Thinking about buying a horse - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 23 Old 06-16-2014, 10:34 AM
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Sounds like a good start.
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post #12 of 23 Old 06-16-2014, 05:48 PM
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As a newbie to horses all together, I'd like to comment still.

I've talked to a lot of people since I've began my horse journey. Do you know how to feed them (their nutritional requirements) how much water they require, have you cleaned a stall yet? Hoof care, grooming and supplies, worming, and pasture needs in terms of acreage? Proper fencing...and the list goes on when we learn.

BUT, I met an awesome older gentleman that knows quite a bit and drove cattle in his by-gone 'riding' is/was second nature to him.

The idea behind getting as much riding experience is NOT half as important as caring for these animals out of the saddle!

This gentleman owns his horses but no longer rides, he had a hip replacement less than a year ago, and keeps them for pleasure....his family rides them, but not him. This idea that you need to be Ray Hunt is false. The 'true' natural ones learned by experience 'along the way'....

Anyways, that was his advice. Learn the ground work, never buy a horse that is less experienced than you, and you will always be learning because you grow with your horse...unless you are stagnant and don't venture out of an arena.

If you can afford it then Live! Don't wait forever till you think you got it all down, a share board for a while is an excellent idea, but if you meet that horse (you'll know the one) it.

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post #13 of 23 Old 06-16-2014, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I think I know most of the stuff I need and anything I don't know my friend is teaching me. As soon as I have something worked out and a solid job I'll be looking to buy one.
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post #14 of 23 Old 06-18-2014, 03:27 PM
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Hi! I am also helping my friend learn to ride/take care of horses. It has been very interesting so far. However, she is doing really well! I have been riding for 14 years and I cannot possible teach her everything I know! I still have a lot to learn myself.

I will give you a good tip! When you go to buy a horse, make sure you take your vet! I made a mistake by not taking mine.

I think it is great that you want your own horse, but one thing I tell my friend everyday is that it is not all fun and games. Once you buy you are committed, and horses get very lonely without there people. You cant just stop riding them one day and then come back a month later and expect everything to be fine. (I know from experience) You have to make sure this is something you want. If your heart is not in it, then you will never have a good relationship with your horse. They have bad days too, and you just cant give up on them.

I hope everything goes well for you and keep up the hard work!
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post #15 of 23 Old 06-18-2014, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Don't worry! I don't plan on giving up on my horse and if there was ever a day I couldn't ride my friend would let me keep the horse up at her place all day with her two horses. She's definitely giving me a lot of advice and has made sure I know as much as she can teach me. Thanks for the help!
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post #16 of 23 Old 06-18-2014, 10:39 PM
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don't buy a horse without riding it first!!!!!
once you've narrowed down the type of horse you like be sure to get a vet check and make sure everything is healthy
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post #17 of 23 Old 06-19-2014, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Don't worry! I'll be riding first and for at least two or three years before even considering buying one
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post #18 of 23 Old 06-19-2014, 09:42 AM
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Okay so I haven't read through this thread properly, I just want to say, $1100 A YEAR?!

Board not included I have never spent less than $4000/year on a horse.

Dentist. $250 annually. And in fact my horse should see the dentist every 6 months because she's only young.

Feed. Even with an easy keeper on pasture board there's still hay. At $50 a round bale, and going through one every month or so, that's another easily $600 annually. I just dump them in the pasture with her.

So without even including meals, that's already $850/year.

If I include my horse's meals, I can feed her for around $50/week on top of hay. 50 x 52 is $2600.

The $1100 mark for a year is blown out of the water by FEED ALONE. Current total is sitting at $3450.

Then there's farrier. A trim is $50. Front shoes is $90. A full set is $120. And that's not even including any remedial work that may need doing. I have the farrier check my girl's feet every 4 to 5 weeks, but we'll go monthly like we did for hay. My horse is currently barefoot. Another $600.


LESSONS. Vital, absolutely VITAL, for the novice. Most coaches charge around $55/lesson where I am. Call it one lesson a week for 9 months of the year, allowing for 3 months off for harsh conditions [be it extreme heat, or snow]. That works out to be $2145.


