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Costs Involved with owing and caring for a Horse.

Costs Involved with owing and caring for a Horse.

Buying a Horse is the cheep part, the Up keep and looking after them is much more than the initial cost.  


Costs of having a horse (for an average size healthy horse in Australia 2004)

Farrier - you need to get a farrier out to trim your horses feet every 2 or 3 months depending on the condition and growth of each particular horses hooves. This generally costs $25 - $35 for a trim. Or if your Horse must wear shoes this is a cost of $65 - $75 every 6-8 weeks. If you do a farriers course and buy the tools (Pincers, Rasp and sole knife) to do this you can trim your horses hooves yourself.

Vet - A yearly vet check is always a good idea so a vet can assess your horses health, and let you know any problems that might occur in the near future. Also for older horses a vet can assess if they are still fit to be ridden. A vet check will cost you around $50-$100 if you take your horse to the vet, or a fee on top of this if you choose for the vet to travel out to you. And a vet can at this time give your horse their yearly vaccinations for strangles and tetanus. Or you can buy the needles yourself and vaccinate them yourself if you know how to do so, a vet can show you how.


Dentist - Horses need their teeth filed with a rasp by a horse dentist every year or two, depending on the living conditions and what they are fed. A horse that is fed a lot of grains will need their teeth done more often than a horse on pasture and hay/chaff. A Dentist Visit can cost anything from $50 - $300 or more if your horse is difficult or required special attention to their teeth.


Agistment - Usually one of the biggest cost for a horse owner is where to keep the horse. If you have your own land this will not apply to you. But agistment can range from $10 per week for a shared paddock up to $20 per day for a private stable. When selecting agistment, consider the following things:

- Are the paddocks a good size for the horse to run around?

- Are the fences safe? Could your Horse Escape or get injured?

- Is there adequate drinking water for your horse to have access to?

- What condition are the other horses there in?

- Is there a worming program all the horses are on?

- Is there a vaccination program all the horses are on?

- who checks on the horses and fills the water up?

- To a lesser degree, Is there shelter for the horse to get out of the Sun or Rain?

- I will add more to this list as I think of them, or if you have suggestions email me.


Worming - Your horse must be wormed with a tube of worming paste every 2 months (more frequently in high worm load or over grazed area’s) or you can use a high strength drench less often. The worming paste tubes range from $5 to $30, and you must alternate your wormers so your horses system doesn’t become immune to it.


Feed - Most horses in a large paddock and only being ridden lightly can keep their weight on my just grazing grass, with occasion hay to supplement. A horse in a paddock with little or no grass will need to be hand fed. This involves feeding the horse adequate amounts of Chaff, Hay and other additives as required. There are so many different horse feeds on the market that it can be hard to select one. Lots of research will help you to decide what you prefer to feed. I feed my horses Oaten Chaff, Lucerne Chaff, Molasses, Copra (Coconut meal), Breeda and Equilibrium. This cost me about $50 per week (current in June 2004) for the 11 horses. But I do have some grass for them to graze, and most of my horses are excellent doers.


Water - A Horse can Drink from 20 to 50 litres of water a day, sometimes more in dry or Hot conditions, and of course if a horse is very large or sick or in heavy work they will require more water. Fresh, Clean water is one of the most important things for your horse. Dehydration can cause a serious of health problems.


Gear - Horses require a number of items to keep them happy and healthy, and of course to ride them.      


- To keep a horse in a paddock, you need to have a Halter and Lead to catch them, and brushes, combs and hoof pick to groom them. A rug is generally a good idea to have for the colder times of the year, but it is not neccessary in summer, and your horse is better off to have no rug, than to sweat in a rug on a hot day, cause no one could take it off.                 


-To Ride a Horse you require a Bridle, saddle, saddle blanket, stirrups, leathers and a helmet for you to wear. some horses also require boots, for thier tendons or fetlocks or bell boots to avoid over-reaching, other items are also optional.



I am fairly sure i have covered everything 'normal' but horse do tend to injury themself, so be prepared for extra vet bills.