Advice on horse ownership in Ohio

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Advice on horse ownership in Ohio

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    09-15-2013, 10:18 PM
Advice on horse ownership in Ohio

I do not yet own a horse, however, I'm considering it within the next six months to a year. I've ridden horses since I was 10 years old (I am now 22); I even majored in equine studies for half a semester in college. It's recently come to my attention that I am over paying for riding lessons. The barns I've researched in Lake County Ohio all charge around $300 for a package of nine group lessons. I feel like I haven't gone anywhere with my riding. Although I've competed in many horse shows and come out with high placing ribbons in many I haven't traveled outside of my barn and have been restricted to lesson horses my entire life. I've watched my friends who own horses succeed more than I have as they have opportunities that I don't.

I understand that owning a horse is a huge responsibility, but it's something I am looking into. My question is what price range should I realistically look at as a monthly cost of owning a horse? I already own tack and would only need to purchase a saddle/bridle that fits my particular horse. I've found a boarding facility that offers full care board for $200/month. I was wondering what other monthly costs would be in terms of farrier/vets/ect.

I would not feel comfortable spending over $300/month on a horse at this time. I understand occasional issues to pop up where costs could be over $300/month, but given the information I provided is that a realistic price range?
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    09-15-2013, 10:26 PM
Green Broke
Maybe try leasing before you buy. If you are still in college you could look and see if they have an equestrian club. OSU used to have one and you could lease a horse for a decent price. That was a long time ago though.
$300 a month really isn't that bad. When you factor in vet care, wormers, supplements, shoes, etc.. you probably pay more than that when you own.
    09-15-2013, 10:33 PM
Maybe if you are very careful, very lucky, keep your horse barefoot, and have no interest in any lessons.
Not really though, IMO. I don't really want to tally up what I pay for my horses, but I take 4-5 lessons/month at $30 each ($120-$150), ride in the arena 4x at $15/each ($60), then you need farrier work ($25/trim or $50-$100 for shoes). My hay runs me $50/month at least (but was more like $150/month during the drought), supplements $50/month, then there's vet bills, worming, vaccinations, gas for the truck and trailer, tack, consumables like treats, fly spray, conditioning sprays, and wear and tear on facilities, etc. I have my own property, so I don't even have to count board. You really do have to have a decent emergency fund as well. I have spent about $1500 at the vet in the last 3 months and am also paying for specialty shoeing. Note that I do not have any show expenses listed as we are not currently showing. If that's something you want to do, you have to budget hauling fees or gas, plus all the entry fees for however many shows you want to do.
    09-15-2013, 10:36 PM
I'm originally from cuyahoga county. I know it's frustrating because stuff up there is so high. 200 for full care is not a bad. I was paying 350 for full care in North Olmsted at one point. Shots is usually 60 or so...for your standard fall/spring depends on your vet really. And farrier should be around 40 depending on what you do with their feet, shoes, etc. Teeth floating should been done once a year, which I can't remember quite how much that was there, but it's not done often so not a big deal. Wormers are cheap and you can give them yourself.

I agree that leasing might be a good way to get your foot in the door first and see what all it entails and stuff before you go head first into horse ownership :)
    09-15-2013, 10:45 PM
Thanks for all the advice! I will definitely look into leasing. What is a leasee usually responsible for? I'm sure it depends on the type of lease, but in general so we provide own tack, or does the owner provide tack?
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    09-15-2013, 10:47 PM
Originally Posted by kellyelizabeth    
Thanks for all the advice! I will definitely look into leasing. What is a leasee usually responsible for? I'm sure it depends on the type of lease, but in general so we provide own tack, or does the owner provide tack?
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There are full and half leases. I THINK in each you can ride in your own tack but can use theirs too..but that's an owner preference.
    09-15-2013, 10:54 PM
Green Broke
It really depends on the lease and what you agreement is. Some provide tack, some don't.
    09-15-2013, 11:24 PM
I would definitely consider a lease instead of ownership. I know it varies upon location, but where I am $200 is extremely low, even for self board. Full on self board at my barn I believe is ~$350, give or take. Also depends on facilities and what is included in that board price.

I own two horses and have them both on semi-self board and pay just about $900 on board alone each month. I had them both on full board at one point and was paying around $1200 per month just in board fees. I have yet to hear of a decent farrier in the area who charges anything less than $100 for trim/all fours. I pay $170 every 5 ish weeks ($135 for my mare who has all fours, and $35 for my pony who is barefoot). And this farrier is GOOD but very reasonable costs for the job she does and considering the area we live in. I spend anywhere from $50-$300 per month extra for supplements, just depends on the time of year, etc. I do my own vaccinations so that averages me maybe $200 or so per year. I have my vet out a couple times per year for checkups/teeth floating. Her call out fee is $90 for non emergencies and I believe $120 for emergencies. Depending what I am having done I spend anywhere from $300-800 per visit on that. I generally average 1 emergency per year (knock on wood ...) so obviously that costs much much more than my average visits.

On my "cheap" months I spend around $1100 total on both mares.
On an expensive month (not including an emergency) I have spent as much as $2200. And I'm not including any "extras" such as blankets or new tack if/when it's needed.

Sorry for such a long post, but thought I may as well back up my reasoning for WHY $300 seems too low IMHO. Not trying to sound harsh by any means, only realistic.
    09-15-2013, 11:50 PM
Aside from boarding, my routine costs are farrier ($200 every 6-8 weeks), supplements (about $30-50/month), hock injections ($450 a year), teeth floating (a few hundred dollars a year, I can't remember exactly), vaccines (a total of maybe $200-500 a year), insurance ($90 a month), etc. Then there's hoof oil, fly spray, blankets, and those sorts of things. And that's before any emergency costs. I spent $1000 this year on diagnosing an abscess and a few hundred dollars on Animalintex, vetwrap, a soaking boot, etc. because the abscess took almost two months to burst and those things add up. Recently my horse cut his eyelid and thankfully it healed on its own but it could easily have cost me god knows what had it become infected.

I agree that $300 is very low even for basics and I don't think it's fair to have a horse without the possibility of paying for unexpected medical needs. If you have a fixed and limited budget leasing or part-boarding is definitely the way to go.

There are different types of leases. In some you are handed a horse and you pay for everything as if it were your own - boarding, vet, farrier, everything. In some you just pay a fixed amount and the owner takes care of everything else or you pay for the farrier but not the vet or you pay for half of farrier/vet/etc. In some situations - usually part-boards at lesson barns - you get X number of lessons and X number of free rides per week for $X, no additional costs. There are so many possibilities.
    09-16-2013, 09:36 AM
Thanks for the advice everyone. I also thought $300 was low, but I've had other people tell me that the price was realistic. I think the people who told me that do not get their horses vaccinated and use a farrier that charges $20 (who I am now worried to even use based upon your posts!).

I will definitely lease a horse first. I was considering that in the first place, but at the barn I ride at the only type of lease available is the one where "leasing" means being able to come up and ride on designated days whenever you want. I don't feel like that would give me an accurate idea on horse ownership and I am more interested in the lease where I'm responsible for most things.

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