how much does it own a horse 4

How Much Does It Cost to Own A Horse?

We all love pets; some of us like dogs, some like cats, some people into birds and few people dream to about having horse as a pet. It is okay to have the horse as a pet. However, there were days when horses can buy with the few bucks, but it is not the same reality today. If you plan to purchase a horse, you make sure that your pocketbook is lot bigger.

When you buy a horse, there will be responsibilities that you should carry on throughout your life. It is a fact that when you are buying a horse, you will save the animals life from euthanized for any physical failure or die without no proper care.

Horses are beautiful creatures! Both human world and horse’s world have the strong bond for thousands of years. Of course! You will be the coolest person in the whole neighborhood if you own a horse. But hold your horses first, before you start to ride on your dream, do have any idea about the basic financial expenses of animal maintenance? Or how much does it cost to own a horse? …Welcome to the reality people, because it is pretty damn expensive!!!

You will face both one time and the recurring expenses on the periodical basis. Some may be in hidden cost factor that we would realize in real time. Overall, it is your smart thinking that could save the tight budget at the end of the day.

Let’s Talk About the Money

Buying a new horse is not going to be difficult, but struggle may start from feeding, stabling, health care checkup, and equipment’s costs will add up to the final cost. There is a misperception that only the wealthy and rich people could afford to have horses. The American Horse Councils (AHC) states that the average income of a horse owner in U.S is ranges from $40,000 – $100,000. So, how much does it cost to own a horse?…

The total cost of a horse depending on the breed, young or not trained, size, color, geographical location and whether the horse is going to be lives in your farm or a boarding facility. It looks like there is no easy way to give you the accurate answer in digits.




Boarding fee$400 – $600$4060 – $7000
Equipment and Supplies$350-$1500
Hay & Straw and other nutrients$350 –  $400$4000 – 4800
Hooves trim$32 – $40$384 – $480
Vaccinations fee$200 – $300 (Every 2-3 months)$600 – $1000
Insurance cost$90-$150$2500 – $5000
Farrier trim$50 – $80 (Every 2 months)$550-$600
Veterinary cost (Dentist / deworming, etc)$40 – $80$300 – $500
Emergency Fund$1000 – $1500$10000 – $15,000
Total$2250- $3300$23000 – $34,380

As per the current market price of a healthy horse, would range from $3000 to $10000 with no additional fees. Being owner of the horse, is unique and a lifelong commitment. The cost of hay, nutrient grains, shavings, watershed tubs, proper place, fence, farrier care, health check on monthly basis, hooves care, tack, riding equipment’s are all carry on with the total expense of weekly or monthly basis.

So, here is the bird’s eye view of the essential things that will compound with the full cost of a horse.

  • Facility cost
  • Feeding cost
  • Manure Management
  • Health care cost
  • Boarding cost

1) Facility Cost:

When you start to plan to buy a horse, the most important factor you need to consider is the place where horse is going to live. It may be home pasture or boarding, the living environment should be comfortable and non-pollutant. It is mandatory for that a horse should need at least an acre of land to move around. Also, there is a tremendous advantage on the hay buying cost if you are an owner of  many acres of pasture land. Here are few things that need to consider while making your property a horse-livable.

  • Pasture land should have a proper safe fences
  • Plan to supply hay more at the time of insufficient pasture or grass.
  • Plan and maintain the hay storage effectively. So, it will save the hay wasting and buying cost.
  • Better manure management
  • Clean stalls and shelter
  • Well maintained riding area
  • Automatic watering system and ventilation system
  • Tank water heaters at the time of winter and snow

Fulfilling this requirement takes time and planning as well. Making an informed decision is much more depending on the expenses involved in setting up these amenities as well.

2) Horse Feeding Cost

Have you ever heard of the phrase “He eats like a horse!”, It is kind of a funny way to imply a person who eats too many times in a day. Similar to that, Food plays the major part in the total yearly cost for a horse feed. As in fact, a horse eats grass or hay to 1.5-2.5% of his body weight on a daily basis and in an early basis nearly 2.5 tons of grass would be consumed. Also, depending upon the horse performance level, the daily intake would vary. For example, a riding horse would consume much more than the British showjumping horse, because of the energy level is differed.

If you are live in the southwestern of United States, who owns a horse, you may find hay prices are higher ($25/bale) at the drought seasons.

As already known, grass and hay is the basic food consumption by the horse, but they also need to consume multigrain nutrients regularly to be healthy and have a longer lifespan as well. So, here comes the “Nutritional expenses” that would be at least 30% ($12-$15) of the total feeding cost. On daily basis, a horse need to consume 2 pounds of nutrient supplements like rice bran, vegetable oil, corn, oats, barley, mixed pellets supplements, and soya bean, etc. These nutrient supplements would fight against the common health issues like dental, metabolic syndrome, geriatric problems, and bad breath.

