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aldric 07-24-2011 05:09 PM

Yearly cost of Horse keeping.
Alright so please don't crucify me due to my lack of horse knowledge! It seems like there are alot of very informed people on this forum so I thought I'd jump on here and ask for some friendly advice and info.

I am 18 now and have spent all my summers at my grandparents farm who pasture and stable horses but don't own any and want to own and care for a horse.

I was wondering what the annual cost of keeping and caring for a horse would be if stabling wasn't an issue and the horse had plenty of grass in pasture.
Also buying tack or saddle isn't a cost.

Thanks a lot!

heartprints62 07-24-2011 05:39 PM

I guess it depends on what you want to do with your horse. There are so many variables.
Without preaching about the variables, I'll try to put some numbers to it for you. This is what I have to pay for each year. These costs are for 4 horses (two are yearlings, and one is a very hard keeper, one is fat just by breathing!)

Feed: 10% pellet, $9.00/bag x 4 bags per week summer, 6 bags in winter
Alfalfa: pellet, $11.95 per bag x 2 bags per week summer, 4 bags in winter
Hay: On pasture 75% of the year (usually only having to buy maybe $50 worth for travel to trail rides, shows, etc), then average of $1000-$1500 for free choice hay in winter (prices have varried extreamly in the last few years of drought around Texas)
Farrier: $30 per horse for trimming barefeet every 6 weeks x 4 horses
Wormer: (cost between $3-7 per tube x 4 times per year) depending on what wormer you get, wormers need to be rotated throughout the year.
Supplements: EquiPride all around supplement $45/ bucket. Usually lasts just short of a month
Vet care:
Coggins $18-$40 depending on your vet, checked once every year.
Injections (My hard keeper has arthritis) $180 once every year
Vet checks (office visit costs) $35 plus anything they have to do or meds given. (I keep a savings acct with $500 just for the "what ifs" for my horses. Trust me, your horse will get hurt in his sleep sometimes for no apparent reason....)

I hope maybe this helps a little!

Ferhoodled 07-24-2011 06:24 PM


Originally Posted by aldric (Post 1109925)
I was wondering what the annual cost of keeping and caring for a horse would be if stabling wasn't an issue and the horse had plenty of grass in pasture.
Also buying tack or saddle isn't a cost.

I'm not sure I can offer an accurate total quote, but I thought I'd mention a couple things. First, make sure you have enough money left over for an emergency fund, like heartprints pointed out.

Also, how are you defining plenty of pasture? What about winter, or if there's a drought/heat wave, etc.? I would recommend budgeting for forage even if it seems like you won't need to buy any immediately.

Are you not counting tack because it's a one-time expense, or because you have access to equipment already? If this is the case, what if none of the saddles fit your horse properly? You might want a little wiggle room for unforseen issues like that. You may or may not want to budget weekly or monthly lessons as well, but I'd suggest taking it into account, as it certainly wouldn't hurt.

Just some things to think about. Good luck!

walkinthewalk 07-24-2011 06:40 PM

I have four, two of whom are insulin resistant, so my answer is "more than even I really want to know" and, they are why I do all my shopping at WalMart and Tractor Supply":-P

That being said:

I buy hay by the season and that cost me $1,665 for this season. I have 22 acres but, with two IR horses, I go thru a bale of hay a day anyway.

Maybe $150 annually on pelleted rice bran - no one gets grain.

That means I need a vit/min supplement. I feed EquiPride but I buy the 50# bags because I need to measure to the inth, what everyone eats. I have to drive 92 miles one way to get it, so I buy a year's worth, get a discount and keep it in the house. That cost me $920 a month ago.

Maybe $440 annually on Omega-3 Horseshine.

Then there's the arthritis meds and also the herbal supplements for the two insulin resistant horses.

Remember, I am feeding four horses and they all eat the same base regimen.

I do my own trimming, so it's the cost of trimming tools as-needed.

Vet bills are minimal - maybe $300 annually - the dogs cost more than horses.

Divide just the base items by 4 horses and that comes out to about $868.75 per horse annually. Again, they are on my own property. There is additional cost for the arthritis meds and herbs for the IR; neither of which I ever planned on - especially two horses becoming insulin resistant.

I don't have a clue if that's cheap, expensive or in the middle - I don't ever think about it, I just know I have to give them the best care I can until it's time to send each one on to meet their ancestors. They are not commodities.

Then there's all the ancillary meds I have on hand for the normal boo-boos and, the boo-boos that many folks call a vet for but I don't.

Unless an artery is punctured, they need sutured, have serious tendon injuries that need x-rayed are involved, or someone needs the chiropractor, I take care of whatever goes wrong - mainly because I have been at this my entire adult life and half my childhood:-)

My horses have been with me 20+ years, 18 years, 13-1/2 yrs, and 6 years. Horses are a huge commitment, so don't buy more than you can afford to give the very best care to, even in the worst of times;egardless of whether they are on your property or at a boarding facility :D

And ditto everything "Ferhoodled" said:)

aldric 07-24-2011 07:34 PM

Thanks! so far very insightful!

for more details-
the horses graze in a planted alfalfa grass field during summertime and so would mine.
I am only considering buying 1 horse as that is all I believe I can handle.
He would have the company of the other six horses in pasture.
I have no reservations in buying a colt or unbroken horse because my Grandpa is a retired cowboy/colt rider and could be great help in training.

My end goal is to have a well cared for cow pony that I can take for leisure rides when we're not at work.

aldric 07-24-2011 07:37 PM

Also... sorry! I intend to by a horse that my Granpa's roping saddle will fit, and I also have plenty of tack in the barn!

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