Owning a horse can be a wonderful and rewarding experience, but there’s one big downside to it: the sheer cost! Aside from the animal itself, there are a whole range of other big expenses that you’ll need to cover. Unfortunately, reducing the cost of owning a horse isn’t as simple as shaving a few pounds off your groceries! Here are a few ways to save money without compromising on your standard of care.
The horse feed business is huge, which means it can often be a little hard to know exactly what you should be giving to your horse. Most adult horses, however, can be perfectly healthy on a forage-based diet, with maybe one nutritional supplement. Seeing a vet regularly will tell you whether the horse has any other dietary requirements. You should also weigh tape your horse and score their body condition on a fortnightly basis. This will help you to monitor the horse’s health in the long term, which could in turn save you a lot of money. On the subject of monitoring their health, you should take your animal to a vet as soon as possible after purchasing it. This could open your eyes to underlying health conditions, and any need for policies from companies such as Stoneways insurance.
Livery and Location
The livery yard fee is one of the biggest costs that a horse owner has to cover. Once you’ve narrowed down your search enough, be sure to review the facilities that are on your list, checking that you’ll actually need and use everything you’ll have to pay for. If at all possible, avoid paying someone else for mucking out and other aspects of day-to-day care. The more you or someone else can do in their own time, the less you’ll ultimately pay to keep the horse healthy. Despite what you may have heard, many horses can have a great life on a permanent turnout. Consider looking for a grass livery, or renting a field on a permanent basis. If you have any friends with horses, you can even mitigate the cost more by sharing a field.
There are a lot of different horse bedding products on the market, and you may hear various conflicting opinions on what the best choice is. This is even more difficult to wrap your head around when you look at the huge spectrum of prices that will be dangled in front of you. The one thing you shouldn’t do is go with the cheapest possible option. Sure, this may save you some money to begin with. However, it certainly won’t provide the best value, and is likely to wear out in a short space of time. For example, fitting rubber matting in your horse’s stable will mean paying a high initial expense. However, it will be dependable for a long time, and ultimate you’ll be able to save money through greatly reduced bedding costs.
There you have my three best tips on making a horse more affordable.