1/03/2007

The real cost of a horse-Boarding

My posting on the real cost of raising a baby horse surprised a lot of people (including me). Here is my monthly/yearly breakdown of keeping a horse. For your backyard owners, we will have another installment of this.

There are tons of additional costs in getting set up to ride/train/travel, this list is only the basics.

1. Board. Board can range greatly in cost and there are many things to look for, I covered some of that here. I have a pretty sweet arrangement, but I live in a small city, so the costs can go up greatly (or be reduced) depending on where you live. I have self care board which means I clean. I turn horses out or in at least 5 days a week, so I am putting in a lot of hours just to keep my board bill low.

$150/month, $1,800 year

2. Hay
With 1,000 lb horse as average eating 2% of body weight in hay at $120/ton (again, I have seen it purchased for $65 up to $400-in Alaska, so prices vary. This is a little high for our area of the world), a horse eats 7,300 lbs (20lbs hay/day * 365) each year.

$36.50/month, $438/year

3. Grain
Every horse is different, some horses need more, some need less. Assuming your horse needs grain, lets figure 3lbs/day. At $12/bag (again varies). Each bag is 50lbs.

$21.90/month, $262.80/year

4. Shots/Vet
Horses need some shots 2x a year, some only 1x a year. You can administer your own shots (in some places), but if you are new, get a vet. It also is a good chance to get a good check-up from your vet. I took my horses to the vet clinic last year, it cost about $110 each. Add a barn call fee (the charge to come to your barn) of $40 (I've seen them as high as $100). For the 2nd round of shots and no exam, figure $100 including the call fee.

$20.83/month, $250 year

5. Farrier/Shoer
Some people only have barefoot horses, some wear shoes all the time. I do a combination of both, depending on the horse. When I don't shoe, I use booties, a good set of 4 can range in cost, mine were $250, about the same as having 3 sets of shoes done each year. With 6 visits a year, 4 trims ($25 each), 2 sets of shoes ($80 each), the cost would be $260.

$21.66/month, $260 year

6. Blankets
I hopefully don't buy new blankets every year, but they do need to be cleaned. Usually just throwing them in your washing machine doesn't work so you have to find someone to clean them or visit a coin-op laundromat. You may also need repairs. My blankets last me about 3 years, original prices ranges, but average is $80. I spend $15-$25 a year on repairs. Extrapolated out over 3 years, the price works out to $40 year.

$3.33/month, $40 year

7. Gas to the barn
Why???? I go to the barn a lot. The closer my barn is, the less I spend on gas, but if your barn is an average of 10 miles from your house, you go 3x a week, it adds up. Using this example with a car that gets 20mpg, and gas at $2.25 a gallon (we are paying $2.79 today in Oregon) here is the cost:

$29.25/month, $351 year

8. Supplements
Not all owners feed supplements, but the majority of the ones I know do. I feed garlic (for fly prevention) and vitamins. The horses also have salt blocks available to them. My mare gets Mare Magic.

$15/month, $180 year

9. Wormer

Wormer every 8 weeks. $8-$12 each time.

$5/month, $60 year

So, being very conservative, I estimate the cost of having a horse in self-care boarding to be around $300 a month, $3,600 a year. For some people it will be much more, for some people less. Having a horse is a serious investment in not only time, but also in resources. Do you really have the resources?

Consider emergency vet calls, corrective shoeing, training, lessons, tack, clinics, grooming supplies, riding gear, helmets, increases in hay prices and think about the cost. Horses are expensive. Period.

If this doesn't scare you away, I'll post in the future on ways to change your life to make horses more affordable.

7 comments:

Halt Near X said...

Although we "knew" owning a horse would be more expensive than leasing, when we bought the Super Saint (I was a teen), we still weren't prepared--he was almost sold again in the first three months because the incidental costs kept coming and coming.

It worked out, but it was a close thing. They say the purchase price is the cheapest part of owning a horse...

Rising Rainbow said...

Boy, I agree, the cheapest part of owning the horse is the purchase price. It's amazing all the unknowns that can jump up and grab your wallet when you're least expecting it. And Murphy's law says the worst will happen when you can least afford it. But I still wouldn't give up my equine friends. They are worth every penny.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and the purchase price is the cheapest part no matter how much the horse costs, from $5 to $15,000 it's still the cheapest part.

dhcop said...

I ALSO AGREE,HOWEVER THAT WAS WHEN I WAS STABLING IN PASADENA TX. FOUR YEARS I MOVED APPROX 150 NORTH OF PASADENA TO A SMALL TOWN OF GRAPELAND TX. I PURCHASED 15 ACRE COASTAL PASTURE /2 POND/5,000 SQ FT BARN. MY HORSES RUN ALL THE TIME AND THEY ARE EXTREMELY HEALTY.THIS COUNTY HAS A LOT OF DIRT ROADS THAT WE GO TRAIL RIDING ON.IM AM OFFERING OPEN PASTURE AT AN EXTREMELY REASONABLE PRICE OF $100.00 PER HORSE. I WISHED THAT SOMEONE OFFERED THIS KIND OF DEAL WHEN I LIVED IN THE BIG. CITY. IF INTERESTED CALL DAVID @936-444-3785P.S LAND UP THIS WAY IS FAIRLY CHEAP,COME VISIT THE CROCKETT AREA!

kaylee said...

Well we are planning on buying a house with 1.23 acres & we are going to offer boarding. I was just wondering a price range. ? & we have a barn too. So that helps(:

Ashley said...

Looking @ a cabin on 10 acres on a private drive in Naples, NY. There is a 6 stall horse barn with tack room so was thinking about doing boarding. Was wondering what I should charge per horse and what to base it on? Should I check surrounding rates and go by those?

ErickaRose said...

There is a barn 5mi or less from my house. For a 12x24 outdoor stall it is $350 and for a 24x24 it is $400. They feed twice a day, clean the stall daily, I'd have access to all 6 arenas and all the trails, and I get a locker for tack. Is this a good price? Should I board here or keep looking? Thanks in advance!