how much is a horse

how much is a horse

What you can expect when buying your first horse

Buying your very first horse is a moment you’ll never forget and one of the most thrilling experiences of your life. Riding someone else’s horse (even leasing) is not quite the same as signing the papers and forking over your money in exchange for your own horse.

  • And that first ride? Exhilarating.
  • And your free time? Replaced with horse time.
  • And all that extra money? Well…

Depending on your needs and preferences, purchasing a horse might be rather costly. The price you’ll have to spend to keep them content and healthy is even more expensive. Have we discussed the cost of supplies yet? If you’re not careful things can get a bit ridiculous fast.

*Cover photo courtesy of Emily Harris from Sisters Horsing Around

Is owning a horse expensive?

Owning a horse can be expensive, depending on where you live . Someone that lives on a farm in a rural, midwestern town will probably end up paying a lot less than someone in the middle of a big city who has to board in a posh stable. Plus, the further you get from ample, fertile hay fields, the more you can expect to pay for forage .

Of course, certain expenses associated with owning a horse are as high as you make them.

Various dietary supplements, grooming products, and equipment things are more of a luxury and not really required. Go for it if you can afford it. If not, don’t worry that you couldn’t buy your horse that limited edition gold-plated and diamond encrusted bit. She won’t really give a damn!

Check out our monthly horse expense reports view Stephanie Moratto’s second perspective after that:

Factors influencing horse cost

The cost of the horse itself Depending on a variety of various conditions, might vary greatly. The biggest variables include age, training, show experience (and earnings), athletic potential, bloodlines, and health.

This means a senior, grade mare that can maybe do light trail riding and requires daily medication will be cheaper than that 7-year-old imported warmblood gelding that is trained to Fourth Level dressage. No big deal.

Here is one Australian event organizer who shares her annual spending:

Identifying needs versus wants

You’re better off when you initially start searching for your first horse. asking for help . Your trainer or instructor should know the ideal sort of horse for you and can be a great help keeping you in check. The same individual (or persons) might be helpful when it comes to purchasing equipment or other supplies.

People that have been involved in the equestrian industry for some time have seen a lot of what is available and can let you know whether something is genuinely unnecessary.

Try your best to avoid making impulsive purchases and instead take a step back and think of the pros and cons of whatever it is you’re seeking. Your bank account will thank you!

Our friends over at Savvy Horsewoman Headquarters offer a wealth of resources and knowledge to assist you in creating a budget.

What does a horse cost on average?

Horses may range in price from $0 to $70,000,000, but fortunately for us, average horse not millions of dollars in price. Most recreational mounts only run about $3,000, which is pretty reasonable.

However, the prices may start to escalate very rapidly if you start considering competitive horses.

  • Jumping horse —If you are looking into show jumping and want a decent starter horse to win you ribbons, you should expect to pay around $10,000. These horses must be bred for it and have a certain degree of athleticism, training, and experience.
  • Barrel racing horse —Like jumping horses, barrel horses are well bred and coached athletes, and this is reflected in their worth. Expect to pay at least $10,000 for a decent one, but don’t be surprised if you see more going for $15,000-20,000.
  • Miniature horse —Miniature horses are both quite distinctive and very popular right now! You can probably find one for $1,000, but the top examples of the breed can run you $200,000. Fortunately, since minis are a rare species, they often cost less than $4,000. It may not bring in a lot of winnings, but a cheap mini is still pretty cute.
  • Racehorse cost Racehorses are generally incredibly expensive due to the potential to make a lot of money. Although there are several estimates circulating about, you should prepare to spend between $50,000 and $60,000! The most expensive horse ever sold, Fusaichi Pegasus, went for around $70,000,000. Exactly — 70 million dollars!
  • Polo horse —Polo horses are typical when it comes to purchasing a mount for competition. A lower-level polo pony can run you around $4,000, but the higher-level ones can be around $30,000, or more.

A other option to think about is purchasing a horse at auction. Here’s a video from Elphick Event Ponies about her experience.

Costs to feed a horse

The cost to feed a horse depends on their size, level of work, genetics, health requirements, and your location. Many leisurely horses who participate in informal trail rides might be completely comfortable with only a simple hay and/or pasture although in certain places they might be too pricey.

Expect to spend considerably more if you need to balance forage that is deficient in something or feed a concentrate to provide additional calories.

Supplements may be rather pricey as well, so you can be unpleasantly shocked if your horse develops a special medical condition.

In all, you should budget between $60 to $230 per month for hay alone before adding any concentrate or supplement fees.

Cost to board a horse

Like feeding, boarding might differ depending on where you are. If you’re in a big city or other area with hard-to-find acreage, you’ll have to pay a lot more than in rural areas.

Since boarding often includes feed and hay , a barn will have to increase its boarding fees if it must truck hay in from distant areas.

You can often locate a good barn for $400 to $500, but don’t be surprised if you encounter establishments that ask $750 or more.

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Average horse health expenses

Luckily, most veterinary care isn’t actually that bad . The more horses in your area the easier it is to find veterinarians and the easier it is for them to charge a bit less. You might anticipate spending $500 year on veterinary care, but maintaining an eye emergency fund is important.

You should budget between $5,000 and $10,000 if your horse requires surgery for colic.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a Quarter Horse cost?

The average Quarter Horse costs about $3,500. They’re easy to find and pop up everywhere , but with good cause! They often make good company and can easily adapt to a variety of activities. They work with cattle, compete in races, jump, hike, and perform dressage.

What does a Friesian Horse cost?

One glance will explain why Friesians are so well-liked at the moment. They are stunning! Initially used for pulling carriages, they are now exchanging gears and have making a splash in the dressage world . Expect to pay around $25,000 to get your hands on one.

What does a Gypsy Vanner cost?

The Gypsy Vanner is another another stylish breed of horse! They have shown some promise in a variety of sports, including driving, leaping, and even trail riding! For one, you should budget at least $10,000.

What to do if you can’t afford your horses anymore?

Think about renting your horse. A full lease means another person would take full financial responsibility for board, the farrier, and routine vet bills.

You may always lease your horse onsite (he remains where he is) or simply allow the horse to be relocated someplace nearby where you can check on him often if you are concerned that the lessee won’t take excellent care of your horse.

Leasing for you, no? Think about switching your board’s kind. The least expensive option is self-care, but it often involves more effort.

Finally, you may sell your horse to a buyer who will adore him and has more money.

If your barn offers lessons and needs a new horse, consider offering the use of yours. The barn management will likely agree to a reduced board rate.

For two to three riding days each week, you may undertake a partial or half lease on your horse. If your horse is show-level trained, you can offer him for a show lease, which can easily be worth $10,000/year, plus the leaser pays for board and the horse’s continued training.

Finally, if you have a mare and are willing to give up riding for a time, you might offer her as a recipient mare or arrange a breeding lease for a year.

Parting Thoughts

No matter where you live, owning horses is a major expenditure, but certain places will just cost far more. With such a wide range in purchase costs for different horses and an even wider range in the cost of care it can be very difficult to come up with an average.

A recreational mount should cost around $3,000, and annual upkeep should cost at least another $3,000 in total. Worth it ? Totally!

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