Horseback riding has a reputation for being costly, but there are ways to enjoy the benefits of equestrian activities without breaking the bank. In the beginning you don’t need to spend much, just explore the sport one hourly lesson at a time. If you decide to invest more time and effort be sure you are spending your money wisely.
Don’t Buy the Horse
You started with a few lessons at a nearby barn where they supplied everything riders need, including whatever horse happened to be available. But now that you are sure you want to continue riding you would prefer to build a relationship with your horse. This can be particularly important if you participate in horse shows or join a riding club. At that point, look into ownership options like long-term leases and co-ownership.
Buy Used Tack
For safety reasons, you should buy your helmet new and you likely don’t want someone else’s worn-out boots and pants, but some things can be safely purchased used. Durable items like halters, bridles and other tack are often lightly used and in great shape even when you purchase them pre-owned. However, be sure to inspect saddles thoroughly as a previous owner’s poor care can result in moldy leather.
Buy Used Equipment
Many riders start with a casual interest in recreational riding then become intrigued by the more competitive aspects of horsemanship. Serious competitors, barn managers, club members and trainers will eventually be in the market for equipment. This is another time when it makes sense to look for items like used horse jumps at half the price of new.
Rent Out Stalls and Equipment
If you own land and equipment you can think beyond merely saving money and start making money. Rent out barn space or host small local horse shows for a fee. Become a certified trainer and offer lessons. If you have multiple horses who are gentle and well-trained you can even lease out the horses themselves and give another rider a leg up.