How do people afford horses?

(41 Posts)
RayBansWife Mon 07-Jan-13 20:53:21

Really want my own eventually but I work exceptionally long hours so no way I could at the moment. But then if I give up / downgrade my crazy long hours but well paid job no way I could afford to keep a horse! Vicious circle!

Do how do people afford to keep horses?!

Arisbottle Mon 07-Jan-13 20:57:00

They earn a good wage and / or cut back on other things

emsyj Mon 07-Jan-13 20:58:29

Have someone part loaning the horse, so they look after it and ride it for a proportion of the week (DH has done this - as a part loaner, not an owner - he sadly doesn't have time to look after a horse); keep it at a riding school and let the riding school use it for lessons in return for livery costs (don't know how much you'd save doing this but you can enquire at your local school); keep it turned out at grass all year round...

If you're well paid, you could consider getting a horse and keeping it at full livery so that you would just do the fun stuff, or perhaps just getting a part loan so that you have access to a horse a couple of days a week? DH used to pay £100pcm for 2/3 days a week, very very highly schooled and valuable horse - owner away at university and she needed the horse to be exercised regularly.

Arisbottle Mon 07-Jan-13 21:00:16

We loan ours out so that we do not have to do all the care.

Arisbottle Mon 07-Jan-13 21:02:02

Sorry for being a bit snippy in my first post. I read it back and realised how awful it sounded. smile

horseylady Mon 07-Jan-13 21:21:12

Work two jobs, have no life other than work and horses!!! Oh and now my new baby smile

catinsantasboots Mon 07-Jan-13 21:25:39

Don't drink

Don't smoke

Don't buy clothes

Drive old crap car

Don't put unnecessary shoes on said horse (whole other thread which will bring me out in a RAGE) grin

crazyscientist87 Mon 07-Jan-13 21:26:46

ok, you've piqued my curiosity because I used to have a friend who had a horse - how much does it cost annually to keep one? (Her parents have a small farm I think and it was kept there)

StarsAboveYou Mon 07-Jan-13 21:27:41

Same as horseylady. I'm a teacher so I do tutoring in the evenings to subsidise my horse related spending. It's hard but she is my big baby (I have a 10monyh

StarsAboveYou Mon 07-Jan-13 21:33:18

Sorry, I hit post by accident.

It's hard but she is my big baby (I have a 10month old DS now and time is precious with him). I have owned her for over 15 years so I will do whatever it takes to make sure she stays with me and is well looked after. She is now on full livery which is more expensive but takes the time pressure off a little and lets me enjoy the time I have with her instead if spending it mucking out. Although if I'm honest I do miss it sometimes!

N0tinmylife Mon 07-Jan-13 21:35:03

I used to do two jobs to pay for it when I was younger. Now I earn a reasonable amount, so I can manage on one. I just don't buy any new clothes, cut my own hair, and owe the bank lots of money

Callisto Tue 08-Jan-13 09:23:52

I've just got two native ponies so they cost very little to run (not much hay/feed, no shoes, live out most of the time). When I get myself another horse it too will be a native with rock hard feet and the ability to exist on a daily ration of two blades of grass and a sip of water. It doesn't have to be vastly expensive to have a horse, but if you work long hours then full livery would be the only way and that does get pricey.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 08-Jan-13 20:47:41

i have been looking into costs because i want my own too in about 10 months probably....

working livery at my yard is £30 a week - includes bedding and basic feeds. this for me is doable.

if not working its £50.

the other costs - well....i will deal with those as and when. i am currently paying £20 per week for riding lessons so it doesnt seem so bad - i know i will need some savings for vets etc and i intend to insure my horse too.

will look at things like shoes nearer the time. i know the costs - im aiming for a native breed on part livery, with a stable available when i need one.

willyoulistentome Tue 08-Jan-13 21:26:27

that's what credit card were ivented for, no?

seriously...what catinsantaboots said. I don't spend ANYTHING on ANYTHING else for me, and it's fine! I probably look like worzell gummage, but who cares!

