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The Real Cost of Owning a Horse in 2019: Managing Expenses

Horse Expenses in 2019: Real Cost of Horse Ownership

Owning a horse is a wonderful and magical experience. However, it can also be expensive.

The cost of horse ownership can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we will explore the various horse expenses in 2019 and how to manage them.

Monthly Expenses

Horses require daily care and attention. Monthly expenses can include feed, bedding, and supplements.

Additionally, horses require basic veterinary care, such as regular check-ups, dental care, and vaccinations. Farrier care is also essential, with appointments typically scheduled every six weeks.

Tack and equipment can also be a monthly expense, as gear wears out and must be replaced.

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

When creating a budget, it is essential to consider all out-of-pocket horse expenses. These expenses include unexpected medical bills, transportation costs, and emergency services.

Budgeting for these expenses will help ensure that you can afford the cost of horse ownership and avoid being caught off guard by unexpected expenses.

Expense Reduction

Bartering is an excellent way to reduce horse expenses. Bartering involves exchanging goods or services.

For example, you could agree to muck stalls for someone else in return for them feeding your horse while you’re on vacation. You can also reduce expenses by buying in bulk, shopping online for deals, and finding free or discounted resources in your community.

Expense Categories

To manage expenses effectively, it’s crucial to understand the various spending categories. The primary categories are feed, veterinary care, farrier care, tack, and equipment, and transportation.

Understanding your spending categories will help you identify areas where you can cut expenses.

Necessary Expenses

Some expenses are essential and cannot be overlooked. These might include veterinary and farrier care or feed.

However, finding ways to reduce the cost of these items can make a significant difference in your budget. Consider joining a feed co-op, sourcing hay from a local farmer, or finding a vet or farrier who offers discounted rates for frequent customers.

Education Expenses

Riding lessons are an excellent way to improve your horsemanship skills and bond with your horse. The frequency of lessons varies depending on individual needs and goals.

Some riders need weekly lessons, while others may require only one or two monthly sessions.

Multiple Disciplines

If you participate in multiple riding disciplines, it’s important to prioritize your lesson schedule based on your goals. For example, if your primary goal is dressage, focus on dressage lessons, and supplement with other types of lessons as needed.

When you’re working with a limited budget, it’s essential to be strategic about how you allocate your funds.

Clinic Management

Clinics are a great way to improve your skills and knowledge, and connect with other equestrians. However, they can also be expensive.

To reduce clinic expenses, consider sharing hotel and transportation costs with other participants. When possible, find clinics that are close to home to minimize travel expenses.

Recommended Boots

When beginning riding lessons, proper footwear is essential. Riding boots provide ankle support and prevent the foot from slipping through the stirrup.

They are not only essential for safety but also help riders achieve proper form and balance. When purchasing riding boots, look for options within your budget, and consider buying used or discounted boots if appropriate.


Owning a horse can be an expensive endeavor, but with proper planning and budgeting, it is achievable. Identifying monthly expenses, managing out-of-pocket expenses, and reducing costs through strategies like bartering and bulk buying can help keep costs manageable.

When it comes to education expenses, taking a strategic approach and prioritizing goals can save money while still advancing horsemanship skills. Whatever your budget may be, remember that there are always ways to cut costs and still provide the best possible care for your horse.

Horse Expenses in 2019: Real Cost of Horse Ownership

As a horse owner, there are various expenses that must be considered. These expenses are necessary to ensure the well-being and longevity of your equine companion.

In this article, we will explore two additional categories of horse expenses in 2019: health expenses and fun expenses.

Health Expenses

Horses are living beings that require regular medical care to maintain their health and comfort. Veterinary care is one of the significant expenses associated with horse ownership.

These costs include regular check-ups, dental care, vaccinations, and emergency services. Horses also require consistent farrier care.

This includes being trimmed every six to eight weeks and the appropriate shoeing for their specific needs. The cost of farrier care can vary depending on where you live and the complexity of your horse’s shoeing needs.

Furthermore, medications and supplements may be necessary to treat specific health conditions or to maintain the overall well-being of your horse. These can include joint supplements, dewormers, and pain medication.

In summary, health expenses are critical, and proper veterinary care, farrier care, medication, and supplements should be factored into your budget regularly.

No Trading

Unlike other aspects of horse ownership, health expenses cannot be traded or bartered. These expenses must be paid in full to ensure the continued good health of your horse.

Though this can be a heavy expense, it is essential to keep in mind the importance of taking care of your horse’s health.

Fun Expenses

Horse ownership is not only about their care but also about enjoying time with your equine companion. Fun expenses include activities and items that make horse ownership more enjoyable.

