If you or a loved one has been to our 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 is an average of $3,000. The first thing you need to know about buying a horse is that the initial price of the horse is usually much more affordable than the caretaking of the horse. For example, besides the initial cost, you have to pay for feed, stabling, healthcare, and equipment. You might be thinking, “How could the feed possibly cost that much? They just eat grass right?” but most adult horses eat at the very least 1.5-2.5% of their body mass, and the cost of hay and concentrated feed add up.
A commonly forgotten task of horsecare is manure removal. While this doesn’t seem that it would affect you, it can cost up to an estimated 100-300$ per horse per year to remove manure. The most common worry 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. 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 have to pay an estimated cost of $25,000 to $150,000, depending on the size and model of the tractor. For those who don’t want to pay an insane fee to house your horse, boarding is the best 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, 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 but are a necessary part in horse ownership.
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 can really impact a person’s income. If you don’t think you would be able to provide adequate and consistent care, we recommend not purchasing a horse. However if you feel like you're missing the joy of horseback riding, you are always welcome at Rusty Spurr Ranch.