Buying a horse is the cheapest thing you will ever do as a horse owner. Before you get your horse home, you'll need tack to move it around, safe fences to contain it, a three-sided shelter to protect it, a round pen to work it, buckets to feed it, grooming supplies, feed, a reliable hay supply... to infinity
An average horse weighs about 1,100 pounds and needs 1.5 to 2.5% of its weight in hay and grain, every day. A 50-pound bag of grain costs about $15. Depending on whether your horse has access to pasture, plan to spend at least $1,000 a year. The better the feed, the more you pay.
Unless you know how to trim and shoe a horse, you'll need to pay a farrier to check your horse's feet every 6-8 weeks. While many owners think this is optional - it's not. Farriers can run $35 to $50 for bare feet. If your horse needs shoes, plan to pay more than $100.
If you're lucky and your horse is in good health and not prone to accidents (Ha!), you'll average about $500 per year on preventive care like checkups, sheath cleaning (geldings), vaccines, de-worming and dental work. For each emergency, double your annual cost.
If you have your own land and safe shelter, plan on spending about $800 a year for upkeep. The cost to board a horse can run anywhere from $250 a month to $1,000, depending upon your expectations. On average, you'll probably pay $400 a month for access to hay, pasture and grain.
Depending on your level of experience, you might want to hire a professional trainer to help you learn your new horse. If a trainer takes your horse for 30 days, you can expect to pay between $400 and $700.
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