Having a horse while on a budget?

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I'm planning on getting a haflinger and trying to budget as much as I can. Currently, I'm saving up as much as I can to use for emergency vet bills and a possible trailer and just overall emergency money in case.
I've figured out that a bag of chaff could last me a couple of months since they're foragers and will be out majority of the day.

What other ways can I make a horse affordable every month?
 

windand rain

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Don't fall for the Equi/horse trap if it mentions a horse in any form it will be 3 times at least as expensive as the generic term. Keep out and allow to lose weight over winter. Keep feeding simple grass grass and more grass in its various forms. Second hand is good and everything loses huge amounts from new. Make sure tack fits well and the pony is kept fit. I have kept ponies on a shoestring with rare need for the emergency credit card but it is good to have in case of emergencies. We have 4 natives so would be impossible to insure them all
 
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Yeah insuring is probably something I won't do just because I've seen some very significant injuries and insurance didn't cover any (Big cat escaped from a sanctuary attacked a horse, one fractured its leg ect.) I guess it just depends on your insurance tho haha
Thank you for your comment I'll be sure to keep that all in mind! :)
 

MuddyMonster

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What is your ball park monthly budget?

I've kept my horse at the start of my career when I was earning considerably less and subsequently on a much stricter budget - and its definitely do-able - but I wouldn't consider it if I was needing to limit something as inexpensive as a bag of chaff.

You're right that good doers don't generally need much bucket feed - but my native needs restricted grass at certain times of year and I feed more (soaked) hay at those times & subsequently get through more bedding if he's in more. Could you afford to do that for example?
 
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Yup! I am probably just gonna budget for under 450 or a little less a month and yeah the chaff is fine was just showing an example so could save more munz haha. I'm planning on being a horse riding instructor at a riding school so probably the wages of an average instructor for that. I feel I'm probably gonna have alot of back up money as I want to save 10k and once I get the horse save at least 50 or so a month to add in as emergency money or something
 

Gloi

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Yup! I am probably just gonna budget for under 450 or a little less a month and yeah the chaff is fine was just showing an example so could save more munz haha. I'm planning on being a horse riding instructor at a riding school so probably the wages of an average instructor for that. I feel I'm probably gonna have alot of back up money as I want to save 10k and once I get the horse save at least 50 or so a month to add in as emergency money or something
Find work somewhere that your horse's keep is included in your wages if you are working with horses 😉
 

Cutgrass

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Yup! I am probably just gonna budget for under 450 or a little less a month and yeah the chaff is fine was just showing an example so could save more munz haha. I'm planning on being a horse riding instructor at a riding school so probably the wages of an average instructor for that. I feel I'm probably gonna have alot of back up money as I want to save 10k and once I get the horse save at least 50 or so a month to add in as emergency money or something
Are you an instructor already or is this a long term plan? If you already work with horses, could you look for a job where accommodation and other bits such as bedding and feed are thrown in?
 

Andrew657

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From experience - remember owning a horse is a long term commitment and the financial costs both expected and unexpected keep coming through their life.

Even relatively minor conditions can cost £50/month on an ongoing basis. Which then leaves little money for new emergencies.
 
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It depends on so many factors. What kind of livery are you looking at? Grass, DIY, full, part? Living in or out? Those are the things you need to decide on first when thinking about budgeting as they all hugely vary in cost.
I’d also massively caution you against not insuring your horse unless you have a serious amount of money stowed away. Vet bills can come out of nowhere and can be extremely expensive. My first vet bill for my horse was in the region of £3k. I had only just bought her and hadn’t got around to setting up insurance so I had to pay that out of my own pocket...
A great piece of advice I heard was that however expensive you think keeping a horse will be, double that figure and that will probably be more accurate…
 

windand rain

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Costs in the region of £1000 per year per pony not including livery/emergencies/competitions so you need to allow that plus any extras my livery is £80 per month per pony grass DIY and is good value althoough it is truly DIY you want anything other than the ring fence you do it yourself. It suits me as we are the only tenants. We actually do the work on the fencing too but landlord provides the materials. The extras are things like potions for simple vet stuff like a cracked hoof, fancy tack above the basic stuff, changes in diet etc. The £1000 covers jabs, basic food and hay dentist and farrier all at normal non complicated rates so routine no hiccoughs, routine tack care etc
 
