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Tips for Affording a Horse on a budget

By Anne Forsberg


Updated on

Whether you own a horse or even just attend lessons you will know that equestrian hobbies are not cheap. Horses are large animals that require lots of care that can quickly add up financially. On top of that there is lots of different equipment and things that you can buy for your horse that is also quite costly.

However there is are ways you can reduce your spending on your horse. This requires a bit of planning and thinking. By following some or all of the steps below you will slowly start to see the savings and hopefully your equestrian hobby will put less pressure on your finances overall.

Half share

This is the best way to reduce the cost of horse ownership. Half sharing a horse means that you split the costs of horse with somebody else. In a typical half sharing arrangement both people would split costs such as boarding, and bills relating to general horse maintenance.

The specifics of any arrangement may differ depending on where you keep the horse. For example what happens if there is a serious medical bill? However in general half sharing is a great way to immediately reduce your overall horse spend. It is also a great solution if you have a busy schedule and are not available to get the the horse out every day yourself.

Change Boarding arrangement

If half sharing is not an option then perhaps you should look into changing your boarding arrangement. Depending on where your horse is stabled you may have the option of changing part livery. There could even be an option of part livery to DIY or a grass livery.

If none of these options are available to you then perhaps it is time to look around to see if there is anywhere else to keep your horse.

Buy tack 2nd hand

This may seem obvious but you would be surprised by the amount of people that are unaware of 2nd hand tack market. Whether it is a big one off expense like a saddle or even just a new numnah, 2nd hand is the way to go if trying to save money. There is lots of 2nd hand tack available on classified websites and there is always people selling their

Finding the correct item for you that is in good condition and is good value can take a bit of time but it is totally worth it. Over the course of the year this tip could save you $100’s of dollars.

Budget Properly

Budgeting is life skill that should be thought in school. Like an lot skills it is a process that can be learned through practice and refinement. Because equestrian hobbies can be so expensive the ability to budget properly is essential.

At a simple level budgeting means figuring out how much income per year you have available to spend on the horse and then creating a detailed per month/ per month plan that lists all your expected costs for the horse for each month. When this is complete you will have a better idea of what costs you can cut or reduce to fit into.

The more you budget the better you will get at it.

Repair old tack and clothes

There has been a massive surge in the popularity of recycling and repairing old clothing in recent years as people look to live a more environmentally sustainable life. Sometimes when something breaks our immediate reaction is that we need to buy a new one. However things like saddles, bits, and riding gloves and clothes can all be repaired. Fixing old clothes and tack can be a fun skill to learn if you are interested. If not there is loads of other people who are happy to do it at the fraction of a price of buying new.

Horse care substitutes

Many of the horse products that are for sale are actually the same that humans buy for themselves but with marked up prices. These products often contain the exact same ingredients and do the exact same job. If you are clever about it you can find much cheaper options for lots of stuff. Human versions of the product are cheaper because there is a lot more competition in terms of brands.

  • Fly Repellents – There are loads of ways to make out home made fly repellents for horses
  • Shampoo – Go for a simple shampoo without lots of fancy ingredients. Baby shampoo is a good choice as it is unlikely to have any allergens
  • Hoof Oil- There is loads of good substitutes for this including household vegetable oil
  • Mane And Tail Detangler – baby oil works great as a mane and tail detangler.
  • Coat Shine – a small squirt of baby oil in a bucket of water and applied with a sponge or cloth gives the coat a good shine but avoid the saddle area.

Group Lessons

Private lessons are a great way of learning but can be very expensive. Getting one to one coaching is a great way of getting extra attention but group lessons are much cheaper and  have their own advantages.

In a group lesson you get the chance to see what other riders in the lesson are doing. As a result you can also learn by copying them. Group lessons are also a fun social activity and are a good way of making new friends.

Research Feed & Healthcare

Spending a little time to research your horses feed and health requirements can result in good savings. Are you sure that your horse is on the correct diet and what kind of feeding and worming routine do they need? Discuss these and other horse care topics with your vet and you might be surprised at the savings you can make by making slight adjustments to your horse care routine that are more economical.

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About Anne Forsberg

Anne has been riding since she was only 5 years old and she's been obsessed with horses ever since. An avid horsewoman now, she loves horses and this sport more than anything else, sharing stories and info that she hopes will be helpful and meaningful to anyone who's on their path to become a better horse owner, a better rider and why not, a better person. Learn more about Seriously Equestrian's Editorial Process.