August 13, 2020 0 Comments

How much does a horse cost? is a question thrown around frequently among people who are interested in splurging on a steed—however,like many big-ticket purchases, the answer varies a lot.

Anyone who owns one knows that the initial cost of acquiring the animal itself is only the tip of the iceberg. There are a handful of things that will affect how much you're going to spend like lodging, feeding, and grooming to name a few.

It's vital to understand how each of these factors will affect your budget. In this article, we'll give you an idea of ​​​​how much you need to set aside annually. Read on to find out everything you need to know about maintaining a four-legged friend.

Horse Breeds

Before anything else, the first thing you need to think about is the animal. For first-time owners or riders, you will probably need to prepare an amount ranging from $1,800 to $3,500 to take a gem home. It’s possible to find a better bargain, but having enough to spend will help you gain better choices.

While no breed is perfect for beginners, some horse variations have attributes that make them more suitable than others. Keep in mind that it’s not about going forthe most expensive horse, but choosing the animal with the right temperament. For starters, you can start looking into these:

  • American Quarter HorseThis is the top horse breed in the US. It’s popular because of their even temperament. While there are a few of them that can be too energetic, their adaptability and reliability make them a great choice.
  • ArabianWhile they are known to be hot-headed, Arabians are the way to go if you are looking for a horse with speed, endurance, and strength. They also make the best beginner horse because they are quiet and trustworthy.
  • ThoroughbredFamous in the industry as bred for racing, a Thoroughbred might be better for more experienced riders. They are energetic, quiet, steady, and trained to bolt which makes them perfect for free-spirited owners.
  • American PaintAmerican Paint makes a great option for those who like to have an intimate connection with their animal. They are calm, easygoing, social, easy to train, and they form strong relationships with their owners—even with kids who are just starting to get into riding.
  • MorganA Morgan is perfect if you're looking for a family-friendly horse. They are attentive, social, and have a strong desire to please their owners. They are also generally easy to maintain and are quite strong, so health issues are very rare.

Lodging

If you have the luxury of having your own land, then you don’t have to worry about this. However, if you don’t, lodging or renting a boarding stable is something you have to think about.

Depending on the stable you choose, there may be different levels of boarding offered. Most stables providefull-care,pasture, andself-care boarding which can range from $300 to $5,000.

  • Full-Care Boarding — Monthly Average Rates: $300-$700:When you choose a full-care boarding option, the stable will provide your horse with a stall in the barn as well as a field for turnout. The staff will attend to all the daily needs of your horse, which can include: feeding and watering, blanketing, stall cleaning, and applying fly spray.
  • Pasture Boarding — Monthly Average Rates: $150-$400: This is when you pay a barn to keep your horse in one of their pastures, meaning it will be out in the field 24/7. The staff will still cater to your horse’s daily needs but it will not be as personalized as full-care boarding.

It’s a great pocket-friendly option for those who don’t like their horse to be stalled all day—being outdoors will allow it to graze, get exercise, and maintain their circulation. One caveat to pasture boarding is that you will have no control over how your horse adapts to being in the pasture 24/7—if you happen to have a sensitive steed, they might catch unexpected illnesses.

  • Self-Care Boarding — Monthly Average Rates: $100-$200:Self-care boarding is when you pay a stable to house your horse but you are required to attend to all the daily needs of the animal. To put it simply, you’re only renting space and nothing else.

This is another budget-friendly option to consider if you have a lot of free time on your hands to provide care for your horse. It may be hard work, but it’s also an opportunity to form a unique bond with your pal.

Food and Nutrition

If you have the luxury of having your own land, then you don’t have to worry about this. However, if you don’t, lodging or renting a boarding stable is something you have to think about.

Depending on the stable you choose, there may be different levels of boarding offered. Most stables providefull-care,pasture, andself-care boarding which can range from $300 to $5,000.

  • Full-Care Boarding — Monthly Average Rates: $300-$700:When you choose a full-care boarding option, the stable will provide your horse with a stall in the barn as well as a field for turnout. The staff will attend to all the daily needs of your horse, which can include: feeding and watering, blanketing, stall cleaning, and applying fly spray.
  • Pasture Boarding — Monthly Average Rates: $150-$400: This is when you pay a barn to keep your horse in one of their pastures, meaning it will be out in the field 24/7. The staff will still cater to your horse’s daily needs but it will not be as personalized as full-care boarding.

It’s a great pocket-friendly option for those who don’t like their horse to be stalled all day—being outdoors will allow it to graze, get exercise, and maintain their circulation. One caveat to pasture boarding is that you will have no control over how your horse adapts to being in the pasture 24/7—if you happen to have a sensitive steed, they might catch unexpected illnesses.

  • Self-Care Boarding — Monthly Average Rates: $100-$200:Self-care boarding is when you pay a stable to house your horse but you are required to attend to all the daily needs of the animal. To put it simply, you’re only renting space and nothing else.

This is another budget-friendly option to consider if you have a lot of free time on your hands to provide care for your horse. It may be hard work, but it’s also an opportunity to form a unique bond with your pal.

Once you have your own horse and it has a place to stay, the next question that comes to mind is: what is the best option to keep them fit and healthy?

While most boarding stables provide food for your horse, there are some instances where you will be responsible for feeding it (if you’re keeping it on your own land) or if it requires specific supplements your stables do not offer.

