Cost of Owning and Boarding a Horse in 2015

amy elizabeth

So you’re thinking about buying a horse? I’m going to walk you through the expenses of owning an urban horse. If you are a first time buyer and want to know more about boarding, shoeing, and upkeep, you have come to the right place!

Location does play a part in the overall upkeep and maintenance of owning a horse. However, I can give you all the information you’ll need to shop your specific area. First, let’s start with the horse itself, this will be your first expense and there are specifics that should be addressed. If you don’t have a lot of experience with horses I strongly recommend you either bring somebody along that is, or call a large animal veterinarian to schedule a pre-purchase exam. You can expect to pay about $225 for this peace of mind.

If you are on a budget you’ll want to choose a boarding stable with no more amenities then you’ll need. For instance, if you’re only interested in trail riding, a big fancy temperature controlled barn and covered arena would be an unnecessary extravagant expense.

The average boarding fee in Phoenix and surrounding communities is $225 to $350. per month. This includes hay 2x a day and stall cleaning at least one time per day. However, be prepared to pay additional fees for supplements, medications, blanketing, and turn-outs. These add-on services could easily raise your board bill $50 or more. Trailer parking is often free, if you don’t have one, keep in mind LOCAL one way transporters will charge somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 bucks.

Disease Prevention
Vaccinations against disease are given twice a year, Spring and Fall. If you administer them yourself they will cost you about $50 a year for bare minimum protection. However, if you are in a barn with many horses that travel to shows or other events, broader disease prevention is recommended. Some barns might have mandatory vaccination guidelines which may cost you an additional $50. If you plan on having the veterinarian take care of all vaccinations, it will cost you around $55 minimum for the farm call, on top of vaccine prices.

Parasite Control
Don’t forget horses need to be wormed too! Four times a year, rotation paste wormers vary in price, but overall expect to pay no less than $50 per year.

Shod or Barefoot
Your horse will need hoof care every six to eight weeks. If you have a good footed horse you may be able to get by without shoes, depends on the horse and his job. Trims only cost between $40 and $50 every ten to twelve weeks. If your farrier suggests front shoes only and trims behind, [most common] expect to pay between $75 and $90 every six to eight weeks. Shod front and back will run you $1oo -$125 every six to eight weeks. These prices are for regular shoeing, corrective shoeing is significantly higher. Another reason to have a pre-purchase exam!

Whether this horse is for you, or perhaps a son or daughter, owning a horse is a huge commitment. Somebody will need to exercise, groom, and well… spend a lot of time enjoying this luxury! That means driving to the barn during the week, after work or school, and on weekends. Are you up for that?? If the answer is yes, below are the minimum expenses a horse owner can expect to pay.

• Boarding per year: $2,700.00
• Vaccines: $50.00
• Worming: $50.00
• Shoeing: $540.00

TOTAL: $3,340.00 per year

Don’t forget you’ll be needin’ a saddle, pad, bit, bridle, halter, and a lead rope – for starters! Oh, and some brushes, and a hoof pick, and, and, and…



About tbnranch

amy elizabeth, writer, author, antique dealer. Lives in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert on a small hobby farm.
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2 Responses to Cost of Owning and Boarding a Horse in 2015

  1. Littlesundog says:

    Great slap in the face reality for those who have this “idyllic” idea of owning a horse – especially those who have kids who want a horse. I can’t tell you the number of town folk who want to pasture their horses here but do not have the realization for the actual commitment and responsibility to own a horse. They often think they can simply be pastured and fed. Your blog post gives a realistic accounting of the tip of the iceberg. I think all of us grow up “wanting” things, but instead of indulging in the “want” for instant gratification we must also educate ourselves and our children about the responsibility of our desires. Great post Amy. I really enjoyed this one! 🙂

    • tbnranch says:

      Hey thanks friend, appreciate that! 🙂 I know what you mean, so many of the boarders here left all the responsibilities to me after awhile. Sometimes they didn’t even come at all. Others had trouble with the expense… which fell in my lap too. Better folks know exactly what they are getting into.

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