this is a very long way off....but i have some ownership questions(57 Posts)
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....
just had my eyes opened to rescue ponies....oh deary me.
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.
thank you both for your honesty.....so this is quite a commitment in time and money - as i thought tbh.
i will see how the lessons go and give it some more thought, and keep an open mind - will see where it all takes me.
I knew it wouldn't be long!
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).
first lesson next tuesday - i will ask about horse care after ive got back into it a bit. i think ill end up with one....
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!
cheers - lots to think about and tons to learn before i consider it further i think.
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.
Oi what do you mean 'i am very concerned about welfare'! living out full time is usually best for native types, it's not some sort of cruel alternative to a stable! Am huffy at the very idea!
obviously horses bred for different climates might not thrive outside 24/7 in our wintry conditions
ideally all horses would be out all the time, it's usually for our welfare not theirs when we bring them in overnight
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?
honestly alameda i didnt mean any offence at all. i feel bad now.
is ok haha
have not been so temporarily affronted since someone told me I was cruel to use wormers (in all my animals!)
redwings have some advice here but generally most horses can, with rugs etc, always exceptions and I always think most of the spindly things might be happier coming in at night but it must vary
oh please please don't feel bad
now I feel bad!
ok, i wont feel bad if you dont!
i really appreciate the advice. must nip off for DD but will be back....am nosing round the tack room.....
i really need to know what costs are involved and i guess for that i need to speak to the riding school. i need to stop looking at horses for sale....
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.
we have hard standing or whatever you call it round the gate now, joy joy joy
yes I think if mine were out in a little paddock without shelter they would get cross, but they have loads of space and trees and it is all undulating (AS SEEN IN PRIVATE PEACEFUL where it is pretending to be Devon or somewhere, not east anglia)
Private Peaceful what's that? I don't think you've mentioned that before.
so - it depends totally on the environment they are in then.....i will pay heed to that, if and when the time comes.
well, yeah I suppose it does - we were evicted suddenly one winter (yard went bankrupt) and had no choice, it was a bit tough in a smaller and more sort of horse sick field. Had to feed them lots and the old one wore about a thousand rugs. Before that he was always stabled throughout winter and I didn't know if he would manage.
Now we are in an ex dairy farm field they are stupidly fat, and happy! I didn't give them any food all winter, they were clipped and only lightly rugged. They did eat about 3500 kg of haylage a week but the farmer did that and wouldn't take any money. Prices for that vary madly!
Well...even if you decide to stable it is best to have them out as much as possible (not only because it will save you money in bedding). Because of the way they have evolved their digestive systems are more efficient if they can keep moving and they are very susceptible to respiratory problems so the more fresh air the better. Plus it helps keep them sane .
thanks guys - i had kind of thought that ideally a horse would be out doing normal horsey things during the day anyway....maybe in at night in winter. i will see. lots of digging to do to see what options are around here.....i passed a house earlier just up the road with an empty paddock and a stable block....felt like knocking the door to see if they fancied a lodger (in a few months!!)
at work, its always me that goes and rounds up stray horses who have escaped....im known at the horse whisperer!....--and i keep polos in my pocket for emergancies--
why didnt my crossing out work
guys - how much does yours cost you per month? a friend just commented on my FB that hers costs between £280 and £400 including feed, hay, jabs, tack, rugs, livery costs bedding and farrier....
is this about right?
oh yikes probably more than I think
umm, ok, my grass livery is £60 a month per horse (but I have a sharer for one and she covers this), a pair of shoes is £35 but only one has them, and he only has one pair (fronts) and that is every six weeks (many go longer, he scrapes a lot) and I only pay for my stable if I use it which is an extra (I hate sums, is £60 without or £125 with stable so, another £65?) this includes straw and hay
mine are perilously fat because the grass in our field is not ideal for horses so I don't feed, old horse has meds that are £17 a month, pony is insured for I don't know actually, £30 ish?
I think that's it unless something goes wrong. Oh the wormers were about £45 each for whole year. Vacs are cheap, I just do flu and tet, flu every year and tet every other. Yeah that's it I think?
before I moved I had three on DIY, two out and one stabled overnight and that was about £120 a week not including feed or hay! It was £25 a week per horse when I started there and not that many years ago.
thing is, you find the money if you need it, bit like children?
trotting into this conversation lol ...... just had to cos of your name Vicar .... cos I once had a little fell gelding on share ( called vicar as he had a white scar round his neck where he had been tethered ... before he came to us.)
echo that natives are very happy generally to stay out .... nature designed horses to move around even at night and graze almost constantly ( hence if they are kept in at night its vital they have enough hay to last most .. if not all ... of the night).
costs..... well mine prob just less than £300 average pm ( more this time of year as needing hay and less in the summer). By the time you take into account wormer, vaccinations, dentist, insurance , farrier / trimmer and feed its that if you are at liverly.
If you need to add on stuff I dont need to now ....... lessons, tack, clothes (yours), rugs and any competitions if you want to get into that ...... add more
Having said that... people think you have to be rich.... no you dont, you just have to choose what you spend money on . Even if someone only smoked 20 a day and went out for one meal / night out a week and had one modest holiday a year..... well there is the equivelant cost of a horse !
Having said that ..... if you get a high maintainance warmblood and have it on half or full livery and have lessons / competitions every week you can double , treble and more the costs.
Have fun , enjoy getting back on board and explore all aspects of horsemanship before you leap into ownership. I never regretted waiting and having loan / share agreements to help me leanr.... to find out what I liked and did not like about various formats of riding / management / horsemanship and to have a little bit more confidence when it came to being "on my own" with a horse.
