Just been offered a horse FOR FREE, need to know about costs please(10 Posts)
Hmm well you'd need to be aware of vets bills. Not all vets will come out to horses.
Teeth may need cleaning every now and again, food bills for winter, if you're going to ride her then all the stuff that goes with that. Depending on age and type of horse, it may need a rug for winter.
Insurance is always a good one in case she becomes ill.(Can become really expensive if something goes wrong)
Also look into alternative place to keep her in case friend can't keep her for some reason.
Quite a bit of your own time as well will be needed to look after her, unless your friend will help with this. Find out what friend will do for the £55.
Horses can be great but ours have always lived into their 30's so be prepared to be in it for the long haul.
Even if the mare stays as fit as a fiddle you will need the vet at least once a year for teeth rasping and vaccinations but if you can co-ordinate with someone else you can save on half the call out fee. Depending on the ground where you live, how often you ride and the state of the horse's feet you may be able to save on the cost of shoes but you will still need to have the feet checked and trimmed to keep them in good condition and balanced.(much cheaper though!). I would second Paranoidmother's suggestion of insurance, not only for vet bills, but to cover you for third party if your horse causes damage to another person or their property, and also for personal injury to yourself. If you aren't keeping your tack at home you need to consider insuring that as well as tack theft is rife at the moment.
What sort of horse is it? If it is a native-type good doer and you have plenty of pasture you may not need to feed in the summer but you will still need to provide hay at the very least in winter. The price will vary a bit depending on where you live (£3.50 - £4 per bale atm here) so you could check out costs local to you. If you have facilities to store a large amount of hay you will get it cheaper, especially if you are able to buy straight from the field. You may need to buy rugs but I never find that a problem. Some people seem to spend hundreds of pounds on rugs but my horse was toasty warm and dry all winter in the ones I got for £20 each in Robinson's sale.
As Paranoidmother says, the main issue with 3 young children is will you have time? If you have then I'd say go for it and good luck. But then I'm biased as my mum was given a horse too and he was fabulous. She had him for 20 years until he was 31 and we all had such fun with him.
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth!!!
Sorry - couldn't resist.
My mum and I share a horse nowadays and it works really well. My mum is semi-retired now and I don't earn much as I have to fit working around caring for my son who has ASD, so cost wise it makes much more sense. Also, as you can guess my time is limited, it isn't always possible to take ds to the field as he needs watching all the time, and my mum still works part-time but we manage to juggle things between us.
How come the mare if free - we've given away horses in the past but usually after recovering from an injury and then still charged 200 quid just to make sure the people are seriously going to look after them.
You say no longer good for hunting - strange, definitely find out why.
I agree about the above comments and would also question the 55 quid a month. This is very cheap. Presumably doesn't include bedding?
There are lots of "free" horses around - especially thoroughbreds - but usually you need to really think these offers through.
The best horse we have we paid £60 (yes, sixty quid) for. Hes done dressage, hunted, local shows, hacks all day. You can get bargains, but you do need to be knowledgeable enough to deal with problems and have the money to put them right if they are health problems etc...... people usually only give horses away if they are only for companion/light hack use so make sure you dont take on huge vet bills.
Though Im one to talk. I recently bought a lame, underweight part thoroughbred who had liquid diarrhea when I bought him due to incorrect feeding and worm burden. Hes turned out to be a real star though - not completely sound yet but coming right and hes going to be fab
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