Horses are without doubt one of Britain’s most beloved animals. Indeed, according to the British Equestrian Trade Association there are almost 400,000 horse-owning households and almost 2 million regular riders in the UK today.
But while owning a horse is a hugely rewarding experience, for many there can be barriers getting in the way of their dreams of horse ownership.
Perhaps you’re desperate to ride or take care of a horse but can’t afford your own, or perhaps you’re struggling to give your equine friend the care they deserve.
An answer to both problems could be to consider a horse sharing arrangement. One person gets the pleasure of their ‘own’ horse while the other is able to share the burden of some of the responsibilities.
From arranging insurance for a horsebox and vet appointments to supplying appropriate feed and tack, the responsibilities of owning your own equine can be substantial. If you think sharing a horse could be the solution for you then read our helpful guide.
Is sharing a horse right for you?
This really is the £64,000 question – is it the best decision for you and your horse? Before you agree to share your precious steed, you need to ask yourself some important questions.
Will you mind not being able to ride your horse when you want?
Picture the scene. You wake up to the perfect day for a hack. You begin thinking about where you’ll ride.
Perhaps you’ll meet up with a friend and hack together? But then you remember it isn’t your day to ride.
How do you feel? If you have more than one horse then this might not be a problem but not everyone has that luxury. And changing a riding schedule at the last minute isn’t fair on your horse or the other person.
Will you get jealous?
Building a strong bond with a horse is a truly magical experience. But what happens when someone else comes along who also develops a bond? What if they manage to get your horse to do things you never could?
How will you deal with changing behaviours?
If someone else is riding and taking care of your horse a few days a week then their behaviour may change. Think about how you’ll broach this subject with the sharer if a problem does arise.
What are you happy for the sharer to do with your horse?
If you and your horse are pretty easy going then it might not matter if the sharer wants to try something new. However, if you want to keep your horse focused on dressage, but your sharer wants to show jump then there could be a problem.
Have you checked with your livery yard?
Having someone else attending the yard instead of you is something it’s worth speaking with your livery yard about.
Have you checked your insurance?
While sharing a horse might not change your horsebox insurance arrangements, you do need to make sure the sharer has adequate horse rider insurance. Speak to your insurer to check everyone will be adequately covered in the event of an accident or injury.
Are you prepared if the share agreement ends?
You’ll no doubt have a contract in place to help sort out any problems.
However, what happens if things don’t work out and the share comes to an end? Will you be able to manage the ownership responsibilities without the other person? If not, then you might need to consider whether selling your horse is the best decision for all concerned.
Who will have responsibility for transporting the horse?
Whether you need to move the horse to a more convenient stable, or the sharer wants to take them to a competition, the issue of transportation is better solved at the outset.
While you may have adequate horsebox insurance for your vehicle and horse insurance for your animal before setting out, will your sharer?
Top tips for successful sharing
- Get a sharing contract in place. Knowing what everyone’s rights and responsibilities are is important to get right at the start. To avoid difficult money conversations, it’s probably best to set up a standing order into your account each month.
- Check references. In an ideal world you’ll already know and trust the person. However, this won’t always be the case. Make sure you see their photo ID and check out any references first. Find out what their experience of horses is – are they an old hand or is this the first time they would have cared for an animal such as this?
- Swap emergency contact details. You both need to know how to contact each other in an emergency. Sharing the contact details of your horse’s vet, farrier and yard owner is also important.
- Keep communicating. Perhaps have a shared notebook in your tack box at the stables. That way you can both easily communicate about any horse care issues or concerns.
- Make them feel welcome. Showing them around the stables or having a friend introduce them to some good local hacks is all part and parcel of making someone feel welcome. If they feel safe and happy then chances are your horse will, too.
Get specialist insurance through Equesure
Whatever you decide about sharing your horse, when it comes to finding the right cover for you, your horse and your transport, the specialist team at Equesure will be there every step of the way.
With over 60 years of experience in the equine insurance market, we can find you the right cover at the right price for many makes and types of horseboxes. From Equi-Trek and Ifor Williams to Tristar and Alexanders, we can cover them all.
Obtaining insurance through Equesure can give you a range of benefits including breakdown cover, so you don’t need to worry about getting stranded if your vehicle breaks down far from home.
Other benefits can also include:
- Comprehensive and third party, fire and theft cover
- Windscreen cover on comprehensive policies
- Personal accident cover on comprehensive policies
Give Equesure a call today. Horsebox insurance with us is so straightforward.
Policy benefits and features offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.