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Reining in Expenses: Managing the Cost of Horse Ownership

How Much Does it Cost to Own a Horse?

Horses are magnificent animals that have captured the hearts of many people around the world. They are loyal, majestic, and offer a sense of freedom that cannot be found in many other activities. However, owning a horse is not a cheap endeavor.

In this article, we will discuss the various costs involved in owning a horse and offer some tips to help you manage your finances.

Education Cost

Education is one of the most important aspects of owning a horse. Without proper education, you may find yourself in a world of hurt, literally.

The cost of education varies depending on your needs. For example, if you are new to horseback riding, you will need to take lessons.

Lessons can cost anywhere between $30 and $100 per hour, depending on the instructor’s qualifications. For experienced riders, Cow Work Clinics are a great way to improve your skills.

These clinics can cost anywhere from $400 to $2,000, depending on the length and location of the clinic. It is important to note that these expenses are not a one-time fee.

You will need to take regular lessons to remain proficient in horseback riding.

Health Cost

Health is another critical element of horse ownership. There are numerous costs associated with keeping your horse healthy.

These include farrier, veterinary, dental, bodywork, and supplement expenses. Farrier expenses can range from $100 to $250 every six to eight weeks, depending on the location and the type of shoeing your horse needs.

Veterinary expenses can be unpredictable and range from $500 to $5,000 per visit, depending on the reason for the visit. Dental expenses (teeth floating) range from $100-$300 annually, depending on the horse.

Bodywork expenses range from $50 to $150 per session, which varies based on the bodywork practitioner and the region you’re in. Lastly, supplement expenses can range from $20 to $200 per month, depending on the brand and the type of supplement.

Fun/Near Gear Cost

Fun and near gear expenses involve the various items necessary for horse care and riding activities. The most significant expenses include the consignment sale and replacement Western boots.

Consignment sale is an excellent way to save money on near gear. Consignment sales offer lightly used and often new equipment at a reduced price.

The cost of the gear will depend on the brand and the condition of the equipment. A pair of boots for horse riding might cost anywhere from $150 to $500, depending on the quality, fit, and purpose of the boots.

Insurance Cost

One of the most critical expenses involved with horse ownership is insurance. There are two types of horse insurance: liability and mortality and major medical.

Liability insurance covers damages or injuries caused by your horse, while mortality and major medical insurance cover your horse against injury and mortality. Liability insurance costs around $200 to $400 per year while mortality and major medical insurance costs around $500 to $1,000 per year, depending on the coverage you choose.

Stabling Cost

The cost of stabling can vary based on the type of stabling you choose. Pasture stabling is the most affordable option and can range from $100 to $300 per month.

Stall stabling is more expensive and can range from $300 to $1,500 per month, depending on the amenities offered.

Travel Cost

Travel expenses refer to fuel for barn visits. These expenses can range from $50 to $200 per month, depending on the frequency of visits and the distance to your barn.


Owning a horse is not a cheap endeavor. The costs associated with horse ownership can be overwhelming, especially for first-time horse owners.

However, with proper planning and budgeting, the costs can be managed. Understanding the various expenses involved with horse ownership is the key to managing your finances and living the dream of owning a horse.

Tips for Reining in Expenses (Pun Intended)

Owning a horse can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. There are ways to save money and still enjoy all the benefits that come with owning a horse.

In this article, we will discuss three money-saving tips for horse owners.


Bartering is a great way to save money on horse-related expenses. Trading services, lessons, or clinics with other horse owners can be a cost-effective way to gain knowledge and supplement your horse-related expenses.

For example, you can offer to clean a stable for a trainer in exchange for a lesson. You can even barter riding time with other horse owners who are struggling to pay for boarding expenses.

Bartering can also be used to trade goods such as horse equipment, blankets, and saddle pads, saving cash, and perfect for items with substantial after-market value. Participating in barter fairs, flea markets, and local auctions is an excellent way to find great deals on horse-related equipment and supplies while supporting your local economy.

Price Drops

Sales, coupon codes, and deals can be found throughout the year. Shopping sales and looking for deals on tack and gear will help you to save on expenses in the long run.

Sign up for newsletters, follow social media pages, and subscribe to coupon sites are smart ways to be in the know and up to date on the latest specials or promotional codes. Amazon and Honey are great tools to take advantage of online deals by comparing prices, selection, and shipping.

With Amazon Prime subscription, you can enjoy faster shipping, free shipping, and have access to thousands of items that qualify for Amazon Prime deals. Honey, a browser extension, finds and automatically applies coupon codes to save you money while shopping your favorite online horse stores and discover new passion projects.

