Horseback riding is a notoriously expensive sport, but there are ways that you can make it more affordable. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Work Off Riding Lessons
One of the most popular ways to make riding more affordable is to work off your riding lessons. See if a barn is willing to hire you on to clean stalls, groom, or feed horses in exchange for riding lessons.
Lease a Horse
Leasing a horse is often more affordable than owning one. You can even explore a half-lease opportunity, which typically gives you three rides a week on the horse for about half of his upkeep costs. Leasing is a great way to save money while also finding out if you’re ready for horse ownership.
Co-Own a Horse
If you really want to own a horse but can’t afford all of the expenses on your own, then a co-ownership situation might work for you. When you co-own a horse, you split the ownership with another owner. You pay half the costs and get to ride about half of the time. Be careful, though – you need to have your entire agreement spelled out in writing, and personality differences can make co-ownership difficult.
Rough Board a Horse
If you do buy a horse, then look into a rough board situation. Rough board is often cheaper than full board, though you’ll do most of the work in caring for your horse.
Talented riders can often offer themselves up as catch riders in order to get free ride time. Let others know that you’re available to help exercise horses if their owners can’t get down to the barn, and that you’re also willing to catch ride horses in shows.
Work Around Horses
If you’re able to get a job working around horses, this can be a great way to get some extra ride time. Working as a barn manager or other horse-related position means that you’ll spend lots of time around horses every day.
Many horse owners and horse professionals are willing to barter for the use of their horses. If you’re talented in a service which might benefit a horse owner, there’s no harm in asking if they might be willing to let you ride in exchange for your services.
Which methods have you used to make horseback riding more affordable? We’d love to hear them.