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Counting the Cost: Is Horseback Riding an Expensive Hobby?

If you're considering taking up horseback riding, one of the questions that may be on your mind is whether it's an expensive activity. The short answer is yes, riding horses can be expensive. However, there are ways to make it more affordable, and many riders find the rewards of working with these magnificent animals well worth the cost.

One of the biggest expenses people think about with horseback riding is the cost of the horse itself. However, in the horse world it is common knowledge that the purchase of the horse is the "cheapest part of horse ownership." Horses can range in price from a few hundred dollars for a rescue or retirement horse to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a top-quality show horse. However, most riders don't purchase their own horse right away, but instead opt to take lessons or lease a horse from a stable. This can be a more affordable option for beginners, as it allows you to try out horseback riding without making a significant investment. We offer a monthly membership at Strides Horsemanship that allows riders to learn about horse care, riding, and management before buying their own horse.

In addition to the cost of the horse, there are other expenses to consider, such as boarding($200-1200 per month depending on facility and care options), feed ($300+ per month/per horse in our area), and veterinary care (A minimum of several hundred dollars per year ranging all the way to thousands of dollars in emergency situations). Boarding fees can vary widely depending on the location and the amenities offered, but can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per month. Feed costs will also depend on the horse's size, age, and activity level, but can easily run a few hundred dollars per month. And while veterinary care is not required for all horses all the time, routine check-ups and vaccinations can add up over time.

Another expense to consider is the cost of riding equipment, including a helmet, boots, tack for the horse (saddle, bridle, etc) and riding attire. These items can be purchased new or used, and there are options at a variety of price points. However, it's important to invest in quality equipment that fits well and provides proper protection.

While riding horses can be expensive, it's important to weigh the cost against the rewards. For many riders, the joy of working with these beautiful and intelligent animals is well worth the investment. By exploring your options and making smart choices, you can enjoy the benefits of horseback riding without breaking the bank. Spending time with horses has been shown to have a range of scientific benefits, both physical and mental. Interacting with horses can help lower stress levels, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve overall mood. Horseback riding can also be a great form of exercise, helping to build strength, improve flexibility, and promote cardiovascular health. In addition, being around horses can improve social skills and emotional intelligence, as riders learn to communicate effectively with their animals and develop a sense of empathy and compassion. Finally, working with horses can provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment, as riders set and achieve goals and develop a deeper understanding of themselves and their capabilities.

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