I spend about £5k a year. Part livery at a small friendly local yard with no school, but great hacking. Costs £380 a mpnth including feed, hay and bedding. Thankfully the girls at the yard like riding her, and are sensible, so she gets exercised without me having to pay full livery or resort to a sharer. I can only ride weekends now, as work FT around school hours, and have 2 primary age kids. Horse can't live out as needs very restricted grazing due to various health problems, otherwise she could be on grass livery.

Credit cards do help when things like big vets bills come in ! Insurance is a good idea, but beware, cos most pet insurers exclude any condition you have claimed for on the renewal. So after 17 years I gave up with vets bills insurance as there was virtually nothing left I could claim for. I still have rider and 3rd party insurance though.

If I had my time again, I would never buy, but would loan. But that's just me being soppy and not being able to bring myself to sell a 20 year old I've owned since she was 3.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 08-Jan-13 21:31:04

for me this will be my reward for doing a rather crap and stressful job - i take nothing of my wages for myself - they go on household bills and shopping and kids - when DS finishes uni i want something for me!!

i love riding. i love helping out at the stables. i love horses. it boosts my mood no end and its the only thing i want - so come hell or high water in 10 months im having my own bloody horse and if anyone gets in my way they will be toast!!

willyoulistentome Tue 08-Jan-13 21:50:53

In that case I don't blame you, but I would still loan for a while first to get a taste of what it's like, and what is involved.

Will you be able to keep a horse at the stables you help out at? Do you know how much they charge? If it's your first ned, it's good to keep it somewhere with other experienced folks who will be able to help you out if any issues arise, spot problems you may miss, help with first aid etc..

50BalesOfHay Tue 08-Jan-13 21:58:03

We have 3 horses, one of whom's on loan but which we won't buy (plus one high maintenance one out on loan who'll be back end of this year as will be outgrown and need to semi-retire, plus another one out on loan with view to buy so fingers crossed with her). I would be very reluctant to add up how much they cost, but we wouldn't be without them. Poor but happy thanks to horses smile

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 08-Jan-13 21:58:14

yeah willy it would be kept at the yard i help out at - and i have serious hero worship of the riding instructor who owns the yard. she is just fab, the real deal when it comes to teaching and the font of all horsey knowledge.
she will help me find a suitable horse because it would be on working livery at her school. i have all the charges and costs. £30 working livery. £50 part livery not working.

i dont think any of my lot think im serious....DD started lessons with me but wont give up her saturdays to come and help out....but i have the bug. its serious.
i kiss horses now. on the nose. my riding school pony and me have a bit of a thing i dont care what i look like anymore - my roots are showing and there is no mirror at the yard....and i dont care!
its fabulous!! grin

DENMAN03 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:08:19

I have a well paid job now and have one I keep on full livery and another is an international event horse which I share with a sydnicate!

However, I have had horses for many years and at times when not so well paid. I used to cycle everywhere (couldnt afford a car!), worked three jobs and would also take difficult horses to compete and ride for extra cash!

If you are determined enough you can do it. You dont need to keep a horse on full livery if you have time and are dedicated. A native breed can be kept out as long as there is enough shelter and grazing. Equally, loaning is a very good option as is a part share.

Good luck! Im sure you will get there..there really is nothing better than having horses, even if it means never having new shoes for myself!

willyoulistentome Tue 08-Jan-13 22:12:27

yep - know what you mean. After riding as a child, lessons and friends ponies, I gave up for years, but started bak with one lesson a week again in my twenties, which soon wasn;t enough..and was soon 3 a week. Then worked on the yard in return for lessons at weekends, getting to know everyone at the yard. Eventually got a one of the liveries there on loan, and then bought my own girl as an unbroken 3 yr old from a very good friend, (BHS stage 4) who helped me with breaking in. Never looked back. 17 years on, my kids are primary aged, so I am limited to 1 ride a week, and I miss it so much, now I am fatter, older and less fit, I just plod on quiet hacks, rather than compete.

Fredstheteds Tue 08-Jan-13 23:09:40

The horse gets the shoes not me.... Forgo a lot of things, holidays, don't drink , smoke or socialise that much...

