How Much Does it Cost to Own A Horse?
If you are looking to purchase your first horse, or maybe add another to your herd, you need to understand the costs of owning a horse. The actual cost varies greatly depending on the horse’s individual needs, where you are located, and what you want to do with your horse. Nevertheless, it’s an important figure to know before you hitch up your trailer and head out shopping.
Unless you are purchasing a high-end performance horse, the purchase price you pay to acquire your equine family member will be on the lower end of your total costs. The good news is that there is a lot of flexibility in horse care. The more work you are willing to do yourself, the more you can keep your costs down.
We are not going to tell you exactly how much it costs to own a horse in this article. Costs vary too much across the United States for us to give you an accurate estimate. However, we will tell you all the things you need to consider so you can figure out the total on your own.
Horse Board (Ranges from $250-$1000+ per month)
The first cost you must consider when looking into getting a horse is board. If you are going to board your horse away from your home, use the GoHorse map to find stables near you. Look at their pricing and what is included in that price. Many barns include feed in their monthly fee.
If you work a 9-5 and have limited time to spend with your horse, you might consider paying a little more for a stable that feeds your horse and cleans stalls. This way, you don't spend all your time caring for your horse instead of riding and enjoying them.
Routine Maintenance ($200-$1000+ per year)
Your horse will need some basic things throughout the year to keep them healthy. They will need to be de-wormed at least three times. Wormer costs anywhere from $5-20 a tube, depending on which type you decide to use.
Your horse will also need to see a farrier every 6-8 weeks. Trims cost $40-60, and shoes typically run from $80-$140 per set. Some horse owners put their horses on extra supplements. Those start at about $30 a month.
Veterinary Care ($300-$1000+ per year)
Your horse will need to see a vet at least 1x a year for an exam, vaccinations, and to get their teeth floated (some horses need dentistry much less often, and some need it 2x a year). There is usually a farm call of about $60, vaccines range from $20-40, and teeth floating starts around $200 but increases if extractions are necessary.
Emergency veterinary calls from injury or sickness can range much higher than this, but this gives you an understanding of what to expect from an average healthy horse.
If you or your horse need to brush up on your skills, you will need to include the cost of lessons or putting your horse into training (some trainers offer both so you can learn as your horse does). Lessons range from $40-$80+, and training starts at around $650 per month.
Food, Water, and Electricity
If you plan on keeping your horse at home, you’ll need to consider the costs of hay and grain, as well as what will happen to your water and electricity bill. An average 1000 lb horse eats about a half a bale a day, and bales cost $8-15 each. Horses drink anywhere from 5-10 gallons of water per day.
We are not trying to discourage you from owning a horse. If you ask us, they are worth every penny! We want to make sure you understand how much it’s going to cost to keep your horse once you get it. As you can see, it can cost anywhere from around $300 monthly up to $2000+
The best way to find out the exact cost of caring for your horse is to call around to your local farrier, veterinarian, feed store, and boarding stables. Find out exactly what prices are like in your area. If you need help finding professionals to care for your horse, use the GoHorse map to find the services you need near you.