The costs of caring for a horse

Horses are smart, gentle, and loyal animals. Watching them run, jump, and trot is such a treat because of their innate grace. When you watch them race, you see another dimension to horses. There are free horse racing bets available. Watching a horse run as fast as the wind is breathtaking. But getting up close and personal brings it to a whole new level. 

Riding horses and taking care of them have definitive and scientifically proven physical and mental benefits. For one, you are obliged to stay outdoors and get fresh air. You get a bit of a workout as well. Taking care of a horse also requires commitment and patience. It also relieves stress and is therapeutic.  It is no wonder people with disabilities are advised to try equine activities.  


However, unlike common house pets like dogs and cats, it takes a whole lot more to take care of a horse, not to mention the cost of a horse’s upkeep.  


Horses feed on bales of hay and bags of grain. Though these may not be so expensive, the quantity of hay and grain that you may need to feed your horse will accumulate over time. The food cost average per year is around USD 1,000. 


Veterinary fees are a must if you care for any pet. For horses, there are regular checkups and tests, supplements, vaccinations, and deworming. This may easily set you back USD 300 – 485 per year. This amount can increase in emergency cases, which may easily double your expense. So it is wise to set aside an emergency fund of around a few thousand dollars to be on the safe side.  


Every horse should have the proper hoof care, thus the farrier fees. If not, it may lead to infections, joint problems, even lameness. Horse hooves have to be trimmed or shoed every 6 to 8 weeks. Hoof trimming alone may set you back USD 250 annually, while the cost of horseshoes depends on how often they are replaced. If your horseshoes cost an average of USD 110, this may bring up your expenses to USD 800 per year. 


Then there are boarding and/or facility expenses. If you have the property, that will save you a fortune. But you would still need a barn or a stable for your horse, which would need fencing, equipment, and bedding for the horse. If you need to rent someone else’s property with complete general care, this will set you back between USD 3,120 – 7,200 annually. 


And that’s not all. You also need to invest in horse tack and grooming supplies, and rider equipment. These should also be maintained, repaired, or replaced over time. Plus, the horse and rider may require training so they could work well together. 


In all, at the bare minimum, you may need to shell out USD 6,000 to care for a house on an annual basis. Owning a horse should be taken seriously because it takes a lot of responsibility to give proper care for a horse. 

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