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My first horse - how can you afford it?
42

andreapendle · 08/11/2018 15:02

I am saving up for my own horse, next year spring sometime. DH is not happy. I have children but youngest is 14 and not so dependent on me now and my 17 year old is into horses so thats good. I would like to know how much it would cost monthly/weekly if DIY, i also work full time. what type of horse would be suitable ? for my needs. Hacking, hunting, possible dressage (way down the line). I have been waiting for 41 years (im 51 now) so i think ive been patient long enough. Anyones advice would be very welcome.

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Megan2018 · 08/11/2018 15:10

I bought my first aged 30 after a very long wait!

My native costs about £500 a month on average but costs vary hugely so depends on where you live.

Stable, haylage, straw and turnout/bring in costs me £50pw

Basic breakdown is:

Livery £200
Insurance £85 (which is high but my horse has had a couple of surgeries)
Trailer Insurance £10
Shoes £45
Feed and supplements £90

On top of that you have the less regular costs of clipping, worming, vet bills, vaccinations, saddle fitter, chiropractor, dentist etc. That's another £50 per month roughly.

If you want to compete there are transport costs, and also lessons.

So a good £6k per year for mine. Usually nearer to £7k when you factor in unexpected costs!

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andreapendle · 08/11/2018 15:55

no trailer costs etc as can borrow one so its just fuel for this. would buy a horse that just needs trimming and not shoeing, would turnout and bring in myself unless absolutely necessary as the yard is on the way to and from work (so that should save me a few quid). i was hoping to have a contingency fund put to one side for any unexpected costs. i was loaning one which was £140 a month for a 3 days a week . so i was hoping the cost monthly would only go upto 3/400 per month. i also have the possibility of using a relatives yard which would put the cost down as its just a field with field shelter in it. obviously good rugs would be needed during winter. thank you for this as its really brought it home to me how much they do cost.

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Moanranger · 08/11/2018 16:18

They are expensive. We keep ours on full livery (my back is not up to DIY & daughter works) one way to reduce costs is to get a sharer. I think £6k per annum is realistic; you could probably come in a bit lower, but need to consider what would you do if you got injured & couldn’t muck out, etc? I got bad sciatica last year & out of commission for 6 weeks.
We need a new jumping saddle, probably £1k+, instructor said ONLY £1k?

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Pleasedontdothat · 08/11/2018 18:15

Dd’s just got her first horse and the bills are always slightly more than expected!

He’s on part-livery so dd goes to the yard most days after school to bring him in, ride, groom and feed him and muck out his stable. As he’s out in the field all day she has to do a certain amount of poo-picking too. Usually she’ll need the yard staff to bring him in one or two days a week depending on school commitments which is an additional cost.

Regular monthly costs are:
Livery - £380
Extras - hay, worming, bringing in etc - £50-ish
Insurance - £30
Transport to PC rallies etc - £100-ish
Farrier - £35 (full set of shoes every 6-8 weeks)
Lessons - £70 (2 per month)
Clinics/rallies - depends but between £15-£40 each time

Less regular costs:

Vet bills - he needs to be sedated for clipping (his only vice) £80 for call-out fee and sedative
Clipping - £35
Vaccinations - £35 yearly
PC membership (includes rider insurance) - £70?

It is a LOT of money but dd is prone to severe anxiety (possibly on autistic spectrum) and spending time with her horse helps keep that in check so it’s worth it as far as I’m concerned

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andreapendle · 08/11/2018 20:21

Really thanks to everyone whose replied as was unsure of costs - I’m still going to get one as it’s a life’s ambition. Smile

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Megan2018 · 08/11/2018 21:08

@andreapendle

You can’t guarantee any horse will manage without shoes. It is bloody hard to find anything unshod to start with unless you buy a youngster. It all depends on your grazing, terrain and level of work. Mine is shod only in front but despite spending about £500 on hoof boots etc I never managed to get the fronts to stay off. Transitioning to barefoot is hard. I’m a fan of it, and my next youngster will be unshod I hope. But finding a novice friendly unshod could be hard!

Also it is very hatd to rely on turnout only. Managing grazing for a lot of horses is challenging, mine is permanently on a diet and without a stable I couldn’t manage to keep the weight off. Grass turnout sounds cheap but they can end up needing surgery (mine has had 2 operations) and then you need stabling.

Hopefully you’ll be able to cut some costs but it is vital to be prepared for it to cost more. This Summer for instance I spent £50 a month just on flyspray. Granted it was a unique year!