Compare Costs Before You Buy

Horse-related items can have a significant variation in price depending on the brand, store, or location. It would be best if you were comparing prices online and in-store to get the best deal.

You may sign up for promotional emails and newsletters from different stores to get the latest deals and information. Amazon and other online marketplaces are great because they offer a vast selection of products, and you can compare and review products before making a purchase.

Often Amazon and other large retailers have many different types and brands of horse products available in one place and can help with easier navigation, ordering, and shipping. Many independent tack shops offer unique equipment and knowledge, so you should support local.

If you find an item you like at the local store, take a minute to compare it to other prices and options online. If the item is only slightly more expensive in-store, it may be worth purchasing the item at a local establishment, as it helps support the local economy.


In conclusion, horse ownership can be fulfilling and rewarding with the correct approach to economy management. By taking advantage of bartering, discounts, promotions, and comparing costs between physical and online places, you can save on horse-related expenses without sacrificing time, quality, or pleasure in horse ownership.

For horse owners, being savvy with spending money on horseback riding, equipment, and lifestyles will help you remain on the top of your horseback game without breaking the bank.

On the Horizon

As the horse season begins its exciting and busy time, there are opportunities to try new things to improve your skills. In this article, we will discuss three upcoming events that offer a chance to challenge your abilities and improve your horseback riding.

Reining Clinic

A reining clinic offers the chance to gain high-quality riding and showing standards. A great way to improve your reining skills is by attending clinics hosted by National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) judges.

These judges have replaced clinics with online webinars due to travel restrictions in recent times. Attending these clinics gives aspiring reining horse riders a chance to learn and perfect new maneuvers to improve their competition performance and qualify for NRHA competitions!

To be at the top level of reining riding, you should only aim for clinics hosted by respectable judges and practicing proper social distancing guidelines, keeping safe, and protecting the health of others.

These clinics can provide valuable feedback and insights to increase your skills, technique, and performance.

Ranch Riding Show

Competing in local ranch riding shows offers an opportunity to put your skills to the test while experiencing the thrill and rewards of competition. It can also set you back and create anxiety, which is normal for competitive riders.

Still, it also provides an opportunity for riders to polish abilities and display them before a judge. There are a few ways to prepare for a ranch riding show.

Firstly, research the rules of the competition, take lessons focusing on the particular discipline (including trail, horsemanship, etc.). Secondly, Practice both riding and practicing with your horse before the competition day.

Lastly, Have fun and enjoy yourself, do not sweat the small incidents or critique, try to focus on having the best experience and take away the individual feedback.

Part Lease

If you can’t afford to buy a horse or board one full-time, but still want to ride or learn horseback jumping lessons, part-leasing is an option. Part-leasing involves paying for the horse’s care and a part of their time, allowing a rider to ride a friend’s horse for a set amount of time each week.

When leasing a friends horse, you should ensure you respect the horse, owner, and agreement set in place. Still, your friend’s horse offers an opportunity to concentrate on improving your skills without incurring the full cost of horse ownership and the responsibility.

Create a schedule with the owner for riding, health routine, and maintenance. The arrangement ensures you can ride, jump, promote physical control, and develop a deeper relationship with the horse, all while still saving funds.


In conclusion, these upcoming horse events and avenues such as ranch riding shows, part-leasing, and NRHA judges reining clinics, provide an excellent opportunity for younger and experienced riders alike to increase their knowledge, skills and showcase their talents. Remember, when considering these events, always prepare and have fun.

Horse events can build camaraderie with other riders and increase your chances of getting excellent feedback and learning from the best. Enjoy the experience while learning something new!

In conclusion, this article discussed various aspects of horse ownership, including the cost of owning a horse, buyer’s remorse, and tips for reining in expenses.

It also touched on upcoming events and ways to improve horseback riding skills, such as participating in ranch riding shows, NRHA reining clinics, and part-leasing. The takeaway from this article is that horse ownership can be affordable if managed correctly through cost-reducing strategies, preparation, and finding opportunities to learn from others or further skills.


  1. Q: Can I own a horse and still save money?
  2. A: Yes, horse ownership can be affordable if managed properly through various cost-saving strategies we covered in this article.
  3. Q: What are some ways to improve horseback riding skills?
  4. A: Some ways to improve horseback riding skills include participating in clinics, competing in local shows, and leasing a friend’s horse for practice.
  5. Q: How can I reduce my horse-related expenses?
  6. A: You can reduce your horse-related expenses by bartering services, shopping sales, and comparing prices before you buy.

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