God forbid something goes WRONG. Your horse needs a lameness workup, or gets sick, or puts its leg through a fence. You will be extraordinarily lucky if an emergency vet callout is less than $600. I've seen them upwards of $20,000 for extreme cases. Luckily I haven't had an extreme case! If you have horses for long enough, you WILL have an emergency vet call. We've had four in the past 12 months plus multiple scheduled visits. Horses will be horses and vet care is one of the things that you absolutely cannot cut corners on.

This is what I was paying per horse when I lived on acreage and my board was, therefore, free.

Now add to that the BARE MINIMUM you can expect to pay for self-care pasture board where I am is $25/week and that's for just a pasture with crappy fences. Where I'm at now is $45/week, and the guy rugs/unrugs for me if I'm unable to but everything else is my responsibility. There are no facilities. The fences are nice but there are weeds in the pasture. I work that out as costing $2340 per year, for the absolute minimum I would put my horse in.

$8535 a year to keep a horse on cheap pasture board.

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post #19 of 23 Old 06-20-2014, 07:00 PM
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I wanted to comment on the $1100 a year as well. I own two horses, and for just one of them the absolute minimum I spend per MONTH is $700. That doesn't include extra supplements, vet, worming, needing a new blanket, etc etc. That's just my basic board and farrier each month for 1 horse. I understand every area is different, but I can sure tell you it's a LOT more than $1100 per year. Not to mention if any emergency costs should arise.

Your friend cannot possibly teach you everything about owning a horse. She can teach you about HER horses and what they require, but every horse will be different. Take lessons. lots of them. See if you can volunteer for your lesson barn. Learn as much as you can for as long as you can. I also would not recommend boarding your first horse anywhere but your trainer's barn. No matter how much you know, you will have so much more to learn when it comes to actually owning - it's very different from taking lessons and/or leasing.
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post #20 of 23 Old 06-20-2014, 07:30 PM
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It is wonderful that you're learning and starting with lessons! All too often people get a horse first, and then try to figure out how to feed, care and ride, only to find out that the horse either has medical issues, or is way too hot to ever be suitable for beginners, even with the help of trainers.

I don't spend much money on my horse, at least compared to some, and here's what my expenses come out to be: $165/mo for self care board, $66/mo for hay ($5.50/bale*3bales/week), $60/mo for hard feed (a vitamin/mineral, something to mix it in, and salt)= $291/mo minimum, and that does not count shavings, which I get for free and the joint supplement I have him on. Then there is fly spray $20/every 6 weeks and farrier $80/every 6 weeks. And the annual vet visit comes to about $300 for exam, shots and coggins. It's another $200 for teeth. So, adding all that up, we're at $4,852, which actually sounds about right. That's for basic maintenance.

That does not count emergencies, illnesses, lameness, medications, or special shoes that might be necessary. It also doesn't count things that you need but are not things you buy all the time such as your grooming supplies (brushes, combs, hoof picks, shampoo), fly masks, blankets, buckets, feed pans, manure forks, halters and leads. Those things cost me about $1,500 investment when I first bought my horse.

You still don't have tack for a horse at this point, so expect to pony up (at minimum) another $1,000 for a well fitting saddle, girth, bridle, bit, reins, saddle pad/blanket, and any other things you might need (helmet, bell boots, etc).

So, say you get a horse cheap, and that only costs you $1000 (which would be an amazing deal on most sound, sane, beginner-friendly mounts) and you're over $7k your first year of horse ownership. And that is without any "major" unexpected expenses or vet visits, cheap board, and no lessons or training for you and the horse. Not to mention all the extra gas money from driving all over the place looking at horses and getting supplies.

I say this all because you need to know, not because you shouldn't look forward to ownership. I was prepared to buy horse and tack, but when I bought my horse it was all the little 'incidental' expenses that killed me and had me getting a little nervous about my bank account if some accident were to happen. A bucket doesn't cost much, and once you've had a horse for a while you'll somehow have plenty, but when you first get one and have to buy All The Things, it adds up. Make sure to put a bit extra in your horse fund so you're ready for it.
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