How Much Does it Cost to Own a Horse?

You don’t have to be a horse aficionado to admire the animals. Horses are some of the most beautiful creatures on Earth, and it’s really not surprising that many people love these animals as pets. Horses are smart creatures, and they offer their owners something unique that not all pets could give. Equine communities know what it takes to have horses for pets, and we probably don’t need to tell you just how much they cost to keep around. If you’ve ever imagined yourself owning a horse, just know that it could be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have. Just be prepared to cover the following costs.

Housing

If you have enough space in your home grounds to have a stable with a proper stall for a horse, then you would only need to shoulder the initial construction and maintenance of your horse’s home. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay for boarding at the closest stable or barn, where your horse would be assigned a stall. This might be the best option for most who don’t have the appropriate land to house a horse. Boarding for horses will include access to trails and a pasture where your horse could graze. Unfortunately, stalls could go anywhere from $500 and more per month depending on where you live.

Food

Horses are large creatures that expend large amounts of energy, so expect them to eat a lot. Horses eat mostly hay, which can cost you about $200 per month. This number will decrease if your horse is allowed to graze on grass. Different hay costs different amounts, but a $200 monthly budget for horse food is reasonable. You could also supplement with prepackaged feeds occasionally that will cost you about $30 per month. It’s a good way to give your horse necessary nutrients that it might not otherwise get.

Farrier

Finding a good farrier is important for horse care. You want to have a trustworthy and skilled farrier, so you can be sure that your horse and its hooves are in good hands. Much like humans have to constantly trim their nails, horse hooves need to be regularly trimmed as well. You can budge up to $50 per month on trimming, but set aside extras for shoeing, which normally costs more. A full set of horse shoes could cost you up to $140 depending on where you live. Corrective shoeing costs even more. If your horse has a cracked hoof that needs correcting, you’ll probably have to purchase shoes that can cost you around $175.

Grooming

Most people who buy horses have the intention of riding. In order to ride a horse, you’re going to have to invest in proper riding equipment, which includes a saddle, pad, halter, bit, bridle, and lead. All of these could cost you thousands with a new purchase, which you could break down to roughly $200 per month or even more. You can buy used equipment for cheaper, but just don’t expect them to last as long as new equipment would.

Health

Like all animals, horses need dental and medical care as well. Your horse will need a visit to the vet every year for general health checkup, teeth cleaning, and vaccinations. A visit to the vet could cost you up to $250, which would normally include all procedures that your horse will need to go through. Your horse will also need deworming every other month, which is another health expense. You also have to be prepared for any emergencies that might come about. Emergencies could cost a lot of money, so being prepared for them will help with the financial stress.

Training

This is definitely not a necessity, but it can be quite helpful if you have minimal or no experience with riding altogether. You’ll have to get private training, which can cost you anywhere from $50 an hour to about $700 per month. It all depends on where you are and whom you’re getting training from. If you’re a little bit more advanced in riding and you’re looking for a more specialized training, expect to pay even more. Specialized training could cost you about $400 for one weekend. While that may sound like much, the skills that your horse would learn will make riding more enjoyable in the long run. In short, the expense will be worth it. So save up and let your horse get the training; both you and your horse will benefit from it all.

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