Yes, there is a LOT involved that you need to know, especially when you have to manage a horse on 1/2 an acre. This is not something I would do with only half an acre, but I'll give you a run-down of costs, all the same. Check to make sure you can legally own a horse with the amount of land you have.
I gave the same approximates to another poster:
I would plan to budget a few thousand per year, at the very least. I'll give you a breakdown of costs in my area to give you a ballpark.
Hay: $4/50# bale, $2/day, $730/year
Grain: Depends on the horse, as some need grain and others don't. For quality grain (e.g. Nutrena SafeChoice), you're looking at $16/50# bag, ballpark of 5#/day puts us at $1.60/day and $584/year
Dewormers: You can have a fecal done regularl to only deworm as needed, feed a daily dewormer, or you can stick to an 8-week plan, rotating the primary ingredient, and spend $12/tube every 2 months, which puts us at $72/month.
If the horse has good hooves and does not need shoes, a good farrier will run between $30-45. Your horse may need to be trimmed every 5 weeks, or every 8 weeks--it depends on the individual and the environment. A shod horse will cost you more (~$80-100), but if we assume the horse is barefoot, this puts the cost at around $260/year.
Vaccines: these vary by the region, but expect to spend $50+ on spring shots, and make sure you factor in the vet's trip and service charges. This will probably be around $120/year.
The above are yearly expenses and are around $1766. You also need to make sure you have a way to transport the hay.
On top of this, you have a lot of one-time purchases.
Saddle: 350+ for quality, and saddle fitting (~$150) is a must if you don't have experience in this area. Your best bet is to find a quality used saddle rather than a new saddle for the same price, as 99% of new saddles sold for less than $500 as junk and will hurt the horse.
Pad: You can pick up a few English pads for $15 a piece, or less if you can find them secondhand. Western pads may cost a bit more, and as with anything equine, the best are going to cost $$$. For $30, you can find a decent pad.
Bridle: I wold allot $50 for a quality new bridle, and less if you can find it used.
Girth: $30 can purchase a great girth. Look for Professionals Choice (English or Western), mohair cinches (Western), etc
Bit: Ask the owner what they use. This depends on the individual horse, but expect to spend another $35.
First Aid Kit: $100+
Don't forget miscellaneous things like fly spray, buckets, breakaway halters, lead ropes, leather cleaner, mineral blocks, troughs, etc.
If you decide to go through with this, purchase "Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage" by Cherry Hill. It will give you a lot of insight on managing pasture to allow for rotating pastures and avoiding unhealthy conditions. Manure disposal will need to be well thought out, and you will need a companion animal for the horse.
Last edited by equiniphile; 06-24-2013 at 08:25 PM.