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Cost of keeping native pony on grass livery

36 replies

Fondantfancy99 · 26/11/2012 12:25

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

OP posts:
goralka · 26/11/2012 12:28

well it depends how much you are paying for space in the field?
the grass will not have enough nutrition in it at the moment so hay/haylage will be needed, is that included?
You will of course need to calculate in shoeing/trimming/worming/insurance all of which are variable.

CMOTDibbler · 26/11/2012 12:40

DS's pony is on grass livery, barefoot. Livery is £120 a month, includes haylage (and they sort the water, keep an eye on them, bring in for farrier, bulk buy wormer etc), then a foot trim costs £20 every 6-8 weeks, worming £10 every 3 months, vaccs £70 a year, insurance £200 a year.

goralka · 26/11/2012 12:56

similar here I suppose, 100 a month for field and haylage and similar prices for the other things, except you could get cheaper insurance by joining the British Horse Society.

Fondantfancy99 · 26/11/2012 16:36

Thanks. How do I know if they would needs shoes or not? Does it just depend on amount of road riding I would be doing?

OP posts:
CMOTDibbler · 26/11/2012 16:48

It mostly depends on the horse/pony and your preference tbh. I don't think most horses do enough road riding to need shoes to stop them wearing their feet down.
If you are looking at buying, then most ads will say if barefoot, and you could get a farrier opinion too as to whether you could get their shoes off.

Mirage · 26/11/2012 17:56

I pay £100 a month for our two,but a stable and use of the school is included in that.I've just insured the new one with the NFU and it was £214,dentist is £25,front shoes £30,wormer £100 a year,hay £3 a bale.

Pixel · 26/11/2012 19:00

I reckon it costs £50 per week to keep dhorse. He lives out, is unshod and on DIY grass livery. We don't go to shows though and I haven't included lessons for me.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss · 26/11/2012 21:49

After the actual livery, bugger all! I pay £50p/w for about 5 acres, 4 stables and water. After that they cost me bugger all. There isnt much in grass at this time of year, but if there is enough of it, you won't need much else. Ive got shetlands and welshes, they live out 24/7 365, and only get hay or straw on the ground if it has snowed heavily. Every one came out of winter with fat to spare. What I aim for, is to keep them in weight, but to reach spring with room to put all the spring grass. Between my friend and I we have 15 ponies between 9 and 18hh. None wear shoes. They wear them on the road, and we trim ourselves. They are wormed every 13 weeks or so, and jabbed for tetans. They cost very little. I have 4 stables. I never use them.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss · 26/11/2012 21:50

Tetanus even!

Fondantfancy99 · 27/11/2012 09:19

Thanks for all the replies.
Another couple of questions:

  1. What's the best way to go about finding a suitable place to keep a pony? I am new to the area so don't have any horsey connections here. I would need grass livery only, but somewhere where they could keep an eye on the pony during the week, top up hay and water in field etc as I would not be able to get there everyday due to work.

  1. What do people without a school do? Do you just corner off a section of field for riding in? I have only ever ridden at places with a school.

  1. Would it be a major issue if I could only ride at weekends during winter (I'm assuming the place I will keep pony will not have floodlit school). Would this be enough to keep a native pony reasonably fit? I could ride more during summer lighter nights. Otherwise I could look for someone to help with exercise during the week. How often does a native pony need to be ridden to stay fit?

OP posts:
50BalesOfHay · 27/11/2012 09:55

Natives are pretty forgiving! I'm so pleased I went down that road as I'm not very brave so wanted small and wide, and I needed low maintenance, and cheap to keep.

  1. Find all the tack/feed shops and put up notices/check what's on offer, and get chatting. Preloved also has a fair few ads for grazing in our area so worth a try. I'm assuming you'll be looking for a livery yard/farm livery for a) the care when you can't get and b)company if you're just looking to get one pony. Might also be worth giving us some idea of where you are: someone here might know of a good place

  1. If you can find somewhere with good hacking, especially safe roads, this can be a life-saver in the winter, and you can do loads of schooling out hacking, but if you go for some sort of livery then they may have a field set aside: ask what others do.

3.We are very lucky as we have an indoor school, but last winter my native mare (Fell/cob, lives out) was only ridden at weekends (not clipped, so mainly walk) and was fine, took about 6 weeks in the Spring to get her fully fit. This year she's carrying too much weight so is trace clipped and working at least 4 days a week, more if I can manage it as I'm paranoid about letting her go into spring with too much fat on her. As long as you can manage their weight, and follow a getting fit plan in the Spring I don't think it's too much of an issue.

We pay £18 per horse a week for grass livery, which includes the yard owners keeping water topped up, poo picking (which they do at least once a day, every day, no matter how shitty the weather) and they are meticulous about keeping an eye on all the horses, and delivery of haylage to fields.

Don't forget to factor in insurance or money into a vet fees fund in case of disasters when costing it up, otherwise as Saggy says you can keep them very cheaply.

Good luck, and don't forget to let us know when you start horse hunting as we love vicarious horse shopping Smile
Fondantfancy99 · 27/11/2012 10:40

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?

OP posts:
SaggyOldClothCatPuss · 27/11/2012 11:23

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.

50BalesOfHay · 27/11/2012 11:33

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

Fondantfancy99 · 27/11/2012 11:38

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

OP posts:
50BalesOfHay · 27/11/2012 11:41

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)

Floralnomad · 27/11/2012 17:11

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

NotGoodNotBad · 27/11/2012 19:47

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

SaggyOldClothCatPuss · 27/11/2012 21:00

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 · 27/11/2012 21:20

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 · 27/11/2012 21:25

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 · 27/11/2012 21:28

No fields 5 min away from me. Sad

goralka · 27/11/2012 21:30

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 · 27/11/2012 21:37

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 · 27/11/2012 21:44

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....

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