The Cost of Caring for a Horse

The Cost of Caring for a Horse Many times before people take the leap into horse ownership they want to know what are the costs of horse ownership? This question is a tricky question, because the costs of horse ownership can vary enormously according to the type of horse, type of riding, and type of care you wish to provide.

For example, a casualty ridden trail horse kept on your own property with plenty of grazing may need no more than the price of the farrier and vet visits and a few bales of hay for when snow covers the ground. On the other hand, a competitive show horse boarded at a show barn, worked hard and kept in show condition may incur bills that run into the tens of thousands of dollars annually for ownership costs. Luckily, there are a huge number of options for care in between these two examples.

Below you will find a list of the essentials a horse needs, listed with approximate costs. Remember that many times the costs very greatly from region to region and individual to individual.


If you do not have your own land you will need to board your horse. Boarding costs vary greatly, for a better idea of boarding costs visit this article: cost of boarding a horse. Boarding a horse can range from a $100 a month into the thousands. Call local stables to get an idea of the costs and services available in your area.

Vet Care

Every horse needs to be seen by a veterinarian at least once a year. Veterinary care is part of the nonnegotiable essentials of the costs of horse ownership. Your horse will need to see the vet once a year at least for vaccinations. Part of the cost of horse ownership is also being prepared for possible veterinary emergencies. This means you should always have or be prepared to spend $400-$500 if your horse has a major medical crisis. Hopefully, you won’t have to use this, but it is a part of horse ownership you should plan or.


All horses must have their hooves trimmed every six to eight weeks. Not all horses need to wear metal shoes but all horses need to have their hooves trimmed. Trimming the hooves keeps the horse moving correctly and reduces the risk for expensive veterinary emergencies mentioned above! For simple trimming you can expect to spend from $25-$50 every six to eight weeks. If your horse needs shoes (if you will be riding on a rocky trails, or competing heavily in shows) shoeing costs and very greatly. Generally the cost to have horse shoes put on a horse ranges from $50-$80.

Other costs of horse ownership included horse tack, horse training, and training for you as a rider.

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