Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Well that's an extremely broad question that will have a different answer for every person and for different reasons.
I'll chose to look at this objectively - let's say, I wish to compete in reining. I am not a reining trainer. I can pick up a modest reining horse to begin competeing with for probably around $5,000 in my area. Nothing fantastic, just a nice beginner level horse for me to learn the ropes on.
I just bought a 2 year old Paint filly for $800. Greenbroke. She's not really built to rein, but with enough training, I could probably get her winning a bit at local shows just because we don't have an expensive horse community and a lot of people are on horses like her. I wouldn't, personally, compete her in reining until she was 5 years old, because I don't believe in doing those types of maneuvours on a 3 year old to get her ready to show at 4 years old.
Between now and then, that little filly is roughly going to cost me:
Boarding @ $75/month for 3 years = $2700
Farrier @ $30/2 months for 3 years = $540 (not including shoes)
Deworming @ $15/3 months for 3 years = $180
Vaccinations @ $60/year for 3 years = $180
This filly has now cost me, by the time she's 5 years old, $3600 in upkeep alone, plus the $800 I paid for her equaling $4400 on her already. And that is NOT including any vet emergencies, or the training I will have to get put on her to have even a remote chance at winning. And who knows? Maybe she's so straight in the back legs, she can't even do a proper sliding stop and then I'm screwed!
However, lucky for me, I bought that little filly as a training project. Because I don't really show, I bought her for the same reason someone above stated - I wanted a cheap project to keep me busy. I've also spent 24 years riding and training horses, so I didn't buy her to save any money, I bought her specifically to play with.
I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.