Gearing up for horse ownership for summer - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-02-2015, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Gearing up for horse ownership for summer

So, I have been leasing my horse for a year now with the possibility of owning at a later date. I am out of school, got a good job, and will be getting a quote from my barn manager with all the expenses- at least the planned ones, not including emergencies- for owning the horse.
So, I am going to run down stuffs here, and if you experienced people can look over and give advice/add stuff/correct things/point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it

Info on the horse- 18 year old quarter horse who is a lesson horse- and has been my lesson horse for a couple years. During our lease, we have bonded a bit, and things are going rather well. He actually walks up to me in the field. The horse will be a good horse for what I want- mainly just riding- I work on dressage, but I am not that good at it- improving, but would never really amount to a refined dressage rider. I'd say I am more of a pleasure rider- work on stuff to get better, but I don't really plan to show ( if I do, its the very basic level). No interest in jumping or anything really strenuous- just groundwork and trail riding.

Info on me: I rode on and off my life, just when I though I would have no opportunity, found a place I can get lessons in exchange for mucking out stalls. Been there for 4 years. The last year I have been leasing this horse. I have a fiancée, who likes the horse, but doesn't ride ( he is scared of horses, but came a long way with the horse I lease- I catch him talking to the horse and all) He will help out if needed- with helping with the horse or financially- however, I want to price things out so I can afford them. I am logical with horses, but would be new at owning.

What I asked for pricing was for horse maintenance ( no tack, equip, or emergencies):
board- I will have to ask if this includes his feed and all for sure. I think it would... but just to make sure. the horse gets a stable and turn out with that, and the place has an indoor and outdoor ring. I am asking for full care board ( I have a basic idea of what it is from another boarder)

feet trimming ( horse is barefoot- he did have front shoes when I first came to the barn about 4 years ago, but didn't need them in years, but it's something I'd keep in mind if he needs them again)

dental work- she said once a year

2 vet visits- this is for the yearly shots and all. BO said the horse usually only needs the 1 visit, but for price wise, I am factoring in the second.

worming- my BO does the worming, I am sure she'll still worm this horse, but i'd buy the med and pay her to do it ( or she can teach me what to do)

What else should I plan on factoring into a yearly budget for a horse? ( will be calculated for a year cost, then divided by 12)

I have a Bitless bridle, and I am sure the BO will let me use a saddle until I get my own. The horse also has a regular bridle with a bit I am sure I can use ( I only use a bit bridle in lessons when she wants me to work with one) *Bare in mind, I flat out told the BO when I asked for pricing for the possibility of taking over his ownership the horse could still be used for lessons- its a small lesson place and I don't want to make her be one horse down- therefore, I am sure I can use her tack until I get my own saddle.
I will need:
saddle pad(s)
I want a new halter ( leather break away)
I want some lead lines

I have a tack box with the basics- need a few more items for basic groom care. I will have the rest I need before summer ( Just need a mud scrapper and some brushes)

There is a med cabinet I/we use for if some scratches come up or for prevention. I've contributed materials to it, and so does she. I will get my own tho- betadine, antifungals for if he gets scratches ( this horse loves, stuff for rain rot, diaper rash stuff to prevent scratches. Anything else I should have in a med cabinet?

Another main thing: blanket for winter. The horse has one right now. And I could always ask to buy it from her or get my own. My BO is cool, she isn't gonna want me to buy pointless things, so since he already has one, may not have to buy another. But it will be a factor to possibly consider.

What else needs to be added on?

I do have money in an account for emergencies, plus I have credit cards ( I don't want to rack up CC debt, but if I need to make immediate payment, can put it on the card, then pay the card off)

I am also looking into insurance for the horse, but have to really talk to someone about that- I don't know if the horse being used in lessons would effect the insurance or not.

This whole lease deal was set up for when the BO sells the place. I don't have a time frame, but she is staying one more season. I asked to think about me owning the horse this summer so she will for sure still be there for a little bit in the beginning. She could stay 5 more years for all I know, or this is her last season- but I would feel more comfortable if I started out the ownership with her still here. She feels I am competent- she seen me work with the horse, I don't do anything silly and am pretty safe with the horse.

I gained a lot of experience since being at this barn. I always loved horses, and never thought it would be possible to own a horse. Things are starting to fall into place and the possibility to own this horse is there- considering I can afford it. I do have to wait for my college loans to come due to see how much I am paying a month ( total loan is like 12k- not too much).