Would break my heart to be without one now !
thank you for that - i think you are right - its a choice on what you spend your money on and i would dearly dearly love a horse - when you say £300 per month is that for more than one? or just for one? a friend has invited me to go to hers at the weekend - she has a share. her friend is looking for a sharer but i think her boy is probably a bit out of my league as a novice rider....
im trying to cost the ownership of just one (people seem to have more than one! everyone i know has at least 2!) , i wouldnt be bothered about competitions or anything like that - lessons i will do before i own, (or share)
i think a share would be sensible to start with.
I would say dhorse costs nearer to £200 per month than £300 tbh. He doesn't wear shoes and is a good doer who lives out all year and has very little hard feed. I have to budget carefully (eg put away £20 per month in hay fund so no nasty shocks!) but Tazzle is right you don't have to be rich if you are sensible. It's easy to spend money on things you don't really need. People spend hundreds on rugs but dhorse's only cost £20 each, they have lasted 3 winters so far and dhorse doesn't know the difference as long as he is warm and dry and they fit!
I wouldn't rule out having at least the occasional lesson once you have your own horse though. The good news is if you can find someone freelance to teach you on your horse it should be a lot cheaper than the riding school (I pay £15).
cheers for that. at least it gives me some realistic idea of what i need to be saving.
ive a loan that i pay more than that on, when it finishes, i will be able to afford one. it also gives me time to learn the ropes properly before i take the plunge and in the mean time, i could look for a share or loan, again after ive learnt the basics again. thank you
We have plenty of lessons on our own horse... One of the issues with owning is that there's just you riding your horse - and they find your weaknesses!
Yes, ours is over £300 just for one (I'd say nearer £400). And living in a city, we spend around £50 per month just in petrol - at least, that's what I calculated when we started owning, it's probably even more now .
We don't do rugs (fat hairy horse). I have a couple but he rarely needs them, and has been known to sweat in the field in winter .
thanks again - this is why i started this thread. willing to learn!
The place where we keep ours is as basic as you can get I have to say. No electricity, nowhere to school, nowhere to keep tack. I know if dhorse wore shoes it would bump the costs up quite a lot and I'm lucky he isn't so far away that petrol costs a fortune, I can even go on my bike if I'm not pushed for time. I would like to go to a few competitions, even just to show in hand as dhorse is a stunning beast, but it's really beyond what I can afford, mainly because of the cost of hiring transport.
hmmm yes..... for got to add that for my money I do have a good set up in that I co rent a field that has several stables, a barn with a little tackroom / kitchen in and hardstanding area. We have electric and water and a self filling trough ( oh the luxury ).
We dont have a school / arena ( that is important to some people) but do set up our agility course / jumps in the field !
My welshie is a good dooer
can get fat on salad leaves and is barefoot (I do her feet myself mainly... qualified folk check up on me!) .... also gets hairy so only has one rug to use in extreme conditions ..... ie horizontal freezing rain. The neds have free access to the stables when yarded in winter but are usually found outside in the snow with icicles on them rather than in the "nice warm stables" they really only use them as toilets
We have 4 ponies at the moment - 11.2 up to 14.2. We rent 7 1/2 acres of paddocks for 450 a quarter and 4 stables (private with storage/tack room) for 400 a quarter.
Therefore having the extra animals makes it cheaper per pony (or thats what I keep telling myself!). Mind you we normally have one on full show livery in the Summer thats about 120 quid a week.
They live out from April to November and go out in the day time all year round.
Obviously we have to pay for feed, bedding and hay (for when they come in, travelling etc). Hay is so pricey now it is one of the other reason they are out for so long as we have great grass growth and the fields have generally stood up to it well although suffering with this rain now. They have 3 Oak trees for shade in the Summer paddock (with mains water) but just hedging in the Winter Paddock (and we take up water).
Electric tape is our friend and we strip graze them - moving their paddock up every few days.
Marking my place as too late to read the whole thread.
Having a horse is massive commitment.
But simply the best thing you could ever do.
Just what do people who don't have horses and dogs do with their day?
thank you - again very helpful.
Someone on our yard used to wok shifts as a nurse, if she was on early we would put her pony out in the field and she would come down after her shift finished in the afternoon, muck out and bring ours in, and vice versa if she was on late. If you find a nice friendly yard you will have a good social life aswell. There's always yard politics and someone not getting on with someone else, best just not to get involved.
Renting your own place does work out cheaper but not something I'd recommend for a first timer, you will need some support from someone more experienced from time to time, especially at first. Also, whilst most ponies can live out with the right rugs, it's nice to have a stable there if the weather is really dire or if god forbid they need stabling because of injury, or limited turnout due to being overweight or laminitis.
It is a massive commitment though, and needs thinking through, I didn't particularly when I bought my first horse and whilst we managed ok somehow it could have been a very different story.
I am a bit anal about horse care and think they should have a routine and be checked regularly, out as much as possible but have a nice cosy stable for when the weather is horrid. At the stables where my horse lives we all help each other out and it works really well.
The stables where my DD's loan pony lives is much more laissez faire. Someone puts a haynet in for the ponies in a morning, but the owners only go up in the evening to muck out etc. This meant that when DDs pony was lame, it was not noticed until the evening when it could have been picked up in the morning. But, the neds survive.
Oh and costs vary widely depending where you are in the country, livery is around £30 a week for DIY on a yard with water, lights and arena around here, hay around £3-3.50 for a small bale and straw around half that. Feed is fairly standard nationwide unless you feed straights, farrier is £60 for a full set of shoes £55 for refits, £35 for just fronts and £20 for a trim. I used to pay around £300 for my old tb boy a month but that was 3 years ago now, new horse is on part livery and is costing £440 but I'm saving a lot on fuel from not having to go down every day.
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!
no the credit is not due - im a complete novice, and will not embark on anything until i am more than competent dont worry on that score!
thank you again for all the info - really helpful.
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.
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