In 2000, the famous racehorse Fusaichi Pegasus was sold for $60 million. But assuming you’re not in the market for multi-million dollar horses, how much does it cost to keep a horse?
After all, you can buy a horse for only a few hundred dollars. In some cases that’s cheaper than a dog. But surely it has to be more expensive to keep a horse, right?
Let’s find out.
When you’re a horse owner, you need a place to keep them. Most likely, that’s going to be your biggest expense.
If you own property, you generally need one acre per horse for each of them to have enough space to roam about comfortably.
But let’s say you don’t own property and you need to board your horse. How much is boarding?
To keep a horse at a stable, expect to pay about $500 a month. But just like with everything else, quality and prices vary. You may be able to find a DIY stable for as low as $100 a month, or opt for a full-service luxury stable that can run you $1500 or higher.
Horses eat a lot. They eat 15 to 20 pounds of hay a day.
Let’s say you’re that lucky homeowner with land for your horse. Do you have enough for them to graze and meet their nutritional needs? You’ll need at least 2 acres of maintained pasture per horse.
But what if you don’t have that and your horse is on a hay diet? You can expect your horse to go through one 80-lb bale of hay every four days. In a month that can run between $100 and $250 per horse.
Hay prices vary depending on the quality, season, and demand in your area. If you buy in bulk, you may be able to get a better price. But that means you need a place to safely store a ton or two of hay at a time.
Your horse needs to be groomed regularly. But more importantly, they need to see a farrier who will take care of their hooves. Horse hooves grow like fingernails, and they need to be trimmed every three to four weeks.
For a monthly trim, expect to pay about $40 per horse. If you shoe your horse too, that price skyrockets to $120.
Once you have your equipment, you’ll rarely need to replace it if you take good care of it. Nonetheless, it’s always fun to go horse shopping at a place like countryandstable.com.
When you don’t have any tack, expect to spend $500 to $1000 getting all the gear you need. Depending on the quality, you can easily spend much more than that, but don’t expect to spend too much less.
How Much Does It Cost to Keep a Horse? Consider These Factors
So how much does it cost to keep a horse? That depends on whether or not you have your own land, enough pasture for grazing, and if you can provide regular grooming.
The more you can take a DIY approach when it comes to caring for your horse, the less expensive it’ll be.
But if not, housing, feed, and regular care will be your biggest expenses, and these are ones you can’t ignore. If you’re paying for everything, expect to pay about $650 per month per horse, on the cheap end of the scale.
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