I need some HELP!
 
 

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I need some HELP!

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    • 3 Post By equiniphile

     
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        06-24-2013, 06:58 PM
      #1
    Banned
    I need some HELP!

    I'm considering getting my own horse.
    I ride on a quite frequent basis and am very comfortable around horses.
    I have a 1/2 acre pasture and a small stable in my backyard where I will keep the horse.
    Is there anything that I need to know about owning a horse?
    Would y'all be kind enough to share some information with me?
         
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        06-24-2013, 07:22 PM
      #2
    Showing
    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.
    Becca93, Ripplewind and Texas ZEB like this.
         
        06-24-2013, 07:55 PM
      #3
    Foal
    Can I throw in that you need to also plan for a regular vet check, farrier services, and miscellaneous expenses that just keep coming up (salt blocks, brushes, fly spray, etc, etc). Also if a horse ever has a medical problem you can be looking at thousands of dollars in vet bills, and this is from personal experience. Owning a horse is a wonderful thing, but it is a big financial and time commitment that is going to last 20 plus years. I love my horses but they do need to be a priority, but one I think is soooo worth it!
         
        06-24-2013, 07:58 PM
      #4
    Trained
    You need to check your local laws. You may not be zoned to have a horse on your specific plot of land and you may not have enough land (some places have a minimum acreage requirement).
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        06-24-2013, 09:10 PM
      #5
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
    You need to check your local laws. You may not be zoned to have a horse on your specific plot of land and you may not have enough land (some places have a minimum acreage requirement).
    Posted via Mobile Device
    ^^^^ This!! I have read some stories of people owning horses in their backyards and the city went after them because of zoning laws. They ended up having to sell their dreams because of not doing research first. It is a good idea to have an acre per horse. Don't forget about your neighbors. With only an acre of land, that doesn't leave much room to dispose of manure without having a neighbor complain about the smell.
         
        06-25-2013, 08:05 AM
      #6
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by littleamy76    
    ^^^^ This!! I have read some stories of people owning horses in their backyards and the city went after them because of zoning laws. They ended up having to sell their dreams because of not doing research first. It is a good idea to have an acre per horse. Don't forget about your neighbors. With only an acre of land, that doesn't leave much room to dispose of manure without having a neighbor complain about the smell.
    According to the zoning laws of my town I am allowed to own a horse on that plot of land. Every house up and down my street has horses that stay in similar conditions to what my horse will (if I get one).

    Vet checks will be eaiser than avg. Because an equine vet (he's a family friend) lives next door.

    Thanks for all the feedback
         
        06-25-2013, 08:09 AM
      #7
    Yearling
    That all depends on where you are. Surprisingly where I was at in Tx an acre a horse was adequate if we supplemented pasture with hay in the winter and they were feed a good feed each day. They had minerals and extras (supplement wise) as needed. Here in Al in an area that should stay lush pretty much year round I am or was at 2 acres per horse with the same as above. There are some areas that 10acres a horse isn't enough. You have to look at where you are at. As a pp stated manure disposal will be a priority. 1/2 an acre don't expect it to provide pasture for your horse. There will be a portion that ends up with no grass, an area if they are neatniks like some of mine that they always use as a bathroom area and then a small spot they graze that will quickly be over grazed and have to be managed carefully just to provide essentially peace of mind and a small treat for the horse. Here a good solid bale is $8-10. My SIL says it is the same for them in Tx. We feed Strategy Healthy Edge and add alfalfa with oats as a filler for those that tend to switch pots if they finish faster. You wouldn't need to worry about that with one horse. That is $20 a bag here or $60 a horse per month. So just for food a min you'd be looking at is $200 a month. That doesn't count minerals, vitamins if needed or wormers, electrolytes in the summer and Vit C and sulfur in the winter to keep them off the trees. A farm call is $80 added to the services performed. You can purchase vaccines from a service or your vet and give them yourself but know there is typically a guarantee that goes with your vet giving it in the event they get what you have vaccinated against. I just lost my stallion to EEE. I had vaccinated with a vaccine I ordered off the net and gave myself. Between the vet visits, euth and burial I am out $1000. That would be a small example of emergency costs that you should have put away. When my Belgian stallion had cancer it was $5000 for treatment and surgery not counting the hours of time every day for wound care for almost 6 months that we had to do ourselves because there was no affording the cost of that. The farrier cost for a barefoot horse is about $30 a horse. That is average as we have several newbies charging less and the old established charging more. They all stay booked. $60 every 3 months easy. You could say $3000 a year with no surprise vet visits boarding on your own property. You also have to consider fencing and the changes you will likely make or repairs as horses are hard on fencing and the smaller the area the harder they can be. Saddle, pads, girth, bridle, bit, halter, leads, fly masks, blankets if necessary, fly spray, grooming tools, buckets, troughs or waterers - the list can go on ad nauseum. $7500 first year including the cost of a decent horse. If you have neighbors that garden you may be able to convince them to load and haul themselves otherwise you will have to load and haul or provide a place for it to be composted or spread. Again depending on how close the neighbors expect complaints as well.
         
        06-25-2013, 08:20 PM
      #8
    Green Broke
    Also, some horses go really bad on their own, even if they can see other horses. Having just one horse can prove to be a problem. I know my mare never had a problem until I moved her into an acre on her own, with horses on two sides and she was never settled. Was there for months but always uneasy, trotting the fence, losing weight, not eating, injuring herself. Now she is with another horse and she's fine.

    As others have said 1/2 an acre really isn't much. You're really going to have to keep an eye on it, and manage it well so it doesn't just turn to dirt or mud. I don't know if you'll end up wanting to split it (to rest half) or keep your stabled in the mud.

    I'm living at a place where I keep my horse, and fortunately I'm not responsible for the extra costs but I can see there are so many of them. Fence maintenance, water troughs, pasture maintenance, manure etc. Plus simply not having anywhere to ride, sure there are paddocks but when you really want to start working on stuff you want a nice, flat surface. I think long run it would probably be cheaper boarding a horse somewhere.
         
        06-25-2013, 08:30 PM
      #9
    Yearling
    Where do I begin.....
         

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