A shiny black or white horse with its smooth skin and long legs can surely garner a lot of attention and pride for its owner. Many people secretly cherish an ambition to own a horse, but shy away due to the very high cost involved in maintaining one. Besides, city folks may not be able to materialize their dream due to lack of space.
Factors to Consider when Owning a Horse
The cost to keep a horse for a lifetime can run into thousands of dollars. However, this cost is influenced by several factors. If you decide to invest in a racing horse belonging to a fine breed, then it can go even higher. Given below are some factors which decide the cost of a horse.
A horse can be sold for no cost, or for thousands of dollars. The cost of a horse is determined by its age, its potential and ability to ride (if that is the purpose of buying it), its appearance, background, and its overall health. All these factors are very important. Horses that are from a racing bloodline cost much more than those that are not. Younger horses with good lineage are among the most expensive ones. However, it entirely depends on the individual animal.
The average cost of boarding your horse is about $500. The plain pasture boardings can cost as less as $100, but the cost increases with increase in the features that the place provides. This can go up to $3000 per month, but this depends greatly on the city or town where it is located and the services that it provides. Those in metropolitan cities and urban areas tend to charge more. Some boarding places also provide facilities such as training the horses.
However, if you own a large enough piece of land to build a shelter for your horse, these costs are cut considerably. Even then, you will have to incur costs for the bedding, maintenance, and other such expenses, which can average to $300 a month. Also, if you want to move your animal around, it will require a trailer, which can cost up to $50,000 for a high-end model.
For a 1,100 pound horse, the average cost of feed and hay can range from $100 to over $200. However, this also depends on many factors. The cost of hay differs according to its variety, the quantity that is purchased, and the time of the year at which it is purchased. The bales of hay that cost around $4 to $10 each had shot up to $25 each due to the drought that had hit areas of southwestern US. Also, the cost of packaged feeds is counted separately. However, horses that roam freely and graze on grass require relatively lesser feed and hay.
This includes vaccination, dental care, deworming, and overall health checkups. Most of these checkups are done on a monthly basis, and can go up to $300 depending on your location, the vet's charges, how far he/she has to drive to reach you, the cost of the vaccines, and such other costs. However, if your horse suffers from anything serious, you may have to shell out several thousand dollars. This is why, keeping aside some amount every month (it can be any amount, big or small) helps ease the burden. This is because, many times, the entire cost may not be covered by the insurance.
Some countries make it mandatory for owners to insure their pet against theft, death, diseases, and immobility. These insurance premiums can become expensive over an extended period. These costs depend entirely on the insurance company, the horse, and the aspects for which it has been insured.
Training proves to be useful if you wish to learn how to ride. The cost depends on the trainer and the type of training you wish to avail for the horse. Private lessons can be as low as $20 to $50 per lesson, depending on the trainer. However, specialized training sessions can be as high as $500 for a weekend. Thus, this cost is entirely subjective to what you choose.
Trimming and Shoeing
The hooves are said to grow relatively slower in winter than summer. Thus, they need to be trimmed every 8 to 10 weeks in winter and every 6 to 8 weeks in summer. The cost of trimming the hooves can range from $30 to $80. Shoeing can cost $70 in rural areas to $140 in urban areas.
New equipment purchased for the horse costs a few thousand dollars. It can last for 5 to 10 years. Thus, on an average, it costs $100 to $200 a month when the cost is divided. It includes the tack, the comb, soft and hard brushes, hoof pick, combs, sweat scraper, and a bucket to carry it.
Owning and maintaining a horse is not an entirely reasonable affair. Thus, having some amount of savings and putting in an additional amount every month, can help ease the financial burden to some extent.