So, if anyone has anything to add or any tips or warnings, please let me know. Don't sugar coat it- tell me flat out. I want to know the concerns of getting into horse ownership- I already know the joys of but I want to be prepared for it the best I could.

thank you for your time!
edf is offline  
post #2 of 17 Old 02-02-2015, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by edf View Post
dental work- she said once a year

2 vet visits- this is for the yearly shots and all. BO said the horse usually only needs the 1 visit, but for price wise, I am factoring in the second.
Seems excessive to me. I take my guys once a year for shots and coggins. Then they see the vet only if there was a problem. If I had confidence in my own abilities shot-wise, they wouldn't see the vet for that immunizations either.

And dental work yearly??? I guess if the vet said so AFTER EXAMINATION, but seems way off to me.
ducky123 is offline  
post #3 of 17 Old 02-02-2015, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Well, the BO was just talking to me briefly spur of the moment, so perhaps some of the time frames are off- I mean, I only recall the dentist coming out once when one of the horses was showing some signs of mouth pain when ridden with a bit- but I do recall people mentioning keeping dental work in their costs too. About the vet tho- it does sound right what you said- even the BO said this horse only really gets the shots once a year- but i'd rather factor in the second visit just in case. This horse is a very easy keeper, so one will prolly be enough- but I'd rather plan for more in my budget than not enough.

thanks your chiming in. I am sure once she has time to throw costs together things will be more in depth and all
edf is offline  
post #4 of 17 Old 02-03-2015, 01:29 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
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as a horse gets older, they do need their mouth checked a bit more.

I think you'll make a wonderful owner, and although no one can think of everything, you've certainly tried!

if things get hard, you can part lease your horse. a good lesson horse like that is easy to find a part leaser who will love and care and ride him once or twice a week and help you wiht expenses.

good luck!
tinyliny is offline  
post #5 of 17 Old 02-03-2015, 04:38 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Stockport, UK
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Dentist once a year is the norm here, my horse needs it every 6 months !
Feet trimming, mine is every 8 weeks but it depends on the horse.

I think you have a good list of what you need to pay/purchase

I would add a lunging kit, insurance (public liability and for vet fees).

I have different rugs , in the summer I have a rug to protect from horse flies.
In winter I have a warmer waterproof rug and I have one that is just waterproof (it rains a lot here and there is not field shelter).
There is a few things that I always have to buy such as : detangler (gypsy cob with a lot of hair!), he has a pink nose so sun cream ! Pig oil and sulphur to control his hair mites but those things are specific to my horse however you might need other things on a regular basis.

Cost for lessons and cost for any day out (transport/entrance fees/etc)

I can't think of anything else !
JoanneUK is offline  
post #6 of 17 Old 02-03-2015, 08:53 PM
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They don't need shots!!!!!!!!!
Luv equins is offline  
post #7 of 17 Old 02-03-2015, 09:02 PM
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Okay this is my normal budget: (Keep in mind your costs would be different)

Veterinarian: 3x per year ($30 per farm call, $300 for annual exam and a few routine things. $30 for Coggins. Yearly total $420)

Farrier trims every 4 weeks: $ 35 each x12=$420 (Usually it's 6 weeks, but I budget for that, haven't needed shoes, but that would be an extra $70-$150 per visit)

Fecal egg counts and deworming: $ 70 a year ( 2 checks and one tube each Quest Plus and whichever other drug the horse might need if any at all)

Vaccinations: $300 per year. (This covers Rabies, Strangles, EEE, WEE, VEE (if the vax with that is cheaper), Tetanus, Flu, Rhino, Botulism (because I prefer to feed round bales), and WNV. WNV, Flu, Rhino are given every 4 months due to the high rate of them in my state. I'm also looking into PHF due to it occurring here now.

Board will vary from $175-$1,400 a month here. I'm looking into a rough board for $125 per month, I'd get a field with an attached run-in stall, a small tack room, and use of the outdoor arena, but I'd have to buy my own hay, feed, and bedding. So lets say $125 x 12=$1500 yearly.

Hay: Horse (say 1200 pounds) get 2% bodyweight at 24 pounds per day = 8,760 pounds per year. I can get 600 pound round bales for about $50 each so that's 15 bales at $50 each=$750 yearly.

