This sport may be expensive, but the rewards are great!
Riding is considered an expensive sport. There are a lot of factors to consider before you sign up! You’ll experience both initial expenses for things like tack and riding equipment and ongoing costs related to lessons and horse care. There are ways to reduce certain fees, but you should be aware of them beforehand.
On the flip side, riding is one of the most exciting and enjoyable sports out there. You’ll develop confidence, become physically fit, and enjoy a community of fellow equestrians. There’s nothing quite like bonding with such a large and magnificent animal.
Expenses to Consider
A Suitable Horse
In order to ride, you’ll obviously need a horse. That doesn’t mean you have to own him or her, but you do need to find one to borrow at the very least. Most lesson barns will have schoolmasters for you to ride. The fee is usually factored into the lesson price. Depending on your area, $30 to $50 for an hour lesson is standard. It’s especially helpful to ride a schoolmaster in the beginning. They should be quiet and reliable, which allows you to focus on learning the basics.
If you’re looking for more ride time outside of lessons, then you can consider leasing a horse. This allows you to sample horse ownership, but without the long-term commitment. Generally, leases work in two ways- you either pay a standard rate each month or you receive a “free” lease. A free lease isn’t actually free, rather you are responsible for the board costs and general care. A standard rate is usually around $300 to $500 a month, but you can cut that in half by doing a partial lease (less rides per week).
Lastly, many riders prefer to own a horse. You’ll have complete flexibility with riding when and how often you like, but you’ll also be responsible for their care and all costs involved. The price of a good horse ranges considerably. Depending on age, training, breed, and other factors, decent horses start at $3,000 and go up. Don’t forget about tack!
In order to keep advancing as a rider, you should invest in lessons. When you first get started, your instructor will provide a list of riding equipment. Some of these items include a helmet, paddock boots, gloves, and breeches. You should estimate $150 to $300 for some entry-level supplies. Most people take lessons weekly, though you can also do every other week. Furthermore, you can save by taking group lessons with three to four other riders.
Competing is a great way to show off your hard work and get involved in the equestrian community. After a few months of lessons, you’ll be ready for your first local schooling show. Your trainer will likely help you with the details, but expect some expenses. There are stall, trainer, trailering and entry fees. There are ways to cut some of those costs though. You can split trailering fees with another boarder and skip the stall fee. A basic show can cost $50 to $100 a day, while a recognized show may require closer to $400+ for a weekend. Most competitions will require show attire and tack, as well!
If riding is your passion, then you’re likely to find a way to make the expenses management. From cleaning stalls to buying used equipment, there are ways to earn and save a few dollars if you’re creative! The greatest place in the world is on the back of a horse. It’s worth the hard work and costs.
Emily Fought discovered her passion for horses early on in life. When she isn’t writing about them, you can find her in the barn riding. Although Emily’s background is in dressage, she enjoys cross-training and is an avid trail rider. She resides in Northwestern Pennsylvania with her husband and small dog. Together, they own and operate Humblewood Farm.
Emily Fought discovered her passion for horses early on in life. When she isn't writing about them, you can find her in the barn riding. Although Emily's background is in dressage, she enjoys cross-training and is an avid trail rider. She resides in Northeastern Ohio with her husband and small dog. Together, they own and operate Humblewood Farm.