Have you been taking riding lessons for a while? Think you're just about ready to buy a pony of your very own? If your answer is "yes," you need to stop for a second and think seriously about how much money its going to take to buy and look after a pony properly. Ponies don't just appear out of thin air — they usually cost money. And once you've got the perfect pony, the bills start rolling in. He'll need tack, blankets and safety gear. He'll need regular feeding, and visits from the farrier and the veterinarian. And he'll need a place to live. You and your parents have to think about all of these important things before you even begin a search for a pony. Let's take a look at some of the normal expenses that will occur when you buy a pony.
The Pony (or Horse)
Bridle and bit: $75
Saddle pad: $25
Tack-cleaning equipment: $10
Grooming kit (brushes; shampoos; combs): $25
Buckets: $4 each
First-aid kit: $30
Shipping boots: $60
Stable blanket: $50
Turnout blanket: $85
Hay: $2.50-$14 a bale depending on where you live.
Feed: $8 a bag
Salt block: $4
A pony or horse can cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000 (or more if the pony is a proven show winner!) A pony's price depends on his size, breed and experience. As a rough guide, you should be able to find a good pony that can jump a bit, go trail riding and win you a ribbon or two in a show for around $1000-$1500. Reasonably priced ponies are out there, but you may have to look hard to find them. Once you've found your pony, here are just a few of the essential items that you'll need (all of the prices are approximate — prices can vary depending on where you live.):
Trimming hooves: $15
Shoeing four hooves: $75
Yearly shots: $30
Teeth rasping: $30
Straw: $3 a bale
Shavings: $4.50 a bale
Stall mats: $45 each (you'll need several for one stall)
Self care or pasture board: about $25 a week — you feed and turn out your pony
Full board: $350 — the barn staff feeds and turns out your pony
If you have to keep your horse at a barn, it'll cost ya!
Sure, owning a pony can cost lots of money, but there are ways to cut costs:
Buy used tack and gear. Look on the bulletin board at your barn or riding school and see if anyone is selling any used tack. A used saddle, if it's been looked after properly, might fit your pony perfectly.
Buy your winter's supply of hay all at once in the early summer from a local farmer. You might have to go pick the bales up off the field, but it will be a lot cheaper.
If you board at a self-care barn, get together with other boarders and when the vet comes, have him treat all of your horses together. He might give you a discount. The same goes for the farrier.
If you board at a barn, you might be able to help out in exchange for a reduced boarding fee. If it saves you money, we bet you won't mind mucking out a few stalls!
Take lessons with a pal or two. Group lessons are always cheaper than individual ones.
Don't clip your horse in the winter. Let him get fuzzy. Then you might not need to buy any blankets.