Discover the True Cost of Owning a Horse

Consider the Costs before buying a horseFor riders of any discipline or experience level, owning their own horse is perhaps the ultimate dream. This hugely rewarding experience lets you build up a trusting relationship with the horse, and see it grow into a find creature. Whether you ride casually or competitively, it’s great to know you’re getting the most out of your horse.
But unlike buying a more ‘conventional’ pet such as a cat or a dog, the true cost of owning a horse can be quite overwhelming. As well as the initial outlay for the yearling, there are many other costs to consider. Many may not have even crossed your mind.

What to Consider Before Buying
Before you make the financial commitment to purchase a yearling, you need to gauge whether you’re in a position to fully look after the horse. It will require a great deal of attention and commitment on your part.
Are you willing – and able – to tend to the horse in any weather, for the required amount of time? Do you have enough knowledge – and space – to care for the horse? Can you afford the monthly costs of caring for a horse?
If you know you can comfortably afford and accommodate a horse, you should begin your research. Look into the type of horse that meets your needs, visit multiple dealers, and ensure that you have done your homework before buying.

Discover the full cost of owning a horseInitial Costs
When you decide to purchase a horse, there are a number of one-off, initial costs you’ll need to pay. These include:

  • Cost of the horse – Thoroughbred horses will inevitably cost more than other yearlings. Prices can vary enormously, so it’s important you do your research and shop around. Find a horse that suits your needs, skill level, and budget.
  • Viewing costs – While you may not necessarily be charge to view a hose, you’ll have accrued costs on the way. If you travel across the country and view a different horse every weekend you could spend a considerable about of money getting there and back
  • Initial vetting – When buying a yearling, it’s a wise idea to have them examined by a vet before you sign on the dotted line. You want to know right away if the horse has any health issues. This is also a requirement by many insurance companies, so it’s worth getting your horse checked out.
  • Transportation – More often than not, you’ll have to make your own arrangements for getting your new yearling home. You can choose to rent a horse box, or as a professional to help you out. Either way, you should make sure you know how to bring your new horse home.
  • Equipment – If you’re a new rider, you will need to buy a high quality saddle and bride. You’ll also need to by other essentials such as grooming kits, ropes, head collars and other times. Check with the previous owner and your vet to make sure you have everything you might need.

Everyday Costs
These are not the only costs associated with horse ownership. Over the year, there are plenty of other things you’ll need to fork out for. Owning a horse is by no means ‘cheap’. You need to be fully aware of the financial commitment involved before you buy. Here are just some of the things you’ll need to pay for:
1. Feed
2. Farrier services
3. Vets fees
4. Dental
5. Worming
6. Riding equipment
7. Insurance

You can find out some approximate costs – both initial costs, and the cost over a few years – by checking out a comprehensive online table such as this one (http://www.wowhorses.com/cost-of-a-horse.html). There are also so great online calculators (http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-exclusives/horse-expense-calculator.aspx) on the web to help you calculate the costs.

Alternatives to Sole Ownership
If, after reviewing the costs, you don’t feel like you in a position to buy a horse, all is not lost. There are a number of alternatives to sole ownership that mean you can get the best of both worlds. You can own a horse, at a reduced financial outlay.

Syndicates and corporate ownership mean you can spilt all of these costs between each member. While you will be ‘sharing’ the horse, you can still enjoy the benefits of owning a horse. Consider entering into ownership with close friends so you can all enjoy equal access.

By owning a horse, you can enjoy all your favorite equestrian activities any time you want. If you compete, you can practice regularly. If you’re just a casual rider, you can take off whenever suits you. Just make sure you’ve fully researched all the financial implications.

This guest post has been provided on behalf of Jonjo O’Neill. Visit his website for more information on horse co-ownership.

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