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Wed 09-Jan-13 00:31:08

Don't get a horse, get a pony. MUCH cheaper!

SneakyNuts Wed 09-Jan-13 00:54:30

My sister has a horse, 2 year old van/car and has recently bought a house.
Her and BIL are by no means wealthy, she's just always wanted to own a horse, so it's always been budgeted in.

Pixel Wed 09-Jan-13 01:25:05

Yes tbh I've had horses since I was 15 and old enough to earn money for their keep so it's just something that is budgeted for. I've always managed somehow, even through various redundancies etc. I've never had the things other people seem to find essential (expensive hairdos/clothes/going out drinking/latest gadgets etc) so I don't really miss them, though a proper holiday would be nice!

willyoulistentome Wed 09-Jan-13 08:17:00

I was fine actually till I had kids. Part time work was a killer for the horse budget. Got into loads of debt, which I am still not out of. Can't sell my girl though. She end up as meat in no time at her age and with her health issues.

Twattybollocks Wed 09-Jan-13 19:17:52

It's hard I admit, but I found I didn't have a social life outside the yard/horse because I didn't have the time or energy. I therefore didn't need lots of clothes or shoes or beer money. When I had kids and worked part time I had a sharer who paid half and did half the work. I didn't mind driving old bangers because they got full of hay/shavings and stank of horse &were covered in mud anyway so no use having a flash car.
Also, horses needs always seem to trump my own. It's like kids really, they are expensive little buggers but however skint you are, once you have them you have to care for them and don't mind going without yourself to get them stuff they need.

Butkin Wed 09-Jan-13 19:35:16

We have 5 at the moment but we rent a yard/paddocks so doesn't cost much more to keep 5 than 1. It is a total committment and we're light on holidays (although I travel loads with work anyway) and we couldn't do if we weren't both really keen. DD is now 9 and she can help as well which makes life much easier. Its a lifestyle choice - ponies first...

Floralnomad Wed 09-Jan-13 20:17:49

We just have one pony on full livery now as all our others have passed away , the pony is retired . As I said on a different post at one point I was paying over £ 1000 a month on livery bills ,fortunately I have avery nice DH , but I couldn't commit the time to it now . For us loaning or selling wasn't an option and still isn't so buying a new one is not something we would do lightly as it is a lifetime of the horse commitment . Our current pony is our biggest monthly outgoing ,including the mortgage !

aamia Wed 09-Jan-13 22:03:20

Cut back in other areas, keep out at grass, unshod.

prelim29 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:04:08

We have two horses - one is ours and one on loan. To have horses we have to go without other things - no foreign holidays, the car is 10 years old, we shop at Lidl and charity shops, I buy and sell stuff on ebay, we don't eat out. It's a choice of what you spend your money on and we chose this hobby. We don't have 'days out' to theme parks, for example, our day out is watching DD compete in a one day event. People think we are 'posh' because we have horses and yet these people drive new cars and take 2 holidays abroad each year. Of course there are many privileged folk who can afford an affluent lifestyle AND have horses, but for a great many of us, it's a choice.

Grunzlewheek Tue 15-Jan-13 18:16:02

A horse isn't a pet, its a vocation ! You have to change your whole life, but its worth it !

Millie2013 Wed 16-Jan-13 18:05:51

I have a very understanding OH, who works away and earns a decent wage, so doesn't mind subsidising my pony habit. I do realise how bloody lucky I am!!

I rarely treat myself to anything though, am not remotely materialistic and I am a little scruff, but the ponies have a wardrobe of nice rugs smile

PoshPenny Wed 16-Jan-13 18:58:24

I afford mine by going without other things.
I've got better and better about "buying" for them and getting the best possible value for money I can, eg, where they are kept, the hay feed and bedding I use and where I get it from, the rugs I buy etc etc. I rent a little yard on my own, like gold dust to find but so much cheaper and you can do things the way you want to.
Not bothered about holidays (passport ran out in 2004 and hasn't been renewed!)
24 year old Landrover (it tows the trailer, passes MOT's, couldn't care less about anything else)
Buy quite a lot of my clothes from ebay/charity shops.
I don't smoke.
I work part time, but it is a struggle to fit it all in at this time of year (as it is for others too).
It might sound odd, but many many horse owners go without themselves so their animals don't have to. I don't consider myself "deprived" at all. I do get my hair cut and coloured every 6 weeks without fail so I don't go without everything!

ponydilemma Thu 17-Jan-13 10:34:06

Poshpenny are you sure you aren't me [paranoid].

