How much do horses cost? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 58 Old 10-09-2010, 06:14 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Raunds, Northamptonshire, UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunny View Post
I don't know if anyone else said this, but a horse shouldn't be kept alone, and one acre isn't enough for two horses.
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Sunny, I noticed that too, and I agree completely. Horses either get mad or depressed when they are on their own. Most people who think their horses are OK alone have the depressed variety. It is their most basic need, more than sex, more than food, they need companions. Horse training uses this need - think about Monty's join-up, Parelli's games, they all work by isolating the horse from his herd and then putting the trainer in its place. Horses, who do not regard us as predators as we have never in history actually sunk our teeth into them while they are alive, will accept us as protectors and guides in the absence of a stallion or alpha mare.

However, back to the question! You need a companion and you have limited space. But it is quite possible if you plan and arrange properly. The fact that you even posted the question shows that you are thinking ahead.

Do not be tempted to get a mini as a companion - they are major escape artists and the management of two equines with wildly different nutritional requirements is very complex and time consuming. Do not be tempted to get a rescue as a companion either, they are likely to require more care and involve more expense than your main horse. Instead, why not see if there is someone local who would also like to keep a horse simply, and would board with you.That way you could share yard duties - one of the worst on a small area is picking up the dung every day, you have to, and it is about a barrow a horse.

What you need to do with your acre is divide it into three parts. About a quarter needs to be a barn with a dry standing as we call it in the UK - that means a yard with a surface that doesn't churn to mud in the bad weather. I use road planings for the top surface - I don't know what they are called in the US, but it is the top surface of roads that is scraped off when a road is repaired. The remainder needs to be divided into two, to allow the horses some pasture turn out. You only turn them onto it for about 3 to 4 hours a day, the rest of the time they are yarded, so you will need hay or straw for them to nibble all year round. In the UK, the grass cycle is about 3 weeks, so you turn them onto one bit for 3 weeks, then let it recover and grow while they are on the other part. It is hard work keeping horses on a small area, but to keep them just at grass you do need 2 to 3 acres per horse, depending on the quality of the grass.

When you buy your horse (I too think a lease to start with is a good idea) remember that you will be spending $100s each month to keep it, so it is worth waiting a month or two and buying the best you can afford. By that, I mean, sound, good mannered and an easy keeper. These horses fetch a premium price. Spend the money on having leg and foot X-rays, have ultrasound to look for ligament damage, check everything as if it was a $100,000 horse, because once you own it, you will love it, and if it is unsound you will find all your money and some is spent on vets and special care, and you don't get to ride.

Post a video of the horse in action here for critique, I expect many people on this forum can spot unsoundness from a video and BTW, walk without a rider in a straight line is the best gait to show any unsoundness. Go for a horse that is about 8, proven, but young enough to resell if your life changes. Also, but this is a personal thing, I avoid like the plague anything that was backed before it was past its third birthday. They are the ones that get bad backs and develop arthritis young.

I can't really comment on actual costs as the UK is so different, but we keep 9, on our own land, and the feed etc still costs over 1000 per horse per year. We spend that much again on the land, but we are in a long term building programme.

Good luck!
LusitanoLover is offline  
post #22 of 58 Old 10-09-2010, 06:20 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noogie the pony View Post
I know that the rain and the grazing can turn it into a big mud puddle. how can you keep this from happening?
There are some things that will help, but you'll still get mud in high traffic areas no matter what you do. You CAN keep them stalled when the paddock is like soup, so they don't churn up the grass with their hooves. This is a must in a really small area, with a bigger field it isn't as bad. But if they are in, they'll eat more hay. In front of your gate, near the water trough, if there is one area you feed a lot, those areas will get stomped down so that there won't be grass. You can get something like pea gravel or rock dust to keep the mud down. Even sand will drain better, and be less soupy that plain old dirt. If your field is big enough you can section off a part of it to sacrifice, and just plan on putting the horse there any time your grass is wet, but you will have to feed hay there as well. If you do this, you can put sand down and pick it like a giant outdoor stall to keep it clean.

Or if you are lucky enough to have an arena, you can use that for turnout when it's wet.

