Thursday, December 12, 2013

Reining In Horse Related Expenses

The least expensive aspect of owning a horse is the price you paid for him. Horse ownership is an expensive hobby when you care for your horse in a responsible manner. Your horse should be kept happy and healthy, and to do this good hay and feed are required, as well as regular visits from the veterinarian, farrier, and equine dentist. Annual vaccinations and periodic deworming products are administered to insure good equine health. His teeth should be checked and floated, as needed, annually.

Whether you show your horse or trail ride, you will incur expenses to participate in those activities.  We purchase saddles, bridles, and other kinds of tack; shampoos, fly sprays, and other grooming supplies to keep our horses clean. We buy trucks and horse trailers to drive to and from shows and trails. Fuel must be purchased to get to and from these venues. Camping and trail access fees must be paid.

Fences are set and barns are built, water troughs are purchased and filled, bedding is bought to provide stalled horses a comfy place to lie down. Electricity is used to provide light in the barn or to power electric fences and water tank heaters.

If you board your horse away from home, you pay a monthly fee for his care, which may or may not include the cost of hay and grain. Riding lessons are purchased to enable you to become a better rider. Safety equipment, such as riding helmets, is purchased to keep you safe while riding.

Whew! Take a breath. Shake your wallet. Check your pockets. Where did all the money go?

How do you begin to budget for the expenses that you will incur through the year for your horse? As with any budgeting effort, you first must have a good idea of what projected costs might be. Project both for a higher projection and a lower projection, and if you’re lucky, your actual costs will hit somewhere between those two numbers.

To aid in your budgeting forecast, keep all horse-related receipts from the previous year to help you with the next year’s projections.

Following is a sample budget of what you may expect to spend on your horse. This is a basic budget that should give you a starting point. Based on your location, specific horse, and type of riding, your budget may look very different.

Line Item
Price Per
Total Price

Farrier – Reset
6 visits
Farrier – Trim
4 visits
Equine Dentist
1 visit
1 visit
Vaccinations owner administered
Fly Spray
Grooming Supplies
100 bales
6 bags
Mineral Blocks
Camping Fees - Campsite
4 weekends
Bridle Tags
Fuel for camping trips



Even though the costs you incur may far surpass the amount you paid for your horse, the enjoyment and peace of mind you get from having him are priceless!

by: Darlene M. Cox