Cost of Keeping a Horse
 
 

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Cost of Keeping a Horse

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    10-31-2009, 12:24 AM
  #1
Weanling
Cost of Keeping a Horse

I have very recently found a small horse property that I am considering purchasing. It's 9 acres in Southwest Ohio. I do not yet have a horse, and as the cost of boarding around here is astonishing ($600+/month!!!) this is the best opportunity I could possibly come across to get one (since I know I could keep one for WAY less than that!) But then I got to thinking how much less...I unfortunately have NO clue. This is the sort of lifestyle I would want for my horses:
Turned out daily, coming in to rubber mat/wood shaving bedded stalls for grain & a flake of hay in the evenings, and turned back out in the mornings after breakfast (same as dinner). They would be shod, and have their feet checked every 6-8 weeks. They would also receive all necessary veterinary care (vaccinations, teeth floating, etc.)

Since they would only be stalled overnight (+ on days with particularly bad weather), I think that would cut the amount of shavings I will need - also the rubber mats should cut back (at least a little) the amount of shavings I will need. I am considering buying a large (16.2hh & big-boned) Oldenburg gelding, so I imagine he would take a lot of grain, increasing my costs there.

To get to the point, what are the prices like for good quality hay, grain, shavings, and routine vet/farrier care like for you? I would be particularly interested in responses from members located in my general area.

Thanks!
     
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    10-31-2009, 09:56 AM
  #2
Foal
Just a few things. Hope they help... 1. Make more then one pasture. We have a little less then 7 acres, two horses. We rotate the pastures we turn them out in. To give the grass a chance to regrow. 2. The farriers around here charge anywhere from $25-$75 for trims. $65-$100 for shoeing. 3. Hay- depends on the quality and which cut your buying. Range from $3-$6.50 a bale. Stock up before winter as it is hard to come by about two months before cutting. 4. Grain- same thing, depends on quality and what brand you are buying. Shop around at your suppliers.
Not in your general area, but in IN. Not far from the OH. Boarder. My Aunt is in OH. Northeast of Columbus. She has told me her costs are generally the same as ours.
Also, you won't necessarily have to bring your horse in every night. If he has access to a stall or shelter if the weather turns during the night he will be fine. Alot of horses enjoy being out during lite rain and snow, so they can roll and get nice and dirty.

Good luck and I hope this has helped.
     
    10-31-2009, 12:37 PM
  #3
Trained
Well it depends on several factors and most of it is how much YOU can and are willing to do.

For me I can keep a horse for about $350/years. However if I did not do as much work as I do it would be more like $800/year.
     
    11-01-2009, 09:23 AM
  #4
Yearling
It also depends on what you are planning to do with your horse. I don't know much about the European breeds but my horses are running on 10.5 acres. I leave my horses out all year and only bring them into the barn on really bad weather. I have 6 horses and 4 different pastures. 1 pasture we will use for hay next year during the growing season. So my horses will rotate between 3 pastures during the growing season. I only grain my horses in the winter except for my pregnant mares. I feed them the last 4 months of their pregnancy with Legends mare and foal 16% feed 2 daily.
     
    11-01-2009, 09:46 AM
  #5
Weanling
Let me try to cut out some more of the variables. My horses would be ridden 6 days a week, alternating between dressage (strenuous, not just plodding around in circles), and jumping 3-foot. I want to let my horses be outside as much as possible - because I would prefer a more natural life for them - but, especially in the winter, I think they will come inside at night. I am definitely planning to make the acreage into a few different pastures, and I plan to build a dry lot for foul-weather turnout. I doubt I will be growing any hay since I only plan to have two horses, and the equipment that would necessary would cost way too much to be economical. Basically, I'm just looking for some sort of number that it would cost per month to keep each horse - $100? $150? $200? $250? I want to make sure that I can afford the horses & the house payment before I can put an offer in. Thanks.
     
