The average price of a horse is about $3,000 but the cost
of keeping a horse can easily reach $100,000. For prospective
horse buyers, the question is not ’Can I afford to buy him?’
but rather ’Can I afford to keep him?’. The monthly, yearly
and long term costs are as follows. The costs given are typical
costs; in some areas they will be higher and in some lower.
Professional stabling typically costs $200 to $600 per month.
If you stable the horse and do all the required work (e.g.
mucking out) yourself, it will still costs about $75/month
for bedding, straw and other feed, salt, minerals and incidentals.
In some areas costs could be much higher than this due to
high prices for hay and feed.
Your horse will need to have his feet trimmed every 6 8 weeks,
at a minimum cost of $30 per time. If he has shoes, the cost
will be doubled.
Medical costs include annual inoculations ($120), annual
dental checking and floating of teeth ($120), and worming
($60 per year). Horses can be injured or become ill, in which
case there are veterinary costs. On should allow a minimum
of $300/year for veterinary costs, although a bad case of
colic can set one back $5000 to $10000. To avoid such large
bills, horse insurance is worth considering but this costs
If you ride your horse, you will need saddle and tack. This
wear out over time and need to be repaired or replaced, so
one should allow an average of $20/month for this. Assorted
costs (e.g. fly repellent) will average a minimum of $10 per
The above covers just the basic costs of having a horse.
If you show or compete with the horse there are additional
costs. Allow $0 $200/month for such costs, depending on what
you do with your horse.
Add all of this up, and you get a total of $170/month to
$935/month. This is a wide range, but in practice actual costs
of a horse do vary widely, depending of factors such as whether
you self stable or use a professional stable. Multiply by
12 and you get annual costs of $2040 to $11220. Over 10 years
this totals $20,400 to $112,220.
Based on an average horse cost of about $3000, these totals
indicate that the cost of keeping a horse for 10 years is
between 7 and 37 times the cost of buying it. If you keep
a horse for its entire life, this could be 30 years, thereby
tripling the figures above.
Of course, individual owners may find their costs higher
or lower than these typical figures. For example, there are
many horses being sold for less than $3000 and many horses
being sold for much more, in some cases for millions of dollars.
Likewise, some owners have very low costs for keeping their
horses (e.g. if they are kept mainly on pasture, so no bedding
or feed costs), while other owners will pay much more (e.g.
if they do high level competitions). Therefore one should
note that the figures used in this artile are typical figures,
which match the costs of the majority of horse owners. To
understand and calculate what your costs would for your individual
circumstances, one could use the online calculators at http://www.wowhorses.com/cost
of a horse.html.
In any case, the fundamental point remains the same: purchasing
a horse is a large financial commitment, extending far beyond
the purchase price to the much greater monthly and annual
costs of keeping the horse. Prior to buying a horse, one should
look carefully at how one will keep the horse and the associated
Author Resource:-> Dr. Doug Stewart breeds horses and
manages professional stables. His experience is the basis
of the website http://www.wowhorses.com
and articles such as the above.