If you own a horse, you already know how expensive it can be to keep your horse fed and healthy and purchase all the gear you need for riding. Owning a horse will never be inexpensive, but there are ways that you can save some money.
1. Look for Discounted Tack
Tack, which includes items such as your saddle, cinches, girth, martingales, stirrups, helmet and bridle, is one of the largest equipment expenditures for any horse owner. You can save money by finding sources of inexpensive horse tack. Consider shopping for used tack. It is not uncommon for people to get into horseback riding as a hobby, only to give it up and need to sell all their gear.
2. Consider Rough Boarding
With standard boarding, the boarding facility does all the work for you. With rough boarding, the facility provides a place for your horse to live and you take care of your horse. You will need to feed and groom your horse, clean its stall and perform all of the rest of the day-to-day care a horse needs. However, you can save a substantial amount of money and you’ll have a reason to spend time with your horse every day.
3. Purchase Bulk Feed
No matter what kind of horse you have, feeding it will probably be your largest ongoing expense. You can often get better deals on feed if you purchase in bulk. Hay is usually the least expensive at the end of the growing season. It tends to rise in price as supplies get lower. You can save the most money by purchasing a year’s worth of hay at harvest time. If you don’t have the storage space for that much hay, see if you can add on to a large barn’s order, or try coordinating a group purchase with other horse owners.
4. Only Blanket Your Horse When Necessary
Many horse owners blanket their horses when it isn’t necessary. Unless you live in a place that gets very cold in the winter, your horse’s winter coat may be sufficient to keep it warm. If the weather stays warm enough to go without blankets, you can save money by not purchasing them or purchasing fewer of them.
Owning and caring for a horse is not an endeavor for those on a tight budget. However, with some careful planning and thrifty shopping, you can make horse ownership a more affordable option.