    11-01-2009, 11:57 AM
  #6
Trained
Well again it will depend on how much you are willing to do and how much you are willing to shop around. What you are doing is fairly close to what I do with my horses although I have more horses. Mine are reiners and are shown so they get ridden quite a bit too. They are for the most part out 24/7 in the summer except if it storms they come in and Cassie comes in every night. I too have dry lots for winter. I use both square bales and round bales. I get free bedding which is a huge savings but it means more work for me. I put up hay one time a year usually 2nd and 3rd cutting. So in the end it averages out about $350/horse/year. However one of my horses is a 29 yo broodmare and if you take her out of the mix it is a bit less. She gets better hay so it cost more. She also gets Alfalfa Cubs and Equine Sr which cost more then Strategy.

I will also say that on average I go through with 5 horses (well 4 really as the old mare is on different hay except she does eat some of the roles) I go through about 30 small bales which are about 65lbs and 1-2 500 lbs roles a month.

What you really need to do is find a hay guy and see what they are charging for hay and realize that will change from year to year. Same with bedding and grain. Also keep in mind that you will still have your other expenses. Wormer farrier vet and such. Again this cost will depend on what they charge in your area and how much you can and are willing to do your self. I only use a vet is extreme emergencies and my vet knows if I am calling her b/c of a horse she needs to get right back with me.

Your best bet is to see what price are in your area b/c just with in about 20 miles if me price of hay will vary from $3/bale to $5/bale and you also need to see the size and weight of those bales as that will play a part on how many you will need. I figure about 75 bales/horse/year however I do not hay in the summer much if at all.
     
    11-01-2009, 01:19 PM
  #7
Foal
Cost of Horse and Horse property!

Since it's Halloween I'll be the devil side of your thoughts!

Be aware that riding by yourself, is never a good idea; (and not fun after awhile) no matter what kind of rider you are, most accidents happen on the ground. Jumping with no one around ?

Owning and taking care of 9 acres will difiantly cut into your riding time. Mowing, weed eating, repair, feeding, turnout, ice breaking, blankets, stall cleaning, (before & after work). Also the fact that you now have to hire someone to take care of your horse, (or board) anytime you travel.

Dogs & Cats are easy... Horses are suicidal by nature. Coming home after work in the dark, to find your horse has been trapped in a fence, colicing, or gone.. happens.

Get estimates on all of this cross fencing, arena, barn building you are planning on, as well as water to theses pastures. Don't forget about manure pile and removal..? Also fly control... Check with your city/county.

I have had many boarders excited about now owning horse property. Most are sorry later, miss the "social life," freedom to travel, safety, facilities that are available, and some end up returning to board!

OK Halloween over!

A average horse is fed around 1.5 or 2 scoops AM & PM or 12lbs a day. So figure around 6-7 bags of feed. Hay per day around 10-12lbs per AM & PM =20lbs per day. So call your feed store and price hay by the lb. Bales. Hay bales can weigh 40lbs to 140lbs depending on what is available and your choice. Your local feed store can tell you what they sell the most to give you a better idea of your cost. Price a name brand feed such as Purina or Nutriena.. Shaving should be deep enough that stall marks are not shown. Depends on how often you clean, and how you want your stall kept. I would estimate around $60. Per month. 6-8 (4 cubic compress) bags per month. Again check with your feed store for local price.

Farrier every 6-8 weeks + or - $100.adv. Worming 6-8 weeks $13.
Horses are like kids..some are healthy, some are always at the doctor's office. I would set aside $300 a year for vet. (teeth floating and shots) You can save a lot on vaccinations, if you do it yourself.

Hope this is what you were asking..? Anyway.. Horse are worth it!
     
    11-01-2009, 10:29 PM
  #8
Weanling
Quote:
Be aware that riding by yourself, is never a good idea; (and not fun after awhile) no matter what kind of rider you are, most accidents happen on the ground. Jumping with no one around ?
I definitely don't plan to ride by myself - I'm planning for my mother to learn to ride the second of my two horses. Although I actually love to ride by myself (with others on the property of course) because it enables me to focus completely on what I'm doing.

