So how much does it cost to ride on a small island you may be wondering. Well it is a hell of a lot cheaper than England riding wise but in other areas more expensive. To begin with, having a riding lesson is pretty cheap over here, where I ride for instance, it costs 10 Euros an hour whereas in England I have been charged up to 25 Pounds for only half an hour. Boarding a horse is relatively inexpensive as well; it usually costs me 150 Euros a month (this includes cost of feed/hay and having the horse fed twice a day, use of a stable,field and other yard facilities ).
The main costs come from competing and purchasing tack/accessories. In the last few years the RFHE (Real Federación Hípica Española) has slowly increase the costs of subscriptions, insurance and entry fees for competitions. They have also introduced a new rule that states that in order to compete every rider must have sat a test called the Galopes, this test is the equivalent to the BHS (British Horse Society) test and provides the same level of qualifications. This change has come about because the insurance company that federates the riders (there is only one) has decided that they should not have to cover riders that might not actually know a) how to ride properly and b) even know how to care for their horse. When I first heard about the new rule I wasn’t overly impressed but now that I know the reason why I can sort of see where they are coming from, especially since I have seen some shockingly bad riders compete.
Buying tack is also expensive but for obvious reasons. Everything is imported. Tack shops here don’t really have a massive selection, they carry the basics but if you want a Bib Martingale, for example, you will definitely have to order it online or from a catalogue that the shops have. Last night I had to order a new martingale for Van and the delivery charge was 19 Euros. It might not seem expensive on its own but if I added up all the delivery costs from the last year I would realise why I never have any money.