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Discuss horse riding and ownership on our Horse forum.

The tack room

how much to keep a horse.

12 replies

tink123 · 28/10/2011 11:36

DD has just started riding and I know I am planning ahead but I would love to get her a pony in a few years. The local yard does full livery for £70 p.w. I was just wondering how much it costs on top of this - vets, shoes, insurance, track, worming etc.... I realise it will not be cheap and I may be able to find cheaper livery.

OP posts:
OhYouBadBadGhostie · 28/10/2011 11:39

I've been looking into this and that doesnt seem too bad for full livery depending on what you get for it (some will include shoes and some feed etc)

chestnutmare · 28/10/2011 12:54

I keep my horse on full livery for £250 a month, but some of the riding schools in my area charge £400! The price I pay includes his food, bedding and hay as well. I did look at one place that also charged £250 but I would have to pay extra for his food and bedding. So definitely look around.

My insurance (KBIS) is £35 a month and his annual vaccination is about £60 (that's sharing the cost of the vet visit with another woman on the yard, would be £80 if the visit was just for my horse alone). My vet is really good, they offer a 10% discount on your next bill if you pay the previous one promptly :)

As for shoes, not sure yet, I only bought him a month ago and he isn't due for new shoes yet!

Mirage · 28/10/2011 13:46

We rent a private yard and have sole use of it,includes grazing,menage,2 stables for 2 ponies,at £25 a week.Lessons are £20 [which they still need despite riding for 4 years],shoes for 1 pony £60 every 8-9 wks,wormer £25 for two ponies,insurance is very cheap as they are old.Hay £2.80 a bale if not free from my dad,straw,not had to buy yet.Veteran horse feed £12 every 10 wks,Pony club membership £58 each.rallies £7.50 a go.I was spending £200 a month on riding lessons for my two and thought it would be cheaper to buy a pony,but it isn't.I wouldn't change things though,they love it so much and ride almost every day.They've learnt so much this summer by having their own pony and when I look at their faces when they are riding I forget about the expense.

SemperUbiSubUbi · 28/10/2011 13:53

I won't put prices as its mostly been covered and they vary so much but you need to consider budgeting for the following:

Hay
Bedding
Feed
Feet
Worming
Insurance
Riding lessons
Stable rent
Vaccinations
Bridle
Saddle
Other tack
Rugs
Yard equipment
Dentist
Vet bills
Cost of the actual pony
Cost of having it vetted before purchase
Transport for pony
Pony club membership
Entrance fees for shows/pc events

StopRainingPlease · 28/10/2011 14:12

I reckon my average monthly spend is around £380. To help you compare to your likely spend, the main costs are:

125 grass livery (includes hay)
50 petrol to and from yard
80 lessons
25 barefoot trim
50 insurance
15 feed and supplements
35 intermittent expenses - vet, additions to tack, riding clothes, other sundries

TenderlyLovinglyByAGoat · 28/10/2011 17:30

I pay £60 per horse a month for grass livery, but now with an additional £125 a month for a stable (includes bedding and hay) in case I need it - this is diy, so about £200 a month for two.

By far the niggliest expenses that sort of creep up are the need for constantly constantly replacing stuff, head collars and lead ropes (and £300 for clippers Shock) human boots and also entry fees for things now we are doing more SJ for example. And hunting is not as cheap as I'd like it to be but I suppose there is the option to subscribe. And have just spent about £80 on supplements alone.