Quote:
Owning and taking care of 9 acres will difiantly cut into your riding time. Mowing, weed eating, repair, feeding, turnout, ice breaking, blankets, stall cleaning, (before & after work). Also the fact that you now have to hire someone to take care of your horse, (or board) anytime you travel.
Well, right now I only get to ride once a week for an hour. I sincerely doubt that 7 days a week access to horses could result in less ride time than that. Also, I have horses at my house - why should I travel anywhere else?

Quote:
Dogs & Cats are easy... Horses are suicidal by nature. Coming home after work in the dark, to find your horse has been trapped in a fence, colicing, or gone.. happens.
This is one of the many reasons I will be bringing my horses in at night - at least being trapped in a fence or gone are eliminated.

Quote:
Get estimates on all of this cross fencing, arena, barn building you are planning on, as well as water to theses pastures. Don't forget about manure pile and removal..? Also fly control... Check with your city/county.
Barns/Arenas: There are already two barns on the property. One is 60' x 98', and the other is something like 30' x 48'. Provided that they are both in good condition (haven't actually seen the property yet, I'm just sort of planning) I want to put stalls into the smaller barn and transform the larger into a small indoor (yes, I know it's very small, but it's big enough to canter a circle in, and perhaps big enough to set a small jump up down the long side, and it's definitely big enough to give them (and me!) some exercise in the winter).

Fencing: I think the perimeter of the property has 4-plank wood fencing. I'm planning on electric tape fencing to divide the property into pastures.

Fly Control: I'm planning on getting Fly Predators - I've heard from several people that they work wonders. Also I plan to keep the manure pile far enough from the barn. My mother will have a garden, so the manure will be used for compost.

The rest of your post has been very helpful - I'll call a feed store tomorrow! Thanks! :)
     
    11-01-2009, 10:52 PM
  #9
Started
First off all, if there if its just a lot with a house, putting up a barn and fencing can be the most expensive part. Its cheeper and better on horses to have them out 24/7 w/ access to stalls or a shelter, idealy 12x12 space for each horse. Remember they are heard animals so you need 2, or a small companion for one, like a goat or something. So its double the costs. Your real estate taxes may go up with additional large structures o the property.
     
    11-01-2009, 10:55 PM
  #10
Weanling
Well I can say for sure that horses have been the cheapest and easiest animals I have ever owned. My dogs are by far more expensive than my horses (I have 4 dogs). Their feed is also WAY more pricier than my horses AND my dogs worming and vet expenses are WAY more pricier than my 2 horses. Haha. I live in California so our expenses will defer alot than where you probably live so I can't really tell you what they cost at about where you plan on living.

My horses are always turned out and in winter they only get shelter when they want to go in, I don't ever lock them in, it is their choice if they like the rain and wind or if they want to be in their stall. They do get blanketed though considering my gelding prefers rough weather. I have never had a sick horse yet. As for bedding, I only use straw hay and that around here is pretty much free or about $2 for a 3 twine bale. I give all shots to my horses myself including west nile so that is cheaper than going to the vet. The trimmer here only charges $25, I don't do shoes. I buy 3 twine bales of alfalfa that are $7.50 a bale but my horses only eat 2 flakes each a day. For grain I do Omolene 200 and just a scoop each a day. The bag is $15.99 here and last about 2 weeks. Soo, hmmm... a month I buy 4 bales of hay so that is $30 approximately, then 2 bags of grain a month which is $30, I do a trim about every 8-12 weeks so about every other month I put in an additional $25/horse. But on average I spend about $60 a month for both horses together except around spring when I buy the shots myself, but that is annually. Also the wormer is pretty darn cheap, about $8 a tube/horse.

So yah, my horses are pretty cheap, but I make that choice to be cheap, they are fat, happy, loved, and most importantly healthy. Also I do have 2 bank accounts set up though for them, 1 for Scout and the other for Halo and that is for any vet expenses for any emergency. Can't always count on a paycheck if an accident may happen so I just like to have the money already there.

**Oh fly predators are AWESOME and work well, also there is stuff you can put in your horses grain that will repel the flies from your horses and also keeps the flies out of the manure and that stuff works well also.
     

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