Horsing Around: Hobby Riding on a Budget
The annual cost of horse ownership is upwards of €25,000. If horse riding is a hobby you want to pursue, but you don’t think you have the budget, read on to find out how you can maximise your horse time and minimise the impact on your wallet.
Prioritise Your Budget
Before you know if you have the budget to ride, you need to know where your money is going. Creating a budget (and subsequently sticking to it) is important in general, but especially if you are trying to save for something as costly as horse riding. First you need to understand where your money goes and how much you have left over after you pay all your expenses. If you do have “extra” income, you can put that towards your horse riding.
Visualise Your Horse Riding Goals
It can be hard to save money, and just like anything else you are working toward, it can be helpful to have a vision board. Put up a postcard of a horse, a photo of you riding, or some other image that reminds you of your love for equines. Using your vision board as inspiration, go through the budget you’ve made and find out if there is anything you can do without. Do you have any subscription services you don’t use? Or any that you wouldn’t have time to use, should you have additional money to ride on a regular basis? If there is anything you can cut from your expenses, you can reallocate that money toward your horse fund.
Know The Costs
Once you know how much money you can put towards horse riding, you should look into the actual costs. Do you simply wish to ride for pleasure on weekends? Do you want to take lessons to improve as a rider or learn to show? Is your ultimate dream to own your own horse? Your riding goals will have a lot to do with how much this hobby will cost, so you should know what you are getting into, financially.
If lessons are what you are interested in, you may find that purchasing a block upfront will save you money. Even if you don’t find a deal posted, it never hurts to ask if a stable has any kind of discount for paying in advance, or even if there are times of year that lessons are discounted. Another possible way to save money is to trade your services. If you are an established rider, perhaps you can coach others in return for access to a horse to ride. If you are a beginner, there may be services that don’t require skill, such as cleaning stalls.
If your ultimate goal is to spend more time around horses, there are plenty of ways you can achieve that on a small budget. You might have to sacrifice some things or put in some extra work, but if you’re yearning to be an equestrian, there are absolutely ways to make your dream come true. As with anything else, a little creativity and drive can go a long way.