Horses are Expensive!
Do you have enough money to buy a car? Because owning a horse will run you about the same per month as a used car payment, so plan accordingly.
One of the main reasons America has an Unwanted Horse problem is that we all love the idea of having a horse, without understanding just what it entails. Love is only a fraction of the equation.
If you’re thinking about buying a horse, we implore you to play that tape all the way through. Hopefully the information on this page will make you think twice.
Startup Costs - $1,000
Buying a horse is the cheapest thing you will ever do as a horse owner. Before you get your horse home, you'll need tack to move it around, safe fences to contain it, a three-sided shelter to protect it, a round pen to work it, buckets to feed it, grooming supplies, feed, a reliable hay supply... to infinity.
Feed - $1,500/year
An average horse weighs about 1,100 pounds and needs 1.5 to 2.5% of its weight in hay and grain, every day. A 50-pound bag of grain costs about $15. Depending on whether your horse has access to pasture, plan to spend at least $1,000 a year. The better the feed, the more you pay.
Hoof Care - $800/year
Unless you know how to trim and shoe a horse, you'll need to pay a farrier to check your horse's feet every 6-8 weeks. While many owners think this is optional - it's not. Oklahoma farriers can run $35 to $50 for bare feet. If your horse needs shoes, plan to pay more than $100.
If you're lucky and your horse is in good health and not prone to accidents (Ha!), you'll average about $500 per year on preventive care like checkups, sheath cleaning (geldings), vaccines, de-worming and dental work. For each emergency, double your annual cost.
Boarding - $6,000/year
If you have your own land and safe shelter, plan on spending about $800 a year for upkeep. The cost to board a horse can run anywhere from $250 a month to $1,000, depending upon your expectations. On average, you'll probably pay $400 a month for access to hay, pasture and grain.
Training - $700/month
Depending on your level of experience, you might want to hire a professional trainer to help you learn your new horse. (We highly recommend it.) If a trainer takes your horse for 30 days, expect to pay between $400 and $700. By the hour, they charge $35 to $50.