The purchase price of a horse is small compared to the amount of money you'll need to spend for routine maintenance. If you are in the market to buy a horse for the first time, you should go in knowing about all of the on going maintenance costs before you buy the animal.
Expenses vary, depending on where you live and how you plan to board your horse and if you are buying a horse for pleasure or show. When you add it all up, you can easily spend $10,000 a year (or more) to keep your new horse healthy and happy. Here is a general idea of the types of expenses you will encounter.
Initial veterinary care for a horse upon arrival at the Wild Horse Foundation including physical exam, worming, dental exam and vaccinations is usually no less than $100, and often times more.
If a horse is in need of immediate trimming or shoeing, (and most are) this may cost as much as $60-$75 as ferriers generally require a minimum charge to come out to the ranch due to it's distance from town. So an emergency trim or shoeing can be quite expensive. If corrective work is needed this will drive the cost even higher and it may take several months of repeated farrier work to get the hooves back in shape.
On Going Maintenance
Boarding - You may be able to keep your horse on your own property. Most people, however, board their horses at a barn. Some barns offer only a stall and pasture; you do the work, caring for the horse and cleaning out the stall. At a full-service barn; grooming, feeding, and cleaning are included in the price, as is the feed and hay. Depending on the location and the services offered, boarding costs usually range from $250 to $1,000 per month.
Grain and Hay - A single bale of hay costs $6 to $12 depending on the season and where you live. An average healthy horse will eat a little under a bale, 25-30 pounds per day. The monthly cost of hay per horse is approximately $100-150. You should always include supplements such as grain, bran and psyllium, which can be as much as $25 per month per horse. Some horses require special supplements such as glucosomine for arthritics conditions and this can add extra per horse per month.
Veterinary Care - Veterinary costs usually run between $200 and $300 a year for routine care, providing the horse stays healthy. This would include two annual vaccinations (tetanus, influenza, and rhinopneumonitis), the cost of de-worming every six to eight weeks (horses are plagued by intestinal parasites), and having your horse's teeth floated (rasped) once a year.
Two of the most common veterinary calls, colic and lameness, can bring you an additional $150 to $250 per visit, including minor medications. If the colic or lameness workup is extensive, be prepared to spend $750 to $1,000 easily.
Ferrier - Routine hoof care needs to be performed every 6 to 8 weeks and ranges in price from $20 for a trim to $60 for shoes. Corrective shoeing, of course, will be much higher.
Tack and Equipment - You will need grooming equipment and tack; a saddle, a bridle and a saddle pad; other supplies may include a horse blanket if you live in a chilly climate. Tack and equipment will cost $500 at the low end and all the way up to $10,000 or more at the high end.
Miscellaneous - If you are a novice rider and plan on weekly riding lessons, on average, range anywhere from $85 - $200 a month. Of course if you are taking intermittent lessons, for example, at the more advanced stage you may pay considerably more per lesson.
If you plan to buy clothes specifically designed for riding; gear can cost you $150 at the low end (for a pair of decent boots) to $5,000 or more if you plan on showing.
Mortality insurance (which pays when your horse dies) runs about 4% of the insured value of the horse and medical insurance (to cover unexpected accidents or illnesses) with premiums at another $150 per year are additional costs to consider.
Horses make wonderful pets and companions, but as you can see, they can get quite costly. If we rescue a horse that really needs a lot of special attention it might cost as much as $3,000 to care for that horse over the span of one year (excluding boarding, tack and equipment, and miscellaneous costs).
Our average monthly cost to maintain a single horse is $200 (grain/hay, vet and farrier). Multiply this by 6 to 10 horses and you can see why we need your help. Your ongoing support can help us continue our work to save these wonderful animals from slaughter, or other dire circumstances, and prepare them for a brand new beginning with caring families who will love and appreciate them as they so deserve.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HORSE CARE WWW.WILDHORSEFOUNDATION.ORG OR EMAIL: email@example.com
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P. O. Box 692, Franklin, Texas 77856
P. O. Box 692, Franklin, Texas 77856
last updated 1-4-10