Buying a horse or pony

So you're thinking of buying a horse - that's great! Buying a horse is a big decision, so before you start looking at adverts for horses for sale, there are a few things to consider...

Budgeting for the costs of buying a horse

Horses can vary greatly in price depending on their type. Whether you decide to rehome or buy a horse, you'll also need to buy tack - such as saddles, stirrups, bridles, halters, reins, bits, harnesses, martingales and breastplates - and other equipment, such as feed and water buckets, hay nets, winter rugs and so on.

The horse itself and its equipment aren't the only costs to consider, especially bearing in mind that horses can live for 30 years. Below is a guide to estimated on-going costs.

Veterinary care

Budget around £35-£50 per month for insurance helping cover vet costs. It's also recommended that you take out public liability insurance. However, these won't cover yearly vaccinations and teeth checks which can be up to £150.

Farrier care

Allow up to £80 every six to eight weeks. The exact timings depend on many factors, and horses needing corrective shoes can be more expensive.

Feeding and bedding - estimated monthly cost

  • Bales of hay - £45 to £80
  • Bales of straw - £32 to £132
  • Shaving bales - £22 to £76
  • Good quality feed (including supplements tailored to your horse's needs) - £36

Livery costs

These can vary between around £80 to £900 per month, depending on the type of livery and services you choose.

Riding lessons

These are typically £30-£50 per hour.

Do you have the time for a horse?

It's not just the expense you'll need to consider when buying a horse - it's the time commitment your horse will need. Horses need daily care. How much time depends on the type of livery you choose (wherever you choose, it's important that your horse has the company of other horses).

Over 780 horses in our care 2019 © RSPCA

When a horse reaches the end of their natural working life or becomes unrideable, you also need to have thought about euthanasia or have a retirement plan in place. Meeting the needs of elderly equines often involves specialist care to keep them comfortable through progressive diseases and ailments.

Looking for horses for sale or rehoming

If you're interested in a particular horse, get them vetted to make sure they're happy and healthy. A two-stage vetting will cost around £75 to check their basic health. A more thorough five-stage vetting can cost around £250.

If you're happy that you can provide a horse with everything it needs, why not consider rehoming a horse from us? They'll come vaccinated against flu and tetanus, passported, microchipped and screened for strangles. They'll also have had their feet and teeth checked. You'll also receive a history of everything that's happened to them while in our care, including behavioural assessments. Our adoption fees start at around £150 for a Shetland and go up to £250-£200 for a companion.

Find a horse in need of a loving home near you today.

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