Have you always dreamed of owning a horse? You're picturing yourself riding down trails with the wind in your hair, but are you prepared for the hidden and unexpected costs? Purchasing a horse is a big investment, but the first payment is only the beginning. Before you decide to become a horse owner, be careful not to overlook any of these expenses.

The hidden costs of horse ownership...


Think grass and hay are cheap? Think again. With the quantity of feed that an individual horse eats, the cost can add up quickly. Each individual horse needs at least one grassy acre, and even with adequate grass, the horse will still need to be fed hay during the fall and winter months.

Veterinary expenses

Your horse will need to see a veterinarian about once or twice a year for vaccinations and a general health exam. Beyond that, even healthy horses are bound to experience an episode of colic where you won't be able to wait to call the vet, like an eye injury, cut or scrape.

Hoof care

Every six to eight weeks, your horse will need to see the farrier for hoof and shoe care. Regular maintenance and trims keep your horse comfortable while keeping spot hoof and leg issues in check. Ask around for farrier recommendations and rates. Look for one who has experience with the breed of your horse.

Extra costs:

  • Boarding or horse-sitting: Where will your horse live? Will you need a horse sitter when you go out of town? You’ll need someone who is experienced and comfortable around horses.
  • Riding Lessons: While you may be an experienced rider already, don’t rule out the possibility of needing to learn even more once you have your own mount.
  • Equipment: Beyond a saddle and bridle, your horse will need grooming tools, fly-control products, first-aid supplies and blankets. Additionally, as a rider you’ll be purchasing the latest in equestrian fashion or at least a comfortable pair of riding boots and pants.
  • Outings: You'll want to be able to afford the basic expenses of transporting your horse. The possibilities are endless with group trail rides, local shows, parades and anywhere else you want to proudly show off your horse.

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