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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran mues155's Avatar
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    Thinking of getting a horse

    Im just kind of tossing around some figures and doing some research about buying a horse.
    I live in town but I have a friend with a ranch about 5 miles out of town. She has a few horses herself.
    The boarding price would not be very expensive, enough to cover feed, and her time caring for the horse.
    Assuming I buy this pleaure horse at around $800-$2500 and it may or may not come with tack.
    Im trying to figure out about how much it costs to care for a horse year round and see if its something I would want to do.
    Any info or tips would be appreciated!
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  2. #2
    BPnet Lifer wolfy-hound's Avatar
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    I might be a bit rusty, but here goes....

    Food and board is a major expense. Also you need worming a couple times a year, plus regular vaccines and sometimes testing depending on what you want to do. Some areas requires a clear test for things before you can transport a horse.

    The equipment cost is actually minimal because it's all a one time purchase(except small things). Buying halters, lead ropes, hoof picks, brushes, etc, should only need to be done once, then items replaced as needed.

    Horses need regular vet care, and they are renowned for managing to injure themselves. Having a large animal vet called out because your horse found the only expose nail to slice an eyelid half off means a rather large vet bill(yep, had a horse cut the eyelid almost OFF somehow), and they need hoof care on a regular basis. Depending again on what use you will be making of the horse will determine whether your horse requires shoes or not. Trimming hooves is cheaper than dealing with shoes, but some horses will need shoes even for just the trail ride weekends, while others can do without even with daily work.

    The time invested is considerable. The danger involved in working with horses is also considerable. They are a large rather unpredictable beast capable of kicking a human skull in on a whim. You may or may not have to have some sort of insurance, depending on where you are keeping it and what use you make of it.

    That's all I can come up with right now, hope it's useful.
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  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran mues155's Avatar
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    Well you raised some good points of consideration that i havnt thought of so thank you for that.
    Im looking to use the horse as just a trail rider. Im not sure if later on i would try barrels, but maybe.
    Mostly im just looking to ride one a few times a week for myself.
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  5. #4
    BPnet Lifer wolfy-hound's Avatar
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    Just to let you know, a horse suitable for quiet trail rides may not be suitable for barrels. Also, most riders use a special barrel racing saddle for the games, although in MY opinion, you don't need one. I'm afraid I have a bit of disdain for most young barrel racers having dealt with both the girls and with the horses they ruined the training on.
    I understand there's probably tons of riders that are great, but I just wasn't dealing with any of them.

    One thing you might want to keep in mind is that you want a "easy keeper", or a horse tha has good tough feet, doesn't need massive amounts of feed as opposed to mostly grass/hay and a quiet well trained animal. Too many people go shopping and fall in love with some high spirited delicate disposition untrained animal. Then it turns into misery as they try to work with an animal that is unsuited for what they want.

    Horses don't automatically love people and want to prance about prettily and behave properly. Ex-racing thorughbreds, Arabians and some appaloosas can be high strung and hard to handle. Not that ALL of them are, I myself owned appaloosas, and had several ex-racers and arabians I retrained just fine. But it's just so much easier and better to look for the animal you want, rather than ending up with an unsuitable animal because you feel you're "rescueing" it or that it will behave just because you love it.

    Horses can be really rewarding to own and work with. But without plenty of foreknowledge, they can easily turn into a nightmare of money and time and fuss. I'm really glad that you are learning all about the issues and horses before you jump right in. That's pretty rare, so kudos to you.
    Theresa Baker
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    "Stop being a wimpy monkey,; bare some teeth, steal some food and fling poo with the alphas. "

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  7. #5
    BPnet Veteran Cendalla's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what would be your stall fees but a lot of the time it is extra for bedding, turn out, and storage for your hay and grain. There will be little things like treats and salt licks. Having their feet trimmed and shod is getting really pricey. I have to pay about $95 (per horse) every three months for trimming and shoes (I'm no longer a teen that can do it myself) for trail and endurance riding. Feed is probably the most costly- just because they are in a stall doesn't mean they eat less.

    Vet checks (and you will need them in a boarding environment) cost for the vet to come out and what ever they have to do (sometime you can split the visit fee if other people have a same day appointment). I'm one of those people that believe you should be ready for the responsibility first. That means all the grooming, first aid equipment, and tack. You don't have to have a silver encrusted headset and saddle, but they are pricy.

    Starting from the ground up is very costly but a rewarding experience. I have three quarter horse mares and I adore them to pieces. The one thing to remember when having large animals is that things happen. You need to be prepared to handle anything. I woke up this morning to my 16hand, 1400 lbs buckskin mare had a snout full of porcupine quills. Crap happens

    Good luck and let us know what you get
    Last edited by Cendalla; 06-20-2011 at 01:01 PM.
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  8. #6
    BPnet Veteran Cendalla's Avatar
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    I would have written you more and in depth but I had to meet the vet. I couldn't get all the quill out of her lip. I pulled 32 and the vet had to cut out two that were broken completely inside. Anyways I ride western pleasure. My three mares are all foundation quarter horses. I grew up on a working cattle ranch (small scale at about 1000 total acres). I've worked with several breeds and they all have good points and not-so-good points. If you have any question feel free to ask. I know a couple other ladies on here have great horse sense too
    Last edited by Cendalla; 06-20-2011 at 02:47 PM.
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  9. #7
    BPnet Lifer zina10's Avatar
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    Hello

    Everyone has already brought up very good points ! First thing I want to say is this...Horses are not a hobby. Its a lifestyle. It really is It tends to take over a large part of your life. And it can be a beautiful thing.

