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How much does a horse cost to keep?

(58 Posts)
LeMarron Wed 15-Dec-10 15:47:55

Hello MN gurus! (long time lurker... just registered today newbie here)

I last owned a horse 25 years ago, and have recently gotten back into things, but the riding schools around here are a little lacking and I am just aching for my own again.

I want to ride in a school for at least a year.... to get back up to speed and to see if this is just a flash in the pan wish, and then will look to buy this time next year.

I am so terribly ignorant... what kind of money should I be looking at to keep a horse? Local, standard livery around here is about 90 a month.....very standard, out during the day, in a stable at night, doing everything yourself.

I'd be looking for a nice hack, that can do a bit of everything, nothing spectacular. Perhaps clipping in winter and hunting.

I'd be so grateful for advice. I miss having horses, but am worried about costs.

booyhohoho Wed 15-Dec-10 15:49:45

"far too bloody much" according to my mum wink. when my dad does a hobby, he really does it!! grin

LeMarron Wed 15-Dec-10 15:51:32


i know! The problem with horses, as I recall, is that buying them is quite cheap. Then comes livery. Food. Clipping. Hunting. Showing. Pink halters. Vet bills....

booyhohoho Wed 15-Dec-10 15:56:52

pink halters grin

yes it's all the keep of them that mounts up. dad also had a horsebox, and competed ALOT so that was more money. i don't know how mum didn't choke him tbh!!

you're talking thousands a year really.

MassiveKnob Wed 15-Dec-10 15:59:18

agree, its all the bills which go with it. Insurace too. shoeing, feed, wormers, tack and stable bits such as haynets, grooming kit blah blah. Ok some of it is not a regular payment, but they are still very expensive even if you own your own land tbh.

arentfanny Wed 15-Dec-10 16:01:04

How long is a piece of string?

LeMarron Wed 15-Dec-10 16:20:09

mmm, yes see that is the point. How much are wormers, and how often. I really cannot recall properly, but I think I wormed every 6 weeks. I got the farrier about every 6 weeks.

Insurance, microchipping, horse passport (even though I am unlikely to ever go anywhere).

I am completely clueless. It is probably a boring subject for people who have been doing this for ages.

DH has a hobby that costs him about 5k a year.

If it is about that, or less than that, I have an argument.... although not neccessarily the income.

booyhohoho Wed 15-Dec-10 16:24:10

sit down with a pen and paper and do some interner research on what you will need to buy and do in order to keep a horse in good health. write it all down an tot it up.

routine vet bills
emergency vet bills
pink halters grin

and lots more i haven't thought about.

LeMarron Wed 15-Dec-10 16:31:55

[i just might have already bought the pink halter]

[admitting nothing emoticon]

booyhohoho Wed 15-Dec-10 16:32:41


MitchyInge Wed 15-Dec-10 16:34:23

Is 5k about £100 a week? That would cover full livery I should think, probably not including exercise.

If diy will you factor in cost of your own time? Grass diy livery for my two is £50 a week plus feed and everything else.

LeMarron Wed 15-Dec-10 17:15:26

Thanks Mitchy.

Does that also factor in dying the horse pink? (Was that you? i split my newly stitched appendix scar laughing at that thread... it was worth it though! grin )

MitchyInge Wed 15-Dec-10 17:29:40

Hahaha! No, that was several bottles of cochineal and about £200 of glittery hoof oil, pink headcollars (you would approve!) and matching glittery lead ropes for the other ponies.

That was such a good party. I really should do it for a living!

LeMarron Wed 15-Dec-10 17:34:12

I just recall seeing the photo of that poor horse standing in a sea of red...

Dear heavens, it was the funniest thing I had seen in a very long time.

allgonebellyup Thu 16-Dec-10 17:22:29

My horse's assisted livery fee is £150, but without assistance its £100 a month.
I pay £20 insurance monthly and £30 every 6/7 weeks for front shoes only.

Recently had to pay £300 for hay for the winter (there has been a massive shortage)and £140 for straw.
Tbh its a lot of money for the winter and barely anything for the summer when they're turned out the whole time.
Also wormer every 2 months i think, around £22 a go.

