Got My Horse

The Cost of Horse Ownership: A Comprehensive Guide to Expenses and Personal Experiences

The Cost of Horse Ownership

Horses bring joy and companionship to many peoples lives, but owning a horse can be expensive. From farriers to lessons to insurance policies, the cost of horse ownership can add up quickly.

In this article, we will explore the different expenses that come with owning a horse and give tips on how to save money while still providing for your equine companion.


Taking lessons is a necessary expense when owning a horse. Jump lessons, Western flatwork, or cow work — whatever type of lesson you take, it is essential to keep up with your horse’s training.

The cost of lessons varies depending on the instructor and the type of lesson. To save money, consider taking group lessons rather than individual sessions.

Group lessons tend to be less expensive and offer the added benefit of socializing with other riders.

Ranch Riding Class

Some barns offer a monthly ranch riding class. This class is an excellent opportunity for horse owners to work on their horsemanship skills and improve their communication with their horse.

While taking the class, riders can also save money by using their own horse instead of renting one from the barn.


Routine appointments with the farrier are necessary to maintain healthy hooves. Depending on the horse, the frequency of visits may vary.

For example, some horses need new shoes every six weeks, while others may only need trimming. Be sure to communicate with your farrier about your horse’s specific needs.

To save money, ask your farrier if they offer a discount for multiple horses.

SmartPak Daily Supplements

Equine supplements such as SmartDigest Ultra Pellets and Equithrive can help keep your horse healthy, but they can also be expensive. To save money, consider buying in bulk or opting for generic supplements instead.

SmartPak Gift Card

A SmartPak gift card can be a great way to show your appreciation to a fellow horse owner or to thank someone for their help with your horse. It is an excellent gift for a potential pony buyer or someone who already owns a horse.

Potential Pony Deposit

If you are interested in purchasing a jumping pony, you may be required to put down a deposit. The deposit will hold the pony until the pre-purchase exam is completed.

If the exam is successful, the deposit can go towards the purchase price. If it is not successful, the deposit can be refunded.

Be sure to reschedule timely if needed.

Blanket Cleaning

Professional cleaning and repair for your horse blankets may seem like a luxury, but it can prolong the life of your blankets, saving you money in the long run. Label tags on your blankets make it easier to track when cleaning was done and what repairs were made.

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is essential for any horse owner. Equisure policies can provide protection in the event of an accident involving your horse.

Many barns and trainers require proof of liability insurance before allowing you to ride or board your horse. Mortality & Major Medical Insurance

Northwest Equine Insurance offers policies that can cover the value of your horse in the event of an accident or illness.

This type of insurance can also cover medical expenses such as hock injections, lessons, and training. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, insurance can be a lifesaver in the event of an emergency.


Board is one of the most significant expenses when owning a horse. Outdoor paddocks, feed, blanketing, turnout, deworming, and access to facilities can vary in price depending on the location and quality of the barn.

Hay surcharges and discounts on lessons may also be included in the board fee. Be sure to compare prices and visit potential barns to find the best fit for you and your horse.

Fuel for Barn Visits

Visiting your horse at the barn requires fuel and time. It is important to factor in the average fuel cost and IRS mileage rate when budgeting for horse ownership.

Alternate transportation systems and carpooling can also help reduce the cost of fuel.

Flight and Rental Car

If you are planning on purchasing a jumping pony from a neighboring state, you may need to factor in the cost of a flight and rental car. The cost of travel can add up quickly, so be sure to budget accordingly.


Owning a horse is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. However, it also comes with a cost.

Be sure to budget for all expenses related to horse ownership, and look for ways to save money without sacrificing the quality of care for your equine companion. By following these tips, you can enjoy the many benefits of owning a horse without breaking the bank.

Personal Experience: The Journey of a Horse Owner

Owning a horse can be one of the most fulfilling experiences in life. However, it can also be challenging.

From the loss of a horse to searching for a new equine companion, every horse owner has a unique journey. In this article, we will explore the different stages of horse ownership based on my personal experience.

Loss of Horse

A horse accident can happen to any horse owner. Unfortunately, it happened to me.

My beloved English horse went missing after a jump lesson. After searching for him for days, we eventually found him in a nearby field, but it was too late.

The loss was devastating to me. After grieving, it was time for me to decide on my next move.

I realized that I needed to challenge myself and focus outside of reined cow horse activities. Thus, I decided to look for a new horse.

Looking for a New Horse

The search for a new potential pony was an exciting but challenging experience. I was searching for my second horse and had learned from my past mistakes, such as not researching colt starting backgrounds and not factoring my own skill level.

This time around, I did my research and made affordability a priority. Before purchasing a new horse, it is essential to determine your needs and be realistic about what you can handle.

Riding and starting a young horse can offer a unique bonding experience, but it also requires time, patience, and consistency. Therefore, ensure your skill level matches the horse’s needs.

Spending Money

As I considered the purchase of a new horse, I also had to factor in extra expenses such as an increased mortality policy value and upcoming travel costs for a potential pony visit. My mortality policy value increased to ensure that my new horse was covered in case of an emergency.

Furthermore, I planned a trip to visit a potential pony and had to factor in travel, boarding, and pre-purchase exam expenses. Spending money wisely is crucial to ensure that all aspects of horse ownership are affordable and feasible.

Future Plans

As I considered the purchase of a new horse, I had to think about the long-term future of ownership. I asked myself questions like, “What happens if my financial circumstances change?” and “Are there other ownership alternatives?”

One alternative to horse ownership is leasing.

Leasing allows you to have the experience of ownership without the long-term financial commitment. It can also be an opportunity to determine if horse ownership is something that you want to pursue.

Composite Report

In conclusion, my journey of horse ownership has taught me that it is essential to approach it from a holistic perspective. From the loss of my English horse to my search for a new companion, I have learned valuable lessons about affordability, horse care, and long-term ownership alternatives.

By doing your research and making informed decisions, you can ensure a fulfilling and rewarding experience as a horse owner. Consider creating a composite report to help plan out your journey of horse ownership.

This report should cover all aspects of ownership, including budgeting, nutrition, veterinarian care, training, and long-term ownership alternatives. With these resources at your disposal, you can embark on a fulfilling journey of horse ownership.

In this article, we covered various aspects of horse ownership, ranging from expenses like farrier and board to personal experiences like losing a horse and searching for a new one. One of the main takeaways is the importance of approaching horse ownership holistically and making informed decisions based on research, affordability, and long-term ownership alternatives.

Some common FAQs include: What are the essential expenses you need to budget when owning a horse? How can I find a potential pony that fits my skill level and budget?

What are some ownership alternatives to consider?

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