    The other thing is this. The initial purchase price of the horse is not what matters so greatly. Its the monthly expenses. The unforeseen expenses. A "free" horse costs you just as much every month/year, then an expensive one. That is something to keep in mind when you are shopping for a horse.

    Don't pick a horse with your heart alone, and don't pick it based on looks. As Wolfy said, horses can be dangerous animals, even the kind ones. So picking up a calm/kind/been there done that horse is the best thing you can do for yourself. Even if its not the color you wanted. Even if its a little older (love the older ones)

    Its easier to give an older horse a joint supplement and deal with mild and manageable arthritis rather then to deal with a young horse thats still full of it, going through phases, and barely broke. Mind you, even some older horses can be "green" or possibly left on a pasture without having been worked with.

    There is no "perfect" horse, but choose carefully, and better yet, take someone else with you. Always make the owner ride first. Visit each horse you are interested in more then once.

    Make sure the horse doesn't just ride alright, but also has good ground manners. A horse should be able to be tied without pulling, holding still for the vet and farrier, shots, etc. A horse should be respectful of your space, not bump into you, or pull you along.

    Little things here and there you can work with. You may already know all this, not sure if you used to ride/have horses, or not.

    Choosing the "wrong" horse can turn what could be a great experience, into misery.

    All that said, I did all the wrong things. I bought a horse without taking someone else, I was lied to. My horse was as green as I was. It DID end up working out, but it wasn't easy.

    Most horses, no matter how well trained, will test you in the beginning. Don't be alarmed. Horses look for leadership, they want to test yours, to make sure you ARE a leader and someone to be trusted to take care of them. With leadership comes trust. With trust comes love. You can't treat a horse like a puppy. In time you build an amazing bond, but it doesn't happen overnight.

    When it comes to the expense of tack, I have to say this... "He who buys quality items, only cries once"
    Its really true, you definitely do not need a snazzy show saddle or "bling" but try to buy quality. It is 100% better to buy an older/used quality saddle, then a new crappy made in mexico one. Make sure the saddle fits the horse. Many times it does not at first try, and that creates a lot of problems with the horses behavior and health.

    Basically, how you go into this whole adventure, how you prepare and stuff, will set the tone for this whole adventure. Invest in the time and money to do it best you can, and it will pay back in so many ways.

    Despite the cost, the time, the sweat blood and tears, I wouldn't want to be without my mare anymore. The time at the barn and with my horse (even the work) is therapy.
    Can't even explain it, really. But its the best thing I have done for myself.

    Good luck
    Last edited by zina10; 06-22-2011 at 02:05 PM.
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  11. #8
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    Probably going to repeat a lot of what others have said...

    Stalling, feed, tack, care items...

    Say I spend ... $400 a month for full board (turn out, hay, bedding included). Add extra $40 for grain, and depending on age and health of horse you can go even above $100 in supplements a MONTH. Add in routine vet work, dental, farrier, wormers, and the HORRENDOUS emergency vet bills....per year I probably spend no less than 8-9000 a year per horse. That's just for "fun" horses that don't get all the extra pampering that show horses get. PS...if you want to do barrels usually that's going to be a more "hot" horse than a trail horse that is just for pleasure.

    PPS..
    If you just want to ride a few times a week for fun consider leasing or lessons. So much cheaper in the long run, and helps you understand all the expenses and work that goes into ownership
    Last edited by lilcountrygirl; 11-02-2014 at 04:50 PM.

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  13. #9
    Telling it like it is! Stewart_Reptiles's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of getting a horse

    Quote Originally Posted by lilcountrygirl View Post
    Probably going to repeat a lot of what others have said...

    Stalling, feed, tack, care items...

    Say I spend ... $400 a month for full board (turn out, hay, bedding included). Add extra $40 for grain, and depending on age and health of horse you can go even above $100 in supplements a MONTH. Add in routine vet work, dental, farrier, wormers, and the HORRENDOUS emergency vet bills....per year I probably spend no less than 8-9000 a year per horse. That's just for "fun" horses that don't get all the extra pampering that show horses get. PS...if you want to do barrels usually that's going to be a more "hot" horse than a trail horse that is just for pleasure.

    PPS..
    If you just want to ride a few times a week for fun consider leasing or lessons. So much cheaper in the long run, and helps you understand all the expenses and work that goes into ownership
    The thread is 3 and a half years old
    Deborah Stewart

  14. #10
    Registered User onthefritz's Avatar
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    just realized this was over 3 yrs old ha
    Last edited by onthefritz; 11-07-2014 at 03:16 PM.

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