They are a money pit. Fantastic too though!

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CountryCob · 09/11/2018 08:51

How about a compromise on the shoes? My sport horse only has fronts on so £40 every 6 weeks for him rather than the £65 full set, takes less time too! He has good feet and we don’t do lots of road work but I find his feet would wear and go down at the heel and he could get foot sore without fronts. Other plus of taking the backs off is that if they overreach as mine does then less likely to hurt heel of front foot (can still take shoe off) and less slippy in the ice so I am a big fan of that compromise, good luck they are expensive and hard work but worth it, when looking I would emphasise temperament and suitability highly, it is as expensive to look after a stroppy horse that is hard work as it is to look after a good one, also hunting can be expensive - how about pleasure riding and charity rides/ leisure rides often held before endurance competitions? xxx

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Moanranger · 09/11/2018 09:24

I would put shoeing in your budget, then if you find a barefoot prospect, you have a bit more room in your budget.
I offset the annual cost of horse against my (potential) psychiatry bills - they keep you sane. I think the cost is worth it & ours is a joy. This is Arthur - 10 now, had since 3. ID

My first horse - how can you afford it?
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lastqueenofscotland · 09/11/2018 09:26

My ex racehorse Cost me £0 infact they gave me £300 tontake him off their hands. And didn’t need shoes and was safe as houses. Admittedly a rare find.

They are HUGELY expensive.
As a bare minimum I think you are looking about £400pcm
Not including the bastards propensity to make best mates with the vet and decide they’ll pay for their skiing holiday that year Angry

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diodon · 09/11/2018 09:33

@Moanranger He's beautiful Smile

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Ohhgreat · 09/11/2018 09:40

If you want to go hunting you'll definitely need shoes.

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WhyDidIEatThat · 09/11/2018 09:46

Hunting will increase your costs a fair bit - subscription £1k? Or pay circa £70 cap each time. My two, £400-£600 a month each (part/assisted diy)

My first horse - how can you afford it?
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andreapendle · 09/11/2018 09:52

@Moanranger gorgeous horse very lucky - @CountryCob - i agree with the shoeing side at least its not the full set and i would still save money. think i will put my contingency fund up a little too. Thinking about the monthly cost I have now put it up to £500 a month ( anything i save during the summer months can be put towards other costs) - i have also been thinking about full loan (even though i have had two bad times in the past with part loans) - i may fall lucky you never know :)

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WhyDidIEatThat · 09/11/2018 09:53

You could always look for a sharer to do some of the work and contribute to the costs?

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andreapendle · 09/11/2018 09:55

@WhyDidIEatThat - yes i have used hirelings in the past which are expensive but safe (if you can be safe hunting) - but its what i love to do and hopefully my daughter will do this end of next year. Have done the beach rides/pleasure rides/endurance rides in the past too which i have enjoyed - I think my DH is going to have to get a better paid job (smile)

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WhyDidIEatThat · 09/11/2018 11:08

I think you should just get one and figure out the finances as you go along something like our sec D would be perfect - she hunts, does the occasional ODE (always placed), riding club stuff, hacks perfectly (alone, with others) and recently made her team chase debut. Had her since she was a newly backed 4 year old, best pony ever 😍

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OldSpeclkledHen · 09/11/2018 14:03

I budget (eeek) about 400 a month. Horse is on diy, stabled at night so hay all year round, with shoes on... but a good doer. Also factor in fuel/travelling costs.

Winter is coming and a couple of mornings I've thought I don't want to do this anymore 🙄 but when I get there and see her dappy face, it makes it worth while.

Do it. You'll be skint but happy 😊

And @Moanranger he's stunning, I love ID, my mare is 3/4bred 😊

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VintageFur · 09/11/2018 15:44

I have mine on full livery because I can't guarantee my health/life will be in alignment and I can't commit to DIY.

Livery = 110/week
Barefoot trim by Well known well respected EP £50 (so not much less than shoes!)
Worming ?? Do poo counts
Insurance £60/month
Supplement £15/month

I budget 900/month and this has to cover horsebox rental and entry fees too.

At 300/month you'd be bare bones of insurance/feet/jags/wormer basic pony nuts, chaff and hay(page).

Don't forget fence maintenance if they're out. They like to break stuff.

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VintageFur · 09/11/2018 15:48

moanranger he is gorgeous! And yes! What we spend on nags we save on shrinks!

