Do you have lots $$$$$$ to have a horse? - Page 2

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Do you have lots $$$$$$ to have a horse?

This is a discussion on Do you have lots $$$$$$ to have a horse? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        10-02-2012, 10:29 PM
    Green Broke
    Right now.. Im really lucky.. my neighbor... she has no horses. And plenty of pasture.. so this month.. I spend a WHOPPING $25 per horse:P to have them out on pasture..:) not including 35$ per horse per trimming.. but that only happens every 8 weeks.. so really only

    75$ this month:)

    Im not looking forward to wiinter..
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        10-02-2012, 10:34 PM
    I guess it depends on how you look at what is an expense and what is not. I keep about $300 per month back from my salary and this covers most of my horse expenses. I don't show. I don't haul the horses anywhere. I am a veterinarian, so that helps with expenses. We live on our on property and therefore there is no boarding expense. However, if I lived in a major city, I would earn a lot more per year than I do. If I didn't care about horses, I would probably be perfectly happy in a city. So it is a matter of how you look at it. Life choices. I choose to live the life that I love. I work hard and I play hard.
    QOS and Sunnylucy like this.
        10-02-2012, 10:35 PM
    We can't tell you that it costs X amount of money to keep a horse per month, because it's so dependent on your area. It also depends on what kind of facility you keep your horse at and what you want to do with it. Showing is extremely expensive.

    Boarding fees, farrier care, and hay fluctuate from region to region. Hay prices also depend on the weather; if there's a bad drought like we had this year, costs go through the roof. Feed costs go up as fuel prices go up, too.

    You don't have to be rich to own a horse, but you need a steady income and a good head for money management. You may have to sacrifice other luxuries to have a horse. Just some things to consider.
        10-02-2012, 10:39 PM
    BarrelBeginner brings up a good point. Costs can also vary depending on the season. You cannot count on a stable cost month by month. You can figure out your average monthly cost, but know you may need more some months due to changing needs, vet bills, etc.
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        10-02-2012, 10:41 PM
    Green Broke
    Yupp.. way different we go from like I said 75$ a month.. summer/fall.. ish to 400$ for three horses... in the winter.. not fun I say/
        10-02-2012, 10:41 PM
    Jessabel, couldn't agree more! You don't have to be rich (I think most of us are not), but you need an income. And yes, it also depends greatly on a region (MD is not a cheap state to keep a horse).
    Skyseternalangel likes this.
        10-02-2012, 10:46 PM
    We spend litte unless vet bills, but we have them on our property we had a 56' by 64' barn build got stalls, and lots of wood, plus tons of fence posts and wiring, round pen, hay feeders, and their feed plus supplements and equipment im lucky that my dad and uncle can find pretty much anything in good condition and cheap! Me and my dad did most of the barn after they put everything up but we put stalls up and the plywood, and all the fencing. When I go to collage it will cost me from 350(outside) to 600(inside) a month on board, for one horse, not including supplements and their feed.. which I may have to feed myself for outside board.. plus I would have 2 horses home and still need everything for them adn my friends mom might board at my place while my horse is with me during the winter and maybe summer and he's a big boy so even more feed! So its a lot and I couldnt do it myself I probley would only have one horse at a very cheap stable if I had to pay..
        10-02-2012, 11:04 PM
    I'm in Texas and we board. My base cost is $375 per month for pasture board, hay, and 2 feedings per day. We have two covered arenas and around 200 acres to ride on.

    It's all the other costs that just add up. Farrier (bare foot is cheaper than shoes), training fees, shots, wormer, fly spray, dental, vet fees (Acey just skinned herself requiring stitches...I'm waiting for the bill :( ), and supplements.

    Find horse owners in your area (or visit a local feed store) and start researching costs. I'm betting others can help with the list.

    Hay - $ per bale
    Hay - # bales needed per horse per month
    Feed/Grain - $ per bag
    Feed/Grain - # bags needed per horse per month
    Shavings/Bedding for stall - $ per bag/load if applicable
    Farrier - $ Barefoot
    Farrier - $ Shoes
    Farrier - Frequency (avg is 6-8 weeks)
    Shots - $ of vet visit + vaccines
    Shots - $ of vaccine only (if you can do it our state a vet must give rabies shot)
    Shots - Frequency (we do ours biannually)
    Wormer - $ of different brands
    Wormer - Frequency
    Coggins - $ per year
    Dental - $ of visit + anestesia + floating (can vary depending on amount of work, ask for best/worst case scenarios)
    Fly Spray - $ (depending on your area and frequency you spray, you can go through a lot of spray in the summer).

    Those are the most common recurring costs I can think of.
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        10-02-2012, 11:30 PM
    I keep 4 horses on my own property and it still isn't cheap. We live in a climate where we have reliable pasture for about 4 months a year. The rest of the year I feed hay and supplement with grain or complete feed. For an average year, this is what it costs to keep 4 horses at home.

    Hay $2000
    Grain $500
    Supplements $500
    Farrier $1200
    Wormer $120
    Vaccines $160
    Incidentals $500
    Vet costs $300
    Extra power and water $500 (for winter)
    Fencing maintenance $300
    Fly management $300
    Insurance $250 - 500

    Let's round this to about $6000 per year, so $500 per month for 4 horses I keep at home. That's a minimum of $125 per horse and that's the basic do it yourself, no frills cost for keeping my horses outside, on my own property. I do all my own vaccinations, do not shoe my horses and have not included the additional cost of having acreage property, emergency vet services, trailer costs, riding lessons or riding equipment.

    A veterinary emergency can cost thousands of dollars unexpectedly. A simple cut my daughters horse had last summer requiring daily bandaging for 4-6 weeks cost upward of $300 just for bandaging materials. Riding lessons for my daughter are $200 per month if we haul our horse in. To do so requires a trailer and a good truck which both add to the cost. Living on property where we can keep horses and still commute to work adds about a 50% increase to our mortgage if you compare similar homes, one with the acreage and one without. The quad, harrows, mower (or a tractor) and fertilizer/ pasture seed also add to the cost as does a building or shelter for both the horses and hay storage. We are looking into building a basic barn with 2-3 stalls, dirt floor and space for hay storage. Such a building will cost a minimum of $10-15,000 and that is without power and water and doing it ourselves. Even if I spread this over 10 years, a barn adds $1000 or more per year to my total just for the building. I won't even begin to add up what one would spend on riding equipment and tack.

    So, to answer the OP's question, YES, owning horses is expensive. It involves much more than a bit of hay feed and / or access to a pasture. Some people can do it for less, but the costs are usually much higher when you really consider everything involved. This is the reason stable board is so expensive and stable owners still hardly make any money. Buying the horse is almost always the cheapest part of horse ownership. The estimate of $1000 per month is not unreasonable for someone who boards a horse indoors.
        10-02-2012, 11:37 PM
    Pre-drought it cost me around $500/month for all 10 horses. Now it's costing me that in hay alone. I have one horse out for training, that's close to $1K/mo with farrier and showing included. The other 9 are costing me close to $2K/mo at home. God Forbid I have an emergency, that's easy $500 and up depending on severity. My last emergency call would have needed surgery, that FAR outstripped the value of the horse, $10K and an 80% probability of failure. I had to put her down couldn't justify the expense. That's another aspect of horse ownership, making really hard decisions sometimes.

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