Have you been taking lessons or leasing a horse for a while and feel as though you're ready to jump into the horse ownership pool? Owning a horse is a great feeling, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility and can be costly. Here is a general idea of how much it will cost to own a horse and where your money will be going once you’ve become a horse owner.
Cost of buying the horse: $0 to… millions (once)
When horse shopping, it all depends on how much you want to spend on the actual horse and what discipline you fancy. Already broke horses with well-known pedigrees are going to be in the high hundreds to four and five-figure prices. Performance horses go for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Housing: $0 to $1200 (a month)
Where will your horse be living? If it will be staying at your own home, lucky you! For the rest of us who use Pinterest to build our dream horse property, we will need to board our horse somewhere.
Boarding facilities can cost anywhere from $150 to $1200 depending on whether or not your horse will need a stall and if you will need someone else to care for your horse. Sometimes you can make a deal to work at the barn in exchange for at least some of your boarding fees.
Veterinarian/Preventative Care: $200-$400 (yearly)
Your horse is going to need yearly vaccinations and before they receive those vaccines, a veterinarian will need to perform an exam to ensure your horse is healthy. Accidents happen and emergency vet bills can add up quickly. While this amount gives a ballpark on preventative care, it does not give an amount for a sick or injured horse. It’s best to have an emergency fund saved up to cover those situations.
Are you thinking about purchasing your first horse? Check out our article 7 Mistakes First-Time Horse Owners Should Avoid!
Farrier: $45 - $130 (every 6-8 weeks)
The amount you pay your farrier also comes into play when determining the cost of owning a horse. As the saying goes, “no hoof, no horse.” Regular farrier visits are an absolute must. Prices range depending on the lifestyle, type of shoe, and any additional additives that are necessary.
Feed: Average $200 (monthly)
Feed is a variable expense when it comes to owning a horse because it depends on the housing situation. Most boarding facilities include feeding expenses in the boarding fees, and if the horse is on pasture, they may only need hay in the winter.
The cost of feed also depends on whether or not your horse is fed grain or pellets. If your horse is on supplements, this category will be higher.
Dentistry: $80 to $250 (yearly to every 6 months)
Dental health is important because a horse will stop eating if their mouth hurts. Most horses need their teeth floated yearly or every 6 months.
All the extras in the cost of owning a horse (tack, show fees, horse trailer, and gas to transport horse): variable
All of those memes about a horse eating money is no joke, as the average yearly cost of owning a horse (after buying the horse) is about $2800, which doesn’t include all the extra new boots and fancy bridles.
However, not all horse-owning lifestyles are the same and the cost of owning a horse could go in either direction. Either way, owning a horse is basically like making a car payment every month. But owning a horse is so much better than a new car, wouldn’t you agree?