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Chesneyhawkes1 · 09/11/2018 15:57

I've just got out of horses after having them for years. One had to be pts, one I returned to WHW where I had him on loan as a companion from and my other is now on loan with a friend.

Whatever you budget for always add extra on top is all I can say. When on full livery I was paying £185 a week. That was fine when I only had 1 horse.

Then I went to DIY livery when I had 2 and finally I rented my own land when I had 3.

Winter was so expensive as I had clay mud and needed so much Haylage.

I miss my horses especially the one I lost. But the time and the money I have gained plus no trekking through mud at 4am before work, is nice. My boy below in his hey day.

Good luck with your search!

My first horse - how can you afford it?
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fenneltea · 09/11/2018 16:11

Honestly, if you've any doubts about affording it then I'd say wait until you know you are able to manage it easily, horse owning is expensive and even the cheapest native can become expensive, I owned one that developed cushings and lamiitis so needed meds, supplements, vet checks and expensive haylage instead of the readily available free grass! I spent more on that pony than the tb's feed in winter! If you plan to hunt then your insurance costs will normally be higher too.

Keeping a horse barefoot isn't necessarily a cheaper option either, I've seen people spend a small fortune on trimmers, supplement and hoof boots which probably made it more expensive than shoeing. A break from shoes for a few months is a good compromise if you have a time of year that you aren't riding as much.

Sharing would be an option to consider if you're going to be pushed, and horses are fabulous; but there is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing someone have to sell or shoot their beloved horse because of financial difficulties, and I've sadly witnessed it far too often. There is always something to buy when you own a horse!

Also worth bearing in mind that if your husband isn't supportive it makes it very difficult, you'll be spending spare time at the yard and not with him and family holidays can be affected etc. as well as the financial side of things.

Anyway that's my sanctimonious rant over; (apologies!) so if you do decide to go ahead, have fun!

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fatbottomgirl67 · 09/11/2018 17:37

Diy livery £135
Hay£15
Straw£15
Feed £30
So £195 for livery / month .
shoes £80 every 7 weeks.
Annual flu jab £45
Don't have insurance
Other than that teeth rasping annually £40
Lessons clinics?
We do it on a shoestring but worth every penny

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andreapendle · 09/11/2018 20:13

@fatbottomgirl67 - shoestring sounds good - one person I knew said 250 a month for one horse - I think that’s a bit low - but I think £400 a month is quite reasonable - I should be able to do it for that and it would be better if on full loan as I wouldn’t have the expense of buying horse :)

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70isaLimitNotaTarget · 09/11/2018 22:37

My DH once suggested I look into loan/part share horses (I'm 52 now and used to go horse riding but not for years ) It would be easy enough for me to find a steady loan to part share but:

My main worry was - what if I injure myself? That's something to add to your ever increasing horse bill. Rider insurance to cover you if you cannot work.

And don;t rely on the 17yo too much. Exams , other activities will take over . Is 17yo happy to do stable duty while you go out on the horse? Or will you let them ride while you muck out?

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VintageFur · 10/11/2018 08:15

What sort of budget did you have in mind for purchase? I think that might shock you too when you consider the disciplines which interest you. Add £250+ for the vetting, £200 (variable) for transporting the horse home. £100 for two basic rugs. £60 basic bridle. Saddle £piece of string. Basic grooming kit + carry-box £40, basic first-aid kit £50. I need to leave a deposit at the vet when registering a new animal.

In short, it costs a bloody fortune even just getting the basics in order before you've even got it off the lorry at the new home!

I wouldn't rely on the children - and working f-t and running a family is hard enough. Two visits a day when you're on DIY will exhaust you. Ok you can knock out stable duties in 30 mins after work, but add in travel time, getting changed time and that's even before you've tacked up. You could be easily looking at extending your day after work by 2 hours just for a quick ride. Then you've got to go home and do your regular jobs.

Finally - the husband. You mentioned he wasn't on board. I'm single now but my ex-husband really resented it. He hated that it cost time and money. He just didn't get that I'd rather be at the yard at 7am Sunday morning rather than snuggling. Or that I'd rather be at the yard than polishing the kitchen. Obviously he was a twat in many areas, but it did detract from my enjoyment of my horse because I was always mindful of getting home asap.

Given your circumstances I'd seriously consider a part-share and see how it goes. I wanted to do a share this time and the only reason I bought was because a friend was selling a horse I coveted!

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