You’ve always dreamed of owning a horse, but after buying a horse comes the annual cost of horse livery. Now that dream is within reach, but before taking the plunge, it’s important to understand the true cost of responsible horse ownership. Proper care and accommodation for your four-legged friend don’t come cheap. If you’re in the UK, providing stabling or livery for your horse can cost between £200 to over £1000 per month.
Understanding Livery and Stabling for Horses in the UK
Understanding livery and stabling for horses in the UK is key to budgeting properly for the care of your equine companion. Livery refers to the boarding and stabling of horses, and there are several options to choose from. DIY livery means you handle most of the day-to-day care yourself. Part livery includes additional services like feeding and mucking out stalls a few times a week. Full livery handles all daily needs, while specialized livery provides extras like rehabilitation or training.
The type of livery impacts costs significantly. DIY livery may charge £30-£100 per week, while full livery is £200-£500 or more. The location also matters. Livery in rural areas or the north of England typically costs less than in southern England or near large towns and cities. Facilities play a role as well, with options like indoor arenas, cross-country courses or horse walkers adding to the price.
Additional Expenses to Consider
Livery fees cover basics, but you’ll pay extra for needs like farrier services, veterinary care, insurance, feed, bedding, and equipment. Turnout or grazing in a field can cost an additional £10-£30 per week. It’s a good idea to budget at least £3,000-£10,000 annually for a healthy horse’s routine care and livery fees.
To save money, consider DIY livery and handle as much of the care as possible yourself. Buying feed, bedding, and supplies in bulk also helps. Some yards lower livery fees if you sign a long-term contract. Ongoing costs are a serious commitment, so make sure you understand all that is involved in caring for your horse before taking the plunge. Proper planning and budgeting will help ensure your new friend has a happy, healthy home.
Factors That Impact the Cost of Livery and Stabling
To properly care for your horse or pony, providing suitable accommodation is essential. Livery and stabling refer to the facilities and services offered to house your equine companion. The cost of livery can vary greatly depending on several factors, but you’ll want to budget at least £1,000 to £3,000 per year to ensure your four-legged friend has a safe and comfortable home.
The type of livery service impacts the price. DIY livery, where you are solely responsible for your horse’s care, is typically the most affordable option at around £1,000 to £2,000 per year. Part livery, which includes feeding and mucking out, averages £2,000 to £3,000. Full livery covers all essential care and exercise and usually ranges from £3,000 to £5,000 or more per year. Specialized livery services for horses with medical needs or those in training can cost significantly more.
Location also plays a role. Livery in rural areas or away from major cities typically costs less than livery in urban and suburban locales. Prices also vary in different regions of the UK, with livery in the South and South East generally higher than in the North or Midlands. Additional charges may apply for access to facilities like arenas, trails, wash stalls or tack rooms.
When budgeting for livery, look for ways to reduce costs, such as choosing a more basic livery package, providing your own feed and bedding, or handling routine care yourself on weekends. But never compromise your horse’s well-being to save money. Proper housing and care are essential for your horse’s health, safety and happiness.
While the cost of livery can be significant, the rewards of horse ownership make the investment worthwhile. With some budgeting and cost-saving measures in place, you can provide your equine partner a comfortable home without breaking the bank.
Breaking Down the Average Costs of DIY, Part, Full, and Specialized Livery
The costs associated with DIY livery will depend on the facilities provided and your location, but you can expect to pay between £20 to £50 per week. With DIY livery, you are responsible for all care of your horse. The lower end of the range will typically provide a stable, grazing, and access to amenities like an arena. The higher end may include extras like a tack room, secure storage, and better grazing. Some yards may charge extra for services like turnout.
Part livery removes the responsibility of feeding and mucking out, with prices ranging from £30 to £100 per week. The yard manager will feed your horse and clean the stable, but you are still in charge of grooming, exercise, hoof care and any medical needs. Part livery gives you more time to enjoy riding and interacting with your horse.
Full livery includes all horse care and management for £60 to £200 per week. Your horse will be stabled, groomed, fed, exercised and receive hoof care and veterinary attention as needed. Full livery is ideal if you have limited time but want to own a horse. However, it offers less hands-on involvement in your horse’s daily care and routine.
Specialized livery for stallions, broodmares or horses with medical needs will be at the higher end of the range, from £80 up to £500 per week at some prestigious yards. Additional services may include foaling facilities, quarantine stabling, or rehabilitation and therapy resources.
