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The REAL Costs Of Owning A Horse Per Year In the UK

The REAL Cost Of Owning A Horse Per Year in the UK

Owning and caring for a horse is an important responsibility and you must consider several factors first before making this life changing decision to ensure your horse is well cared for and looked after. 

In this post, we have broken down the real cost of owning a horse per year in the UK depending on which area you live in and the main things you need to consider when caring for a horse. 


the real costs of owning a horse per year in the UK



The first thing to consider is housing, where will your horse live.

Unless you are fortunate enough to have the space to keep your horse on your own land, you will need to pay for your horse’s livery at a stable, which will most likely be your biggest financial outlay. 

The cost of livery can vary.

For outdoor housing, this can cost an average of £200 per month, however indoor housing in a stable can range from £300 in the North of the UK and up to £650 per month in London.

This cost is for housing only, which means you will have to come by the stables twice a day to feed, muck out and rug your horse unless you pay for this as well. 

If you do not have the time to visit the stables twice daily, then you can pay for full livery which means the stable is responsible for your horses’ needs including stabling, field access, exercising, feed, hay and bedding.

This will cost you roughly £450 per month in the North, and around £500 in Scotland, however in London and the surrounding areas this may cost up to double that amount per month. 

Typically though the cost of keeping a single horse at a livery yard in the UK is around £250 per month.

Partial livery is the most popular option in the UK, meaning feed, hay and bedding are included.

Horses will spend the majority of the summer outdoors and come inside when it turns a lot colder, especially in the North region and Scotland. 


The REAL Costs Of Owning A Horse Per Year In the UK

The REAL Costs Of Owning A Horse Per Year In the UK


Hay, Straw & Shavings

If you keep your horse in the field most of the time, they will not require as much hay as they would if they stayed in the stables.

Expect to pay around £90 per month for grass livery and up to £1300 per month for the full package in London and surrounding areas.

Consider adding a further £40-£60 a month for stable bedding, such as straw or shavings if your horse sleeps inside. 


 The REAL Costs Of Owning A Horse Per Year In the UK


The cost and amount of feed you will need for your horse will depend on several things, the type of horse, the size of your horse, its exercise routine, the time of year and whether it is grass or stable-fed.

As a guide expect to pay from £50 per month in the Midlands, £80 per month in the North and South West and around £120 per month in London and the South East. 

If you live in a rural area you’ll find that it is cheaper for hay at around £20 per bale, this is largely due to it coming from your local area, whereas in urban areas it needs to be transported from the rural farms which will mean an increase in the price. 


Horses’ hooves grow rapidly, so you’ll need to pay for regular visits from the farrier.

Expect to pay around £30 for trimming and balancing every six weeks, and just under £100 for a new set of shoes per visit. We found this to be the standard price across the UK. 


the real costs of owning a horse per year in the uk


Medical Costs For Your Horse Per Year In The UK

You will need to consider the annual medical costs for your horse too.

A horse has to have annual vaccinations against the flu and tetanus and these can cost around £70-£80 a year, including the vet call-out fee of roughly £40. Worming treatment will also need to be considered for £15 per treatment.

A horse should also have its teeth checked by an equine dentist annually to make sure that there are no sharp edges or any tooth problems that could cause pain and discomfort to your horse.

An equine dentist’s visit can cost around £70 to £80, you may wish to consider that this may not be a once-a-year visit. 

Some of these costs may be covered by your insurance, if you have it, which brings me to our next consideration.  

Cost Of Insurance For Your Horse Per Year

We highly recommend that you purchase insurance for your horse, vet bills are not cheap and certain specialist procedures that your horse may or may not require will be very expensive, often running into thousands of pounds.

As well as cover for vet fees, insurance policies will also offer cover against theft or loss (if your horse strays), as well as third-party liability.

You can also add features such as personal accident cover, damage or theft of tack and equipment, cover for your trailer, and cover for disposal (cost of removing your horse’s body in the event of its demise) to your annual policy. 

The cost of insurance for your horse can vary greatly, but a decent policy should cost around £1,000 a year.

Make sure to check the fine print as certain things may not always be covered. 


The Cost of Tack and Horse Equipment 

To help to keep costs down, you may be able to strike a deal upon purchasing your horse to get tack and equipment included. 

However, whilst you can pick up a second-hand horse rug for around £100, and tack for just a few hundred pounds, you could easily find yourself paying roughly £300 for a rug and £1,500 for a new saddle and bridle.

Consider budgeting up to £2,000 per year for your horse equipment. 


 The REAL Costs Of Owning A Horse Per Year In the UK


Horse Transportation Costs

Horse trailers can be expensive.

You can expect to pay up to £100 a day to hire a trailer for your horse when you need to transport it safely.

If you expect to travel often with your horse and wish to purchase your own trailer, a new trailer can cost thousands of pounds, or if you buy a second hand one this will be considerably cheaper. 


Extras To Consider 

It’s worth budgeting an extra £1,000 a year for ‘incidental’ costs such as new tack, clothing or any unplanned vets trips.


The REAL Costs Of Owning A Horse Per Year In the UK


The Real Cost Of Owning A Horse In London 

Of course the cost of owning a horse in England’s capital city London is going to be the highest.

Indoor housing can cost up to £650 per month and if you require the full livery package including feed, hay and other essentials this can cost £1300 per month.

Taking this and the other monthly fees mentioned above into consideration you could be paying in the region of £20,000 per year to care for your horse if you live in London or the surrounding areas, making it the most expensive place in the whole of the UK to own and care for a horse. 


The Cost Of Owning A Horse In The South West

Overall, the cost of owning a horse in the rural South West UK is considerably cheaper than in the South East.

It is one of the cheaper areas to house and feed your horse, with costs averaging at £190 for outdoor housing including hay and straw for your horse.

Annually you could expect to pay between £10,000 and £12,000. This is most likely due to the vast farmlands in the area and the available space. 


The Cost Of Owning A Horse In The North Of The UK

The cost of owning a horse per year in the North of the UK is one of the cheapest places to do so, costing between £10,000 to £12,000 per year for full livery costs. 


The cost of owning a horse in Scotland.

Outdoor housing in Scotland costs roughly £134 per month and indoor housing costs on average £500 per month, this does not include feed or bedding. The annual cost of owning a horse in Scotland can reach up to £12,000 for a horse stabled on full competition livery. 


The cost of owning a horse in Wales 

The cost per year to own a horse in Wales is up to £12,000 for a horse on full competition livery and includes a rough guide on tack, vet fees and insurance





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