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Cost of keeping native pony on grass livery

(37 Posts)
Fondantfancy99 Mon 26-Nov-12 12:25:24

Is anyone able to provide a breakdown of cost of keeping native cob pony on grass livery? Thanks

NotGoodNotBad Wed 28-Nov-12 09:05:16

"Everyone seems to want experienced riders for feisty horses. All I would want is a nice, safe, steady pony for gentle school work and light hacking. "

Yeah, I know! My first share was a rare safe, steady pony (see above) - so steady that some days she'd hardly move. confused Only took a couple of months before I wanted my own. wink

Fondantfancy99 Wed 28-Nov-12 08:57:39

Thanks for all the tips.

I realise that I would need somewhere with people available for eg if pony got sick and needed attention when I'm at work so I would be looking at livery yards with staff on site rather than a field in the middle of nowhere. Appreciate I would pay more for this.

Have been keeping my eye on adverts for shares / loans for ages but everyone seems to want people during the weekdays, and I could only commit to weekends. Could possibly make some weekdays but couldn't make a firm commitment due to work. Also nothing suitable near my home seems to be available. Everyone seems to want experienced riders for feisty horses. All I would want is a nice, safe, steady pony for gentle school work and light hacking. I am looking to build confidence. I have decent riding and stable management skills but am no expert so I am looking for a suitable first pony and nothing too complicated!

Agree re price of riding lessons. I am in south east and it's so expensive if you want to ride once a week probably wouldn't cost much more to own own pony!! Also all the riding schools I have tried are not great - different instructor every time / really lazy horses / having to share school with numerous other riders (dangerous IMO) / lessons that start ten minutes late but finish on time / different abilities of riders in class ...... Just don't feel like I get much out of lessons at riding school (although if did get own pony would have some lessons on him to improve)

NotGoodNotBad Wed 28-Nov-12 08:55:33

I do know someone who kept her pony really cheaply. Grass livery, but she didn't pay her bills. Farrier didn't get paid for months either. She stole feed from other liveries and used their kit (hoofpicks, buckets etc.) She had sharers (one of whom was me) from whom she got some money, but I don't know where it went - not on the pony anyway!


Not recommending this btw. wink

Pixel Wed 28-Nov-12 00:34:23

We have a decent sized shelter, we'd just have to shut him in there somehow. There is actually a stable that is supposed to be for emergencies but since all the paddocks got shelters we've been using it as a communal feed room.

careergirl Wed 28-Nov-12 00:11:01

Grass livery can work but what if you need access to a stable i.e pony on box rest?

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 28-Nov-12 00:00:38

marking a place....potential owner within next 18months - 2 yrs....this could come in handy!

Pixel Tue 27-Nov-12 23:57:32

Oops, didn't realise my post would be that long!

Pixel Tue 27-Nov-12 23:56:57

I wouldn't trim feet (although my old farrier did once offer to teach me as he was making quite a long journey just to trim my pony) as I think the farrier can spot potential problems earlier than I could. Dhorse only gets a trim every few months anyway so at £20 a go it's peanuts.
However you can save money in many other ways. They don't need tetanus jabs every year, only flu (tetanus every other year) and if you are organised with other horse owners you can share the call out fees. Same with the saddler, I wanted dhorse's new saddle fitted properly but shared the call out with someone who had just bought a new horse so it wasn't much.
Jodhpurs, hats, boots etc for yourself - that's what birthdays and Christmas are for wink. I've just bought my sister a turnout rug for her birthday because that's what she wanted/needed and I once had bales of shavings for my Christmas present when I was particularly skint following a redundancy.
Ours all have chaff and feed balancer with some carrots or something (because we are soft) and that's it for hard feed. A bag of feed balancer is £23 and lasts three of them for months, I think they had about 15 bags of chaff between them in the last year. (they might have a bit of fibre beet in the really bad weather but we only usually need one bag for the winter). We all put away £20 per month (so £60 between us) and that covers hay and feed for all three of them.
So monthly for dhorse:-
£65 field rent
£20 hay and feed
£35 insurance (covers 3rd party, personal accident, vets bills, accidental death, we take tack home so covered by household).
£10.00 farrier if he's done every 8 weeks, he often goes twice that if he does a lot of roadwork.
Occasional worming but we don't share our fields with anyone and the poo is picked every day so not a great risk. There is annual teeth rasping and jabs and a few other sundry things (electric fence posts maybe) but I still don't think they will take the figure over £200 a month. Petrol of course but the field isn't miles away, I can do it on my bike if I have to and have even walked it in the snow.
When you consider that the local riding school charges £30 for an hour's hack I don't think that's bad. If my mum and I wanted to have 1 hour hack a week each it would cost us more than keeping dhorse for a week although no mud-scraping or poo-picking would be nice.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 27-Nov-12 23:48:52

I never suggested that anyone else should trim their own feet. Merely that I do my own.

goralka Tue 27-Nov-12 22:26:23

I wouldn't do it either and I spent years working with horses.....

