Advice wanted about horse budgets - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-09-2011, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Question Advice wanted about horse budgets

I am trying to figure out how much a horse is going to cost for food monthly as i dont have a horse right now but i am dying inside without one. please tell me how much monthly you spend for food on a horse that is 15 or younger. thankyou for your help!
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-09-2011, 01:43 PM
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For my horse, I spend about $100-#150 a month in hay, $60-$80 in grain, and $20-$25 in supplements. This is considering my horse gets 4 flakes of hay, 1 scoop of sweet fed, 1 scoop of rolled oats, and his daily dose of supplements.

All horses are different in their needs. You could spend $200 to $500 a month depending on the horse and what you feed.
Age can play a role in amounts of food but again, it all depends on the horse.
An easy keeper would be a good choice fir a
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-09-2011, 01:50 PM
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for a first horse.

Owning a horse is a huge responsibility. They depend on you for their care. Providing food isn't the only cost you should worry about. Farrier bills, vet bills, tack, halters, blankets, wormers, blankets, board if you don't keep your horse at home. All of these have to be addressed in owning a horse.

Its hard work, and you have to accept the risks that come with a horse. If your horse is seriously injured, can you transport it and then pay for treatments? What about dental work? Or a chiropractor if your horse's back is out or causing discomfort? All of this may seem daunting, and it can be if you are unprepared for all of your horse's needs.
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-09-2011, 03:55 PM
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You pay a lot more for a horse than feed costs.

Assuming you board your horse:

*About $500 a month for board. Depending on your place hay and grain will probably be included, but supplements will not. So...
*About $30 a month for supplements.
*Farrier and vet costs every few weeks.
*Tack, grooming stuff, halter and at least one lead rope.
*Fly spray, fly mask
*Blanket if you live in a place where it gets cold (depending on the horse sometimes)

And much more. This is not even getting started on the amount and cost of knowledge you beed to own a horse.
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-09-2011, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thankyou, I have owned and trained horses before so i feel pretty confident i know about vet bills and farriers ect. Iwas just curious what other people fed their horses and how much and how expensive it was. im always looking for info on the best types of feed and i welcome any advice other riders/owners/trainers have.
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-19-2011, 02:53 PM
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I feed my guy about a half a scoop of grain twice a day, the grain consists of rice bran ($18 for a 40lb bag) and high protein pellet ($11 for 50lb bag) and as of now, we are starting to feed more hay, he gets about a bale a day, or as much as he can eat, the pasture is really starting to go dormant.

Its about $250 a month to feed him, but in the summer, the cost goes down, because we have pasture.

His supplements cost about 35-40 dollars a month.

It expensive, but worth it.
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-19-2011, 02:58 PM
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It's hard to say without being familiar with your particular area. I do a full lease on a horse and sublease 1/2 of his time out to someone else, so when I was figuring out how much to charge for the sublease, I found that it was ~$420/month including full board, farrier every 6 weeks and annual teeth & sheath. The horse's owner takes care of worming and vaccinations, so I don't have to figure that in, and it also doesn't include unexpected expenses like emergency vet bills or chiropractor.

To get a better idea, find a few barns near you and ask about their boarding rates. Pasture board is generally cheaper and healthier for the horse, so be sure to ask if they offer this or just stall board.

