Potential new owner seeking advice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 01-08-2015, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 6
• Horses: 0
Potential new owner seeking advice

Hello from Arizona!

I am completely new to this forum and relatively new to the world of horses. My 14 year old daughter has been taking lessons for a couple years now and she is "really into it" (i.e. it is not just a short phase or passing fancy). She rides English and has done about a half dozen shows (and done well). She is with her second trainer now and we all think he is great. All in all, we are incredibly pleased with her interest and dedication and we are also incredibly pleased with the community of people we have met and the great friendships she has made. She intends to pursue her passion through high school and beyond and she will likely go into a field of work associated with horses.

We've been leasing "her" horse since August 2014 and the owner wants to sell the horse.

Horse details:
12 years old this May
Arabian purebred
Grey Gelding
Height 15.2
Overall health, demeanor, appearance, etc. is excellent

Of course my daughter is absolutely in love with the horse and we don't want to see him sold to someone else. We are considering buying him for her but I am very wary of the costs associated and I'd like to ask this forum for advice on the projected costs I'll list below.

As part of the lease we are basically covering all the costs of ownership on behalf of the current owner. I'll summarize the expenses we are paying below:

Board & feed = $375/mo
Fall & Spring shots = $145 each time
Shoes = $200 about every 6 weeks
Coggins Test = $70 once per year
Annual insurance = $400 for mortality on $6,500 and major medical up to $5,000

Total annual sum of the above is $7,060

Then of course we also have the trainer fees which are about $3,600 per year. My daughter already has her own tack.

Regarding insurance, potential major expenses, or any other expenses I am missing, can anyone offer any advice? For now we are considering the horse valuation and purchase price at $6,500. What I don't want to happen is that we take ownership and then the costs really start piling up because of something unforeseen.

Thank you!
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post #2 of 20 Old 01-08-2015, 03:19 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 371
• Horses: 1
Welcome to the Forum, and to the awesome world of horses!

There's always something unforeseen with horses. :Knock on wood: my horse has not had any major issues, but I do have a savings account just for those expenses that pop up.

My parents bought my horse for me when I was 14, I was on cloud nine! Best thing my Dad ever did for me. I think he knew what he was doing. i spent more time at the barn then worrying about high school parties, or dances - "boys". LOL
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RIP ~ Mr. Bass 06/09/1985-01/21/2015 my dearest friend
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post #3 of 20 Old 01-08-2015, 03:27 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Posts: 4,863
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Coming in from a lease you probably have a pretty good idea. There may be so other semi regular costs, such as a dentist every year or two - each horse is different on frequency so its best to ask your dentist when they come out. Yearly that could be $100-$200 usually, more if more needs to be done.
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-08-2015, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Newport, PA
Posts: 464
• Horses: 4
I lived on the back of a horse for five years as a teen. As a result, I didn't kiss a boy until I was 18. lol. If my mother had been more supportive of a horse career, I likely would have gone that direction. Instead, well, let's just say that if she had to do over again, she says, she'd have bought that horse trailer and made sure I was at every competition and had all the support I could want. lol

I turned out fine, really, in the end, but I agree you are an incredible dad to be so supportive.

The list of things you're already paying for are basically it, excepting show fees, the extras that do pile up: medical supplies, shampoos, fly sprays, new blankets when the old ones get trashed, and a medical fund. Horses LOVE to hurt themselves. It's a hobby. Set aside an extra $100 a month (up to say, $500) then an extra $50 a month. Just in case. It'll also help cover the infrequent things, like teeth floating. Oh... and worming. It's not that expensive, but it is a constant.
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post #5 of 20 Old 01-08-2015, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 6
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Thank you all for the feedback. I am not at all worried about the occasional $100 here or $200 there. Even $500 is an acceptable hit. What I'm worried about is the $1,000+ unforeseen expenses or heaven forbid some sort of illness or ailment that all of sudden needs $5,000 or $10,000 to correct. We are researching insurance options now to see what kind of medical coverage and deductibles we can get.
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-08-2015, 05:32 PM
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 26
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Equine insurance is a blessing! I currently use Hallmark Equine if you are shopping rates. I believe they have a deductible of $250 and cover any associated diagnostic costs. Unfortunately most equine based insurance will only cover the value or purchase price of the horse so a 'slush' fund with a few grand more is always a good idea. However I do know some that have x saved and if it costs more they have decided they would put their horse down. Not something I personally can see myself doing, hence the extra.

Anyway, I think you have the basics covered as far as costs, aside from teeth float, blankets etc that others have mentioned. Maybe keep in mind that if you don't already have it you may want to purchase a truck and trailer to take said pony places. Makes life a lot easier having your own transportation.

Good luck! I hope this purchase works out for you and your family! Oh, and even though you have been leasing the horse, please consider a pre purchase exam with a basic set of X-rays from a vet unfamiliar with the horse. You'll be glad you did!
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-08-2015, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 6
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Yes, the pre-purchase inspection or exam would be a must-have! I will also check into Hallmark Equine, thank you.
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post #8 of 20 Old 01-08-2015, 05:50 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Wellington, Florida <3
Posts: 570
• Horses: 1
I am 19 and own my own horse whom I have had for about 3 years and I pay all costs as I moved away for college and career. I am not sure how much board usually is around where you are but in Florida I have always paid between $600-$1200/month for board. It very well may be cheaper where you are at but I have seen too many young girls buy horses because their current trainer gives them a deal, then when they have a falling out with the trainer (happens to the best of us) and are forced to move barns, they have to sell the horse because costs are too high.

If cost is not an issue (and you have no problem paying $$$$ of your money for your daughters hobby) then I believe it looks like you have covered all the major bills.

Just remember the little things, blankets need to be replaced periodically and depending on climate you need a few blankets of different weights, shampoos and such for biweekly/ monthly baths etc.

I also wanted to add that I think its great that you're allowing your daughter to have such an amazing opportunity. I was harshly criticized when I lived with my parents for the decisions I made to ride and buy a horse because I spent much of my time and all of my money on him, but now, a few years later I am making a career out of horses, training and managing my own barn at 19 YO because of the massive amounts of responsibility and independence it taught me.

Good luck!!
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post #9 of 20 Old 01-08-2015, 06:31 PM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Western Washington
Posts: 191
• Horses: 1
I'm anti-insurance. Think of it like this. In the end the insurance company makes more money off you than you than you will ever get from them. Put that money you would spend on insurance in an investment account you'll come out a lot better in the end.

Your boarding cost of 375/mo is pretty cheap so you're getting some savings there. The cheapest boarding around here is 375 for muddy pasture board and no arena. It's not uncommon for stall boarding with an arena to be $800+ around here so consider yourself lucky.
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post #10 of 20 Old 01-08-2015, 06:45 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 48,122
• Horses: 2
I think youve got a pretty open-eyed view on this and seem to understand well what you are getting into, and what the benefits really are.

there are risks , as we all know, and about the only thing you can do is choose a hrose that has demonstrated healthiness, sturdiness, good temperment and has years left on him. that horse sounds like a very good choice. you could do SO much worse.
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