Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
To be honest fuel for my car going back and forth is my biggest weekly horse cost, and I don't really live far away at all. It's going to depend on your situation but because I do self care I have to go out twice a day to rug and unrug.
You can pretty much have whatever size suits you. I'm taller and heavier than you and my horse is about 14.2hh. If you're going to go for a smaller horse you want it to have a more solid build, like a Quarter Horse or Cob. If you're going to compete you'll want to make sure that you don't look too big on your horse, so small horses with a larger barrel will take up your leg more. I always had big horses until this one, but I love her small size. I feel so much more confident and everything I do with her is so much easier. Although, I believe the UK is much more "weight conscious" than most other countries when it comes to horse/rider ratio so I'm not sure what is normal around here. I know here in Australia lots of men ride Australian Stock Horses, or that general type, and they're tall and heavy, but the average stock horse (15hh) doesn't seem to have a problem. I think its a similar situation in North America.
Costs are really going to depend on where you keep your horse and your local prices. Do a ring around and find out:
- How much it costs to keep a horse at your local yard
- If that includes hard feed, hay, rugging and general care
- What their paddocks are like - the more grass they have the less hay you feed
- Call around feed stores inquiring about hay prices, and hard feed
- Find out how much a farrier will cost (needed every 6 - 8 weeks)
- Find out annual vet care and dentistry costs
Then work out how much driving you'll have to do, if you're required to go out once or twice a day or if you don't need to at all. There will still be the costs of the horse and tack, and emergency things, on top of that, but they are the general costs to look at.