I'll throw in my 2 cents... As you can see it varies greatly and depends on what your goals are for yourself. Are you planning on showing or just doing some trail riding? What is your current set up? Do you have adequate shelter and safe fencing? Those are all things you'll have to figure out yourself. It sounds like you're keeping them at home and well assume that you're just trail riding and won't be taking lessons. If you're planning to ride seriously and compete you're talking an entirely different ballgame as far as price is concerned.
Edited by jettgirl24 - 8/10/11 at 1:11pm
Cost will depend on where you live, here hay runs between $300 and $350 per ton on average. My retired horse goes through about 3 tons per year. So hay is $900 - $1050 per year. So $75 - $87.50 per month.
Grain runs me about $150 per month for my retired guy. I feed senior, beet pulp, and rolled oats plus a calorie supplement. He goes through a bag of senior and rolled oats in just over a week. A bag of beet pulp usually lasts me about 3 weeks. The calorie supplement runs about $45 a tub but lasts two to three months. You may end up spending less than that for an easy keeper, but keep in mind that a horse that is an easy keeper now may not always be. When my retired horse was back in his prime he would put on 50lbs if you even showed him a horse cookie, and that was when he was in full work and competing in three day eventing. As he got older that changed dramatically and he is difficult to keep weight on even without the strenuous training.
Here they are $13 a yard if I pick them up in my truck, $26 per yard delivered if you get 12 yards. I would say for the two stalls that I bed I go through the 12 yards in about a year but that varies. We'll estimate $156 if I pick them up, $312 if i have them delivered. That doesn't include gas if I go pick them up. So $13 - $26 per month.
My retired horse is barefoot as I don't ride him much these days, so that's $40 every 8 weeks or so. My competition horse has a full set of shoes as he's in full work, that runs me $80 every 6 - 8 weeks. So we'll add $20 - $40 to the monthly tab.
Vet - here's where things get fun. Realistically you will have emergency vet bills and need to plan for that. I would have a minimum of $1,000 in cash set aside or at least a credit card with a credit line of at least that for emergencies, preferably both. Let's just talk routine care though.
You should have the vet out twice per year to do shots and check teeth at a minimum. My lasts visit for flu/rhino, west nile, and tetanus plus teeth floating and a sheath cleaning was $350. You may not have to do teeth every time and tetanus will be once per year but I would count on at least $300 per visit, $600 per year. That adds $50 to the monthly bill.
I think that covers the basics, so you're looking at something like $200 to $400 per horse for very basic proper care. This DOES NOT include building the facilities you need, land and pasture maintenance, fence repair, etc. It is just the absolute basic care of the horse itself. I can't speak to the other costs since I have no idea what your property looks like.
Here is where the danger lies... You get your horses and you decide you want to get serious about your riding. Your costs will absolutely skyrocket. For comparison my retired guy costs about $350 a month/$4200 a year to keep at home. My dressage horse costs me about $1,200 per month/$14,400 per year (board where I can keep him in full work year round, one lesson per week, farrier, vet). That does not include shows, which run at a minimum $500 per show if you count entry fees, stabling fees, coaching, and gas. Ouch