"Keep a leg on each side and your mind in the middle"
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post #23 of 58 Old 10-09-2010, 07:43 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,716
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Not all horses need companions. Our BO has a few that have to be kept by themselves. They just don't want to be around other horses. So, that's not necessarily a problem.

Horse per acre can also determined by the law in the state that you live. Oregon recommends two acres per horse.

Here is a really good small acreage report that also discusses pastures management (rain, mud issues etc).

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/cat.../ec/ec1558.pdf

Unless it weighs a ton... it's just a horse. Draft horse motto.
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post #24 of 58 Old 10-09-2010, 07:52 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
Posts: 6,303
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse View Post
I have never needed to have it done. None of our horses have ever showed any soreness in the mouth, and we've looked and felt up there for sharp point sbut never found any; not even on Jester, and we've owned him for fourteen years.
Our mares have never needed to have their teeth floated either. Many horses that live on pasture/hay and have a lot of chew time never need it....one of the good things about feeding free choice hay.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #25 of 58 Old 10-09-2010, 07:56 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Alabama,USA
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Solon, it's true that some horses prefer being along. However, that's almost never the case, it's against a horse's nature to be alone.
My first horse was kept alone in a one acre "pasture" and the poor guy was absolutely miserable. Depressed, angry, just an unhappy horse. I don't want to see this happen to the OP's.
And I'm just going to repeat-I really don't agree with keeping a horse on one acre. It would be in your best interest, OP, to board.
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post #26 of 58 Old 10-09-2010, 08:07 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Oregon
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We've had four up here like that. Drives the BO crazy when figuring out who to put where!

Unless it weighs a ton... it's just a horse. Draft horse motto.
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post #27 of 58 Old 10-09-2010, 08:17 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Alabama,USA
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I can imagine!
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post #28 of 58 Old 10-09-2010, 08:43 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: central PA
Posts: 1,228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noogie the pony View Post
oh that is so sad what happened 2 your horse! I know that the rain and the grazing can turn it into a big mud puddle. how can you keep this from happening? I also know the supplies for a horse can cost A LOT. but i went 2 some lady's yard sale today and bought a halter, bell boots, shipping boots and a really nice blanket all for $19! (i know i don't have a horse yet but it is still fun to shp for horse things!)
That is great that you are thinking ahead and doing some bargain shopping...yard sales , consignment shops, tack swaps etc...are all good places to cut down cost of buying items new. Even saddles can be found without spending an arm and a leg but you have to look and shop around. Some people that I know have to have the best of the best when it comes to tack ...but I have gotten very nice quality tack at reasonable prices and take good care of it so it lasts a long time. When I bought my first horse after being away from horses for so long I found a tack store that was going out of business and I bought all the brushes I could need at a very small cost...50 -1.00 on a lot of them.

Even if you start out leasing a horse with the thought of eventually buying one you could still use the brushes and tack on that horse if the owner is ok with it. I have leased out my horses before and as long as the saddle fits them well, I am ok with them using their own if they prefer. If you bought used brushes I would suggest disenfecting them before using them ..just in case

Horses and children, I often think, have a lot of the good sense there is in the world.
Josephine Demott Robinson
Feed, muck, groom, ride. Repeat daily!
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post #29 of 58 Old 10-09-2010, 08:49 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: central PA
Posts: 1,228
• Horses: 2
I actually just had someone ask me this same question today. How much does it cost to own a horse? I was asked , Oh you dont shoe your horses? My horses dont need shoes.... Oh , you dont use a groom to brush and tack up your horse? ummm.. no I do all that myself..The person seemed surprised that we do all the work! That is one way that we cut down on some of the costs.

Horses and children, I often think, have a lot of the good sense there is in the world.
Josephine Demott Robinson
Feed, muck, groom, ride. Repeat daily!
RadHenry09 is offline  
post #30 of 58 Old 10-09-2010, 10:06 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 9
• Horses: 1
My horse cost...
Price- $800
Board - $ 250/ month
Tack - over $550
Farrier- $ 50-85/ time there's a new crack or 6 weeks
Vet - around $250/visit
Shots- about $60
Dewormer - around $20 (switch dewormer every time needed)
insurance for horse- around $30 a month
and this is just the beginning.......................................
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