How Much Does a Horse Cost

Have you ever dreamt of owning a horse? Many of us want to own a horse, but do you know how much does a horse cost? Your answer probably will be a No! Horses as pets are so much fun. After all, they’re interesting to look at, enjoyable to ride, and a joy to bond with, right? But, not only is it expensive to buy horses but also they are expensive to maintain. Yes, owning a horse comes with a great deal of financial responsibility. You’ll be surprised to know the actual average monthly and yearly expenses of a horse!

Another fact is that purchasing a horse is the cheapest part of owning a horse. From stabling, feed to health and farrier care, tack, and barn equipment, there are millions of things that you need to take care of. Typically, horses can live for about 33 years; this simply means that as compared to other pets, horses require a much longer and more costly commitment.

However, it doesn’t mean that an average salary-earning man can’t afford a horse. In 2005, The American Horse Council dispelled the popular myth in their economic study that not all horse owners are wealthy. The study shows that 50% of horse owners only earn between $25,000 and $75,000 annually, and 34% make less than $50,000 a year.

This proves you don’t have to be rich to own a horse; however, you should be mentally and financially prepared for their expenses.

Today in this blog, we’re going to tell you all the expenses you need to know before buying a horse. From their initial buying cost to food, grooming, and training, we’ve covered everything. So keep on reading to know about the cost of owning a horse both immediately and in the long run.

Bringing a New Horse Home: One-Time Costs

One-Time Costs of New Horse

The first thing that you should think about is the actual cost of the horse itself. The cost depends upon many other things. First, let’s see what are various ways by which you can bring a horse into your home:


Yes, it’s possible to get a horse for FREE! Many people get too old to care for their beloved horses, or sometimes their financial conditions have changed. So if you’re not concerned with how old the horse is, you can place an advertisement in your local newspaper, or contact 4H clubs or find someone who is looking for a good home to send their horse.


Cost: $25-$500

Another great way to bring home a horse is Adoption. You can contact the humane society or another kind of animal rescue center. There you have to pay only an adoption fee, which is about $25 to $500.


Cost: $500-$5,000+

Buying a horse from a breeder can be the costliest option, but it is also the most flexible one. Here you have to contact an authentic breeder and have to pay for pedigree, showmanship, and breeder expertise. This cost is around  $500 to more than $5,000. The price of horses may vary as it depends on the breeder to breeder.

Here’s the list of some famous Breeds of horses and their Average Costs:

BreedAverage Cost

Factors That Affect The Cost Of a Horse

Factors that affect cost of horse

Some factors majorly affect the pricing of a horse. What are they? Below we’ve mentioned them :

Age & Color

Horses have prices according to their age and color. The highest value ranges between horses of 3 to13 years old. Some people buy horses according to the color; for example, black, grey, buckskin, palomino, cremello, red dun, and bay dun have higher prices than the others.


Like any other animal, some horse breeds are more expensive than others. Some affordable breeds are grade horses, Arabians, appaloosas, quarter horses, and paints.

Below is the list of most expensive horse breeds in the world:

Horse BreedsPrice
Thoroughbred$500 and $35,000
Dutch Warmblood$5,000 and $25,000
Selle Francais$2,000 and $40,000
Standardbred$500 to $5,000
Friesian$7,000 and $100,000

Temperament & Potential

It is quite obvious that high-strung, nervous, spooky, and aggressive horses have lesser value than horses that are bold, level-headed, and friendly.

Level Of Training & Experience

What the horse will be used for will intensely affect the price. For example, a backyard trail horse will be sold at a different price than a show hunter and barrel racer. Also, the trained and experienced horses are easier to handle than the untrained and green ones.


When we talk about the United States, various parts have different prices. This is because a horse near a city at an expensive barn will sell higher than a horse in a countryside barn.

Here are some places in America and the average annual cost of owning a horse there:

StateAverage Annual Cost
New York$11,167
New Jersey$11,040

The Costs of Horse Ownership

Cost of home Ownership

Now you know the initial cost of purchasing a horse; however, there are many other expenses that you should know before buying the horse. After purchasing a horse, you have to buy the basic supplies for your pet. This can cost more than $800.

Here’s the list of horse care supplies and costs:

Horse Care SuppliesCost
Food (Hay, Fruits, Veggies, Salt, etc.)$100-$300/Month
Feed Pan$10-$30
Water Trough$25-$100
Lead Ropes$10-$50
Hoof Pick$2-$10
Grooming Brush and Comb$5-$20
Fly Repellent$5-$30
Bridle and Bit$50-$250
Lead Ropes$10-$30
Washing Accessories$25-$50

Bringing a New Horse Home: Annual Expenses

Annua expenses of horse

Up To here, we’ve only told you about the initial and one-time cost of owning a horse. Now, let’s talk about the annual expenses that you have to consider before buying a horse.


Cost: $125-$350 per year

Yes, that much amount of money is only for the food for your horse! This is because an average horse weighs 1,100 pounds and needs to eat a minimum of 1.5% to 2.5% of its body weight each day in hay and grain. This also includes fruits and vegetables to supplement their diets.

Environment Maintenance

Cost: $60/$170 per year

Whether you’re keeping a horse on your own property or at a commercial barn, there are general maintenance costs that you need to pay. This will make sure that your horse’s living environment is well cared for and functional.

This maintenance includes the barn, stable, or shelter, maintenance of equipment and fencing installation, and vehicle maintenance of a trailer, etc.

Here’s a small maintenance table for you:

Fencing Maintenance/Repair$20-$100/year

Health Care

Cost: $300-$600 per year

It is important to take care of horses and keep them happy and healthy. You can assume about $300 to $600 each year to cover all your expenses for their health care. This includes $75-$125 worth of dental care every year of their life and regular checkups of about $200-$300 per year.


Cost: $110-$190 per year

Like every other pet, horses do also need vaccinations for their good health. Every two or three months, they should be provided with a deworming medication and each costs about $15. Other than this, horses should be vaccinated twice a year, which includes boosters for diseases such as influenza and tetanus. And they cost around $25 and $50 each.


Cost: $0-$10,000+ per year

Emergencies are never planned! Your horse may go their entire life without ever needing emergency care or may require such care several times in a year. This basically depends on their genes, diet, health, and happiness. These emergency services cost only a couple hundred dollars, but sometimes in serious cases like surgery, they can cost $10,000 or more.

Final Words

In summary, the total annual cost of owning a horse is around $2500 to $5,000 for a decent low-level horse and sometimes more than that. Plus, you never know when an unexpected expense will arise.

Now you have a clear idea about how much do horses cost and how much money it takes to care for a horse in the long term. The average lifespan of a horse is 25 to 33 years, so you’ve to be ready to spend $3,000 or more per year for more than 20 years.

Whether you want to purchase or adopt a horse, this is a big decision to make and be emotionally and financially prepared for that. But horses are worth these investments as they’re the best companions.

So this is all about how much does a horse cost. I hope you have found this blog helpful. Please share it with your friends and family who are also facing any pet health-related problems.

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