ETA- Don't forget that there are also a bunch of one-time expenses when you get your first horse!
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-19-2011, 06:13 PM
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You need to check out hay costs. Find a farmer with a reputation for putting up good horse hay and see if he will deliver and at what cost. Some farmer's like to quote by the ton so you need to get an average weight of the bales to see how many in a ton and break the cost down. Some have pickup only. If you wish to feed some oats, farmers will usually give you a much better deal than feed stores but you might want to pick up 10 bags to save gas. Your horse will do well on just hay until your are riding so much he starts losing weight, then it's time to add some protein. He doesn't need the fancy bagged feeds. Check around and see what pasture board costs and what you get for your money. Flies wreak havoc on horses so there must be a shelter with a dark interior. If more than one horse is in the shelter there needs to be two openings so a horse can escape an aggressive horse.
That's two things looked after and I hope you keep a record of all your diff. costs. Check around and see what farrier's cost. If you horse doesn't need shoes, don't put them on because someone else tells you. Your farrier won't shoe if not necessary. You pretty much have to guess at possible vet bills, get cost of innoculations which are done yearly, then throw $400 into the budget, in case. Then the cost of deworming but let the vet tell you how often. My feeling is every 4 months as horses also have microspic worms that are beneficial but you can do that yourself.That is basically how to work out your budget and go from there.
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-20-2011, 09:14 AM
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long but i hope it helps

1. what type of work do you plan on doing with your horse? will he be worked everyday, every other day, 2 times a week, etc. the more he/she is worked the more it will cost to feed them.
2. depending on what you plan on doing with him will decide if you stall/pasture board or if you plan on doing all the care yourself at you place(if you have the property) so look into both options and see which suits your lifestyle. if boarding is the way your leaning then research barns in your area. some have costs of there own when it comes to feed.
3. if you bring him home and have property. fence in as much as you can for grazing and try and seperate it into 2/3 fields for rotation.
4.for my horses we keep them outside 24/7 year round with access to a run-in so our hay bill is high but we were able to lower it by growing our own hay.
we feed 2 full square bales a day and 1 a night if the weather is a normal winter day if it is extremely cold we add another bale. before bringing him home research different hay that will suit your horses workout schedule they have different nutritional benefits. an average square bale can go from $5-10 dollars in NJ but it could be higher or lower in your area.
you also need to do research on the average weather conditions in your area during the winter. is always below cold, is it warm, etc. when does the frost usually start when does the frost usually stop and allow grass to grow. this will average out when you should start feeding hay (if pastured) and when you can start taking them off. which will allow you estimate what you need for the winter. if boarding it is totally different imo
5. figure out with his workout schedule if he needs grain and what type of nutrition he needs. for a lightly used horse less grain is needed. for a horse in full workout more grain is needed. most people feed 2 times a day. i average about $100-$150 a month for one horse during the summer and the winter $80- $150. my guys don't like grain in the winter they would prefer the hay which is another thing to think about.
6. then think about supplements. if outside in the winter you might want a coat grower supplement that will help bring the coats out thicker.
if he works out alot then maybe electrolytes are in order.
if you show him maybe supplements for a health looking coat.
or injury supplements or old aga supplements
all average from $1-$100 all depending on workout schedule
7. then you have there dewormers they need every 2-3 months. i put mine in there feed so its related to feed costs for me. about $10-20 a month but you can also do the paste and thats in the same price range

hope that helped sorry so long but lots of research is needed before you can estimate costs.
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-21-2011, 02:34 PM
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Don't let numbers scare you off :) You can spend as much on "care" as you want. That being said it will largely depend on where you live and what kind of board you are looking at if you are boarding.

I will give you an example of my costs this year
I board at a private farm. Horses have access to the barn at all times and are on 24/7 turn out. When it is time to rotate pastures, I do that. I buy the hay and the farmer feeds it. I feed small squares to my minis and put out large rounds for my big guys.

I spend $50 per horse and $16 per mini
My hay was $9 a big round bale cut and put up on land my brother owns (yes that is a great deal! Last year by hay was $50 for a 1200 lb bale.)
My small squares are $3.50 a bale for the minis
farrier is $30 for trims and $50 for front shoes. Trim every 6-8 weeks
Sweet feed as treats is $8.95 a bag and I probably use a bag every month.
I do my own sheath cleaning, own shots and own deworming.

I have teeth checked once a year and have coggins pulled once a year. Other vet expense last year was putting down our faithful ol boy Sport and having him buried. $275 for both cost.
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