LAST UPDATED: 28th August 2023 by The Editorial Team
Buying a horse is a big commitment that most people do not take lightly. One of the reasons for this is because they are an expensive pet to keep. Besides from cost, they are also very demanding in terms of time, effort and space.
It is recommended that anyone wishing to take on ownership of a horse understands the true cost. As no horse is exactly the same, so the cost of owning one will vary. The price paid for the animal is just the first part of an ongoing expense that continues until its death.
Factors to consider
Breed and age of horse
The type of horse is an important factor determining cost. You should know the breeds that exist, their characteristics, training and living needs and make a practical decision from there.
Do you want a horse that is very young and thus totally untrained, or do you want one that has been broken in and is ready to be used for riding or work. Usually the more trained and mature the animal is, the more expensive it will be (up until they reach advanced years, at which point they devalue).
Costs to consider
The first cost you need to budget is of course the animal itself. Have a look online or at auctions to ascertain approximate values. If you know the price you can pay, then you must consider all the other expenses that go along with horse ownership.
Where will you keep the horse?
The livery should be the most important cost factor for anyone. Where will the horse live? Is it suitable for the size of the animal? These answers can be found easily, and in most cases horses can be housed at equestrian centres or land owner’s fields, for a monthly rental fee.
The bedding will need to be provided, which is usually either straw or wood shavings. The bedding needs to be cleared our regularly to keep the area dry and clean. It is estimated that a horse usually needs five hay bales per week for sufficient bedding. Farmers and pet stores will stock straw, and prices vary.
Horses in a paddock will eat the grass and hay available, but animals that do exercise and lots of training will need extra food and supplements to help them recover. Endurance horses, for example, will need grain or feed that is high in starch and protein. Knowing what your particular horse needs will help you to understand the prices of feeding.
There will inevitably be times when vets will be required. Horses often have ailments or complaints that can be life threatening. As a horse cannot tell you what is wrong, you will usually need to pay the services of a veterinary expert. Although never cheap, vets costs will depend on the animal’s problem and what action or medicine is required to aid its health.
Insurance is normally a good idea, especially for larger pets such as horses. As they are expensive already to buy and look after, you do not want to run the risk of paying hundreds or thousands in vet’s fees for your horse. Most horse owners will take out a specialist insurance policy for the animal, which will cover the costs should anything go wrong.
A farrier is required to sort horse’s hooves out to maintain their health. As horse hooves can wear out significantly if ridden on hard terrain, they usually need steel shoes attached to the bottom of the foot. These are replaced approximately once every four to six weeks depending on usage and size of the animal. The costs for this should certainly be factored in to a budget for ownership of a horse. Another expense is dental treatment. Horses need to have regular check-ups as they can be prone to dental decay and wear.
Transportation and equipment
Transportation for the horse is an expense that varies depending on whether you move the horse around or not. Show horses usually get taken to events in a horse box or trailer. This is a trailer specifically designed for horses. These can be bought or hired.
The last cost to consider is the owners need for riding equipment. This includes saddle, stirrups, riding hat, jodhpurs, riding boots and all other brushes and cleaning equipment. As a horse cannot be ridden without these essentials, having it depends on whether the horse is intended for riding purposes. The cost of the equipment will depend on whether it is bought new or second hand.
|Horse||£2500 – £15000 on average (depending on breed and age, costs can rise considerably for certain horses, potentially costing millions)||2023|
|Livery||£100 – £400 per month (depending on location and services)||2023|
|Feed & bedding||£80 – £120 per month||2023|
|Farrier||£30 – £40 per 6 weeks||2023|
|Vet||Call out charge: £30 – £80 (depending on distance)|
Vaccinations: £40 – £50 per year
Routine Dental treatment: £50 – £70 per year
|Insurance||£20 – £30 per month||2023|
|Transportation||£1000 – £25000 (depending on specification or if used or new)||2023|
|Saddle||£500 on average (this cost can increase depending on specification, potentially costing £1000s)||2023|
What to look for when buying a horse video
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