Boarding Expenses - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-21-2013, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 146
• Horses: 1
Boarding Expenses

I am going to be moving a 3 of my thoroughbreds (1-1200lb gelding and 2- 1000lb mares) to a friends new barn. She lives very close to me so I am very excited to not have to drive 45 minutes just to go see my babies. However I am not sure what to expect to spend on them per month. My friend is allowing me to keep all 3 of them in stalls, free of charge, but I must buy my own bedding, grain and hay. I also must do the mucking of the stalls once a day, but she will feed.
Now I know most of the expense depends on individual horses, so bare with me here and just see if you can help me. :p
From what I have found, a bale of hale (55-70lbs) costs about $7
The pine shavings cost $5
A bag of grain is $21
I feed 4 scoops of grain a day (gelding gets 1 scoop am and pm. both mares gets 1/2 am and pm.)

I have no idea how much hay they eat on a daily basis and haven't ever paid much attention to how long the grain lasts.

I also have no idea how much bedding we will go through on a weekly basis.

And do I need to have a salt block in each stall?

Any words of wisdom would be great...last time I had a horse that I was taking care of on my own, my parents were footing the bill
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-21-2013, 10:07 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Posts: 729
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Our hardy outdoor horses are fed the equivalent of 1/2 a bale per day. Recalling my youth feeding in large barns (higher maintenance horses), we fed 3 to 4 flakes per day, for an averaged sized horse. I believe 2% of their body weight is the ideal.

By 'shavings', I assume you mean a bale/bag? How deeply you bed will depend on the base (wood, gravel, cement, mats?) and how deep you like it. I love wood/gravel with rubber mats. We would put enough shavings to soak up the mess and strip daily. Others bed deeper and clean every few days, but I do NOT like any 'wet' for hooves, period.

Feeding a harder keeper here, I went through a bag in about a week and a half, feeding two 'scoops' per day... I'd estimate the scoops at roughly 4lbs each.

All that said, my current husbandry has evolved to 'less is more'. I'm happy to have the kind of beasts that thrive in a more natural setting.

Congrats & good luck!
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-22-2013, 02:34 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2,303
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Get a contract with her, even if the board is free of charge. Explain it like this if you need to, "I know we're really good friends, and to stay that way, in case an issue ever comes up, I want to put down our agreement on paper so we both understand what's expected."

That's what I did with my BO turned Best friend when she started cutting my board down for the work I was doing, I said 'great, but lets put it in writing." Even if its just an email, it will cover your butt and hers.

Other than that.. I really like pelleted bedding. Though I leave my horses out (They have a run in.)

The amount of bedding you use will depend on how long the horses are in, how messy the horses are (Some are pigs) and how well you clean stalls. Some people waste a lot of bedding when they clean stalls.

You'll probably be buying 1 bag of grain a week depending on the weight of it. But plan to have an extra or two as back up in case something happens. For example: you get snowed in.

Speaking of getting snowed in. In the document you guys come up with, add who takes care of the horses in case of an emergency (Snow, tornado, what have you) and if the BO gets compensated for feeding/cleaning stalls during that time.

You should be feeding about 20% of their body weight in hay. Look into round-bales if you can for the field, so much cheaper.
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Last edited by Drifting; 11-22-2013 at 02:37 PM.
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-22-2013, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2,303
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and you're probably going to feeding 1-2 bales of hay per day for 3 horses, depending on the weight of it; pasture conditions, etc.

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post #5 of 6 Old 11-22-2013, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: OK
Posts: 10,675
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I figure on $100-$150/month/horse is my expense to keep my own. That covers feed, bedding, deworming, farrier, vaccinations, blanket laundry and repairs, all my routine costs. I feed roughly 15 lbs of hay per day per horse, whether in small or round bale form, and I feed per label instructions for the Strategy Healthy Edge. For 10 adult horses of varying sizes, I buy 15 bags of Strategy Healthy Edge every 2 weeks. I use roughly 1 1/2 bags/day for 10. I bought 50 round bales and 200 small squares for hay this year, roughly $3500 total. I bed with pelleted bedding, 8 bags to begin and then usually 1 or 2 bags/2 weeks as needed. Occasionally I bed deeper and add more bedding. 3 pallets of bedding ($200/pallet) will do a complete strip of all stalls and plenty to add to each stall as needed. If you can buy wood shavings by the truck load (loose not bagged) and can store them, you can pay a lot less and a truck load would last close to a year for only 3 horses.

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post #6 of 6 Old 11-22-2013, 06:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 17,193
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You need to allow 20lbs hay per horse per day. As for grain, unless you are working them daily, it's not really needed. During cold weather offer more hay as the process of digestion helps keep a horse warm. The horses should spend 90%of their time outside in the fresh air and come in only in inclement weather altho they'd prefer to stay out. This will reduce bedding costs considerably. If the horses are outside you can set salt outside, preferably out of the weather. I throw a cup of loose salt in a pan and add more as needed. Horses prefer loose salt. Coarse pickling salt and iodized table salt is a good mix. If the horses are going to be caged all day then yes you will need to have salt in each stall.
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