To budget for livery costs, research yards in your desired location and compare rates and services offered. Look for ways to reduce costs, such as providing your own feed and bedding or opting out of certain extras. But don’t compromise your horse’s wellbeing to save money. With rates varying greatly throughout the UK, you may find lower prices further from cities and in more rural areas.
Tips for Budgeting and Reducing the Cost of Keeping Your Horse
When budgeting for livery costs, look for ways to reduce expenses without compromising your horse’s well-being. Some options to consider include:
If you have the time and skills, DIY livery where you handle most of the day-to-day care of your horse yourself is typically the most affordable option. You’ll save on costs for staff to muck out stables, turn out and bring in horses, and handle general care. However, you’ll need to budget for the extra time required to properly care for your horse each day.
Basic Over Optional Facilities
Opt for basic livery that includes essentials like a stable, feed, hay and bedding but avoid extra charges for facilities you may not use like arenas, tack rooms or trails. You can then pay to use optional facilities only when needed. Some yards may offer annual membership or pay-as-you-go options for certain facilities.
Buy Hay and Feed in Bulk
Purchasing hay, feed, bedding and other essentials in large quantities directly from suppliers can often save you 10-15% compared to buying from your livery yard. Just ensure you have proper storage space and the ability to transport large orders. Some yards may charge a small fee for allowing bulk deliveries and storage on site.
Consider Other Services
If full livery is beyond your budget, consider more affordable part livery options where the yard provides select services like turning out and bringing in or evening stables and feeds but you handle the rest. Or look into specialized livery where you pay only for certain services such as summer grazing or rehabilitation and fitness programs.
Off-Season or Midweek Discounts
Some yards may offer lower rates during off-peak seasons or for midweek livery. If your schedule allows, this can be an easy way to cut costs. However, make sure the yard still provides an acceptable level of care and service even at lower rates.
Reducing livery costs takes some time and effort but with the right approach you can maintain high standards of care for your horse at a price that fits your budget. Comparing rates at different yards, bundling services, and handling certain chores yourself are all useful strategies to make livery more affordable long-term.
The True Cost of Horse Livery in the UK
The cost of livery or stabling your horse can vary greatly depending on where in the UK you live and the level of service you require. For many horse owners, livery fees make up a significant portion of the annual cost of caring for their horse. Understanding these costs will help you budget properly for your horse’s needs.
Livery essentially refers to boarding services for horses, from basic DIY (Do It Yourself) pasture livery where you provide all care, to full livery where the yard provides everything but exercise. DIY livery typically starts around £20-30 per week, while full livery can be £100 per week or more, especially if close to London.
Some other factors affecting price include:
- Location – Livery in rural areas or small towns typically costs less than in major cities or suburbs.
- Facilities – More facilities like arenas, trails, tack rooms, etc. will increase the fees.
- Services – Extra services such as feeding, mucking out stables, grooming or exercising your horse will raise the cost.
A detailed breakdown of livery costs may look something like this:
- DIY livery (pasture only): £20-30/week
- Part livery (stable, feed, turnout): £30-50/week
- Full livery (all care except exercise): £60-100+/week
- Specialist livery (rehab, foaling, etc.): £80-150+/week
Additional costs to budget for include:
- Feed (hay, grain, supplements): £200-500/year
- Bedding (straw, wood shavings): £200-500/year
- Farrier (hoof trimming/shoeing): £200-500/year
- Veterinary care: £200-500+/year
- Equipment (tack, grooming supplies): £500-1000+/year
- Insurance: £200-500+/year
To reduce costs, consider less expensive feed options, do some chores yourself, or look for a yard with basic facilities. But never compromise your horse’s well-being to save money. Proper care and safe, sanitary housing should always be top priorities.
With all factors considered, you can expect to pay between £3,000 to over £10,000 per year for livery and associated costs in the UK. Make sure you understand these fees fully before getting a horse, as they are a long term commitment!
So there you have it, the complete costs of livery broken down for any horse owner in the UK. As you’ve seen, properly caring for your horse doesn’t come cheap but for those of us who consider them a member of the family, the costs are well worth it. Now that you know what to budget for livery each year, you can make an informed choice about which service level suits you best. Just remember, the lower the costs, the more work is left for you to do. But for hands-on horse owners, doing it yourself can be rewarding. Whatever you decide, make sure to factor in all additional fees so you’re not caught off guard. Most importantly, find a yard you trust to provide your four-legged friend with the best possible care. Your horse deserves nothing less.