Cost of having a horse


Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
I have to disagree with this Lauren. Good doers & natives aren't necessarily cheaper, often their needs are different rather than less. For instance a very good doer may sound cheap because it can live on fresh air BUT you might find it very hard to find a yard that can cater for that and end up with it muzzled (if you can keep it on) or stabled all year round and having to exercise it every day to avoid major (and expensive) health problems. They don't necessarily have good enough feet to go barefoot, particularly if you have to work them harder to keep them healthy & how often shoes are needed depends on foot growth. I'd say the main costs are often similar, things like hard feed are relatively small part of costs unless you're keeping at home, not having lessons etc etc. Buying something because you think it can be kept cheaply is a recipe for disaster imo.

Completely agree with you carthorse, swings and roundabouts I'm afraid, not all TB's cost a fortune (mine didn't) and not all good doers are cheap or necessarily easy to keep.


Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
I think the costs can often be down to your choice of breed and luck in finding a good yard. I have 2 native ponies - a 12 year old cob/fell type and a geriatric NF. The yard is on edge of the new forest, DIY livery with stables in barn for cover if needed. For DIY livery I'm charged £24 a month each, neither are shod so that's £20 each every 6 weeks. I've managed to get hay at £3 a bale for this winter. BUT - I know this is all ridiculously cheap by today's standards - I've been very lucky to have such a great place for my boys. My advice if you're trying to be economic is buy native, and don't be seduced by a beautiful pristine yard - ours is a bit tatty, but the fields are lovely, we all help each other out. As long as the fencing is good and the other owners know what they're doing, you don't have to pay the earth. Good luck!
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Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
Agree completely with carthorse.
My experience of London and Surrey where one needs to move further from the centre to get turnout, is that one cant forecast what problems may or may not come. Even with a native. I've seen horses come and go from livery yards - both coming into London in order to get 24 7 stabling (to control lammi) when the owner had thought 24 7 turn out was what she wanted for her horse and it failed. And the other way round, horses going out from London to get more turn out.

Do it yourself is not an option for everyone. True, as an o.a.p.I helped out on a yard for a couple of years to learn the routines, but it tired me and I was never able to lift much - like many people my back degenerated in middle age, and partly as a result of lifting children.
Children and work together take their toll on women - I could never have risen at 5 a.m. like Mary P. And look how Jessie who looks after horses was exhausted by just one night with a toddler and a dog.


Well-Known Member
Jan 15, 2008
France, South
My 3 cost their full livery & 100% more each on average - once I include dentist, osteo, vet, worming, shoeing, vaccines, tack replacements, supplements, and on and on it goes:)


Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2008
I am lucky in that mine only needs trimming three times a year and I keep an eye on the shape. She will see the farrier around March.
It's not about cost cutting, the farrier said she was born with rock crunching hooves.

They are all individuals and I wouldn't cut corners but I am good at not buying non essentials.
I am debating on dropping the flu vaccine. Not due to cost but because the last one made her off colour for at least a month.
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Well-Known Member
Jan 18, 2016
Ok so seriously I'll give you a rough breakdown of what my horse costs.

15hh irish cob cross hunter type. Hardy type but loses weight in winter when hunting
Livery: £85 a month that's for her stable, 2 acres of individual grazing, straw. Would be £100 if I wanted use of the school
Hay: £30 a month max, she's not a big eater
Feed £15 lasts about 2 months she only gets feed in winter to keep condition on
Farrier: £70 every 6 weeks
Insurance: £55 a month
Dentist: £60 every 6 months (I think that's the cost, can't quite remember)
Physio: £45 I have her done September, before hunting season, December middle of hunting season then March time when hunting is finished.
Rugs as when she needs them, I always try and get a bargain so £60 or under usually
Flu and tet jab: £30 I think, I use a vet has a free callout on zone days so tie it in with that

So the average month without farrier, physio, rugs, vets comes to £177 with farrier costs: £247 I don't think that's too bad at all.
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