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[RC] Affording endurance riding - Sharon Hahn

No doubt, horses are expensive, but you can greatly reduce the costs by:

1. Keeping your horses at home instead of boarding. 

2.  Getting one set of quality good fitting tack instead of buying every new gadget that comes along (same with training - invest  in training your horse right so you don't need a bunch of bits, tie downs, etc.).

3.  Spending money on good basic care (good hay, water, food, regular hoof care, safe fences) to reduce the need for supplements, emergency vet visits, etc.

Here in Minnesota, I can go to 10+ rides a year without driving more than 4 hours from home.  I go for the day or overnight and drive a half-ton truck with a small bumper pull trailer and sleep in a tent.  When you compare endurance riding to many other equine sports, it's way cheaper.  I know people who spend $100+/day in show entry fees, plus they stay in a hotel at the show, pay a stall fee, take expensive lessons, and have to buy expensive show outfits - all for 5 minutes in the ring.  At least in endurance, you pay your $50 or whatever and get to ride all day - and get a T-shirt at the end of it all, which becomes your "show outfit" for the next ride.  Actually, compare endurance to activities your non-horsey friends are seriously into.  I think you'll find that it's not too far off from what they spend on piano lessons, skiing, soccer leagues, or even going to the mall every weekend when you're at a ride.  Of course, attending elite or far-away rides or having multiple family members involved will raise the cost - but that's true of anything.


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