Breeds that keep weight easily don’t usually require grain unless they’re under heavy training, while easy keepers will at least require good hay. It all depends on the type of horse you have and what your priorities are. Here is a list of feeding choices and how much they may possibly cost:

  • Grain Average — Average 50lbs Bag: $20-$65:Grain offers horses certain proteins and minerals they can’t get from grazing. It is a wise option for getting horses to eat vitamins or medicines they wouldn't eat otherwise.
  • Hay — per Square Bale: $5-$25◦ per Round Bale: $45–$130:Horses are supposed to eat up to 2% of their body weight a day through grazing, so providing hay for your horse throughout the day will help replicate this pattern.

The price of hay depends on the quality and the demand for it. If you wait until the colder months to stock up, you’re going to spend a lot more on your bales as fellow horse owners will want to get their hands on the scarce supplies.

  • Supplements — Average 5lbs Bucket: $18-$75:Supplements usually come in powder or pellet form so that they can be mixed with grain for the horses to consume. They also offer certain nutrients that can’t be found in natural sources which makes them stronger and smarter.

Grooming and Styling

While most may think that horse grooming is a unimportant task under horse ownership, you’d be surprised that it may cost a lot, too. Depending on your animal’s needs, this can cost anywhere from $70 to over $2,000 every month.

Grooming is not something that you should scrimp on as it goes beyond keeping horses looking majestic. Making sure they are well-groomed keeps their coat in good condition, improves their blood circulation and helps them stay healthy overall.

Some things you need to consider are regular baths, mane maintenance, and daily brushing. If you opt to do it yourself, you should invest ingood supplies (i.e. curry comb, soft brushes, hoof pick, mane and tail comb, face sponge, sweat scraper, etc.) that can range from $100-$250.

Medical Needs and Vet Bills

Horses require vet attention once or twice a year to get a physical exam, vaccines, have their teeth floated, and to have a Coggins test run. This doesn’t take into account unexpected injuries or illnesses that they may have over time, but let’s not get carried away.

For now, let’s focus on the most important vet bills you have to pay annually:

  • Physical Exams — Average Fee: $70-$165:A horse should get a physical exam at least once a year to make sure there aren’t any issues that will cause long-term damage. In this process, the veterinarian will check your horse’s temperature, pulse, breathing, feet, genitals, ears, eyes, and nose. Basic exams will be cheaper than more in-depth exams, which may include X-rays and ultrasounds.
  • Administration of Vaccines — Average Fee: $30-$100: Horses require certain vaccinations once a year to help keep them going for a long time. Here is a list of some of the vaccines that are usually given to keep a steed happy and healthy: Rabies, Eastern Encephalitis, Western Encephalitis, Tetanus, West Nile, and Influenza.
  • Teeth Floating — Average Cost: $75-$210: It’s necessary in horse care to have their teeth checked regularly to avoid cuts and ulcers to form in their mouth as their teeth get worn down from eating. Your vet will be able to tell you if they need their teeth floated.
  • Coggins Test — Average Cost: $30–$65: A Coggins test will check your horse for any traces of Equine Infectious Anemia. This is a virus with no cure and it can spread rapidly if horses are within close proximity of each other.

Make sure to keep copies of the results as certain shows and events will require you to show a negative Coggins test in order to allow your horse into the grounds.

Training and Education

Whether you’re keeping a horse for recreation or gearing up for competition, it’s important to enroll your animal in basic training and insurance (in case they get injured or cause damage). You may also have them learn special tricks and jumping to keep them in tip-top shape.

  • BasicLessonsAverage Fee: Private 1 hr Lesson: $35-$1001 hr Group Lesson: $25-$50

If you’re a novice rider, having an instructor to guide you during the process of getting to know your horse will be beneficial. This is also a great way to form a bond with your horse under the supervision of a professional who can teach you tricks for training at home.

  • Liability and MortalityInsurance— Average Annual Cost: $100-$700 (varies depending on plan)

No matter how much we try to avoid it, accidents can happen. Investing in insurance for both you and your animal can help cover for expenses like damage, injury, and other major medical bills. Set aside a part of your budget every month for insurance in order to keep all your adventures safe.

  • Club Memberships Average Annual Membership Fee: $150 <

Club memberships are not essential, but it is nice if you are looking for different ways to enjoy your favorite animal. Depending on your allotted budget, you can sign up for fox hunting or polo clubs, and even leisure establishments where you can enjoy riding on weekends.

General Maintenance

Like any hobby, it’s fun to treat your horse to various “upgrades” in order for them to look good, feel great, and perform well. Check out what your horse may need for maintenance:

➢ Farrier — Average Cost: $98-$200:A horse will need their feet attended to every 4-8 weeks depending on the horse and the time of year. This includes trimming and shoeing (basic or corrective).

➢ Tack — Average Cost: $210-$3,700:Buying tack for your horse may seem like an initially large cost; however, if properly maintained and cared for, most tack pieces can last a long time. Tack gear includes saddles, saddle pads, girth/cinch, and bridle.

3D Air-Mesh Fleece Lined Half Pad - Kavallerie

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➢ Miscellaneous Accessories — Average Cost: $5-$150:There will also be certain things you need to have on-hand for day-to-day care: halter($10-$55), lead rope ($8-$20), water bucket($5-$16), feed bucket ($5-$10), fly spray ($10-$20), fly mask($15-$30), winter waterproof horse blanket($60-$120), liniment($10-$20), and wound spray($10-$35).

Whether you’re ready to shell out for a horse or not, it’s good to know what you need to prioritize once you’re ready to take the leap. Average fees may change over time as well, but there’s one thing we can guarantee—horse ownership is always worth it.



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