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....
cheers for that rogers this is all really helpful. i think, when ive got some lessons under my belt i may look for a share to start with. a friend has just told me that her friend is looking for a share in her horse but its too far away and he is a bit more than i could handle just yet.....
thank you for the ideas on numbers though - its really helping me get the financial aspects into perspective.
A share with a horse owner is an excellent way to go for a start off, lots of people I know are feeling the pinch financially at the moment and it isn't likely to get better in the near future. I know of at least 3 people with happy hacker native ponies (ideal first time horse) who would be glad of someone to share riding work and costs. Generally with sharing, you agree on set days when the horse is your responsibility, you do the work, you have the ride and you pay the costs for that day, so if you did 3 days a week you would expect to pay 3/7 of the day to day costs, probably also for any damage to tack or equipment unless it was something you couldn't have prevented, so if you tacked up and didn't tie up properly, horse stood on reins and snapped them, I would expect you to buy new reins, if you tacked up, tied up properly and a tractor came round the corner, freaked the horse and it broke its bridle, it's just one of those things and I would cough up for the new bridle, as when the share ends, the horse and it's tack still belongs to me iyswim. If you are considering sharing, do always take out a written share agreement detailing all the financial and other responsibilities that are expected of both parties, there is a good starter agreement on the bhs website. I shared my old horse for 7 years with a young girl who couldn't afford her own, we became best friends, and when I could no longer afford to pay my share or the time to look after him, I gave him to her, they are very happy together and I am happy knowing old boy is well loved and looked after. It can work out very very well.
Once you have had a few lessons and got to know the people up the yard you may well find that someone is looking for a sharer. From my point of view I would want to know someone was competent riding and handling my horse and it maybe that you would need a fair few lessons before you are ready for that (apologies if you are more experienced than I am giving you credit for!)
In terms of costs, as many have pointed out, it really depends on the level of time and money you have! I have had three at home in the past, but now have one on full livery which actually costs me more! I pay £515 a month for livery, £90 every 5 weeks on shoes, £70 a month insurance and around £100 month on competitions (more in the event season when one competition can eat into £200!)
If you do buy your own I would suggest a yard with others rather than renting a field. That way you tend to find people share 'chores' and also have knowledge that may save you an expensive missed call to the vets.
good luck with it..Ive had horses for 25 years now and couldnt be without now!
Keeping a horse at grass livery/diy is now probably more the norm than keeping a horse at home as so many horse owners do not have land. Most horse owners also have to work and many do shifts too. It is really truly possible but to make life easy you probably need to think carefully about the kind of horse you want, the time you have available and to modify any humongous riding ambitions according to the two above!! A native type/cob who is happy to live out with not much feed, simple rug, no shoes for part or all of the time and a happy hacker lifestyle is eminently manageable and happy and is easy but a more 'glamourous' type who has to be exercised, kept out of the weather, fed large wheelbarrows of expensive conditioning feed and needing shoes every 4 weeks is hard work. Especially in winter. If you choose your livery wisely so that there is water in the field and plenty of good natural hedges/ trees or a field shelter and some permanent company, many horses will be happy as larry and thank you for their healthy lifestyle living out. Even with this low maintenance set up though you have to consider what you can do if your horse needs more help or input from you for periods of time. If you invest in a simple natural routine, most horses will be wonderfully healthy but all of them can get poorly and sometimes need a great deal of committment. Having said all of that there are so many personal benefits to horse-ownership; not least is the sense that when you are doing the horse you really do feel like you have escaped the rat race! I sometimes get really fed up with the committment if I am totally honest but when my lovely horse calls to me when he sees me and I spend time with him I do feel blessed that I am not out trawling DFS or whatever and that I have established something unique and quite primitive with a beautiful, generous animal that I never do feel actually resentful; just a bit tired sometimes. It can be a help to have a person that can give you a break once in a while. Just watch out - horses are horribly addictive...
well - its going to be a very long way off! had my lesson tonight and will go weekly to get back into things. its been a long long time since i rode and it was all a bit of a shock! but i loved it and im determined to get better at it all.
i wondered if i should have been lunged so i could concentrate of technique but i was let loose with a very placid horse, and did ok i think.
the school do loans so when im ready that will be the first step, but im going to need tons of lessons first.
reaffirmed my absolute love of it all though and i feel so lucky to be riding again.