While I was in my garage painting my fancy new horse jump rails, I was listening to one of my favorite equestrian podcasts, Heels Down Happy Hour. Have you heard of it? If you have never listened, or never knew their were equestrian minded podcasts, this is one of my favorites to listen too.

heels down happy hour podcast logo

And during their latest podcast they asked how much do you spend on your horse every month? That got me thinking about just how much I spend on my boys every month. And I know every situation is different, but if you were wondering what it costs to keep a horse (or two) at home in Colorado, keep reading.

A Real World Example

I am very lucky that my husband is the one who manages our money. I should say we do manage the money together, but he is the one who keeps track of everything that comes in and goes out of our bank accounts. Thank God he is the way he is with keeping track of money, because I suck at it!

He has even created an Excel spreadsheet for the year where he puts in everything, and is able to track our spending, as well as making sure all of the bills get paid on time. He just has to remind me several times…

“Did you pay your credit cards? Did you pay your student loans?”

He won’t do it for me, but makes sure to keep me in line with keeping on time with my monthly obligations.

a bay horse

And to give a real world example of what I spend in a month on my horses, I am going to share with you what I have actually spent for the month of June. I figure June is just about gone, so it would be a good example of what it costs me to have my horses at home.

Feed Costs

I am lucky that I don’t have to pay board, since my horses live in my backyard. So typically, the biggest expenditure I have is on their feed. While we budget $200.00 per paycheck for hay, grain, etc. I typically comes out to be a little bit more.

bales of hay

Here is a break down of what I have spent on feed for my horses for June, 2019

So all in for the month, I spent $653.12 on feed for my horses. And while that might seem like a lot, the supplements I bought will last me 2 months. And my feed costs are offset by the fact I’m not paying to board my horses. However because I am responsible for the upkeep of my property to keep my horses safe, I also had expenses related to updating their pens, and also maintenance of our property.

Horse Related Property Costs

And this month is somewhat a once in a while expense. Because of me having time off, I had a lot of updates that I wanted to do to our property. So this ended up costing a lot, considering what I was re-doing.

a small horse run in shed
  • Wood posts for paddocks ($106.83)
  • Rustoleum paint for barn and corral panel painting ($115.00)
  • Paddock gates ($185.98)
  • Horse Loverz ($135.73) I bought new tines for my wave fork, a couple of ear bonnets, new hay nets, licky thing treat refills, and some grooming stuff – you know, the necessities
  • