How much does equestrian cost? The Complete Guide to Equestrian Expenses

How much does equestrian cost

Equestrian sports have an illusion of being prohibitively expensive hobbies reserved only for the wealthy. But how much does equestrian really cost? The answer is highly variable - while top level competitors may invest millions, most amateur riders can participate on a reasonable budget. Here's a realistic look at equestrian costs for different levels.

The Short Answer: For Casual Riders, Budget $2,500-$5,000 Per Year

For a recreational rider taking weekly lessons and occasionally leasing or riding school horses, expect to budget around $2,500-$5,000 per year. Major costs include:

  • Weekly riding lessons: $40-$100 per lesson
  • Horse leasing: $200-$500 per month
  • Show fees: $50-$500 per show

With careful budgeting, equestrian can be an accessible hobby at this level. But costs grow quickly for those wishing to advance in the sport.

Owning Your Own Horse Costs $7,500-$15,000 Per Year

For riders ready to take the plunge into horse ownership, {how much does an equestrian horse cost}? With board, veterinary care, farrier, feed and other expenses, plan on investing $7,500-$15,000 annually for one horse. Key costs include:

  • Board: $300-$1,000 per month
  • Veterinary care: $300-$500 annually
  • Farrier: $700-$1,200 annually
  • Tack and supplies: $1,000-$2,000 upfront, $500 per year after that
  • Feed: $1,500-$3,000 per year

Showing and Competing Adds Thousands in Entry Fees and Travel

For competitive riders, the expenses shoot up quickly. {How much does it cost to be an equestrian} at the show circuit level? Add at least $5,000-$15,000 per year to the base cost of horse ownership. Showing requires:

  • Class entry fees: $50-$500 per show
  • Hotel and travel: $2,000+ for overnight shows
  • Trailer purchase and maintenance: $5,000+ upfront, $1,000 per year
  • Show attire and equipment: $2,000+ upfront

Also readWhat is Equestrian Camping?

Reaching the Upper Levels Can Cost $100,000+ Per Year

At the highest levels of the sport, {how much does an olympic equestrian horse cost}? For Olympic and world-class riders, expenses can easily surpass $100,000 per year. Costs include:

  • Top sport horses: $50,000-$500,000+ purchase price
  • Full training: $3,000-$5,000+ per month
  • Veterinary care: $10,000+ per year
  • Travel and competition fees: $40,000+

While the upper echelon carries major price tags, dedicated amateurs can find ways to participate in equestrian sports at many budget levels.

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Equestrian Costs

How can I get started affordably?

Look for barter opportunities at local barns, take group lessons, consider leasing a horse before buying, and buy quality used tack to save money upfront.

What are the yearly recurring costs?

Board, farrier, veterinary care, lessons/training and competition fees make up the bulk of annual equestrian costs. Tack and supplies require periodic replacement.

How much does equestrian equipment cost?

Basic tack like a saddle, bridle, pads and helmet costs $1,000-$2,000. Ongoing supplies like brushes, blankets, fly spray and wraps add a few hundred per year.

Can I deduct equestrian expenses on my taxes?

Some costs may be tax deductible if you establish your equestrian activities as a business. Consult an accountant about deducting horse-related expenses.

What are ways to reduce my costs?

Buy used equipment, take advantage of member discounts, volunteer at shows in exchange for reduced entry fees, and consider leasing to postpone horse ownership costs.

The Bottom Line

While the upper levels of equestrian sport require serious wealth, the beginner and intermediate levels can be pursued for yearly investments of $5,000-$15,000 with smart budgeting. For committed riders, it's possible to follow your passion for horses without breaking the bank through careful planning and prioritization.

Reading next

What is Equestrian Camping
how to become an equestrian rider

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