If you or a loved one has been to the Rusty Spurr Ranch and fell in love with horseback riding, you’re not the only one! In case a trip to Summit and Grand Counties Colorado is too long of a trip for you, or you want your very own horse, this blog is dedicated to you. We are going to review the pricing and costs of buying and owning a horse. The initial cost of a horse can be anywhere from free to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The cost of a horse really depends on the breed, level of training, and the area of the country you live in. The first thing you need to know about buying a horse is that the initial price of the horse is usually much more affordable than the caretaking of the horse. For example, besides the initial cost, you have to pay for feed, stabling, healthcare, and equipment. You might be thinking, “How could the feed possibly cost that much? They just eat grass right?” but most adult horses eat at the very least 1.5-2.5% of their body mass, and the cost of hay and concentrated feed add up. That's around 25 pounds of hay/day plus supplements which can easily add up to over $25 a day or more depending on the size and nutritional needs of a particular horse.
A commonly forgotten task of horsecare is manure removal. While this doesn’t seem that it would affect you, it can cost up to an estimated $100-300 per horse per year to remove manure. The biggest expense of owning a horse is the cost of facilities or boarding. If you have your own facility, pastures reduce the cost of hay but in pasture-kept horse scenarios, expenses can mount too. The property itself costs money, as well as making it horse-livable, which includes safe fencing. Another extreme cost is a tractor, which can be bought for a pasture to help with reseeding, mowing, and manure management. Those who choose to buy a tractor can expect to pay an estimated cost of $25,000 to $150,000, depending on the size and model of the tractor. For those who are not able to keep a horse at home, boarding is the next option. The monthly boarding fees vary considerably depending on the services offered, the facility, and the location. The average cost can be $500 per horse, but some charge from $100 to $1,500. The price of the boarding mainly depends on whether it is a do-it-yourself pasture board or a full-service facility which offers everything from farrier services to training. The health care needs of a horse can cost as little as $300 a year for basic maintenance, but if your horse is injured it could cost hundreds or even thousands for a one-time treatment. Equipment costs vary on the brand and if you are boarding or not, but are a necessary part in horse ownership if you need to feed, transport, or maintain the horse facilities.
Overall, the expenses of a horse reach a minimum of about $2,500 to $3,600 per year on top of the costs of stabling, which every potential horse owner should consider. Owning a horse involves work, costs, and time so that you can provide your best friend with the care they need to stay healthy. If you feel like you're missing the joy of horseback riding and not sure you're ready or able to go out and buy a horse of your own, you are always welcome at Rusty Spurr Ranch where we have many wonderful equines.