Thinking about owning a horse? – Well you should hold off your purchase and start researching about the annual costs of owning a horse. Most people decide to purchase a horse without doing the proper research, which ends up wrong for both sides.

Most children love pets, and they can quickly fall in love with ponies. Having a pony that you can ride sounds great, but should you get one?

Well, that depends on many things such as where the horse will live, can you afford it, and are you willing to go through the process.

In today’s article, we will highlight some of the things you should consider before purchasing a horse including costs for owning this majestic creature.

Initial Purchase Price

Horses don’t come free. Some people think they are getting a cat or a dog, that will soon give them profits, like the animals in the TwinSpires horse racing events. It’s not true.

The initial price of your horse, pony, or donkey can vary depending on the type and breed you want to get. Usually, the price ranges anywhere from $100 to $10,000 for normal horses. 

Some horses that are a special breed and share good attributes for racing can go up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some go much higher than that. In fact, the Kentucky Derby winner 20 years ago, Fusaichi Pegasus is the most expensive horse in history, selling for $70 million.

Costs of Owning a Horse

Just because you might be able to find a pony for a couple of hundreds of dollars, it doesn’t mean that the process is cheap, and don’t let the attractive price impact your decisions.

On average, the annual cost of horse ownership is around $4,000 which comes around $300 per month. 

But what are the costs of owning a horse?


The largest portion of your monthly costs will go toward food. Depending on the type of horse you get, it requires a different diet. On average horse weighs around 1,100 pounds, and needs to eat a minimum of 1.5% to 2.5% of his body weight every day in grain and hay.

So, you might think that feeding is cheap just because of the low prices of a bag of grain, but that bag won’t last very long.

The food itself will cost you around $1,000 per year, without calculating transportation and gas.


Horses are just like any other pets and they need to live in good conditions in order to stay healthy.  This means that you need to build a shelter and maintain the equipment and fencing, pasture maintenance, vehicle maintenance, providing bedding fall under this category.

If you sum all the things that need to be maintained, that will put you on average around $800 per year.

Vet and Farrier

This is another significant cost when it comes to owning a horse. Just like any other pet, regular maintenance and care are crucial for their health. Obviously, taking care of a large horse will be much more than your dog or cat.

Depending on the location you live in, vets usually will charge you around $485 per year for standard check-ups, vaccinations and tests, and other non-emergency injuries. 

The costs for a vet jump up significantly if you need some emergency assistance. In fact, it would be wise to open an emergency vet fund where you’ll keep several thousand dollars just to make sure you give your horse proper care if something goes wrong.

In addition to vets, there is a cost of hoof maintenance. You need to understand that poor hoof care can lead to infection and in some cases permanent lameness. 

The annual trimming cost is around $350, while shoeing can cost a lot more depending on how often they are replaced.


If you purchase a horse and want to bard your animal on someone else’s property, you need to pay a lot of money. Boarding fees vary from the facility, but on average boarding with no expectation of exercise, food or any other amenities will cost you $100 per month.

Final Words

These are some of the common costs you need to consider before making your mind about buying a horse. There are more one-time or occasional expenses such as buying bridles, grooming supplies, saddles, brushes, shampoo, blankets and the list goes on and on.

With that said, you need to make sure that you can afford to own a horse and give the horse proper care for most of your life since the horse live from 25 to 30 years.