Is It Expensive To Own A Horse?

Is it expensive to own a horse? I have wondered about that to myself for some time now and that curiosity led me to do this research. I’m pretty sure the answer will amaze you as much as did me.

Horses are beautiful animals to behold but don’t be tempted to purchase one until you have a full understanding of what you’re about getting into. Horses are a luxury only a few can afford, hence they are mainly associated with the rich and wealthy. This is due to the expenses incurred in their maintenance. It is widely said that “there is no such thing as a free horse”, a saying that has proven, over time, to be true.

It’s is highly recommended that a certified veterinary doctor conduct adequate tests and checkups on the horse before a purchase is initiated. This checkup will allow the veterinary doctor to obtain adequate information about the state of the horse. Only then can he alert you to pending issues and offer general advice that will go a long way in determining if the purchase should go on. This check-up will set you back approximately a couple hundred dollars to about 2000 dollars depending on the amount and intensity of the test carried out.

Irrespective of the cost of purchase, the basic care for virtually all horses cost the same. Although these costs can vary as a result of certain factors, owning a horse requires a lot of professional handling and these professionals don’t come cheap. Let’s take a look at the cost of owning a horse.

Basic Minimum Costs

While government regulations make it difficult for every horse owner to keep their horses at home, it’s a really fortunate thing if you have the facilities as it would save you the cost of renting a field or livery. The countryside is the most suitable for breeding horses due to its abundant fields.

Livery yards possess a range of facilities for your horse such as training arenas, tack rooms; jumps and a lot of muck heaps. These yards are also fully responsible for maintaining the fields. This is totally different from renting a field from a farmer, as you would be required to be in charge of maintaining the field and ensuring timely rival of the muck. In livery yards, you also get the opportunity to meet and interact with other horse owners renting out too. This would provide an avenue to listen to some good advice from experienced horse owners

Livery costs are not the only expenses you will incur. We have gone further and have undertaken a comprehensive breakdown of the basic minimum cost of owning a horse. These estimates have been provided based on the assumption that you intend to keep the horse as personal property. It is important to state that these costs are not uniform across different Locations. The closer you stay to horse hubs, the more expensive it will be to maintain your horse. Fortunately, there are ways to cut costs. Shopping for good quality hay by picking it personally from the fields is a way to cut costs. You can also learn how to trim your horse’s hooves yourself.




A huge portion of the budget for taking basic care of a horse is directed towards feeding the horse. This could take up about a third of the budget and in other cases; about half of the budget is set aside for feeding. Every day, a horse is required to consume a certain percentage of its body weight in hay and supplements. This percentage is estimated to be between 2-3%.

Hay, an important horse food could cost as much as $4 -$10 per day for one-half of a bale. This cost could go up should your horse require more than that quantity of bale. Mineral supplements could cost you between $20- $30 per day. This is in addition to salt blocks and concentrates which could cost you up to $14 and $1 respectively. Deworming paste needed every three months costs up to 20 cents a day.

Maintaining a horse’s hooves is very important and can’t be treated softly. Poor hoof maintenance can result in infections, hyper-extension of the joint and in extreme cases, permanent lameness.

A certified Farrier is needed to trim the hooves and shoe the horses every six to eight weeks. Trimming is going to come at an approximate cost of $35 per trim or $0.83 per day. This is different from the cost of shoeing which can cost much more depending on how many hooves are shoed and now often they are replaced. A dentist can be called in at necessary intervals at 35 cents per day or a flat rate of $130 per year.

Owning a horse requires constant and regular veterinary checkups, vaccinations, deworming and wound dressings. Horses need to be vaccinated against diseases like rabies, influenza, tetanus and other animal diseases. These vaccinations could set you back as much as $495 per year. According to animal experts, the minimum cost of keeping one horse is estimated to be $2000.

Owning a horse requires boarding. This could be full or partial boarding but the costs involved are huge. These fees vary depending on the boarding facilities used. It is estimated this could cost as low as $100 per month for pastures with no provision for exercise, food, and other necessary amenities, whereas for areas close to big cities and pastures providing food, bedding, frequent exercise, and amenities, be prepared to cough out as much as $1000 per month. According to research conducted by the Rutgers University research team, the average monthly boarding fee is estimated to be $260. This fee can rise to $600 in some cases.


So Is It Expensive To Own A Horse?

General Maintenance

Owning a horse requires a lot of general maintenance and the accompanying costs. General maintenance entails stable maintenance, equipment, and vehicle maintenance and also fencing. All these maintenance exercises will incur expenses. The estimated cost per year is between $700 and $900.

Non-Financial Commitments

Taking care of a horse requires more than just financial investments. This exercise requires and demands emotional and physical efforts. A lot of time needs to be dedicated to grooming and training a horse. This exercise could take about 3 hours for each session. Sessions could occur as frequently as four to six days a week. Emergency situations could be mentally exhausting too as well as physical. Horses could fall sick or get endangered. A lot of tough decisions have to be made

How Expensive Is It To Own A Horse

One-Time Or Occasional Expenses

It is common knowledge that life involves recurrent expenditure and one time purchases. The supplies to be purchased includes, but not limited to, shampoo, bridles, horse saddles, and brushes. It is also necessary to state that, some of these recurrent purchases would need investment upfront. This will ensure adequate and timely replacements of equipment. Other necessary purchases Incurred in owning a horse are riding equipment such as gloves, helmets, and boots.

Out Of Budget Expenses.

Like every other business, owning a horse can throw up some unexpected costs that may not have been budgeted for. This will definitely push our previous estimates higher. While all horses are definitely not the same, there are special breeds that require being fed with concentrates and supplements that are more expensive than the regular.

Unexpected veterinary bills could also be incurred as a result of a sudden illness in the horse. Off-hour requests for vets can come at an expensive rate and certain ailments like colic can require surgery that could cost you thousands of dollars. It is largely advised you think ahead and set up an emergency fund to cover the cost of emergency veterinary needs and if possible buy an insurance plan for your horse.

Making the decision to compete with your horse will also result in additional costs as they will require special trimmings and shoes. A sudden and impending disease infestation would require immediate Vaccinations not initially budgeted for. Drought and bad weather could cause an increase in the prices of feeds as a result of scarcity.

While horses are definitely very expensive to own and maintain, it’s a hugely rewarding experience. They are special animals and throughout history, we can find people who formed deep personal connections with horses. Now depending on who answers the question, owning a horse can be a fruitful experience.

Owning A Horse Is Expensive

In becoming a horse owner, a whole lot of responsibility falls on you. You are tasked with providing the horse an environment that is safe and healthy to live in. But as earlier stated, a lot of finances would be needed to ensure smooth ownership of your horse. Your level of finance would go a long way in determining your level of involvement in horse ownership.