Monthly costs for horse ownership:

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Monthly costs for horse ownership:

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    05-20-2011, 03:15 PM
Monthly costs for horse ownership:

Hey all! I'm considering buying a horse, but I want to look at my budget and be absolutely, positively sure I can afford it before I jump into something. I'm well aware that the purchase price of a horse (or any animal, really) is always the easiest bill to swallow, but I'm interested in the hidden costs.

I've found a great little family-run boarding facility about 20 minutes away from where I live. $150 in the summer gets pasture board, all feed (aside from special supplements), full use of the riding facilities and free access to the barn. This barn also has no visiting hour restrictions - as long as I'm safe, I can come and groom my horse at 10pm or camp over night. It's pretty sweet. Board goes up to $200 in the winter for obvious reasons.

Now, I'm looking at horses that can tolerate being barefoot. I don't intend to do a lot of riding on hard surfaces and I'm of the mind that barefoot horses have less problems with their feet in the long run. I am aware that one has to trim and keep the hooves nice, and that's a cost that comes up every 6 weeks or so. Trimming is pretty cheap from what I remember.

Given the fact that I'm going to be starting this horse from scratch, having a saddle is not a pressing matter at this time - it will be in the next couple months, however, and I am watching consignment stores for a good deal on an English saddle and it's fittings. However, I will need halters, lead lines, a bridle and grooming supplies.

Vet fees are covered, as I have an account where I pay into monthly and use as necessary for all my animals.

Gas to get to the farm.

I don't need fancy clothes, but I'm going to invest in a pair of steel toed boots. I've had my feet stepped on enough in the past to realize that steel toes will be my very best friend.

Am I missing anything? If you don't mind, what do you pay monthly to keep your horse? Ball park figures are great to help me set a budget.

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    05-20-2011, 03:35 PM
Welcome to the forum, Courtney!

These are the expenses for my 3 horses:

Feed: I spend about $65 a month for my hard keeper. One easy keeper I spend $10 a month and the other I spend $15 a month on. Hard keeper gets a ration balancer, 4 lbs of alfalfa pellets, and SmartOmega3 supplement daily. Easy keepers get a vitamin supplement and MSM supplement daily.

Shoes: 2 of my horses get shod every 8 weeks, which costs me $60 per horse. One only gets trimmed and he costs $30. He's retired for the most part and only gets ridden every once in a while, but if you want your horse to go barefoot and are planning to trail ride him you may want to look into some EasyBoots or something of the like. They're just rubber boots you put on when you plan to ride somewhere rocky.

Vet: I have the vet come out twice a year so it won't break my checkbook all at once (I have him look at my cats and dogs too) and in case something happens to one of my boys I can just say, "While you're here it's time for this, this, and this...." For vaccinations and coggins for one horse it costs $87 and the call is about $60, but I try to find somebody that needs their horses done to split it with me.

Hay: I get a round bale of hay every week which costs me $30. If I did square bales that costed $4 a bale it would cost me about $54 a week, plus it's better for them to be eating hay constantly.

Dewormer: Each horse costs about $60 per year to deworm. If you get all of it at once from an online site it's usually cheaper than buying it at a feed store.

All of them are kept at home so there's no boarding or gas costs. I think you've found a great deal for boarding! It costs about $350 a month around here where I live.

Hope all this helps and good luck!
    05-20-2011, 03:49 PM
Thanks! That was really helpful. I will definitely look into Easy Boots. I don't know how much trail riding I'll be doing this year since the horse I'm looking at is only just halter broken, but it's a good thought to keep in mind. I don't know how rocky the terrain is at the barn, but it's something I'll have to check out. Most of the riding for the first bit will be in pasture/arena anyway.

As for vet, worming and Coggins... I figure I can just piggy-back and split the cost with other people at the barn. The owners arrange for the vet to come and if we want our horses done, we pay our portion. If we can't be there to hold our horses, they'll do that for us. It's a really sweet deal, but I didn't realize just HOW sweet it was until you mentioned the call-out cost.

And thanks! I'm pretty stoked about the boarding situation. In the long run, it will save me a fair bit of money since all the feed is included in the cost. I don't know if the mare I'm looking at is an easy keeper or not, but she looks pretty roly-poly from the pasture.
    05-20-2011, 04:00 PM
Welcome to the forum!

Besides the feed (I keep horses in my own place) I also pay for the following routine (of course emergencies are extra):

Farrier every 8 weeks (6 weeks in summer as they grow them faster). It costs me $40/horse.

All shots + coggins once/year.

Teeth floating once/year.

You'll also need the tack which fit (saddle + pad + girth + bit + bridle), the emergency kit, fly spray (in Summer), brushes/lead/halter.
    05-20-2011, 04:03 PM
Green Broke
I think you have it pretty well covered. There may be some small added expenses such as grooming supplies and bug spray that you'll need to get every so often, besides buying special things to "spoil" your horse like treats and new tack that's not really necessary but will look good on your horse. Haha

We pay $200/horse year round to board for outdoor pasture, a little bit of a discount for having 6 horses. Normally it is $325 for indoor and $225 for outdoor. They don't have an indoor arena to use, but they do have an indoor and an outdoor round pen we can use. It's out in the country so we can ride pretty much anywhere. If we were to board close to town, it could cost up to $500/horse and they wouldn't have any pasture.

None of our horses are shod and we do ride on gravel roads often, almost every time. Our Arab cross and one of our QH are flat hooved so they get a little tender on the roads. The rest don't really have any problem riding on the road. I think they get used to it just like we have to when we go barefoot for the first few times.
    05-20-2011, 04:17 PM
You might even get a deal from the vet for having so many horses for him to look at too. My old BO did. I forgot about the teeth floating! I get my horses teeth checked every time the vet comes and two of them haven't needed it in a couple years. My retired boy will need his done this fall though. It seems like when I had two of them done a couple years ago it was $120, but I'm not for sure. I'd have to look at the bill again.
    05-20-2011, 06:15 PM
Thanks everyone! For tack, I'm actually not too interested in the idea of a saddle. I really enjoy riding bareback, so I've been researching bareback pads. I've found some with stirrups and some without. Through my research, I've read conflicting opinions - "stirrups are great!" and "don't ever use stirrups with a bareback pad". I can definitely see the logic behind NOT using stirrups. What do you all figure?
    05-20-2011, 06:29 PM
I wouldn't get one with stirrups because if you're not balanced correctly (like if the horse were to get spooked and whirl around) it would be easy for the pad to slip and for you to get caught up in it, even with the girth being snug. You can find bareback pads pretty cheap. My favorite website to get stuff on is They give you free shipping if your order is over $49 too.
    05-20-2011, 07:50 PM
Another expense that not everyone opts for is insurance, either liability (under 100 bucks a year, if I remember correctly) or even accidental death. Liability insurance is always a good idea to have, especially if you're not keeping your horse on your own property.
    05-20-2011, 08:04 PM
I pay for my horses feed, it obviously changes per season but round it to about 100$ per month. But the more grain/supliments your horse is on the more expensive it will be

Farrier us every 6-8 weeks. For me its 30$ for a trim 60$ if your horse is shod.

De-worming every season (or every 3 months) 20-35$

Vet trip once a year and that pends on what your getting done. Obvi if something were to happen you may need more vet bills.

And I agree, insurence is a good idea. I'm not sure where you live but I know in Ontraio we have OEF (Ontario Equestrian Federation) which has insurence. 65$ per year for an adult.

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