Here is part 1 of our guide on how to buy a horse. You will hopefully find in it some useful advice that will allow you to make the best possible choice.
Have the horse vetted
The cost of buying a horse can vary a lot, depending on what type they are. It’s a good idea to have the horse vetted. A basic health vetting will cost around £80. A more thorough vetting can cost around £250.
Ensure it is vaccinated
You may want to ensure the horse is vaccinated against tetanus, passported and microchipped and that they’ve had their feet and teeth inspected and checked by a professional. Also try to get a history on the horse, basically what’s happened to them, including a behavioural assessment.
Have the right equipment
Whether you decide to rehome a horse or buy a horse, you’ll also need to buy horse tack such as saddles, stirrups, bridles, halters, reins, bits, harnesses, martingales and breastplates.
Think about the on-going costs
Buying a horse isn’t a one-off cost. They can live for 30 years, so you will experience on-going costs too:
Vet care: these can be expensive so an insurance, at around £35-50 per month is peace of mind. We also recommend taking out public liability insurance. Yearly vaccinations and teeth checks are also essential and can be up to £150.
Farrier care: these can be up to £80 and occur every 6 to 8 weeks, depending on a variety of parameters. Horses which need corrections on their shoes can cost a little more too.
Feeding and bedding: Hay (from £45), Straw ( from £32), Shaving bales ( from £22), feed (from £36) are all necessary items in one way or another
Livery costs: boarding costs vary greatly and can be from £80 to £900 per month, according to the category of livery and the options you choose.
Don’t forget riding lessons, at around £40/h
Allow for some spare time
Horses require dedication and that means time. How much depends on the type of livery you opt for, but it is important that your horse experiences the company of other horses.
Also, there will come a time when your horse will reach the end of their working life, or simply can no longer be ridden, and will need a retirement plan. Plan for elderly horses usually involves care that allow them to remain comfortable through the latter stages of their lives.