So today marks part two of the ‘Stepping into Horse Ownership’ series is all about budgets and vettings… yes, not quite the exciting step of buying a horse but a very necessary step nonetheless. Before we get going, can we just take a moment to appreciate this glorious, almost spring like weather we are having in February! I wrote this sitting outside in the warmth of the sun, and I hope you might be doing the same whilst reading. Ahhh, bliss.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand. If you didn’t catch the first instalment of the series, you can find it here. We started at the beginning (it always seems a good place to start, right?), covering the basics of what you’d like in a horse and realistically, what you can manage.
This leads us nicely onto stage two… budget. I often say to people that actually, buying a horse isn’t the expensive bit, it’s the keep of them that costs the money and for the most part I think this is true. There’re a few things to consider when budgeting for your new four-legged friend…
The sort of horse you’ve decided you’d like to buy, with the consideration of breeding, age and experience.
What they’ll come with. Are tack and rugs included or do you need to have some spare cash for that too?
Getting them home. Do you need to consider transport costs, if your potential new horse is further afield?
And a pre-purchase vetting and I’m going to go on to talk about vettings a little more as it’s certainly not just the initial cost of them, to consider.
There are a few important things to look at when having your new horse vetted. Firstly, you need to think about the type of vetting you’ll go for and you should speak with your potential insurers about this too. They may request a specific vetting (five-stage for example) is carried out pre-purchase.
When you’re already in the process of spending your hard-earned money on a horse, having to spend more money on a vetting is perhaps less than favourable but it really isn’t something to skip. In fact, having a five-stage vetting could save you money and complications in the long run…!
If it is at all possible, I would try to use your own vet or if the horse isn’t in your area, I would opt to choose the vet for the vetting. As much as I’d like to think people aren’t so deceitful, it would be naive to think that there isn’t sometimes underhanded practice going on…
By using a trusted / independent vet, you can be confident and in control of the vetting.
If you can be there for the vetting, I would strongly recommend it. Not only can you witness the vetting and observe the horse, you can speak with the vet and get their thoughts, giving you the chance to explain your ability of riding too, to make sure your buying a horse that’s fit, healthy and just as importantly, suitable.
Finally, don’t forget to factor in a budget for the keep of your horse. Livery, bedding, feed, supplements, insurance, farrier and putting a little bit of money aside for annual visits for the dentist and vaccinations. This isn’t a definitive list and horses are by no means cheap, nor are they a hobby, but they unquestionably aren’t only for the wealthy!
So, that’s it, the boring serious bit out of the way. Keep your eyes open for the 3rd instalment of the series; Questions to Ask the Owner, when buying a new horse.
Have you recently been through the process of buying a horse? What would your top tips be when it comes to budget and vettings, or anything else for that matter! I’d just love to hear your advice and tips.
Photo Credit for all photos above goes to Sophie Callahan.