Backinthebox Tue 27-Nov-12 22:13:46

I wouldn't advocate a newcomer to horse ownership trimming their won horse's feet. I've had horses for over 30 years and wouldn't want to give that a go!

As regards cost of keeping a horse - depends how much you want to spend. It can be cheaply or not. I think you can take it as read that field/stable rental, some feed, foot care, veterinary care (to include flu and tet jabs, worming, and teeth,) and public liability insurance are basic requirements. You would be wise too, to either insure your horse for vets fees or have a decent amount of savings just sitting there for the unexpected.

goralka Tue 27-Nov-12 21:44:53

no doubt that it is expensive whichever way you do it.
right now I have to find a field or something within the next week or we will have a pony in the garden....

NotGoodNotBad Tue 27-Nov-12 21:37:16

My pony doesn't get hard feed but he gets a bit of chaff (minimal cost) and yes he does need supplements, e.g. haylage balancer to stop him getting runny green poos from eating grass. You should see the state of his bum and tail when he doesn't have it (only other option would be moving to a yard with rougher grass). Sure, he doesn't need carrots. But he does appreciate them. grin 69p a week in Lidl doesn't add much to my horse bill.

Yes, my trimmer is expensive I think. Thinking of trying shoes actually as he's fine on roads but footy on stones, and front shoes wouldn't be any more expensive anyway.

Lots you can save on if you are experienced (I'm not). Would rather pay a saddle fitter to do a good job than risk my pony's back.

goralka Tue 27-Nov-12 21:30:03

also notgoodnotbad, IMO grass kept ponies do not need hard feed or carrots or supplements. you are paying a lot for a trim but I suppose that is regional.
you can read up yourself on how to fit a saddle.

NotGoodNotBad Tue 27-Nov-12 21:28:22

No fields 5 min away from me. sad <ponders a move to the country>

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 27-Nov-12 21:25:07

Field 5 minutes away. BHS gold memvership £69 a year for PL. No insurance. The oldies dont get jabs, 2 babies only get Tet.Teeth get done when a problem arises. If a saddle doesnt fit I'm quite capable of going through the tack room and finding another that fits. Live outers get no feed, trim my own feet. If I ride, I wear jeans. Tack comes from boot sales and ebay.

NotGoodNotBad Tue 27-Nov-12 21:20:09

I don't see how that is though, Saggy. You say 50 a week for the field, and little feed, so that's around 200 a month. No insurance? Surely you have 3rd party. No vet/jags/teeth? No saddle checks? Don't your jodhpurs etc. wear out? Is the field by your house (no petrol)?

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 27-Nov-12 21:00:17

*125 grass livery + hay
50 insurance
50 petrol to and from yard
15 feed, carrots, supplements (e.g. garlic for flies, stuff to stop him getting green poos)
20-100 lessons (varies a lot depending how many we have)
30 barefoot trim
Varying amounts on saddle checks (he's young and growing), physio, yearly vaccinations and dentist, random vet callouts (not many of these luckily!), replacement tack/jodhpurs/riding hats/always something we need, small amounts on things like competition entry, or share of diesel money to go to the beach

So probably around 350-400 a month*

There is NO WAY that I spend that much on all 5 of mine a month! Half of that maybe!

NotGoodNotBad Tue 27-Nov-12 19:47:24

Sounds like my horse and my yard smile.

I have a 14.2 native-type at grass livery. Water is supplied automatically to the fields and they yard puts haylage out in the winter (or straw for the fatties like mine). They keep an eye on the horses, so if they are sick or obviously lame they will notice, but they don't actually go up to them and pick out their feet or anything, so I go and see him most days. If I'm away I ask a friend at the yard to take a look at him. If you really can't go every day I think you need somewhere that will do full livery as well, or friends that can look after the horse if need be. Otherwise what will you do if the horse is sick? Mine had an abscess recently and needed twice daily visits. Worth thinking what you'd do in this situation, or if your horse had to be on box rest.

I wouldn't think weekend-only riding is enough to keep a horse fit, but it will keep them ticking over.

