ALL the expenses of keeping horses on your property?

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ALL the expenses of keeping horses on your property?

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  • Cost of maintaininh 5 acres

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    10-16-2011, 02:04 PM
ALL the expenses of keeping horses on your property?

Within a few years (2-4) I am considering moving out of state to be in state for veterinarian school. (Cheaper tuition!)

Looking at properties and such, I could definitely afford to rent out a horse property. Most homes seem pretty nice, the barns/pastures are well-maintained, and I love that life style.

The thing is, I don't know what all the expenses are of managing a horse property... I know you have electricity, water, irrigation, manure removal, etc but I feel like I'm missing something?

Oh! And I'm asking about the cost of maintaining the property and the expenses of having pastures/barns, not the cost of care for the horses. I know I will need to pay for feed, farrier, wormers, vaccines, etc. I'm not new to horse care/owning, just to owning the land!

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    10-16-2011, 02:46 PM
Fencing and the cost of purchasing/maintaining equipment such as manure spreaders is what immediately comes to mind.
    10-16-2011, 02:48 PM
Thanks, I do need to consider cost of maintaining fences and purchasing of equipment. Most of the places have wood fencing, so I may switch to a metal or something sturdier.
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    10-17-2011, 04:10 PM
Start-up costs -- any thing that you currently use that belongs to the Barn/Barn Owner or other boarders:
Tack & grooming supplies (of course)
Manure rake, pitch fork, wheelbarrow, shovel, etc
Water trough / waterer
First-aid supplies
Tiller? (If you have a round pen or arena to maintain, depending how it's set up)
Trailer (even if you don't plan on going places with your horse, you'll need to be able to move them in an emergency)

Ongoing expenses:
Fence maintenance (as mentioned, cost & frequency of repairs depends on type & condition of fencing). (if renting that may be the responsibility of the home owner, make sure it's in the contract either way)
Yard maintenance (keeping the grass mowed, etc in the part of the yard not used by horses....may mean purchasing a lawn mower/snow blower or paying for yard work)
Repairs for damages caused by your animals.
Possibly extra costs for vets/farriers for driving to the property (depending on location and if your vet, etc, charges based on time/mileage to your location).
Pest control

Most of the cost will be in the initial setup / moving in. (Typical w/ any move, but a bit more costly when you add horses). In a rental, most routine maintenance to the property should (likely) be covered by the owners, but not always... just pay attention to the wording in the contract or discuss those items before moving in.
    10-17-2011, 04:27 PM
I paid rent and kept my horses in a dry lot with a shelter for 14 years. I spent 12 of those years looking for an affordable alternative. I found a place in the country that fit ALL of my criteria. These are the things I wanted (your needs might be different):
1) Real house--mine is over 100 yo, 6 bedroom, 4-car garage, barn + 2 outbuildings. Believe it or not, it cost <$100K, with 5 acres
2) Barn for storage and space to convert for a shelter. THIS place had a 16 x 20 shelter originally built for cattle, but high celing/entrance. I have converted space in my barn for 3 stalls, but the first year my 5 horses (at that time) just wintered with the shelter. I also have a loft with real stairs, and it can hold up to 500 bales.
3) Fencing. The fencing was old, cattle fencing, it had been installed correctly, but, 40 years ago. We replaced it in 2008, with pole fencing.
We used to live in a 4-bedroom ranch with 1/4 acre. When we moved (35 minutes away), our insurance went up, our taxes went down, but the TOTAL was the same. We gave up a 2-bathroom for 1 bath. (There's an extra shower in the basement, which I use A LOT!)

We now have to drive 30 minutes to work, so gas and car wear-and-tear is additional--some 20k miles/year on our primary car. You couldn't pay me enough to go and live where my neighbors can see me through my bedroom window and where I can only make out the big dipper at night!!

@CalienteCalcetines, I thought I was the ONLY one who tilled their small ring!!! TOTALLY ROFL!!
    10-17-2011, 06:34 PM
I have definitely taken location into mind. I know I will want to do trail rides and riding on the beach, so I try not to go too far from that. Then living near school is a major thing. A major city is just 20 minutes away so not bad! Could find a job in that area.

Equipment is a big thing, too. 5 acres of mowing I think should be done by a riding mower, not by hand!

These things are great! You're all awesome! I'm welcome to hear anymore.
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    10-17-2011, 06:58 PM
Pasture maintenence and hay are my two biggest expenses.

I mow/bush hog very regularly/aggressively to help maintain pasture quality; diesel fuel for the tractor is a considerable expense. (If you actually have 5 acres of grass inside fence, you will need a tractor, not a riding lawn mower.) I also drag/harrow my pastures frequently for manure control; that's more diesel for the tractor.

Lime, fertilizer and seed are my other big expenses; however, maintaining good quality pasture is also a cost savings: I buy very, very little feed, and only feed hay November - March.
    10-17-2011, 07:15 PM
Originally Posted by Corporal    
@CalienteCalcetines, I thought I was the ONLY one who tilled their small ring!!! TOTALLY ROFL!!
LOL. Other than completely redoing the footing I can't think of another way to keep the ground soft. Plus it's very rocky out here so I wanted to make sure we got the rocks out, esp. If there were any large ones just under the surface (there weren't but no way to know that if you don't look).

Regarding mowing -- I thought the same thing (we're on 5 acres also) and bought a riding mower, but have since wished that we had a hand one. (The pasture is 3 acres though and I don't mow that, add in the buildings and we probably mow an acre and a half...I'm in AZ too, so only a couple months out of the year). The riding mower is not really necessary and actually more of a pain trying to get around trees, plants, buildings, etc.
Of course if the place you get is cleared and just have to go around the house & maybe a barn, then the riding mower might be worth it.

Completely wish we had a tractor too but that's out of our budget anytime soon, I'd love to be able to get rid of a lot of the Mesquite in the pasture and give the horses a bit of free space to run. (Leave the larger ones for shade of course).
    10-17-2011, 07:22 PM

I just took a look at your location, please disregard what I've said. Very little about my experience in Virginia is going to apply to horsekeeping in AZ. My bad.
    10-17-2011, 07:56 PM
Originally Posted by laughing    
Equipment is a big thing, too. 5 acres of mowing I think should be done by a riding mower, not by hand!
Consider electric rope fencing and putting your horse(s) to work cutting the grass for you. Except for about 1/2 acre around our house and mowing down the weeds, I stopped spending all day mowing grass a long time ago.
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