Are you thinking about buying a horse? Why? Is it a lifelong dream or does your interest spike as the horseracing season begins and you watch the Kentucky Derby, the first race in the Triple Crown? Whatever your reason, take a few minutes to read this article. It will help you in making an informed decision before spending your hard earned money!
Source of Information
Kathy, a longtime friend, former co-worker, and experienced horse owner graciously provided to me, via interview, five important facts to consider before buying a horse. Kathy has a farm in SC, where she lives and takes excellent care of her horse, as well as a variety of other animals. She has ten years experience in horse ownership, which makes her a well- informed and reliable horse source for this article!
Question #1- What is the health-care costs of owning a horse?
Response: According to Kathy, “There are many horses available, some being cheap or even free. This being said, there are some after- purchase costs to consider, one being health-care. Vet care and shots are expected, and can be expensive. Also, if you do not have a trailer to transport your horse to the vet, the vet must come to you! Farm calls run $50 and up, depending on factors such as time of day/night, and if scheduled or unscheduled.”
Kathy’s vet offers a “Wellness Package” that consists of spring and fall farm calls and shots, as well as testing for parasites (worms). “This is a good deal, and even gets cheaper with each additional equine. It is best to find reputable equine vet in your area to see what packages or deals they have, before you purchase a horse. Also, every horse owner needs a first aid kit that includes poultices, wraps, fly spray, wound ointment etc.”
Question #2 – How Much Can One Expect to Pay for Farrier Service?
Response: Kathy answers, “My farrier (mani-pedi) guy charges $40 per trip. Even if the horse does not wear shoes, the hooves still need to be trimmed every six weeks or so. The average person could really mess up the horse’s feet trying to do this on his/her own. Before purchasing a horse, find a reputable farrier in your area and ask about their charges.”
Question #3 – What are the projected costs of feeding a horse?
Response: “You will need to provide hay and grain. Horses need hay especially in the winter when there is no fresh grass to graze. In a cold winter, they need even more to eat for them to keep warm. Both hay and grain costs vary greatly, and are dependent on good weather, successful crops, and fuel costs. Willi’s grain is about $16 per 50 pound bag, but can increase up to $25-$30 per bag. Again, price will vary depending on location.”
Question #4- What can one expect regarding the housing of a horse?
Response: Kathy suggests asking yourself “Will your horse be living on your property, or will you have to board it?”
Boarding costs vary greatly! You can ‘pasture board’, for $125 and up, but there is no stall or care provided by the landowner. At boarding barns, your cost depends on how much work the barn owner does for you. For example, will you clean your horse’s stall and feed twice a day, or will the barn owner do it? An all- inclusive boarding facility such as Motlow Creek Equestrian Center is $650 per month. True, a horse needs shelter from the weather, but it does not have to be fancy. As long as horses have sufficient shelter from the sun, rain, and wind especially in the winter, they are happy!”
Question #5 – What other needs and costs are associated with owning a horse?
Response: “Every horse needs a halter and lead rope, a saddle, saddle pad, and bridle, if you intend to ride your horse. In addition, a set of brushes are necessary for grooming. A good quality saddle that fits your horse correctly is a must. To get an idea of the cost of a new saddle, click here. Also, find a local tack shop near you to compare prices.”
Thanks Kathy for this great information! In summary, anyone considering buying their first horse would be wise to chew on the information given. Then research and calculate the cost based on where they live, remembering there will always be additional unexpected costs. Also, consider the amount of time it will take to properly care for your horse. Purchasing a horse is not horse play! Take your time and happy horse hunting!
Source: refer to the article