Costs (I'm copying this from another thread I posted on), around:

125 grass livery + hay
50 insurance
50 petrol to and from yard
15 feed, carrots, supplements (e.g. garlic for flies, stuff to stop him getting green poos)
20-100 lessons (varies a lot depending how many we have)
30 barefoot trim
Varying amounts on saddle checks (he's young and growing), physio, yearly vaccinations and dentist, random vet callouts (not many of these luckily!), replacement tack/jodhpurs/riding hats/always something we need, small amounts on things like competition entry, or share of diesel money to go to the beach

So probably around 350-400 a month. shock

Incidentally, he was rugged the first winter, but last winter was so mild he had a bib clip and no rug, this winter he has the same so far. Before his clip he was sweating just standing in the field. confused

Floralnomad Tue 27-Nov-12 17:11:32

Perhaps if you can't make a daily commitment you would be better off looking for a horse to share .

50BalesOfHay Tue 27-Nov-12 11:41:43

Meant to say, if you can find it (even if it means driving a bit further) a low-key/farm livery yard would be your best bet as your pony will have company and you can get the help you'll need if you can't get every day, and there's always someone to ride with. Lots of dairy farms have diversified to livery so plenty around (although dairy grass can be an issue for natives so see what sort of horses are there and how they look when you visit)

Fondantfancy99 Tue 27-Nov-12 11:38:34

Thanks - rest assured I will be looking for a place with other horses or ponies and will not be keeping the pony alone. I am also looking for somewhere with human company and preferably a livery yard or farm where someone will check my pony and take water and hay each day. Unfortunately due to my working full time there is no way I can go personally everyday, so I just need to find some I can trust

50BalesOfHay Tue 27-Nov-12 11:33:53

My mare has a big mane which keeps her neck warm, so I've taken the coat off about half her neck, her chest and shoulders, tapering to to her back legs. She's still living out and is currently in a lightweight rug which covers all of the clip except her neck, and she's fine. Previous years I've rarely rugged her. I've only clipped so I can burn calories with her, other winters we've stuck to loads of road work at walk to keep them going without clipping

I'm 5'10, long legged and 10 stone, my mare's only 14hh but I don't look big on her because she's so wide. She's a Fell crossed with a gypsy cob, and is utterly beautiful (black with a slight auburn tinge). I love her because she's given me my confidence back. She's also fantastic fun, can jump about 2'6" (and loves it when I'm up for it), and goes like a rocket, but only when she's sure it's what I've asked her to do!

It was a 13.2 Highland that got me riding again, and I have a huge soft spot for Highlands. Gypsy cobs are also lovely (our yard owners have about a dozen of them). Round hairy ponies have really grown on me, but if you'd like something a bit more refined (and less wide), Connemaras are still pretty hardy, as are New Forests

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 27-Nov-12 11:23:03

Absolutely any of the breeds at that size! New forests are lovely, and very hardy we have a lovely mare on the go.
I have 2 issues though.
1/ you are getting 1 pony. You'll need to find somewhere with other horses as they don't do well alone.
2/ and to me more important, you need to be there at least once a day. Mine live out, and I insist that even if I'm not there, someone in my family goes over, stirs them up, sees them moving, checks for blood and checks the water.
It's really easy for even big butchers to get tipped over. Two days without is not good. And what happens if there is an issue, it gets a leg caught in the fence, (the horse my friend rescued from livestock wire died after being there for 2 days) it cuts itself on the hedge, or any hundreds of random things that might happen, and you aren't there for 36 hours?
In terms of finding somewhere, advertise in tack shops, newsagents and supermarkets, the local horsey magazines, ask anyone you see riding, and what works for me, look at google earth, and tour the local area, knocking on every house with a field attached.
Also, do you have an energiser, tape and fence posts? A lot of what you will find may well need extra security in hedgerows etc.

Fondantfancy99 Tue 27-Nov-12 10:40:09

Great, thanks so much for the advice.

50Bales if your mare is clipped does she still live out all year round? Does she wear a NZ rug? I assume if they are doing heavy exercise they would need to be clipped? I have lots to learn about natives as I have previously mainly ridden stabled horses which have been clipped, stabled with lots of rugs so I need to learn about the procedure with natives ie clipping, rugs etc.The intention would be for the pony to live out all year round.

Like you I am attracted to natives as I would struggle to afford something that has to be stabled as I work long hours and would have to pay for full livery which would cost ££££££. I am also not the bravest and am just looking for a calm pony for hacking and light schooling. I am 5ft 7 and 9 stone so what breeds would you recommend?

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