Horses are expensive. There’s no way around that. And if you have a limited amount of money to spend each month, it’s going to be difficult.
But if you’re ready to buckle down, and learn how to afford a horse on a budget, it can definitely be done!
These tips are some of my favorite ways of cutting costs, while still enjoying your time with your horse.
Affording a Horse on a Budget
Split the Cost
In most circumstances I’d never recommend shared ownership of a horse, but half-leasing is a great option to enjoy the benefits of owning a horse, without all the expenses.
Typically in a half-lease, the costs of board, feed, farrier, and routine veterinary expenses are shared, as are the days available to ride.
The owner still has the responsibility for major vet bills, and making long term decisions about the horse’s future.
This also cuts down on your time investment and can help leave money in the budget for lessons or show fees.
While most leases go smoothly, it’s important to have the agreement down in writing before you commit, whether you’re the lessor or lessee!
Don’t Go Overboard on Board
Indoor board is lovely. And when you’re in a hurry and your horse is waiting for you in a nice warm stall it can be a time saver. But it usually comes at a big cost.
For many people, choosing outdoor board is a much more affordable option, and is often in the best interest of the horse (provided it’s safe and has adequate space).
Shop around for a facility that can meet your horse’s need for individual or group turnout, and still fits within your budget.
Shop Second Hand
Just about anything you need for your horse can be purchased second hand, and thanks to the internet, can be purchased, shipped and delivered in a just a matter of days.
Check out Facebook groups, online classifieds and ebay for deals on used items, or just ask around the local horse community.
DIY horse care can be a great way to save money. Before you head to the tack shop, be sure to check out posts like this >> DIY Horse Care Recipes << to see what you can make at home for a fraction of the cost.
You can also purchase the Starter’s Guide to DIY Horse Care that has great money saving ideas for natural supplements, pest control and cleaning your tack.
If your horse needs medications or supplements for daily maintenance, don’t always buy the first product your vet or farrier recommends.
Just like with human supplements, the brand name products are usually the most expensive, even when they are identical to the generic brand.
Do your research to find out what other options might be available. It could save you hundreds of dollars a year.
Track your Spending
It’s very easy to go over budget if you’re not keeping track of your expenses.
Put some time aside each month to record everything you’ve spent, compare to previous months, and look for ways you may be able to save.
If you have a large purchase in mind (like a new saddle), be sure to put money in a special savings account to work towards your goal.
Having an emergency fund is also crucial. If unexpected bills arise you don’t want to rely on high interest credit!
Ask for Help
Having a network of experienced horse owners to answer your questions and give advice is one of the best resources for saving money.
Before you spend, ask around for recommendations or reviews so your hard earned money doesn’t go to waste.
They can also help save you from making costly horse ownership mistakes!
If you’d like to join, the Facebook Group Horse Care on a Budget is always welcoming new members.
Grow Your Budget
If you want to increase your horse budget, either by making more cash on the side, or reducing your living costs, be sure to check out the new blog Money Dot Calm.
I’ll be adding new posts every week that can help you work towards your financial goals.
If you’re interested in starting a side hustle for extra income (like a horse blog!) you can read my income reports for a breakdown of what I earn through Savvy Horsewoman.