Horseback riding offers an amazing sense of adventure and gives you a feeling of freedom as the wind blows your hair and your horse gallops.
Most people are interested in horseback riding as a hobby but hesitate to invest in the gear and horse needed as it is expensive.
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So, How Expensive Is Horseback Riding as A Hobby?
Getting into horseback riding as a hobby comes with many costs that make it costly. The main expense includes buying a horse which goes for around $1500 to $3000, and the maintenance costs of owning the horse that costs $300 to $500 per month. The extra equipment and gears needed to ride the horse will also need an initial investment of approximately $800. Add the fee of getting horse riding lessons to the total cost, and it will appear as a very expensive hobby. On average, the annual cost of maintaining a horse is around $3800.
However, you can avoid spending so much initially by using a horse provided at the training facility to avoid the costs that come with horse ownership. You can buy your horse after you have gained enough experience. And although horseback riding is expensive, it is worth it.
What Is the Cost of Feeding a Horse?
According to scientific studies, an average horse eats about 15 to 20lbs of hay daily.
This will total up to a monthly food cost of $150 to $250.
However, the cost of the hay varies depending on your location and time of the year.
If you have land where your horse can glaze, this will reduce the cost needed to purchase the hay.
More so, a horse requires supplementing the food with sodium.
You can do this by purchasing salt blocks for around $25.
You can also offer other supplements you might prefer depending on your monthly budget. On average, you can expect to spend about $20 to $40 on supplements monthly.
Like other animals, you can expect your horse to experience health issues.
For general health care, the annual veterinarian fee is around $485.
The healthcare cost can go extremely high in an emergency illness or injury.
Horses are particularly susceptible to injuries on their legs, so be ready for any emergency medical bills.
Horseback Riding Equipment Cost
Another additional cost of horse riding, particularly if you own a horse, is the necessary riding gear.
Horseback riding needs to get at least;
- Lead rope
- Saddle pad
This entire equipment is referred to as a tack and goes for around $800 but can be higher depending on its quality.
Riding Lessons Cost
Horseback riding lessons range from $30-$100 per session.
This fee includes classes where you will be one-on-one with the trainer and the horse. A good trainer can determine if a horse requires individual instruction sessions.
During the riding lessons, what you are wearing will depend on your budget and preference. You can wear boots, gloves, and chaps, and you are good to go.
You don’t need special clothing so you can train with any pair of long pants. However, for safety purposes, it’s recommendable to wear closed-toe shoes.
One of the items you will require for riding lessons is a helmet, and it might be offered for you at the training facility. But if not provided, you can buy them for about $45 online.
While not advisable, a bicycle helmet could be a proper substitute if the training facility permits it.
Additional Maintenance Costs
Horses require regular maintenance services.
. These include trimming their hooves and shoeing after every 6-8 weeks.
The trimming cost goes for about $25 -$50 while the shoeing cost is $100to $130.
Also, make sure to consider the cost of building and fencing the horse shelter in case you don’t have them in place.
How To Save Money on Horseback Riding as A Hobby
As you have seen, the cost of owning and riding a horse can quickly add up.
Fortunately, there are various ways you can reduce the expenses that come with this hobby.
1. Buy Used Gear
As a beginner, you can reduce your horse riding expenses by purchasing second-hand or used riding gear instead of new equipment.
Used equipment tends to be cheaper but ensures they are in good condition.
2. Buy Hay Immediately After The Growing Season
Food for your horse is one of the main expenses in horse riding unless you don’t have your horse.
Therefore, consider buying hay immediately after the growing season as it will become significantly expensive during the winter months.
Making a bulk purchase of hay during the harvest season sufficient to feed your horse for the year will be worth it.
3. Horse Insurance
Health care emergencies can consume a lot of cash.
To avoid this, getting horse insurance can effectively manage the cost of your healthcare emergencies, considering the substantial investment in a horse.
The yearly insurance premium will depend on the value of your horse.
4. Find A Cheaper Horse
Buying a horse is a costly investment when starting horse riding as a hobby.
Therefore, consider finding a cheaper horse to avoid the higher initial costs.
5. Forgo Owning A Horse In The Beginning
You can also start the horseback riding hobby without owning a horse.
Start by taking horse riding lessons with the horse offered by the training facility, which will enable you to gain horse riding experience without the expenses of owning a horse.
6. Horse Lease
Another cheaper option to save on your horse-riding cost is horse leases and shares.
A horse lease involves an agreement in which you pay a house owner to use their horse while taking care of all the maintenance costs.
On the other hand, a horse share involves sharing the cost of buying and maintaining the horse with another person or multiple people.
Any of these methods will save you some cash.
Which Are the Cheapest Horses to Purchase?
If you are looking to start horse riding on a budget, you will probably consider finding a cheaper horse.
Fortunately, there are cheaper breeds of horses for you.
Some of these include;
While it might surprise you to have Thoroughbreds as a cheaper horse option, the horse racing industry breeding them very often that they are now excess in supply than demand.
Also, horses without racing potential might end up in a Thoroughbred rescue where you can find various low-priced horses.
However, it’s important to note that buying a cheap horse breed might be expensive in the long term.
For instance, Quarter Houses commonly experience health issues that might see you spend more on their health care in the future.
The horse’s age you want to buy may also lower the cost.
A young or old horse would cost less than a mature horse in its prime.
However, the disadvantage of buying an older horse is that there is a higher probability the horse will need more healthcare costs.
On the contrary, a very young horse will need you to spend more time training it.
Generally, horseback riding is relatively expensive, but there are other ways of lowering the cost.
As it’s the case with any animal, you should carefully consider the price of caring for a horse perfectly before buying one.
Establishing a budget based on the total horse’s needs upfront will determine if you can afford to own it.
Ultimately, horse riding is a rewarding hobby providing both mental and physical health benefits worth your time and expense.