These expenses may include riding lessons, trail rides, show fees, and horse shows.

Limited Spending

While horse activities can be great fun, they can also be very costly. It’s not just the cost of entering shows, lessons, and events, but also the cost of transportation, lodging, and food.

It can be easy to overspend in this category, so it’s important to keep your spending minimal whenever possible.

Occasional Splurges

Occasional splurges can be a way to treat yourself and your horse. These can be considered special indulgences that you budget for.

Some examples of occasional splurges include investing in a high-quality saddle or buying a beautiful new leather halter. These splurges can be a way to show your love for your horse and create lasting memories.

In summary, fun expenses are an important part of horse ownership, but it’s essential to keep your spending in check. Occasional splurges can be wonderful, but they must be budgeted for and not frivolous purchases.


Managing horse expenses can be a challenging task. Health expenses and fun expenses are essential categories to consider when building your equine budget.

Quality veterinary care, farrier care, medication, and supplements are essential for maintaining the health and comfort of your horse. While horse activities can be costly, occasional splurges can create a sense of joy and lasting memories.

Remember to balance your spending and budget wisely for all expenses associated with horse care. Horse Expenses in 2019: Real Cost of Horse Ownership

As a horse owner, there are many different expenses to keep in mind.

In this article, we will explore two additional categories of horse expenses in 2019: event expenses and gear expenses.

Event Expenses

At the heart of most horse owners’ goals is the thrill of competing or participating in shows and other events. These events can become expensive, but not all require extravagant spending.

Showing on a budget is possible by attending a limited number of shows each year.

Minimal Spending

To keep events expenses within a budget, it is essential to limit the number of shows you attend. Keep travel expenses low by participating in events that are close to home, thereby reducing transportation and lodging costs.

Minimal spending for shows can also be achieved by choosing events that do not have entry or stall fees. It’s important to remember that the cost of showing horses doesn’t have to break the bank.

Future Spending

As riders progress, they may start to attend small schooling shows and clinics in preparation for larger, more expensive events in the future. Attending small shows and clinics is a great way to experience competitive environments and learn from more experienced riders.

Though these events are less expensive than larger-scale shows, it’s still important to account for them in your budget.

Gear Expenses

Proper gear is essential for both horse and rider, and these expenses can add up quickly. From riding helmets to saddle pads and horse blankets, there are many necessary items needed for the well-being and comfort of both equine and human.

These gear expenses can be categorized into two parts: a summary of the expenses and intentional buying.

Expense Summary

It is essential to create a complete inventory of necessary gear for both horse and rider. This inventory should include all the items required for the care of your horse, such as blankets, halters, lead ropes, and brushes.

For riders, the inventory would include helmets, shirts, pants, boots, and gloves, among other necessary riding gear. A complete summary of gear expenses will provide a clear idea of the cost of owning a horse.

Intentional Buying

With a complete gear inventory, it is essential to practice intentional buying. Instead of purchasing gear as and when needed, it is important to map out the gear items required throughout the year and buy them during offseasons when sales are available, and prices are lower.

Items like blankets and sheets can be purchased during the warmer months for use during the cooler months.

Expense Justification

Though the cost of equestrian gear can add up quickly, some items are essential and necessary for the well-being and safety of both horse and rider. When purchasing gear, it is essential to justify the expense.

For example, tall boots are not only stylish but also necessary for adequate ankle support and safety while jumping. A well-fitting saddle can improve riding performance and prevent potential injury.

In summary, gear expense management includes creating gear inventory, practicing intentional buying, and accurately justifying expenses. By being tactical in gear purchasing decisions, riders can ensure the best value for their money.


Managing horse ownership expenses requires time, effort, and a comprehensive approach. From health expenses to gear and events, every category is important and should be accounted for when creating a horse budget.

Reduced expenses in certain categories can help balance out spending in other categories and provide a comfortable budget that allows for the best horse care while doing activities that align with your goals. Remember, being mindful of your expenses can make the journey as a horse owner enjoyable and fulfilling.

Horse Expenses in 2019: Real Cost of Horse Ownership

Owning a horse is a significant responsibility that comes with various expenses. In this article, we will explore two additional categories of horse expenses in 2019: insurance and stabling expenses.

Insurance Expenses

Insurance is an essential expense for horse owners. Horses, like any other living creature, may experience illnesses, accidents, or injury.

By purchasing insurance, you can protect your horse financially. There are different types of insurance policies available for horses.

