How much does it cost to own a horse?
Buying a horse is a decision that will affect your life for many years. The acquisition of an equine represents a significant cost that must be taken into account in your budget.
How much does it cost to buy a horse?
When you think about buying a horse, the first expense is quite obvious: the purchase of the horse. It is important to understand that the selling price of a horse is established according to different criteria such as its age, its origins, its breed, its working experience, its sporting level and possibly its performance in competitions. The seller will also be able to add to this the cost of the covering by the chosen stallion, but also the expenses incurred for the education, maintenance and work of the horse.
There is also a variation in the purchase price of a horse depending on what it is intended for:
- Are you thinking of buying a leisure horse? In this case, you will opt for a horse that has been retired from racing or a horse from an equestrian center. The price of this horse will necessarily be lower than that of a sport horse. It will take about 3000$ for a horse of this kind full papers. You are a lover of breeds such as the Lusitano, the Friesian or the Quarter Horse? It is rather 5000$ that it will be necessary to disburse.
- You are planning to acquire a sport horse? You can expect the price to rise, especially if the horse you want has already done well in competitions. The price will be even higher if you want to take part in official competitions: you will have to buy a horse with full papers, more expensive than an ONC (origins not recorded). Prices vary on average between 3,000 and 15,000$, but can easily exceed 30 to 50,000$ for professional level horses.
- You want to start the adventure of a young horse? Sometimes barely broken in, sometimes completely green in the work, it is up to you to take care of his training. Young horses are less expensive than the experienced sport horses that we call schoolmasters. Nevertheless, the rates still depend on the farms where they grew up.
Good to know: In addition to the purchase price of your horse, you must take into account the cost of the veterinary visit. Absolutely essential to verify that your future horse is in good health and that the seller is not lying to you, it will cost you between 150 and 200$ if you don't ask for x-rays.
In reality, it is complicated to give you a precise idea of the purchase price of a horse, as it depends on many parameters. You can get a horse for as little as 500$ or spend tens, even hundreds, of thousands of euros. It all depends on your finances and your equestrian goals.
Do you want to buy a horse for riding or walking? You want to compete in big events? The budget for the purchase of your future horse will obviously not be the same.
Purchase the appropriate equipment
Buying a horse also means investing in the necessary equipment for its care or work, unless it is an "ornamental" horse that will play the role of a lawnmower in your pasture. You will need at least the equipment to groom him, ride him, and possibly transport him. You will need at least a saddle (perhaps custom made for your horse), one or more rugs, a snaffle with an adapted bit, protections, blankets for the winter... It all depends on your riding style, your equestrian philosophy and your preferred discipline.
The budget dedicated to this item of expenditure depends on the quality of the equipment purchased, the brands chosen... You will have to spend several hundred to several thousand euros.
Moreover, if you want to go out regularly in competitions, you may have to invest in a van or a truck for horses too!
How much does a horse cost per month?Buying a horse is not limited to the purchase price. You must also keep in mind the different expenses and charges that can quickly (very quickly) add up.
Think about the housing costs
Where do you plan to house your horse? At home? In someone else's pasture? In an equestrian center? In a private boarding facility? The cost of accommodation differs depending on the type of accommodation you choose. You will pay less if you place your horse in a pasture than in an owner's stable!
Rates also vary depending on the region where you are located and the services offered by your stable. To speak only of regions, you will find boarding stables for a rate of about 250 to 300$/month in Brittany, while you will have to pay 100 to 150$ more in the same conditions in the south.
If you place your horse in an owner's stable, you may be offered various paid services such as putting your horse in the paddock, distributing food supplements (as a supplement since they are rarely included in the price of the boarding), putting blankets... You can also opt for a working boarding, but expect to pay almost one SMIC per month for this type of service!
Also, the boarding price will be higher if you are in a stable equipped with an Olympic arena, two arenas and a cross-country arena than if you are in a stable with no working space.
Unless you board your horse at home, you will have to count between $150 and $500 on average, sometimes less (pasture boarding), sometimes much more (private stables) depending on the type of accommodation chosen.
Anticipate health and maintenance costs
You will have to pay for health and routine care for your horse every year. For example, you will need to bring in a veterinarian for vaccinations ($30/year) and deworming ($20-30 each). You will also need to bring in an osteopath and a dentist about once a year ($50-100 on average).
Whether you are a barefoot advocate or not, you will need to hire a farrier either to change your horse's shoes or to trim his feet. In general, this professional will visit you every 6 to 8 weeks and will charge you an average of $90 for a complete shoeing and $30 for a trimming.
The above fees are what you will have to pay if everything goes well. Although horses are big and have a powerful feeling, they are actually fragile animals. A colic or tendonitis can happen very quickly. If your horse is a problem magnet and gives you summer dermatitis or any other illness every year, you will soon find yourself with much larger bills to deal with.
You need to think about this and be prepared to incur veterinary expenses that can easily exceed 3 zeros. This is not always the case, of course, but it is better to set aside some money on a regular basis to cover any unexpected costs. You can also take out health insurance for your horse to limit health costs.
If you have a sport horse, you should also think about the costs involved if you want to go to shows or have a teacher take riding lessons ($25 to $50 on average for a private lesson, depending on the instructor).
By now you know: buying a horse is not something to be taken lightly. In addition to the purchase price of your horse, there are many other costs that will be incurred throughout the life of your companion. It is important to be aware of this before you take the plunge into one of the greatest adventures of your life.
How much does it cost to feed a horse?
When a horse is kept in a boarding facility, the rates generally take into account the food, except if the animal follows a specific diet which will then have to be provided. In the case of an animal housed at home, hay, pellets or flakes, as well as water, must be taken into account, for a total cost of approximately 70 to 80$ per month.