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Discussion Starter #1
hi people, new here. looks like some great people and info. I live in Fallbrook, Ca. Anyone have a ballpark figure on how much 1 horse will cost to keep for 1 year, approximately. We are going to get a couple early next year and wanted some input on cost so my eyes are wide open. I really have no pasture land to speak of on 2 acres, not even a trailer yet. I imagine the vet will come out here. we have no equipment but will be starting soon. We both have ridin when we can and the granddaughter has been takin lessons for 3 yrs. thanks for any info for this rookie and his wife.
 

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owning horses isnt cheap :) on top of routine care you have to also keep in mind if there was an emergency how are you going to pay for that? its always good to have a seperate acct for your animals for those times!

I dont keep my horse on my property but when I did it was cheaper :) but we also had ample pasture and it sounds like you might not so you want to ensure you have plenty of forage for them (hay) depending on cost of hay in your area it can usually range anywhere from $3-10 a bale. My horse gets coastal hay from the barn and then I buy her timothy on top of that and thats an extra $20 a bale (40-50lb)

You have to have their feet done every 6-8 weeks on average which can range anywhere between 35-150 usually dependng on what you get done.

routine worming, dental care, shots/vaccines, feed, supplments, sand colic care, horse supplies etc..it all adds up pretty quickly.

On Avg. right now I spend about $500 month on one horse and that is not including vet visits, farrier etc. that is just routine care and maintance!

Good luck and I hope you enjoy your new friends :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the quick info. being in Ca. will that probably mean more $ than where u r at? $500 per month per horse! wow.
 

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Well.. I don't live in CA, actually on the other side of the country (VA). But you will have to be looking at;


  • Every 8 weeks farrier (depending on who you hire will determine price)
  • Vet (who will come to you, but again price is dependent on who's by you)
  • Hay. Now, Hay can really get costly. Really really costly.If you're going to have a pasture with a run-in/lean-to, I suggest round bales. My 4 goes through 1 round bale [fescue/orchard grass mix, $35 per bale) in 6-8 days. Round bales usually cost more for better quality.
  • Grain. Usually (for and Triple Crown brand) - $25 per bag. Again, the number of horses you have will vary with how much grain you will need monthly.
  • Basic care - Like any extra medical care (which you may need), anything else you may need...


Also, since you have (from what I understand) pretty much nothing, you'll need to fence, build a shelter/barn, buy tack, halters, brushes etc, plus the horse... AND a trailer... it'll get pricey.

We have our horses on our farm instead of the place I take lessons at for a reason.. but we know how bad it can get (money wise) and we are willing to give everything for our horses..

Good luck.
 

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Oh! I forgot about worming! Whoops, lol, Thanks ClassicalRomantic.

Yeah, at the lesson barn; we had one mare.. $200 a month + frequent vet & farrier, AND she needed shoes =/. We didn't even ride that much! :(
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks I have already made 3 corrals, 1 small barn, 1 stable and a small tack room so that is done. I know it is costly especially beginning with nothing. Any thoughts from someone in San Diego area on where/how to get started getting stuff. Wait until we get a horse sounds rough but maybe we can find someone getting rid of their horse and equipment too? does this happen much? sounds scary to start with.
 

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If you're looking for a project horse, rescues are a great way to go. Some you will get for free to nothing, or under $1000. I used to spend my summers in San Diego! Sadly I never rode out there. You can also go to tack shops and but used tack, which will be cheaper.

My two ponies were $600 (both rescues). They came with undersaddle training,(The Mare both English and Western) - Brides and Martingales.
 

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i pay $525 a month for board
$90-160 every 5-7 weeks for farrier,
$5 every other month for worming
vet twice a year for shots
dentist once a year

and thats for a healthy horse, injured or sick is much more expensive

ive heard on average, 10,000 a year for one horse
 

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Hay is going to be your biggest cost, and being their basic food, feeding high quality hay will save you $$s in the long run, and lightly worked horses really need little or no grain/feed. If you figure 2.5% of the horses weight in hay per day, you should have a good estimate for the cost. Horses on a hay diet with lots of 'chewing' time also need much less frequent dental work.
Use the vet only when you really need him...give the routine shots yourself and save vet $$s for emergencies. We use the vet only for rabies (not allowed to do yourself in NC) and their Coggins.
Finally, unless you already have your heart set on a certain type of horse/breed, consider the fact that some breeds are definately lower maintenance than others. We have no pasture either, but the bottom line is by doing as much as we can ourselves, our 3 Paint trail mares (easy keepers, very low maintenance) cost us about $6/day/horse.
 

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I keep my horses on my property. Extra water (for the troughs) runs me an extra $30-50 a month. Feed is $25 every 2 weeks. Hay is $6.50 a bale and I go through 1 bale a day. Yearly vet check for shots and coggins $500. Farrier for all 4 $140 every 6-8 weeks (I only have one in shoes). Yearly teeth floating $400. Sometimes we put a round bale out for them because we don't have pasture $70 every 1-2 weeks . Forgot worming $5-7 per horse every 6-8 weeks (I worm them when the farrier comes out...less often in winter)

4 horse trailer $6500
Hank(QH)- $2500
Lucy(rescue)-$500
Little Lucy (pony)-$650
Lexi(Little Lucys baby) free ha ha ha(LL was pg and we didn't know it)- $250 for the vet to come out when she was born.
 

