a livery yard.
Costs vary wildly. You can cover some of the cost and the effort by having a sharer. You can massively reduce the cost and effort by being a sharer. Really recommend that as a first step to help get to grips with the realities, and as a way of improving your riding independent of a riding school. Actually it put me right off ownership
really? what put you off bonzo? i had thought about sharing......the school im at does livery and its not very far from where i live - i will start looking into it a bit more as time goes on and i get more proficient.
just seen a pony for sale here that was a rescue....described as a "gentleman" 8 yrs old...novice ride...:15;2 HH i know its going to take some time and i will look at all the options.
i will get lessons under my belt first and see how it all goes - i just feel that i am about to fall in love with it all over again....
I live in a city and have a horse who lives 15 minutes drive away. He is at grass livery and I generally go once a day to see him and/or ride; one of my DDs rides him too.
How you want to keep your horse depends on budget, time and preference. I don't have the money for full livery, nor the time for DIY (bringing in and turning out every day), so grass livery is perfect for me. At present he is not well and I do go twice a day - I can do it when I have to but don't want to do it all the time. Alternatively, if I couldn't make it 2x a day he'd have to go on full or part livery (which my yard also offers) just while he's unwell.
Agree about trying a share first. One of the things that was a bit of an eye-opener for me was the time everything takes - for me it's generally a 3 hour trip for an hour ride, including driving there and back, walking to field and bringing in, grooming, riding, feeding, taking back to field, gossiping with other liveries...
Cost-wise I pay between £3-400 a month I think. Grass livery for me is £28 a week including hay, but then there's foot trim/farrier, insurance, vet, petrol, replacement kit, food, lessons, always something!
What really put me off was the time commitment. I'm also in London, the yard was on my way home from work and about 20 minutes from home, so not bad at all. Summer was fine as he was on 24 hr turn out, so I could just catch, groom and ride. But winter was day time turn out only, so the double whammy of mucking out and dealing with a seriously muddy horse that needed cleaning up and drying before I could ride. I just got fed up of getting there in the dark after work, not being able to hack out due to the pitch blackness in the fields and scary drivers on the roads. It didn't help that by the time I gave up I was 8 months pregnant and mid winter. I would only do it again if I could afford full livery during winter, or was only working very part time if at all.
After I has DS I found myself with a great arrangement exercising horse ball horses once a week or whenever i fancied, for a small and random contribution and no commitment. The downsides of this were that there are other exercisers and at least half a dozen horses, so i never built the rapport with these that i did with my share horse, and that there was no guarantee i could ride as they would often be away competing in the summer. Hoping to go back to that once this baby comes.
I second the sharing suggestion, and there is also the option of working livery (I couldn't go back to it but it was a good start for me) - ask at your stables? Maybe you could do a part loan type thing there on a week by week basis to see how it goes?
We don't have any back up at our place now, but arrange help privately when needed, mine are £60 a month (grass kept) plus one pair of shoes between them, plus the occasional £howmuch? when something goes wrong, plus some older horse meds/supplements. They can take minutes to 'do' (sometimes just satisfy myself that they are alive, no obvious wounds) or hours if I want.
It's always achievable I think, if you want it enough.
thank you alameda - that gives me hope! i know i am going to absolutely love getting back into the saddle....i know that its going to lead me to wanting one! i have literally dreamed of riding again....
seen that some horses need owners through rescues.....i have DH blessing and i know i could do it, ive just got a lot to learn first!
It will all come back to you! Am excited, should be an evangelist for the cause - when is first lesson?
Anyway even the people who know everything get second and third opinions on things, can you do stable management/horse care as part of your riding lessons? Used to have an hour long lesson then an hour of nvq/bhs stuff (not that I remember anything useful).
If you want to keep costs down, DIY livery yards are great. You basically rent a stable and a space in the field. You need to pay for bedding and feed, Worming, farrier regularly and hopefully only occasionally a vet. Native hairy ponies are generally the cheapest to keep, they live on fresh air, are pretty hardy so need minimal rugs and often they can manage without shoes which is a huge saving. Also most people who keep horses at DIY have jobs of some sort so it's generally quite easy to get into a rota system with others where you put their horses out some mornings, and they do others, meaning you don't have to be down there twice a day every day, some yards will do this for you and charge you, but reciprocal favours is cheaper. Also works for holidays too!
It is worth bearing in mind that if you work shifts you will need to have some regular help with looking after a horse, unless it can live out full time. Nights are no problem, you can do them on your way home, and when you get up again, I find it too much getting the horse done before a 7 am start though, and obviously lates mean you are not available in the afternoon to put them in. It is do-able though, but another factor to consider. I hope you enjoy your lesson, prepare to ache!
so i wonder what the best way to go would be.....that is my shift pattern not so i would need help - DH says he wont help as he doesnt like horses, says he will happily meet any horse i get but wont help in its care....i wonder if that would mean id need part livery.....i am very concerned about welfare and would not feel happy for it to live out full time i dont think....
im getting a head of myself arent i!
im going to talk to the school aswell - they sell horses and livery them too. im going to tell them i am working up to owning one so they can start to teach me what i need to know.
oops! obviously i did not mean that how ever it sounded! see? much to learn. seriously i do hope you are not offended because i did not mean anything by that at all - i realise that some horses do live out all the time quite happily.
I just think i would feel better personally if mine was in at night. im the same with my cats.....
really. no offence meant at all, and just showing my ignorance clearly. ive just spied a cob x arab for sale....perfect - i know its too soon to even be looking but what sort of breeds are good for being out 24/7? or, out during the day and in at night?
Oh phew, was berating self a bit there! I am such a dick sometimes
well you will need a stable anyway, or access to one at short notice, in case of illness injury etc, and actually in real life it is hard to find yards that offer 24/7 grazing - there are threads here where horses are kept in day and night all winter which is pretty awful for horses I think but often can't be helped
A lot of it depends on where they are kept anyway. Ours used to be in a field on a steep, very exposed bank with masses of mud around the gate and although they were out every day they were glad to come in at night just to stand somewhere flat and dry. Now we have a gently sloping paddock with very little mud and good shelter they are much better off out all the time, and it's much easier/cheaper for us too.