Overall, the annual cost of a horse food ranges from $4000 – $6000 on an average. You can reduce this cost by utilizing the pasture land efficiently and proper food management facility.

3) Manure Removal Cost

It is a known common metabolic system that, what goes into the horse mouth should come out as manure. A horse defecate average of 50 pounds of fertilizer on a daily basis. It is the owner’s choice whether he or she wants to use the manure as fertilizer for empty lands or have completely removed from the area. If the choice is to use manure as fertilizer, then you need to buy equipment for stack, turn and spread for composting. It may cost around $50 – $200. If the manure needs to completely removed then, you can hire a haul manures company for $100-$150 for 20-square yard load.

It is necessary to have a better disposal management system when you have a broad land. So, it will prevent spreading of any diseases from human to horse and horse to human as well.


4) Health Care Cost

Horse physical functions are similar to humans; they also get sick unnoticed. So, it is necessary for the owner to plan and have some emergency fund to avoid future risk. I have explained in detail about the few essential health care factors for the horse on weekly, monthly and yearly basis.

  • Trim the Hooves

Hooves are the most important of a horse. They will grow continuously unless it is not trimmed at the particular periodical timings. The perfect feet are like the wheels of a car; they should maintain the balance for a beautiful ride. Moreover, the unbalanced hooves would make the horse walk uncomfortable, lower limbs would impact the leg bone joints to hurt, and it can lead to arthritis if this issue continues for the longer period.

So, it is better to trim the horse hooves on every 8-10 weeks of the period per year. Farrier cost for trimming around $35-80 per visit and $100-300 for the shoe.

  • Parasites Control or Deworming  

For any animal, it may be a cat, or dog or sheep the most unsettling problem the owner would face is the parasite growth in the body. As per the fact, every year at least 6% horses are dying or will be euthanized because parasite growth in their body. To prevent this, pest control can be done by the horse owner if he had any previous experience. Otherwise, it is better to done by the veterinarian for $50-$70. The products like Ivermectin would cost you around $40-$50 for every 6-7 weeks.

  • Dental Care

It is better to resolve the dental problems at the initial stage; instead that would grow as tooth abscesses or cancer then it can be a bigger problem to solve. So, Healthy tooth will help to chew better and result in less wastage of food.

Dental care would cost to $60 – $80 per visit and total of $250 – $500 per year.

  • Vaccination

Immunization of horse is strongly suggested procedure to protect against the contagious viruses and any other disease spread parasites. By vaccinating the horse, the owner could prevent diseases like tetanus, encephalitis, rabies, influenza, rhinopneumonitis, strangles, anthrax to spread on to humans. These viral vaccines would cost around $40 – $100 per year.

American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) suggests that every horse should vaccinate on the yearly basis.

These viruses spread based on the location you live in and the way you manage your barn. Owners should discuss with their veterinarian about the horse disease prevalent methods and make sure to follow meticulously.

In similar to that, there are few other medical cares like Coggins testing or ELISA testing, musculoskeletal care is also to watch out on a yearly basis.

  • Insurance Cost

AHC states that, every owner must prepared for the future risks like health and unnatural disasters. Since, it is a big investment for any owner, ensuring his or her investment would be an enormous financial relief. Insurance would cost vary according to the horse’s age, breed and the type of use. You can call the insurance agents in your state ask for agricultural insurance schemes available for your budget.  For example, the annual fee for 15 year’s insurance plan would be $250 – $500 with all deductible claims.

Boarding for Beginners

how much does it own a horse
how much does it own a horse

It is time to thank for Horse Boarding Farm entrepreneur’s out there, because of helping out the new horse owners from their struggle of managing things on a daily basis is a great task. Boarding is a better option for those who have less or no space availability. To define boarding, they are an private horse maintenance farms and your horse will get the facilities like Horseback riding lessons, stall boarding, turnouts, outdoor arena, Trail riding, pasture board, dressage, health care and meeting new people. This boarding cost would differ according to the location, facility and service they provide. The average cost of a horse boarding ranges from $400 – $600 per month (Annual fee would be $4060 – $7000).

So, you don’t have to worry about the taking care of your horse’s health and doing the daily chores.

Bottom Line

Having a horse(s) is a huge responsibility; it needs long-term budget, personal dedication and enough time. So it is good to be prepared for the unexpected expenses may occur in the future, especially the new owners. Be cautious every penny you spend. It is time for you to ride your horse is like a king!


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