Monthly Horse Costs?

Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by A. Rose, May 15, 2018.

  1. A. Rose

    A. Rose Registered

    Nov 23, 2017
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    I am a beginner and I am putting together all of the horse costs I would pay a month.

    One question I have is how much does it cost per month to keep a horse?

    Please note that I wouldn't be boarding my horse and I would be keeping my horse in my front pasture.

    Off topic question, but if I were to get a horse right now, should I get a 10 year old gelding named Red that is an easy keeper?

    Thank you :)
  2. bobo and horses

    bobo and horses Senior Member

    Feb 4, 2007
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    If you are not boarding, I’d worry more about feed, hay, turn out, vet bills, cost of tack, farrier, transportation, shelter and a myriad of other costs that horse ownership entails.

    I think people has offered you good advice - lease or take lessons on an experienced lesson horse.
    Friesiangirl and mooselady like this.
  3. ChestersMomma

    ChestersMomma Senior Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 17, 2008
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    Startup cost would include fencing and gates, stall/shelter construction, tack storage, and space for manure. You will have to purchase secure bins to keep feed in, water buckets, water troughs, feed pans, muck rakes, stall mats, and fly predators. Depending on what you already have... each horse needs their own halters (2 at least) with leads, tack, and grooming supplies. You need to have enough pastures that you can rotate the horses so one does not get too worn down. Ideally, you would also have a dry lot in case one needs to be off grass.

    Monthly costs would include hay, grain/feed, water, manure removal (if you do not have means to take care of it or spread it yourself), insurance, supplements if needed, farrier work. These costs are all very dependent on where you are located. Hay, for example, is much more costly in certain parts of the US than others.

    Some costs that come around every couple months would be vet bills, wormer as needed, chiro as needed.

    This is all very basic and high level. There is no way someone could just give you an off the cuff estimate not knowing what you have, where you are, and what kind of setup you want at home.

    Lastly, who are we to say what horse you should purchase? That would be a decision to be made by you any family members/housemates you have.
  4. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2004
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    One thing is finding out if the property drains well enough to accommodate horses. If it's a very wet, poorly drained or low area horses will turn it into a mud pit very quick and the local government will not be happy with that.

    If you keep the horse at home in your front pasture, how big is that pasture? You still need to buy hay for part of the year in most of the US. Grass doesn't grow in winter in most places, and also, sometimes in summer the pasture gets too dry and doesn't grow. There is veterinary costs (both annual and emergency), farrier visits (about every 6 weeks), lessons and training, worming, maintenance of a barn and pasture, bedding costs, fencing(definitely not cheap to put up), dealing with manure(some communities require it to be hauled away regularly, and require the use of a leased dumpster), and the need to get another horse to keep that one company; they're herd animals. Most of them don't do well alone.

    Also it's important to check local zoning and laws and make sure horses are allowed on your property, and to make sure that your neighbors will not object (even if horses are allowed there, your neighbors still can make a lot of trouble).

    Suggestion. Take lessons. Lease a horse. Wait until you are able to pay for the expenses.
  5. StraightandTrue

    StraightandTrue Senior Member

    Mar 19, 2010
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    It really depends on what you already have in terms of set up and existing gear. Assuming you have nothing but an empty paddock, you will need:

    Set Up
    • 2x feed tubs/troughs (one plus a spare)
    • 2x hay nets or hay bags
    • 1x water trough
    • 1,000,000 x buckets (you can never have enough)
    • 2x or more 40 gallon feed drums to store feed (or build your own rat-proof storage container)
    • 2x or more wood pallets for storing hay (it can get mouldy if left directly on the floor)
    • Somewhere secure and out of the weather to store feed, hay and gear (shed, stable or other)
    • Horse safe fencing, either electric or 'post & rail' style
    • Some form of shade/shelter for the horse whether it's trees, shade cloth, or a purpose built shelter
    • Preferably a companion for the horse (other horses, sheep, cows, goats etc) as they are herd animals and don't like to be alone
    Gear (note: rugging is optional if your horse copes well with the elements)
    • 2x cotton rugs
    • 1x woollen / doona rug
    • 1x waterproof rug
    • 2x halters (one plus a spare)
    • 2x lead ropes (one plus a spare)
    • 1x emergency first aid kit with an assortment of sterile bandages and wound dressings, iodine, saline, ointments etc. I also have a thermometer, stethoscope, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics but if you're a beginner I would seek veterinary advice before attempting to diagnose things yourself.
    Riding / Grooming Equipment
    • 1x bridle (with spare set of reins)
    • 1x saddle (with spare girth and stirrup leathers)
    • 2x saddle pads (one plus a spare)
    • 1x set of grooming brushes with hoof pick and scraper
    • Shampoo & conditioner
    • Breastplate (optional)
    • Exercise boots or wraps (optional)
    • Transport boots or wraps (optional)
    Ongoing expenses
    • Vaccinations for strangles, tetanus and others specific to your area
    • Farrier/hoof trimmer every 6 weeks minimum
    • De-worming paste as recommended by manufacturer (frequency varies)
    • Equine dentist every 12-18 months depending on state of teeth
    Having said all this, the most significant expenses tend to occur as a result of injury or illness. Colic surgery generally costs AUD$10-15k to give you an idea. I recently spent AUD$3.5k on surgery for my mare after she sustained an injury in the paddock. Luckily I had her insured and was able to claim most of it back, but I'm still out of pocket at least AUD$1k. I have only just started riding her again after about 2.5 months off, and I've been paying for her upkeep the entire time. It's not cheap owning a horse! It's great that you are researching the expenses prior to diving into ownership, and I hope this helps you work out whether it's the right option for you.
  6. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2012
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    8,852 school out for summer somewhere already?
    manesntails likes this.
  7. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

    May 21, 2010
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    People who have “a front pasture“ already have Livestock.Therefore, they already know what it costs to feed and care for some kind of livestock.
    They don't buy a horse without having familiarized themself with horses nor without already knowing what hay, wormer, farrier, Vet, etc would cost, and they would already know that there's no way anyone could say if “ a 10yr old horse named “Red“ would be suitable“; they'd realize that suitability includes more than name and age.
    mooselady, Circle C and ginster like this.
  8. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2012
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    The off topic question made my troll sense tingle, tbh.
    That aside: the answers will hopefully be helpful to others.
    Alsosusieq2 and manesntails like this.
  9. Pony123

    Pony123 Full Member

    Feb 18, 2014
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    You have to be prepared for the worst to happen when you own a horse. This was my cost for my pony within one month
    Purchase- 2500$
    Stall Board 2 wks- 300$
    Lessons/training rides- 300$
    Field Board 2wks- 180$
    Grain- 50$
    Vet Field Call- 200$
    Trailer Fee- 35$
    Vet Bills- 2000$

    That comes to around $5700 for one month, not counting tack purchase. Odds are it probably won't be that much for you but horses have a way of defying the odds when it comes to money.
  10. ChestersMomma

    ChestersMomma Senior Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 17, 2008
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