I think a general rule of thumb is 'more than you think' and they always take longer to do than you think too.

rogersmellyonthetelly · 28/10/2011 20:09

You need to know if your full livery includes all hard feed, hay and bedding, it would be very very cheap (round here anyhow, west yorkshire) at that price with feed hay and bedding included. Also, do they poo pick the fields or is that extra.
Realistically you are looking at a farrier visit every 6-8 weeks, worst case scenario you have one with crap feet that needs a full set of shoes every 6weeks, thats £55 per set of shoes. Best scenario you have native pony with feet like iron which needs a trim every couple of months at £15 a trim.
You will need to have teeth checked twice a year, this tends to be cheaper the more horses the dentist sees, so if you all club together, £30 per visit should be enough.
Then we move onto back specialists and saddle fitters, some ponies never have a problem with their saddle and never have a sore back, but most do, so you can expect at least one visit from back specialist (£60 ish) and your saddle may need tweaking but this comes under tack repair below. ,
Vets, you have a yearly vaccination booster costing around £60 and a wormer every 3 months at £15-£20
You can also expect a couple of adhoc vet visits in a year, they inevitably vandalise themselves in the field or while out riding, or may have a colic or some other random illness. I had a call out last week, course of bute, course of antibiotics, a light sedation so the vet didn't get his head kicked in, and sn exam, cost me £125.
You will also need horse insurance which depends what level of cover you need and the value of the horse.
Finally allow a couple of hundred quid for new tack, rugs, repairs and fly spray, first aid top ups etc. This is on top of the initial buying of tack and rugs.
It's an expensive lark this horse ownership thing!

Tangle · 29/10/2011 15:10

Realistically you are looking at a farrier visit every 6-8 weeks, worst case scenario you have one with crap feet that needs a full set of shoes every 6weeks, thats £55 per set of shoes. Best scenario you have native pony with feet like iron which needs a trim every couple of months at £15 a trim.

Hmm - our one with crap feet gets seen every 5 weeks and comes in nearer £200 a time (6 weeks is OK, but leaves no margin for error). She's not a cheap date...

You can get a regular worm count done and worm as required, which brings that cost down a little (you still need to do some regular worming, but it brings it down).

Insurance is personal preference. Public liability is strongly recommended or you could face a massive payout if your horse injures someone. Whether you want to insure against vet bills depends on how much of a personal buffer you have (I've a friend with multiple dogs and horses, none of them insured - she reckons over the last 15 years she's quids in by paying for the vet as required). We have insurance as couldn't cover an un-expected large bill. If you do insure for vet's bills, get a few quotes and do a very detailed comparison of exactly what is covered - take into consideration that some insurance companies exclude pre-existing conditions so, for example, they might only pay out for colic once. Its worth checking your house contents as that may cover your tack already. Insurance for the rider is worth considering - ultimately riding is a risk sport and there is the potential for serious injury with long term consequences (BHS gold membership used to include insurance - worth checking).

With the right animal horse ownership may not be too bank-breaking on a day to day basis, but you do need to be prepared for unexpected costs that can be quite substantial.

Pixel · 29/10/2011 17:44

Costs will also vary massively depending on whereabouts you live. I'm [henvy] at someone saying hay £2.80 a bale for hay, cheapest here all summer has been £5.50. Also £55 for new set of shoes! My sister is paying £75 and I pay £23 for a trim. We are on the south coast which seems to much more costly than somewhere like Yorkshire.

carabos · 30/10/2011 16:53

Ours costs @£110 pw (I'm including insurance in that and he's barefoot so no farriery costs).

tink123 · 30/10/2011 21:17

Thanks for all your detailed replies. I think we may do a part loan before we buy. :)

OP posts:
Haggyoldclothbatspus · 31/10/2011 11:47

I rent my own small yard, 6 acres post and rail, and 4 stables, with water and electric supply for £50 per week. I have 4.5 ponies on it at the moment. None are fed, none wear shoes. British native ponies are incredibly cheap to keep and rarely ill. I dont vaccinate, never have, and neither do the stud where I used to work. I worm regularly. My girls all have hard native feet, and can easily hack out 2 or 3 times a week without shoes, and when they get over grown, I file them down myself. They are all bordering on fat, and never get anything but grass, except when the snow is on the ground, when they get straw on the floor. I have BHS membership for public liability, legal advice and personal accident cover.
All our tack comes from classified ads or boot sales and we have some lovely stuff. DDs pony has a Stuben saddle, bought for £40! My average weekly cost? about £55.

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