It’s a sad fact that many horses and ponies are given up or abandoned every week, as owners struggle to cope with the current economic climate.
Sara Tuppen from the Horse Refuge in Wittersham Kent, knows all about looking after horses when money is scarce, having to rely solely on donations to keep over 40 rescued horses in good health.
She believes there are a few points which could help make owning a horse on a budget a little easier:
1. Many horses can live quite happily outside for most of the year, as long as there’s food, water and shelter available. If this is a suitable option for your horse, it could reduce the cost of stabling considerably.
2. Removing shoes is an easy way to keep costs down. If not ridden regularly, or on rocky ground, many horses will not need shoes.
3. Sharing your horse is a great way to cut (even halve!) costs, and provides a cheaper introduction to horse ownership for someone else.
4. In many cases you can get free stabling and occasionally hay and bedding in return for chores.
Mucking out, grooming, maintenance etc. are all jobs which could save you money for a little hard work!
6. Many people can make lifestyle changes! It’s not all about finding ways to keep your horse more cheaply, see if you can do it for yourself!
7. Wherever possible, horse owners can often club together to buy feed and bedding in bulk, reducing the overall price and passing on savings to all.
8. As a last resort, you can look into getting your horse a foster home, even as a companion.
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