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I keep a horse and pony and barely make £900 per month. I pay £35 per week for a field just over 3 acres for my horse and pony together. If you're willing to do it yourself then DIY is definitely your cheapest bet. Do gooders like ponies are easiest to keep as they require a little amount of food compared to what people consider a poor doer, like my Thoroughbred for example. However, I still manage to maintain his weight and he looks really good at the moment. Anyway, I digress but just pointing this out as it is doable as long as you can manage. I put money aside for Winter and have a credit card with £700 limit for real emergencies and I'm finding myself able to put away at least £20-£50 per month depending on the time of year, as Winter can become more costly due to extra feed and hay.

Definitely try to have at least £500 minimum available for vets. However, I agree with windand rain where £1k would be more preferable. In my opinion; if you can't put any money aside after all the expenses then it probably isn't a good idea to get one as even if you have the money in saving now you will need to replace any funds you use in case you need it again. You'll definitely need a piggy bank or savings account that is topped up on a regular basis for those rainy days and emergency funds. I myself keep a savings account and a separate bank account just for my horses' funds, which makes it easier to maintain as it is then separate from my rent and food so I don't end up spending it on myself.

On average, I'd say that keeping a pony, or horse, can sum up to around £120 per month roughly. This includes livery fees and food/hay costs. This is without other expenses bear in mind as you will also need to consider farrier fees as well which should be around £20 per visit on average, might be more, every 6-12 weeks, depending on your horse's condition and how often you ride. The more you do so the more you will need hoof checks and shodding, of course. Also, dental checkups are recommended and preferable but not 100% essential, and jabs are renewed yearly preferred. Though I have found tetinis actually only needs doing every 2 years, flu every year. You do not have to have flu jab but if you're on a yard or going to competition this is a must as you cannot guarantee your horse won't catch flu off others even if they are fine themselves. For a jab you're probably looking at £35-£45 for call-out fee, £20-£30 for the jab. These are pretty much your regular maintenance essentials.
 

ycbm

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Yeah insuring is probably something I won't do just because I've seen some very significant injuries and insurance didn't cover any (Big cat escaped from a sanctuary attacked a horse, one fractured its leg ect.) I guess it just depends on your insurance tho haha
Thank you for your comment I'll be sure to keep that all in mind! :)
If you aren't going to insure you need to be able to lay your hands on at least £5000 in an emergency, or face the fact that you will have to pay c£200 to have the horse shot when it could recover from an illness or injury that you can't afford to pay to treat.

A simple wound on a joint that requires a joint flush under GA, for example, will set you back around £5k by the time the horse is recovered.
.
 
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Yeah I am going to save up £10k before I get a horse I'll buy the horse and what is left of that will be emergency money and I'll add money to the emergency account every month. Welfare is something I'd never compromise even if I am very desperate but thank you so much 🙂
 

Bellaboo18

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Yeah I am going to save up £10k before I get a horse I'll buy the horse and what is left of that will be emergency money and I'll add money to the emergency account every month. Welfare is something I'd never compromise even if I am very desperate but thank you so much 🙂
Honestly I'd get insurance if you're on any kind of budget... You'd be surprised how quick that 10k could go.
Obviously there's a huge range of what people spend on horses but please be aware CD has previously struggled to purchase hay for his horses due to his tight budget.
Dental checkups are essential and I'd never go 12 weeks between farrier visits!
 
