Inspired by Carly over at Poor Woman Showing, I decided to break down how much it costs for me to own a horse. I do all our family budgeting and I do track costs each month, but once a month is over, I tend not to reflect on the past. So this was…quite the shocker.
Disclaimer: This does not reflect how much it actually costs to own a horse. I apparently just think I’m a millionaire.
Board: $7,500. My barn charges $625/month and includes stall, daily turnout, premium grain (you can pretty much choose what grain you want fed), hay fed 3-4x/day, supplements, blanketing, minor injury care, holding for vet/farrier; and has 1 large outdoor arena with a jump course, a smaller schooling arena with lights, and a small indoor arena. Board in my area ranges from $450-$650 so this is at the higher end, but P is less than 10 minutes from me and the care there is wonderful.
Farrier: $1,380. P gets 4 steel shoes with clips.
Insurance: $900. Nothing much to say here. Boring. Includes mortality, major medical, etc.
Services (Chiro/PEMF/Bodyclipping): $785. P has PEMF done once a month and then he’s been bodyclipped twice so far this year. He’s a disgusting horse and I don’t have hours to spend trying to de-mud him before rides and cooling him out afterwards.
Vet: $814. We made it through 2016 without major disasters, but aside from the regular vaccinations/coggins, P had an incident with his eye, an abscess, a mystery lameness and a nasty case of scratches.
Lessons/Training: $2,550. In addition to the standalone lessons, this includes the Tim Bourke clinic we attended in May, and then the weekends we spent at Paradise, and the 2 weeks P stayed in Aiken so we could have a little break from each other. It also includes fees for taking P to school at other venues.
Shows: $2,306. This includes entry fees, USEA fees, and stalling/hotel costs when applicable. Does not include food or fuel.
Tack/Gear: $3,100. I obviously love my SmartPak, Riding Warehouse and local tack stores. . This also includes the Stackhouse dressage saddle.
Supplements: $483. P was on FatCat for a few months in the beginning of the year, then I tried him on Training Day for a couple months when I came back from my ankle injury. Loved the FatCat and would use it again if he needed it. But forget the “calming” supplements, those don’t seem to work, and as long as P is in a regular program he’s usually fine.
Trailer: $2,893. I pay $138/month for the loan, then it needed new tires and some minor repairs.
Truck: $7,293. This isn’t strictly a horse expense, since I use the dually as my daily vehicle as well, but I definitely wouldn’t have the truck if not for the horse, so I’m including it. My old truck betrayed me this year, seeing as how as soon as I paid off the loan it broke down almost every month. In September, the new dually arrived and while I still suffer from sticker shock every month when I make the monthly payment, trailering P by myself around NC and SC and having peace of mind is much worth it.