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The tack room

Arranging a horse-share

21 replies

catlovingdoctor · 11/07/2014 18:14

Hello everyone, would really appreciate some advice.

I live in SW London and have recently got into riding. Absolutely loving it but due to location and the fact I'm a student I can't really own a horse atm so am starting to consider a horse share. From what I understand I would pay a horse owner to be able to go and muck a horse out and then ride a certain number of times a week. Is that correct? I am able to ride reasonably well but I know virtually nothing about upkeep, etc. Does anyone have any idea how much I would expect to pay for this sort of share if I'm in SW London? Or is this just a silly idea and something I should wait to do till I know a bit more about caring for/looking after horses?

And, lastly...how would I go about looking for a horse share? Are there any specific things that should put me off a prospective offer?

Thanks a lot in advance; I suppose I am a little new to the horse world so if I sound naive please be gentle Smile

OP posts:
FlockOfTwats · 11/07/2014 18:23

I can't advise on cost in your area, I'm further north and have usually paid around £20 a week for sharing.

It's not a bad idea though, I learned far more in a week with my first share horse than i did in 2 years at the riding school as a teenager.

Mucking out and grooming etc you pick up easily enough. I would advise looking for one that is kept on a livery yard so that there are others to ask for help, who is easy to handle etc so you can learn to look after it.

FlockOfTwats · 11/07/2014 18:27

I would just watch out for stupid amounts of money really though - I've seen adverts before where they basically seem to be after someone else paying for their horse and doing most of the dirty work for them (£60+ a week to share a horse on a DIY/Grass livery living out barefoot, no health issues etc...)

I also dislike adverts that say things like 'its with a heavy heart i have to put my mare up for loan' - It just makes me think that i would basically be resented and not wanted there so i don't even reply to those.

People writing things in capitals like 'SHE WIL NEVER EVER BE FOR SALE' give me the impression that the person is a narcissist experiencing delusions of grandeur who believes they have produced such a fantastic horse that everyone is banging their door down to buy it.

But they are just personal bug bears, i've generally found most people advertising loans to be quite honest about their horses temperment and ability - certainly never had some of the experiences ive had when buying - so if it sounds like the sort of thing you want then i'd give it a shot.

catlovingdoctor · 11/07/2014 18:42

Thank you both Smile purely because I am a bit of a novice but learning gradually I thought I'd take your thoughts on it. Would Horse and Hound be a good place to start looking?

OP posts:
catlovingdoctor · 11/07/2014 18:43

Woops sorry didn't realise you were the same poster!

OP posts:
saintlyjimjams · 11/07/2014 18:45

Does your riding school do horse care lessons? I have learned loads doing those.

catlovingdoctor · 11/07/2014 18:50

It does but only on specific schedules which don't really work for me; might look into them a little more though

OP posts:
Floralnomad · 11/07/2014 19:35

Look in some local tack shops at the notice boards ,what I would say is to be very honest about your capabilities and ensure that if you go to see a horse that you see the owner ride it before you get on ( some people are not honest about their animals ) .

catlovingdoctor · 11/07/2014 21:12

Ahh alright, thanks a lot Smile I just think it would let me ride (and learn) a lot more than I would with weekly lessons which I can barely afford anyway ,thanks a lot though!

OP posts:
saintlyjimjams · 12/07/2014 08:25

Would you still be able to afford some lessons/workshops on a share? I think they're always useful.

catlovingdoctor · 13/07/2014 19:38

Possibly, but ideally I'd prefer to keep costs down and I've read some posters saying that learning yourself with your own horse, having mastered the basics, is sometimes better/more enjoyable than to keep paying for lessons.

OP posts:
snowpo · 13/07/2014 22:04

To be honest most people look for someone to share because they want some money to help out and someone who can do a share of chores without supervision.
I don't want to sound discouraging but I would want to be able to trust that someone could muck out, tie haynets up properly, tack up, recognise signs of illness etc. You would need an owner who could spend time with you which might be more difficult to find.
If you're looking for shares you're unlikely to find anything on Horse & Hound. EquineAdverts, Horsemart and Preloved are all good.

FlockOfTwats · 13/07/2014 23:15

I personally think thats claptrap and I would disregard it.

Once you are at a certain level, yes then drop lessons and have a refresher every so often - You really need to be at a level where you are schooling the horse and actually teaching it things though.

If I were loaning to a beginner, I would expect them to have minimum of fortnightly lessons (id happily provide these myself for no extra), if not once a week.

I still wouldnt give up hope though, id only been risi g for 2 years when I had my first loan horse. The owner did what I just said and simply stipulated that I have weekly lessons with the on site instructor. Worked great.

snowpo · 13/07/2014 23:52

Fair enough, just saying what my experience is. Most of the owners I know including myself who are looking for sharers are short on time and money. I would want a sharer to be able to manage on their own.

Floralnomad · 14/07/2014 00:05

I agree with snow , the OP makes a valid point about learning more from your own horse but the fact is a horse share is not your own horse - it's someone else's .

FlockOfTwats · 14/07/2014 00:45

Snow I didnt mean your comment was claptrap!

FlockOfTwats · 14/07/2014 00:52

I meant that teaching yourself being better is claptrap and should be disregarded. Fine for yourself and your horse, but a share isnt yours.

saintlyjimjams · 14/07/2014 09:39

I think the danger OP is that if you're only recently into riding you won't know what you don't know. I started riding at 4. Left it for a few years in my teens and twenties but it's only really since returning in my thirties (now in my forties) that I feel I am getting close to the stage where I could take on a share. Okay I'd have got there faster if I'd ridden more frequently than I do, but I wouldn't have got there without someone to teach me. Even so I'd still want to be taking lessons and learning more about horse care or be closely supervises/on a year where there was someone around to guide.

bronya · 14/07/2014 10:07

You need a share where the owner has more time than money (so needs your contribution towards keep, but can be around to help you), and is willing to show you want you need to know. Then you will need to have lessons on that horse regularly, with a private instructor. If you do that, you will learn much, much more than you ever would at a riding school. Not many people have horses suitable for a novice to share though, so you might be looking for a little while. Perhaps look on freeads/preloved/equine adverts, and be honest about your lack of experience when you email/phone people.

bronya · 14/07/2014 10:07

*what you need to know!!

catlovingdoctor · 16/07/2014 22:57

Thank you very much everyone- you've definitely all given me lots to think about. It sounds like this might be a bit of an ambitious idea for now so I'm going to try and keep having lessons and learning as and when I can, and hopefully learn a bit more about upkeep and stable management. I've looked into the stable management classes at the riding school I go too so hopefully I'll be able to do some of that soon. I completely understand the point about not knowing what I don't know, so for now I guess I'll stick to lessons at the riding school. Thanks again everybody, I appreciate your help and opinions Smile

OP posts:
dogfish22 · 17/07/2014 13:20

Maybe have a look at BHS Stages 1 & 2 (the books and the workbooks), not necessarily to do the exams but just to get to know the practises in theory and try and put some of it to work in practise?
I found this very helpful to get a feel for 'best practise' and learn the terminology (I'm german by birth and have been riding since I was about 5, so all the horsey words are in german in my head Grin). Obviously this doesn't replace stable management lessons and actual practical advise but its a place to start.

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