Horse Ownership - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-15-2014, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Horse Ownership

Okay, so I live in Pennsylvania and have owner horses both in Pennsylvania and Maryland before. I'm looking into getting a rescue horse or buying a foal and training it myself and creating that bond that I've always dreamed of and wanted. But, with prices of horse owning going up, I'm wanted to get an estimate of how much you guys pay per year for horse care. I would have to board because I don't have my own land, but I'd be field boarding and already have 2 places in mind that are $250 per month. I have a farrier in mind as well and it would be $35-40 per trim. I like having my horses barefooted because I feel it's more natural for them, and less money put into them losing a shoe or the cost for having shoes on your horse. I wouldn't have to worry about feed or hay as the farm would provide that for my horse, I would just be paying board, trims, teeth, and shots. I believe getting the horse wormed is part of the board price as well, but not sure of that. I have never paid for wormer before as every place I boarded my horses previously included that in their board price. So please let me know what you think it would be, Thanks.
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-15-2014, 12:35 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Harrisburg, PA
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As with every question related to costs of ownership, it's going to depend on where you are, what you're doing, and where you find to board and what they include.

If you're not showing, I'd probably say average cost of ownership when you're boarding for $250 would be about $300-$350 per month. That's covering incidentals, and putting some back in case of a vet emergency.

I also lived in PA and MD, but I've wormed my own horses each time and also field boarded in both places. The one stable I boarded my mule at did twice yearly fecal checks, and everyone paid into the cost for the testing for their own horses. My board paid for feed and hay, I paid vet, farrier, dentist, and any other incidentals.

Last edited by Mulefeather; 05-15-2014 at 12:40 PM.
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-15-2014, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: NE Florida
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Hi Horselover1994,

Where I'm at it will vary greatly in cost of ownership, depending on how you keep the horse and what you do with the horse. I live in a very large city, but it has a more rural area (where I live) that is a bit more low key. Costs will likely be higher the closer you are to a metropolitan area.

Board can run from $375 to $1,000 a month here, this includes feed, bedding, and basic care, maybe some lessons thrown in every so often.
Next comes health care
Coggins $30
Vaccines (done myself, I'm a V.A and learned how in school) $ 100 to $400 per year (if showing or traveling you have to keep up with certain shots. I also live in an area with high transmission of WNV, EEE, Flu, and other infectious viruses, so 2 to 4 times a year you have to vaccinate for those things.)
Vet calls $30-$100 each time (minimum 3 farm calls a year are what I budget for)
floating, $75 to $500 depending on if sedation is used.
Check up $300 depending on what you want the vet to look at/for.
Sand colic prevention $ 100 (roughly, and it's a must in FL.)
Total health care barring an emergency visit/surgery $595-$1,630 yearly.

Farrier, Trims $25-$30 Every 6 weeks =$ 200- $240. Shoes if needed can add $100 or more per visit if you have you have to get new ones each time, a smaller fee for resets.

Insurance $ varies according to horses value. But is a good thing to have.

Dewormers (if you do it yourself) $20-$50 typically.
Fecal counts $50- $100 (I prefer going by egg count, I won't do rotational deworming unless recommended.)
Supplements $? Depends on the owner and horse. I'm horseless at the moment so it's not been factored into my budget. (I keep up with local costs of care around my town though.)
Misc $? This will vary according to your shopping habits. If you like to buy tack or shampoos etc this falls under miscellaneous expenses as does fly spray and other things of that nature. This would also be where yearly costs add up even more depending on what and how much you buy.

So boarding cost in my town are (including all of the above) $5,365- $13,920+
Remember shows will also add up if you choose to show. You may also have trailer payments to make, insurance costs to factor in, and I personally like to set aside some extra cash each month into a surgery/ emergency fund. All of these things will count towards cost of ownership.
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-15-2014, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Thanks for the responds guys
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-15-2014, 06:18 PM
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You cannot possibly assume that any horse you buy would be fine and dandy on pasture and barefoot.

Don't get me wrong, I have absolutely no problem with pasture board and barefoot horses - I like both, and have pasture boarded in the past (though I don't anymore, my horses are on pasture a good chunk of their day). I currently have one mare who is barefoot, and one who simply can't go barefoot so she has to have all 4s.

Not every horse is suited to pasture only board, just as not every horse is suited to barefoot.

Also, are you sure the places you will be boarding will supply all feed? What about in winter if the horse requires grain or BP, or if the horse requires various other supplements for other reasons? I doubt pasture board would supply that. It's hard around here to find a place that will if just pasture board.

But, since you asked, this is what I pay annually for the basics for one horse (though I own two).

Board - $440 per month for semi-self / $5280 per year, I used to full board both my horses, and that came to $13,500 total for the year
Vaccinations - I do myself, and I think that comes to around $200 per year, If I had the vet out it would probably be around $500 for the year
Teeth floating - $350 once per year, though my other mare needs it 2-3 times per year so that winds up being $1050, and usually a bit more since she's difficult to handle for floating
Worming - Probably $100 per year
Farrier - $170 every 5.5 weeks / just over $1600 per year
Bedding - $300 every 3 months, and usually another $100 worth to tide me over until the next shipment arrives, so probably somewhere around $1600 per year
Supplements - maybe $500 per year, I've been extremely fortunate where my BO supplies most of my supplements for me, but I do have a couple extras I get
Emergencies - vet charges $110 call out fee, and I usually have an average of 2 emergencies per year it seems, and those have ranged me anywhere from $500-$2500 up front
Misc. - this includes any blankets that need replacing, or any saddles/tack that need replacing (not things I WANT, but things that are NEEDED). I've spent anywhere from $300-maybe $5000 at most in a year on these sorts of things

So for one horse it costs me anywhere from $12,600-$18,000 for my basics only, and that was obviously quite a bit more when I did full board - this doesn't include things I simply "want" (nice saddle pad, new breeches if something catches my eye, etc etc.) also doesn't include showing fees.
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