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Annual Cost of a Horse

What does it cost to own a horse? The price obviously extends far beyond the initial purchase of the animal. Horses need daily care and maintenance plus, emergencies and other unexpected costs can come up as well. In the blog, we will touch upon the basic minimum costs for owning a horse.

While horse ownership is extremely rewarding, having in mind the financial aspects of it can help you make decisions such as:

  • Should you buy another horse?

  • How many horses can you afford, in general?

  • How much should you save for general horse care and emergencies?

  • Can you afford common elective procedures?

  • And other valuable questions

Carter Veterinary Services provides horse owners in the Lowcountry with reasonably priced equine vet care. From general equine health and reproductive services to sports medicine and diagnostic imaging, we are here to provide you with the high-quality veterinary services you can rely on.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment! We also offer 24/7 emergency care.

Call Now: 843-694-1450

The Cost of A Horse

The average horse owner spends around $4,000 a year to care for their horse. More exactly, a survey from the University of Maine found that horse ownership costs on average $3,876 per horse, with the median cost being $2,419. The monthly cost of a horse ranges from $200 to $350 dollars, roughly — about the same cost as a monthly car payment. Where does all that money go? Let’s break it down:

#1: Food

One of the biggest expenses with owning a horse is feeding it. One horse may eat about $3.00/day of hay. Depending on the quality of hay, however, this can be as high as $10 a day. The average horse weighs approximately 1,100 pounds and eats between 15 and 20 pounds of hay a day. Food alone constitutes ⅓ or ½ of the total average cost of owning a horse, averaging $1,000 a year.

#2: Boarding

If you don't have a property suited for horses to live on, boarding your horse at a boarding facility is another significant expense. Boarding a horse in pasture is the least expensive form of horse boarding, which can be less than $100 a month. However, the average monthly boarding fee for horses in the US is, according to Rutgers University, $260. It’s not uncommon for horse boarding to cost more than twice that, though.

#3: Ongoing Maintenance

Supplements, routine hoof care, vaccinations, dental care, and other ongoing equine care practices also add up to a significant part of the cost of owning a horse. $25 a month is not unusual for supplementation, routine hoof care every six to eight weeks will often be more than $50 and semi-annual vaccinations may be approximately $35 or more for each shot.

#4: Emergency Horse Care

Last on our list, but not the only other cost, is emergency veterinary care. Depending on the situation, emergency care for treating a horse with an injury or other emergency issue can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars.

Horse Ownership in the Lowcountry

While owning a horse is a wonderful experience, it can add up in terms of cost. If you are not ready to spend more than $3,000 a year on a horse for 20+ years, horse ownership may not be for you. Visiting with horses in other ways may be more affordable and less of a long-term commitment.

If you are a horse owner in the Lowcountry and are looking for a local veterinary clinic to work with for routine veterinary care as well as for emergencies, contact Carter Veterinary Services today to schedule an appointment!