Anyway, what she said.

PoshPenny Thu 17-Jan-13 18:44:59

LOL ponydilemma, it appears we may both have a fondness for NF ponies too PMSL. smile

sugar4eva Thu 17-Jan-13 19:38:18

Well for me and my mum to afford a horse each we really have to cut back on a lot of things, like when you normally go out and treat yourself, buy clothes, luxuries. We have something simple for tea twice a week like beans on toast or pasta pesto xx

monsterchild Thu 17-Jan-13 19:45:29

we have ours on our property so not so much the cost in money as in time, mucking, feeding and all that. but they live out (we don't have a barn) and get to wear blankets if the weather is too bad.

It's great greeting them every morning as I make my coffee in the kitchen, and they welcome me home from work very enthusiastically!

Plomino Fri 18-Jan-13 10:03:53

Mine are outside on our own land ( very lucky and bought at the right time! ) so no livery costs , but still work full time with DH and Ds1 doing them when I'm at work .

Have two here , one who eats his own body weight in hay daily , and a slightly more economical welsh pony . We buy our hay for the year straight off the field , buy feed in bulk , and my next door neighbour is our farrier who does their feet with a hefty discount .

Don't drink , smoke , socialise , and buy a shitload of sainsburys basics!

Loshad Fri 18-Jan-13 19:49:56

How do you make a small fortune from horses?
Start with a big one grin

CountryCob Fri 01-Feb-13 10:59:32

They are expensive no doubt about it, on top of the usual care coming up as a for example I have - saddle refit c.£130 (saddle over £1k few years ago but horse changing shape) that is booked in for payday, initial visit was £50 last month. Annual jabs also needed trying to sort with others at yard should be £35 ish each for group visit plus teeth coming up at around £40. Factor in the time spent as most of the people you need work the hours you do and is very difficult to get time off work as most bosses do not understand why saddle fitting etc is important and why should they. Make sure you get a good to handle horse as well or you are talking vet sedation for the teeth (plus possible clipping) and no one willing to help with vet jabs if you can't be there. Plus all of last winter mine was on box rest mucking out morning and night with horsey eating tonnes, thank goodness he was insured with NFU who were great, btw that is £60 a month without tack cover or any of the extras for me but they paid out - horse had chipped bone and without insurance xrays just to find out what was wrong would have cost around £600 a visit. I love my horse and wouldn't change having him but sometimes think I can't really afford him and I am well paid, no way he is going anywhere at 17 though especially as he can be a tricky ride and a bit riggy to be honest, beautiful though, schooled this morning at 7am for 20 mins after mucking out and he was a saint. I did not need a 16.3 warm blood x tb and would recommend if you do get a horse get a hardy type that can live out and do with less rugs and food, it will be cheaper, not everyone needs a stunner and the power of mine means even at 5'9 and well built he is strong for me, tried hunting and he was a good boy but astoundingly strong, would go native 16hh max next time I think, although I do love how beautiful my boy is and as very proud of him. I am at about £5k per year and that's DIY, hard feed = at least £50 a month at the moment, am trying for a baby and then it will have to be field livery near home I think as statutory maternity will not cover livery yard, will miss social side and menage/ hot water on tap and advice but can't see another way. Sorry for long post but best to have eyes open to this it is a huge commitment verging on ridiculous really but I wouldn't change things even if it means I am poor and ungroomed myself!

Skittish Sat 02-Feb-13 19:50:34

I am extremely lucky - my DH has a highly paid job so we have our own land, yard, school and stables. I have liveries which pay horse bills and several horses and ponies of our own.

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