How much does it really cost to own a horse?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by mama24, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Quote:Wow. Your cost of living out there is way more then in Virginia.

    It sure the heck is. I think every state is going to have different prices for hay, feed, vaccines, etc.
  2. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    We keep ours at home. We have 2 horses and a pony.

    Horses usually do not do well apart from other horses. Having horses at home usually means having to get a companion horse for the first horse.

    Many places you can not keep horses at home - or if there are homes/subdivisions nearby, you have to prepare for a LOT of complaints from can be a miserable experience if you are struggling to keep horses on a small property.

    Re-curring costs.

    Shoeing - 250 every 6-7 weeks - about 2000 dollars a year.

    Bedding -one bag every other day for each horse - works out to 1500 dollars a year.

    Feed - about 1200 a year(this might be low).

    Hay - About 3500 a year.

    Routine Veterinary care - about 400 a year per horse for routine items (worming medication, vaccines, coggins tests, etc).

    Haul off manure periodically - about 1500-2 thousand dollars per time, we do once a year.

    That's about 9200 dollars a year (3 horses) - about 3000 a year per horse.

    That doesn't include fly predators, fly spray and incidentals.

    That doesn't prorate out the price of purchasing the horse, either. That is a separate expense.

    That does not include riding clothes, helmet, tack, tack repairs, riding lessons, registration fees, trail ride, clinic or show costs (including transport costs - mileage on your truck/trailer), or my expenses during an event. Riding lessons are between 50 and 125 dollars an hour. Most people need riding lessons - especially first time horse owners.

    Does not include annual maintenance on truck and trailer or their repairs.

    Does not include costs of installing fence or maintaining it annually.

    Emergency care budget - after 7 months of this year, we have spent about 1200 dollars on emergencies(works out to about 2050 a year). Some years are bad, others we have no problems. We have 6000 set aside for emergencies - but we need more to have a reasonable amount for a disaster fund - our buildings destroyed by tornado, for example, we would spend 10,000 dollars in a few months if we had to board all 3 while property is repaired.

    Other costs to consider -

    Cost of building barn.

    Cost of building storage building for tractor, horse trailer, truck.

    Cost to build manure storage bin (required by most communities now) or to pay someone to haul manure off your property.

    Cost to have pasture land cleared and ground prepped for seeding.

    Cost for pasture seed, fertilizer, lime. Pastures have to be disked and reseeded periodically, lime(needed in many areas) and fertilizer applied annually.

    Cost of excavation to provide proper drainage to pasture, riding area and buildings. EPA and other government agencies get involved if your property has muddy or manure-tinged run off.

    Cost of fence - purchase and annual maintenance.

    Cost of truck.

    Cost of trailer.

    A truck and trailer are necessary for emergencies when horse needs to be transported to veterinary clinic. A truck and trailer are nice-to-have to be able to get to trail rides, clinics and shows.

    Changes to property tax

    Changes to vehicle insurance costs

    Emergency fund maintained for emergency treatment for 3 horses, emergency boarding, etc.

    Cost of sand or other footing for riding area - periodically has to be redone.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  3. StevenW.

    StevenW. Lovin' My Quackers!

    Oct 7, 2010
    Central, Illinois
    After reading everything welsummerchicks just typed I quite happy I didn't get a horse last year. (One of my friends was moveing and we said we would take his mare in if he couldn't find anywhere to board his mare when they were moveing but luckily they found a boarding that had some spots open.)

    IMO I would get some Goats or Llamas. Loved my Pygmy goats while I had them. [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2011
  4. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    You may turn out to be the best horse owner in the world, but please wait and do some more research. Owning horses requires alot of knowledge to avoid the expensive vet calls and there is much more to it than a pasture in the summer and hay in the winter. I am not one of the "hoity-toity" horse owners. I have the basics in terms of equipment, pasture and shelter. I also have over 35 years of experience and still have had to spend thousands in vet bills a few times. Horses wrote Murphy's Law. If there is something that can go wrong, eventually, it will. Try out some riding lessons, a lease, or offer to foster some for the local animal control. Read everything you can get your hands on and talk to as many people as you can before you make a purchase. They don't call it "horse trading" for nothing. Buyer beware is the best advice. Yes there are some really good deals on horses right now because of the economy, but there are WAY more people trying to unload problem or untrained, or worse badly trained, horses right now. Today's horse market is not beginner friendly (actually, it never is.) Horses are great, I want your experience to be a positive one. Make the right, educated, and researched decision, and there's a much better chance it will be.
  5. zengrrl

    zengrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2011
    Oakland County, MI
    Ive always dreamed of having a horse but the expense is too much for me to consider going on my own. I have seen several listings to "shareboard" a horse. For a price ($200 or depends) a month you pay someone rent on their horse to help them with the cost of boarding etc and in exchange you ride an agreed amount of time a week. I figure to get to play cowgirl 2x a week would be as close as I need to get. I fathom horses are a huge responsibility, financially etc that I'll never be able to manage but this could work for me.
  6. njduck

    njduck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2011
    I have 4 lawn ornaments
    they get hay all winter and feed every couple of days. They are not the fatest horses but not under weight.

    I figure horses can live in the wild without much human intervention so can mine. I also trim hooves myself and my back hates it.
  7. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2010
    GSO, NC
    I was on the equestrian team at Penn State. I don't need riding lessons. I've just never owned my own horse and had to feed and vet them.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  8. HighNDryFarm

    HighNDryFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2011
    Paradise, CA
    As you've read, the cheapest part of owning a horse is what you paid for the horse. I have 3 pasture ornaments, but not enough pasture for them to graze so they get fed twice a day. One is almost 30 so she gets grain too...and try feeding grain to just one of they all get some level of grain and a good deal on alfalfa or alfalfa/grass (my preferred feed) is $16 a bale, but usually around $19! And you can't not feed a horse! If I could find someone who I could trust not to take them and sell them to the tallow company I would but everyone tight so no little girls who need a lesson horse!
  9. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    It all depends on the horse, your location and facilities. Here in Florida I pay $25 per horse for trims ( my horses don't need shoes). $55 - $60 for a 600-800 lb roll of coastal hay, with no pasture it would last a 1 horse about a month, 2 horses about 1/2 if kept in a shelter or hay manger. I go through 1 a week with all my critters. I keep mine out 24/7 but they have a shelter if needed with fan and screening to keep out bugs. Fencing can add up and expect to keep up with it or horses can tell the weak points. . Feed is $8-$20 a bag , 1 bag per horse per week typically unless they require more. I do most of my own vaccines and have the vet come out yearly for over all look overs and coggins tests etc. Find a good vet now before you even get a horse, you always need them on a Sunday night in freezing rain when your horse decided to do something foolish - get on their good side ahead of time. If you do lessons and special riding and such the $$$$ adds up fast. All I ever do anymore is trail ride so no big expenses there. Horses aren't too bad if they are easy keepers, you have a good vet and you keep on top of things, cause when they get sick thats's when it starts adding up fast.
  10. spiritdance

    spiritdance Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 13, 2010
    Quote:From your lips to God's ears! [​IMG]

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