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On average, I'd say that keeping a pony, or horse, can sum up to around £120 per month roughly. This includes livery fees and food/hay costs. This is without other expenses bear in mind as you will also need to consider farrier fees as well which should be around £20 per visit on average, might be more, every 6-12 weeks, depending on your horse's condition and how often you ride. l
I disagree.
DIY livery on average is at least £100pcm if not a lot more. Where I am, its around a minimum of £120pcm if not about £160.
Feed and hay costs are nearly always on top of this. Hay is retailing locally at approx £5.50/£6 from feed merchants and a budget of around 3 small bales a week mid winter is prudent (cost £16 - 18), obviously will be more/less depending on type of animal being hayed. Not everyone has space to store it off the field in the summer at a cheaper price

Yes, farrier trims are anything from £20 to £30, average here is £25. As to getting them done very much depends on how their feet grow. Even non working animals may require 4 to 6 weekly visits to deal with flaring or balancing till they are right. I'd not be leaving mine 12 weeks.
 

Widgeon

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The only thing I'd chip in here is that although it is possible to keep a pony very cheaply on grass, it might limit your enjoyment of the pony - I pay to keep mine on assisted DIY on a nice yard with 24/7 grazing, an arena with lights, friends to hack with, hot running water, stables always available, tack room etc. What I pay (about £270 per month for livery) includes his hay and basic feed (and bedding should he need to come in), and the YO does all the work managing the grazing, fertilising, worm testing, telling me when the dentist is coming, ordering and storing hay and straw, etc. I don't have to think about any of that, just keep the place clean and tidy and look after my horse.

I could keep him very cheaply in a field at home with a friends' horses, but then I'd need to worry about ordering and storing my own hay, not being able to ride when the ground is really bad, finding somewhere dry with electric and lights for farrier and vet visits, drying rugs off, storing tack etc. It would be cheap, but I wouldn't get to ride much and I'd have loads more admin to do.

£20 would be *very* cheap for a farrier - when I had an unshod pony I was paying £25 for a trim all round and my particular pony needed that done every 7-8 weeks - he had good feet. On top of that there are vet bills for the regular jabs (you will definitely need flu annually if you want to take your pony to fun rides, arena hires etc), worm testing a couple of times a year and then worming if necessary, money for the odd lesson, and at least some basic insurance to cover public liability and emergency vet care (there are a few providers who do acident / injury / colic cover for £200-300 per year).

Could you start off by finding a nice pony to share? It's a good way to get plenty of riding without having to pay most of the bills! That's what I did before I could afford my own. Depending on where you are, there seem to be a lot of people looking for sharers for their horses at the moment - it might be worth looking into that first? Make sure you vet owners and their horses though, don't just agree to ride anything. Treat it almost like you would buying a horse and take a friend, and make sure the owner rides it before you do. You don't want someone looking for a crash test dummy to exercise their lunatic horse they're too scared to get on board!
 
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I disagree.
DIY livery on average is at least £100pcm if not a lot more. Where I am, its around a minimum of £120pcm if not about £160.
Feed and hay costs are nearly always on top of this. Hay is retailing locally at approx £5.50/£6 from feed merchants and a budget of around 3 small bales a week mid winter is prudent (cost £16 - 18), obviously will be more/less depending on type of animal being hayed. Not everyone has space to store it off the field in the summer at a cheaper price

Yes, farrier trims are anything from £20 to £30, average here is £25. As to getting them done very much depends on how their feet grow. Even non working animals may require 4 to 6 weekly visits to deal with flaring or balancing till they are right. I'd not be leaving mine 12 weeks.
When I said £120 that was pretty much the minimum quote. Also, it depends on where you are and who you know. In previous places, where I was sharing, I was paying £12.50 pw per horse or pony and the other place was £20 pw per horse or pony so... Yeah, price tends to range depending. Also depends on facilities as the 2nd one had on-site refill trough and shelter where as the first one did not. Where I am now I don't have such luxuries but do have the entire field to myself so to me it's worth it. Until this year, conventional hay bales cost £3.50, now £4.50 and round ones were £35, now £45 I think. Again, all about location and who you know. Heck, there's a guy two counties away from me selling conventional bales at £4.50 each so seems pretty average here. No one around here buys bales at £6 or even above £5 tbh.
 
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