The Horse Riding Beginner is often keen to own a horse.
Although equine ownership can be part of horse riding training, it’s important to be aware of the costs and responsibilities involved before taking this big step.
Here is a brief overview of what you can expect.
We tend to think that the price of the horse is the only thing we pay when buying a horse.
It is the biggest outlay, but if you buy a horse without having it checked first, you may end up with a costly mistake. One which you’ll still have to take care of, and may not be able to resell.
Have a vet - who is not connected with the seller - inspect the horse to make sure there are no problems before purchasing him.
Vetting is not cheap, but it’s money well spent in order to prevent financial headaches later on.
Other One-Time Costs
The next big outlay is acquiring your new horse’s tack, including his saddle and bridle, although you don’t have to buy these new.
You’ll also need a halter, lead rope, grooming kit, stall blankets, turnout blankets, brushing boots and saddle blankets.
Once every four to six weeks the farrier will need to shoe your horse. If he doesn’t wear shoes he’ll still need to have his hooves trimmed. Like our nails, hooves grow all the time and need to be cut back.
If you board your horse - which is a good idea for a horse riding beginner - the monthly bill will include his feed and hay costs. Check whether you or the barn takes care of worming your equine friend.
Your horse will need vaccinations once a year, and it’s likely you’ll have to call the vet out at various other times for injuries and illness. Horses have a way of getting into trouble!
Don’t follow the example of so many who buy a horse then hardly ever visit it at the boarding barn.
To have relationship with your horse you must visit and ride him five to six days a week. That is the way to become confident and knowledgeable, and develop a bond of trust between you both.
This is a big time commitment and perhaps the biggest single ‘expense’ that is miscalculated in horse ownership.
If you’re not ready for the necessary financial and time commitment of horse ownership, continue with your riding lessons and spend time with your riding school horse.