The horse industry is a funny one. It is expansive; from the neighbor down the road with a horse in the backyard to multi-figure horses that compete at the highest levels of the sport. More and more, I have been hearing comments from outside the industry and even those involved in other areas of agriculture about the cost of having a horse.
I find myself stuck in between these worlds. While I once competed at the national level, I did so with my thoroughbred X Clyde. She did a pretty good impression of a much-more expensive warmblood –until you saw her trot. We got good at the walk-canter transition before our hunter rounds.
Now with a horse in her teens and finding my way in the “adult world,” I realize that competing at that level is a thing of the past. At the same time, I am not ready to transition out of that world and I intend to keep my horse for the rest of her life. So where does this leave me? Well I have a shadbelly in my closet I can’t quiet part with, but has not been used in years.
But you know what? I am okay with my new reality in the horse world. I think many young adults are struggling with this; as the cost of showing keeps going up, it prices horse competitions into the luxury market. Guess what? There is SO MUCH else you can do with your horse.
In the past year I went to a wine ride on horseback and took my horse to the beach. Both these activities were far cheaper than a show and turned out to be so much more fun. There are many cool things to do on the farm too; from winter trail rides, to ground driving, to
gymnastics and teaching your horse tricks in hand.
All my musings come back to the fact that although horse ownership is not possible for everyone, there are many ways to make it more affordable. I have learned a lot in my journey from amateur owner to pseudo- weekend warrior. Not to say that I only ride on weekends; but adulthood, the 9-5, putting money away and new responsibilities change the reality of having a horse. I hope some of these tips can help you out too.
Where do you save money with horses?