More people actually own horses than you may think. Celebrities are often pictured in sparkling barns with chandeliers hanging from the rafters, giving the impression you have to be rich to own your own horse. However, most horse owners simply love them so much that they scrape together what they can to make ownership work. Besides the purchase price, there are many expenses associated with caring for any animal. Here are some of the costs you can expect if you plan to buy a horse.

Basic Care

These costs are the essential items that every horse needs on a monthly basis. Prices vary depending on where you live. If you are close to a city or an area that has a lot of horse stables, then expect prices to be a little higher.

Horses need fresh hay, a salt block, horse grains and concentrate for a healthy diet. You may also want to include mineral supplements like selenium, depending on how much the horse will get from grazing alone. Periodically, horses also require farrier services, deworming, dental work and basic vaccinations. The average cost of all this care totals approximately $2000 a year.

Unexpected Costs

Unexpected costs are going to happen. Usually, they will be associated with the health of your horse. Veterinary bills can add up quickly if your horse gets sick or hurt. Many horses have issues with their hooves that could require special shoes or trimming services. In order to soften the blow of unexpected vet bills, consider purchasing health insurance for horses.

There is also the possibility of elevated costs due to environmental factors. Rising fuel prices can affect the cost of supplies. A drought can cause a shortage of good hay. If there are any diseases spreading in the area, then you will have to pay for extra immunizations.


Where and how to board your horse is a large part of the total expense. If you’re keeping your horse on your own property, then costs include land taxes and insurance. You will also have maintenance costs for barns and fences. 

Monthly fees for boarding a horse can vary from $100 to $1000 a month. The price is dependant on where you live and what expenses you are willing to pay for. For $100 the horse will probably be pasture boarded. This means they do not have access to a barn. Some boarding establishments offer self-care options, which means you are going to the barn and taking care of your horse’s needs on a daily basis. If you are willing to pay, then boarding may include farrier appointments, turn-out services, special feed and care.