Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
Hay is going to be your biggest cost, and being their basic food, feeding high quality hay will save you $$s in the long run, and lightly worked horses really need little or no grain/feed. If you figure 2.5% of the horses weight in hay per day, you should have a good estimate for the cost. Horses on a hay diet with lots of 'chewing' time also need much less frequent dental work.
Use the vet only when you really need him...give the routine shots yourself and save vet $$s for emergencies. We use the vet only for rabies (not allowed to do yourself in NC) and their Coggins.
Finally, unless you already have your heart set on a certain type of horse/breed, consider the fact that some breeds are definitely lower maintenance than others. We have no pasture either, but the bottom line is by doing as much as we can ourselves, our 3 Paint trail mares (easy keepers, very low maintenance) cost us about $6/day/horse.
On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.