Coming in at an average annual fee of $3,876, horse ownership tends to quickly become expensive, and that number does not even reflect the cost of the actual animal, which can often begin at $1,000 or more. Clearly, maintaining a healthy horse can quickly reach into tens of thousands of dollars when one stops to consider the fact that the average lifespan of horses is between 25 and 30 years. Those who own multiple horses can quickly top the $100,000 mark within just a few years, making it important to understand every aspect of their investment.
One of the first costs that future horse owners must consider are boarding fees; while those who have the appropriate facilities to keep horses at home may not need to consider this factor, those who do not are looking at rates that could top $500 per month per horse. Housing one or more horses at a boarding facility is definitely one of the most expensive parts of owning a horse.
A basic diet of hay, salt and supplements will run owners an average of $80 per month, while those who prefer to give their animal a healthier diet of grain are looking at an even higher rate. Similarly, regular de-worming, vaccinations, hoof care and frequent Coggins tests for owners planning to travel with their animals tend to increase the cost of owning a horse exponentially.
Owners preparing their animals for racing, dressage or other activities not only have the cost of training to consider, but have to account for the risk of injury. This is one area that horse owners can prepare for, however. While there are limits that typically fall between $5,000 and $10,000 annually, buying horse insurance in case of injury may reduce the veterinary bills by a large margin. Insurance for major medical issues or surgical procedures is often added as an endorsement on the life insurance policy that owners usually buy to protect their investment.
By preparing for the costs associated with horse ownership after the initial purchase of the animal, owners can ensure that they are ready for the expense of keeping a horse healthy and happy. Future owners who are just beginning to plan how they will responsibly care for the new addition to their stable may want to take advantage of an online horse cost calculator to better understand their financial commitment.