A new survey has concluded that the cost of keeping a horse in the UK has reached £100000. The survey calculates that a horse living for 25 years, will cost its owner £4000 a year. It is hardly surprising then that experts like Horse and Hound and Equine World UK, advise their readers, that they should think very carefully and budget realistically before buying a horse or pony.
By far the biggest cost is for stabling which amounts to £1200 over a year, or £30000 over 25 years. Because most owners are unable to keep their horse at home this expense is unavoidable. A year’s supply of bedding, costs £720, hayledge will be £480 and a year’s supply of feed comes in at £240. Your horse will also need to be seen by a farrier every 6 weeks and if it needs shoeing this will set you back £480 every year.
Any owner will then need to factor in insurance and vets fees. Insuring a horse will cost a whopping £11000 over 25 years or £440 every year. As for vets fees they will set an owner back by £60 a year for the necessary jabs and £180 for dentistry, proving conclusively that while Father Ted’s horse may have been “lovely” he was also “fecking” expensive.
All of this means that while the average cost of buying a horse will be £5000, which over 25 years works out at £200 per year, the yearly cost of keeping it, will be £2600, or to put it another way, looking after a horse, costs 20 times the cost of purchasing it in the first place.
Anybody considering buying a horse, needs to think very seriously about the cost, not just in the short term but over the long term as well. Owning a horse can be a wonderful experience, but it is also a great responsibility. For the passionate rider there is another way to ride. At a considerably lower cost, you could go on a horse riding holiday, including accommodation, organised by a specialist company at any time of the year. They will look after the horse while you do the riding. The great thing about this option, is that you can take your holiday anywhere in the country, or indeed abroad, giving you your equine fix in a beautiful location. What could be better?
Update: In the wake of closing racecourses (Hereford have lost their 241 year old track just this week) the rising costs of keeping horses might sting professional harder than ever before. I suggest that whilst riding holidays are a wonderful option for those wanting to ride horses for leisure, those of us with horses already take should acquiring equine insurance much more seriously than you might have before. If you depend on your horse for you work please don’t risk disaster.