Im really lucky in that i have a brilliant sharer who pays most of the livery fee and mucks out 3 or 4 times a week!

Santassnowyoldclothcatpuss Fri 17-Dec-10 07:09:50

I have natives. I pay £25 a week for my paddock, have public liability insurance through the Bhs at £57 a year (gold membership) they eat grass, and only have hay and a few grass nuts when there is snow on the ground. I'm not insured for vets, but in five years I've been charged £156 for a visit due to recent laminitis and a pregnancy blood test. I trim my own feet, no shoes. All my lovely tack and rugs have come off eBay or via equestrian car boots. I have ponies on a budget!

allgonebellyup Fri 17-Dec-10 09:47:29


marge2 Fri 17-Dec-10 12:16:04

My horse is on sort of assisted DIY, (put to bed twice a week) - With everything all in, shoeing, insurance, wormer, teeth, etc it's ending up at about £450 a month. I don't even compete any more. All my equipment is years old and she is on a very sparse diet due to health problems.

allgonebellyup where are you? £150 a month livery sounds really cheap to me.

I am drowning financially trying to keep up.

marge2 Fri 17-Dec-10 12:18:19

Oh yeah - plus about an extra £75 a month on petrol getting there and back to do the DIY!!!

olderyetwider Fri 17-Dec-10 12:25:23

Winter livery for 2 (one in at night, one living out) comes to £250 a month, but includes all hay/haylage, shavings, turning out, bringing in, mucking out, changing rugs, feeding in mornings etc, and use of indoor school!

I am realising how lucky I am, no wonder some people have been at the yard for 20 years

MitchyInge Fri 17-Dec-10 13:15:25

how can your yard break even older?

I'm feeling really anxious about how I'll manage financially under our new regime, there are lots of positives but the big negative is how much more expensive it will be - particularly once I include the cost of getting there and back each day. Just hope the pros, like having more control and freedom, offset this. On balance I am more happy about taking them out of working livery than I am worried about money but the worry is obviously there. I will never ever again have to hear a story like yesterday's 'your pony rodeo'd his rider off, it was hilarious' hmm.

allgonebellyup Fri 17-Dec-10 14:03:37

Im on the surrey/sussex border. My assisted livery fee was £250 for two horses (and is £150 for one)which is brilliant really.

ITs a tiny yard and the lady who runs it only would charge us £50 for assistance whether for one horse or 2. She's a star!! She does 5 turn outs for me and 3 muckouts a week, then my sharer does 2 a week!

MitchyInge Fri 17-Dec-10 14:14:09

I need to find somewhere like that in spring. Huge help having half the pony's costs met by sharer, but unless I have wildly miscalculated feed costs (quite likely as I used dry weights instead of soaked) this is going to be a difficult winter.

elephantpoo Fri 17-Dec-10 15:53:44

I'm doing ponies on a budget too Santassnowyoldclothcatpuss.
My 2 cost me 110 pounds / month. That gets me grass keep for 1 and a stable for me to use when I'm doing anything with my youngster (he's a little jumpy and there are little people around......safest place for him!!). We are DIY, though so far the yard owner has hayed and watered a lot during the bad weather. We're also all keen to muck in and help each other, so if for some reason we can't get there somebody's around
My biggest expenditure is e-bay. Get lots of bargains, but have to ban myself sometimes because I get carried away blush

PlanetEarth Fri 17-Dec-10 18:48:46

My basic cost:

Grass livery 28pw, i.e. around 120pm. Hay included.
Petrol 50pm
Insurance 50pm (I have quite a lot of insurance, might revise this next year)
Barefoot trim 40 every 6 weeks, around 27pm
Feed - bag of Hi Fi lite is lasting me ages, but I've been trying runny-poo supplements etc. which work out expensive, so far I'm averaging say 20pm
Worming around 15 every 6months, flu jabs etc. say 60 every year, so around 8pm for these things

That makes fixed costs around 248 a month.

Then you have the more flexible stuff:
Random purchases (roller, rugs, jodhpurs etc) - will lessen but never go away entirely.
Transport (we don't have any, if you do, that's a biggie)
Show entry fees
Unforeseen vet visits

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