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance covers you in case of an accident in which your horse causes damage or injury to someone else. This type of insurance is essential if you plan on taking your horse to shows or events.

Mortality Insurance

Mortality insurance covers the cost of your horse’s death or euthanasia. This insurance policy helps alleviate the financial burden of unexpected passing.

In many cases, mortality insurance policies are a requirement for boarding horses at certain facilities.

Major Medical Insurance

Major medical insurance covers the cost of veterinary treatment in case of illness or injury. This type of insurance can be a lifesaver for horse owners who experience unexpected high veterinary expenses.


Though insurance policies are essential in protecting horse owners financially, they are also expensive. However, it is better to be prepared in case of an accident or illness rather than facing huge medical bills later.

Evaluate different insurance policies and providers to find the coverage that works best for your needs and budget.

Stabling Expenses

Stabling expenses are another substantial expense associated with horse ownership. Monthly boarding costs may vary depending on your location, type of boarding facility and may or may not include additional services such as feeding, bedding, and turnout access.

Consistent Monthly Cost

Board in a group paddock is a great way to reduce stabling expenses. Group paddocks usually offer consistent monthly costs along with an opportunity for your horse to exercise, socialize, and live in a more natural and relaxing setting.

Additionally, group paddocks in convenient locations may provide access to nearby riding facilities and trails.

Lesson Discount

Some boarding facilities may offer boarder discounts for riding lessons and clinics. Discounted rates for lesson and clinics can dramatically reduce lesson costs over time.

Additionally, co-sharing expenses among boarders such as equipment maintenance, bedding, or amenity maintenance can also help chip away costs. Overall, managing horse expenses requires careful planning and deliberate decision-making.

Stabling your horse can be a significant expense, and investigating low-cost solutions such as a group paddock can help reduce monthly expenses. Additionally, finding boarder discounts for riding lessons and clinics and sharing expenses among boarders will help make keeping a horse financially feasible.

Furthermore, purchasing appropriate insurance policies can be a lifesaver for horse owners financially and should be factored into your budget.


Proper planning and budgeting are essential for horse ownership. Although horse-related expenses can be significant, being deliberate and practicing intentional spending can help you manage these costs effectively.

Allocating funds to different categories such as health insurance and stabling expenses will provide more clarity on the financial aspects of owning a horse. Remember, with the right mindset and strategy, your horse ownership journey can be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.

Horse Expenses in 2019: Real Cost of Horse Ownership

Owning a horse is a rewarding experience, but it can also be costly. In this article, we will explore two additional categories of horse expenses in 2019: travel expenses and miscellaneous expenses.

Travel Expenses

Travel expenses are another cost that horse owners face. Whether it’s traveling to shows or clinics or simply transporting your horse from one location to another, travel expenses can add up quickly.

Average Cost

The average travel cost for horse owners depends on several factors, including the distance traveled, the mode of transport, and any additional fees or surcharges. One way to calculate travel expenses is to use the IRS mileage rate, which is set each year.

The rate per mile for 2021 is 56 cents per mile.

Expense Reduction

To reduce travel expenses, it may be worth carpooling or ride-sharing with other horse owners who are attending the same event. Sharing the cost of gas and other expenses can be beneficial in reducing travel expenses.

Additionally, researching different carriers to transport your horse can reduce shipping costs.

Miscellaneous Expenses

Along with the significant expenses such as health care and stabling, there are other miscellaneous expenses that horse owners may encounter. These costs can range from the minor, such as blanket cleaning, to the more significant, such as repairs or replacement of damaged equipment.

Blanket Cleaning

Many horse owners use blankets to keep their horses warm during the cooler months. These blankets require cleaning at least once a season to avoid any dirt buildup or smell.

The cost for cleaning can vary depending on the type of service required.


Repairs to equipment such as bridles, halters, and saddles may be costly but necessary to maintain the safety and comfort of both horse and rider. It is essential to regularly check equipment for signs of wear and tear to prevent further damages that could cost more in the long run.

Miscellaneous Expenses

It’s essential to have some extra money set aside for unexpected expenses. These may include vet bills outside of the typical medical care or emergency expenses.

A rainy-day fund can help prevent feeling overwhelmed by the financial difficulties that come with unexpected expenses.


Horse ownership can be a costly endeavor, but it is worthwhile for those who love equestrian lifestyle. Travel expenses, miscellaneous expenses such as blanket cleanings, repairs, and other unforeseen expenses can impact your budget.

Reducing travel expenses through carpooling or ride-sharing and regularly checking equipment and maintaining a rainy-day fund for miscellaneous expenses can help ease the financial burden of horse ownership.

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