Feed: This is the wild card because the horse may need a ton of extras or none at all beyond a ration balancer. I'll go with say 2 pounds of RB at $32 per 50# bag =15 bags=$480 year.

Bedding: I typically only do an 8 foot by 8 foot by 4 inches deep bed so that's a little over 21 cubic feet of bedding. If I strip say every 8 weeks and add a bag per week. (My bedding of choice is 7.5 cubic feet expanded, so roughly 3 bags to do a stall to my specs) 3x6=18+42=60 bags per year=$352.20 ($5.87 per bag)

Other: This includes insurance which was about $500 a year last time.
Fly 'care' (Spray, feed thru, etc) $ 200.00
Supplement$ 300.00 (This was a joint and hoof supplement, may not be needed next time, but I add it in just in case.

So my yearly total is $4,542.20 (Roughly $378.52 per month)
Note that this does not include shampoo, horse treats, trailer payments or maintenance/ insurance, tack purchases, or other incidentals.

"They see me rollin, They hatin, Patrolling they tryin to catch me ridin dirty"
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-03-2015, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Luv equins View Post
They don't need shots!!!!!!!!!
Not sure what kind of "shots" you object to.

But a horse may need shots of antibiotics if it becomes ill, or gets an infected wound.

Or, it may need vaccinations if it lives in an area with infectious diseases that harm horses. Or if it is leaving its' home area, vaccinations may be required. Or if the horse will be taken to some events, it will be required.
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-03-2015, 10:46 PM
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One thing I would be cautious about is having the horse used in lessons.

It's great that you want to continue to support the local school, but given the increased work and risk I think it would be fair if you got a board discount. I'd also work out a contract in case the horse is injured when ridden, you don't want to be responsible for those vet costs.
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post #10 of 17 Old 02-04-2015, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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thanks guys for the extra input-some things I am just going to wait til me and the BO talk about before I start hard core calculating- like if bedding is included in the board cost and food. I know board isn't as cheap as 175, but I don't think it's over 500 or even at that ( may be that ball park area tho).

The BO has lounges- but that is a good idea. It's probably going to be like the saddle purchase- will be done but I am confident I could still use hers for a bit ( would get permission and all first. Right now, I am just thinking of the necessities fo rkeeping the horse- not the one time ( or the once in a blue moon things- like when I buy my saddle- I am only going to need one since I don't plan on showing, so it will be an expense to get the saddle plus the saddle fitting sessions- but its not like it's going to be a yearly thing- unless the saddle breaks a lot-lets hope my luck aint that bad...LOL)

I see what you mean fo rletting the horse be used in lessons- I am def hoping it'll discount the board a little. But when I say this is s small place, th ehorse prolly only has like 6-8 lessons a week- and is on thurs and sat- prolly more towards the 6. I will need to mention to her to at least be considerate of who they put on the horse when it's mine? I understand things can happen with horses and riding, but i'd hope she wouldn't put someone reckless on a horse that wasn't hers. It's something to think and talk about for sure.

Right now, I muck stalls for lessons, so they are accounted for. Trust me, I get the 'are you sure you need lessons now? you can ride whenever...' speil from my b/f and father- and I tell them I still do because there is a lot of things I need to work on. Now, my b/f doesn't know too much about riding, so I guess when he watches me I must look really good and am meaning to do egg shapes instead of circles...LOL.

But what you all mentioned helps- I also have to keep in mind if she sells the place and board goes up, she sells and a developer buys it, sells and the new owners I don't like, or whatever reasons- I may have to shop around, and it just gives me things to think about when that happens- it will, I know the BO isn't going to stay there forever. I been looking around tho and have found affordable places- just no indoor arena, but push comes to shove, it'll do ( it sucks having to think about moving barns and not even owning the horse yet, but considering the situation that will eventually happen, i'd rather be prepared if I have to move for some reason.) I don't think self care is an option right now since I am too new at horse ownership, but I am also wanting to own th ehorse with my BO there for some time to have gain that experience with someone I trust.

Bottom line- which is on the good side- I am not too surprised with what others said, so its not like I was completely blind-sided with an aspect of horse owning- it's just going to come down to when the BO and I talk about the pricings and all.

thanks you for your input!
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