Cats are independent and inexpensive to keep. Dogs cost more and are harder work. Ponies and horses are considerably more expensive and will require your full dedication.
Before you buy your horse, you need to organise where it will live – you may have a suitable outbuilding within your large gardens or, more commonly, you will be able to rent a field and stable nearby. This price will vary greatly on what sort of shelter and services are provided. Who mucks out? Who provides the feed and supplements?
Your horse’s welfare is paramount. There are farrier costs and veterinary costs plus insurance to cover unexpected vet’s bills. The horse and its environment must be kept clean and disinfected to avoid viruses and common diseases such as ringworm, sweet-itch, mud fever and strangles.
To ride your horse, you will need the appropriate saddlery and tack plus suitable riding wear – especially a riding hat. If you wish to take part in competitions, you will need to attire yourself appropriately (visit Sherwood Equestrian for quality riding wear at reasonable prices). You may also need to consider transportation costs.
The initial outlay could start from £1,500 for the horse or pony. Other costs:
- Stabling £1,250 pa approx..
- Feed & supplements £1,500 plus bedding of around £1,000 pa.
- Vaccinations/vet fees £100 pa plus worming of around £60 pa.
- Insurance approx. £400 pa
- Shoes £900 pa (needed approx. every 8 weeks)
- Saddle, blanket, tack £1,000 plus
- Riding hat (essential) £50-£100
- Boots, jodhpurs, gymkhana clothing approx. £200-£300
- Horse box/trailer hire or purchase (insurance) £2500-£5000 pa to hire. Around £10,000 upwards to purchase
An alternative service to consider would be the 'Pony Loan' School (see next post).