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Buying your first horse is exciting — from picking out new tack and equipment to touring stables and paddocks in search of your new four-legged friend.
As you begin the journey of becoming a horse owner, one thing is clear: Purchasing a horse can be expensive. If you don’t have the funds to purchase a horse outright, what other financing options can you pursue?
Is taking out a personal loan to fund the purchase of your horse a good idea? We explore the world of equine financing to help you make a decision.
You have several options to consider. Before finalizing a loan, be sure to check the fine print of your loan agreement so you know the exact costs and repayment terms. Keep in mind some lenders may be hesitant to lend you money to buy a horse because its value depreciates over time — and the horse could get sick or injured.
Buying a horse means more than the purchase price. The real expense comes from the cost of care and maintenance.
Here’s a quick rundown of the potential costs and fees that come with owning a horse:
The cost to lease a horse typically depends on the type of lease you take out. Agreements typically come in two forms: paid and free.
A paid equine lease agreement typically comes with a fixed cost that can range from $200 to over $600 a month. The lease outlines the lease period, cost, how often the horse can be taken out or ridden during the lease period, if it can be shown and some even include a purchase option at the end of the lease.
Because it’s a fixed amount, a paid lease is fairly straightforward to budget for. However, you may still be on the hook for common care costs — like farrier work and vet visits — depending on the terms of the lease.
A free lease isn’t actually free, as the name might imply. Instead of paying a set amount each month like with a paid lease agreement, you assume all of the costs for caring for the horse while leasing it.
That means stable fees, farrier work, transportation, veterinary visits, food and all other care on you rather than the owner. Costs will fluctuate based on the particular needs of the horse each month and may be harder to budget for.
Funding the purchase of your four-legged friend is only half of the equation. First, you’ll need to find the right horse that fits your needs.
Pleasure and show horses vary in cost. The average pleasure horse costs $4,500, while the average show horse costs $40,000.
If you ride for leisure, a pleasure horse is your best bet. But if you’re interested in pursuing a career in jumping, hunting or dressage, consider investing in a horse that’s ready for show.
If you’re still in the planning stages, picking the right type of equine companion will help inform your purchase budget — and the overall cost of maintaining your animal each year.
Many pleasure horses are a mix of several breeds, while most show horses are purebred. Each breed of horse comes with its own unique set of personality traits and quirks. Research the horse breeds available in your area and decide which appeals to you.
If you’re an experienced horseman or horsewoman, you may welcome the challenge of training a green horse or pony. Newbies should look for a horse that’s broken in, friendly, patient and good natured. Most sellers are happy to let you jump on the horse you’re interested in for a test ride, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Purchasing a horse for the first time can be exhilarating, but comes with far more costs than the purchase price of the horse alone. Prepare for veterinary bills, boarding fees and the cost of keeping your four-legged friend well fed and watered.
To pay for your new horse look at personal loans, a line of credit or agree to a lease arrangement with the owner.
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