Lifestyle

How Much Does it Cost to Own a Horse? Budget Well

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You may have dreamt of owning your own horse to one day ride across your Texas ranch, sharing the great outdoors with an animal who has an instant connection with you. Or you may be thinking that with Christmas coming up, it would be amazing to see your child’s eyes light up when you buy them a horse for the holidays. But were you aware of just how costly it can be to own a horse? It’s not cheap. Many a cowgirl or cowboy, rancher, or farmer will tell you that.

The proper care of an animal begins in advance of its purchase. Whether you’re looking for an average equine friend to ride on your property, or you’re looking for a show horse, that in itself makes a huge difference. A run-of-the-mill horse (is there really such a thing?!) can run anywhere between $800 and $4K, depending on your location, the horse’s health and quality, and your personal preference. Show horses can vary between $3,500 and $8K. That’s a huge difference.

How Much Does it Cost to Own a Horse? Budget Well

Photo: Pixabay

In conjunction with your purchase, a standard veterinary exam, some basic tack, and your general stable supplies can be upwards of $2K and beyond (again, depending on the horse and your options). After your initial purchase, you’ll also need to consider monthly care costs. You’ll need to board the animal if you don’t have the property to keep them on, you’ll need a farrier (if you’re not already trained or certified as such), you’ll need regular health care products/medicine, food, and bedding (if they’re not supplied in the boarding fees). Depending on size and where they’re being kept, these costs can run in the range of $2K to $3K.

How Much Does it Cost to Own a Horse? Budget Well
Photo: Pixabay

Finally, there are annual expenses for proper care, to keep them happy and healthy. These will increase the cost of ownership but will always ensure the owner and animal are on their best path to a long life together. Annual vaccines, budgeting for emergency veterinarian calls, and proper tooth care are just some of the yearly costs to plan for when owning a horse. A good contingency would be roughly $550-$600. Don’t forget that this is before you’ve found ways to transport your horse safely from purchase to stall, or if you’re showing them, what the most efficient and necessary truck and trailer combination will be. The permutations and combinations are endless in terms of ownership, care, and personal style.

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