|Tuesday 24th August 2021
How Much Does It Cost to Own a Horse?
Horses are some of the most graceful animals ever to walk the earth. They are also very loyal and free-spirited. More so, horses have always been close to humans throughout history, playing a significant role in the rise of civilization. If you are looking for a new member of your family, look no further than this strong, beautiful, and graceful animal.
The Cost of Horse Ownership
You may be wondering just how deep you need to reach into your pockets to buy and maintain a horse. Or even why you need to buy a horse in the first place. There is no doubt that horses are a costly purchase, and you cannot compare their maintenance to that of a cat or a dog. However, it is absolutely worth it. When you saddle up and race in the wind with your new friend, finances will be the last thing on your mind.
Horseback riding is one of the most exciting and thrilling adventures you can ever get into. There are also major benefits of horseback riding that you will get to enjoy, such as lessons on responsibility, physical fitness, and good mental health, as well as a strong bond and a return to nature. Now let’s look into just how much it actually costs to own a horse.
Buying a Horse
Different horses vary in prices depending on breed, age, training, and the horse’s bloodline. The prices range from $500 up to $20,000, with the average cost of a recreational horse being $3,000. Horses above $10,000 are high-level competition horses with exceptional bloodlines, often imported from overseas.
Like every big purchase, buying a horse entails extra expenses that you will probably procure only at the beginning. For instance, you must build a stable, fence-in land and reserve barn space if you live in the country. One-time costs will also include buying horse tacks such as harnesses, saddles, halters, stirrups, and bridles, as well as others like blankets, and brushes.
However, it gets even more expensive for horse owners living in cities since they have to board the horse on someone else’s land. This costs around $100-$150 per month in a pasture if you provide the food and other maintenance services like exercise, and $250-$600 in a stable where your horse is fed, in addition to activity, cleaning stalls, and fresh bedding.
Costs of Feeding a Horse
Keep in mind that basic care and feeding costs are just about the same despite the cost of buying the horse. Horses are large animals that require a lot of feeding and must consume 1.5% to 2.5% of their body weight (around 1,100 pounds) in grain and hay every day. Thus, the average cost of horse food is $1,000 annually. Note that the better the quality of hay or grain, the healthier the horse.
Vet costs are another significant expense, including basic vaccination (rabies, equine influenza, and tetanus), deworming, mineral supplements, and treatment for possible diseases or injuries. The average vet fee per year is around $500, which only includes basic care but can get much higher in case of unexpected injuries or diseases.
Some occasional and one-time expenses also include hiring help, frequent farrier visits, training horses, training people to ride, and buying equipment such as helmets and riding boots. More costs could also include barn and stable upkeep, which entails repairs and bedding changes. Essentially, general expenses tend to be more than $800 per year.