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I live in FL, which is the opposite side of the country, but I hear living costs in CA are much higher, so I'm not jealous, LOL. Here's how it breaks down:

-My TB himself cost 500 dollars to buy, but then I paid for him to stay on the old owners property for a month, so the cost of that was like an extra 150.

-425 a month for board (but I know bales of hay here cost like 7 or 8 dollars a bale...my TB eats like 8 or 9 bales of hay a month by himself, and grain is 25 dollars a bag, so thats 100 dollars a month)

-10-15 dollars every other month for wormer

-35 dollars every six weeks for a hoof trim, but it was 80 when he was getting shod in the front

-his tack set cost me 300 dollars used, thats a saddle, headstall, reins and a breast collar, I bought the bit separate for 25, and then a hackamore for another 25, and then new reins for ten.

-his vaccinations are relatively cheap, something like 120 bucks for everything he needs in the spring...it goes down to like 40 in the fall, because I do the vaccs myself then.

-don't forget to factor in an emergency fund (or a credit card payment, lol) and also some money to play with; you might want to go to a clinic here or there, or maybe hire a trainer or take lessons or something.
 

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last month: 356
this month:335

thats just hay, grain, wormer, and a water trough and heater
 

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my TB eats like 8 or 9 bales of hay a month by himself
If you found a Thoroughbred that only eats 8 bales of hay a month... I want one! Unless you mean round bales, that makes sense to me :)


For me in Northern MI here... hay is $2 a 50 pound square and $25 for a 600 pound round bale. I use Safechoice feed ( $11 ) Purina Equine Senior ( $12 ) and Triple Crown Complete ( $18 ) as well as my own mix from the mill which is approx $5 a bag. I give my own vaccinations, the horses feet are trimmed every eight to ten weeks which is $25 and de-wormed every six weeks for around $8.

I'd have to say it costs me right around $1,300 per year per horse. Which is close to $110 a month.

This of course does not include fencing, shelters, land taxes, horse trailer, the truck to pull the trailer and maintenance on the truck, tack, spare treats/toys/blankets, the significant raise in the electric bill from the horses water heater or any vet bills that may occur.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanx for all the info. really looks like I could say $6000-$10,000 per horse/per year? Seems like quite a bit. Wife is set on 2 horses eventually so this will help not going in and being blindsided with costs. We are really thinking of Rescue for our first unless we run into something good as far as size, manners, ect. Thought was to start buying stuff now but don't know if this will work for everything? Can I buy a saddle now even though don't have a horse? All saddles can't fit all horses, right? What about bridles and stuff, there must be size differences? Sounds like I need lots of help. Suggestions here have been great. Ride the horse first, see a vet with horse before buying, need a trailer for emergencies, I would bet, talk to people about the horse if possible, many more I don't even know yet. Again you people will help us alot I am thinking so thanks in advance, Larry
 

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I actually don't find my horse to be all that expensive, but maybe it's because my board is so low!

$25 per month for board
He eats one bale of hay a day, and each bale costs $2.50
$17 for a bag of feed twice a month
$30 for a trimming every 6-8 weeks, $80 when he gets shoes on
$35 every few months for deworming
$135 twice a year for shots

This doesn't count any medical emergencies, though.

Good luck!
 

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It really depends on a lot of factors. What discipline you in? you board? private property? farrier, shots, feed, blankets, tack and miscellaneous vet bills.
There was a thread started a few months ago and the cost varied from a 6,000-25,000+ thousand a year. What your expenses will be entirely depends on the area you are in. Board will vary, training expenses will vary.

Good for you for inquiring about it now vs when you already have the horses.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
discipline? wife wants 2 horses to ride!! looks like we need lots of help. Just want to slow, trail ride mostly I guess. Live in San Diego County so costs will be higher than most places. I am getting numbers from $2-3000 up to $10-12000. I am going to neighborhood stables and asking questions but this is just as fun with so many smart people. I have 2 acres with nothing edible I assume for horses. We have no equipment besides a barn and 3 corrals (app. 20' x 30' each) with one having a completely enclosed stable (app. 15' x 12'). Vet bills I am sure is hard to figure I was just trying to see an average for a horse that was "normal". How do you learn how to give shots if that is what we want to do? Just some crazy thoughts of mine. Thanks.
 

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It sounds like you have quite the set up! Are you keeping your horses at home? knowing that you have corals and assuming it's all good fencing, the only expense that you would have to pay for is the hay. You would have to stick to a daily feeding plan. If you board, which could also be an option, it's less work for you but ever so expensive. I wouldn't choose that option. Here in Calgary, the price of a bale of hay is about 5/bale.

You will definitely have farrier bills which can vary from $35-120 that will be every 6 weeks or so. You then have annual shots which costs about $20.00 per horse plus the worming which between 2 horses on 3 times a year schedule will be able 60 bucks a year.

As for vet bills, well thats usually the unexpected stuff so there is no way to guess what you may or may not have.

With the set up you have tho, I would suggest keeping the horses at home. If you are new to horses, then boarding for a few months might be a good option until you get the hang of things.

Happy buying :D
 

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my TB eats like 8 or 9 bales of hay a month by himself
If you found a Thoroughbred that only eats 8 bales of hay a month... I want one! Unless you mean round bales, that makes sense to me :)
lol nope, I'm talking about the small individual sized ones. He gets four flakes a day, and each bale has about 12 flakes to it....I forget which number I used (it may have been 14) and hes actually getting fat! And I've wormed him recently, lol so he's not sick xD.
 

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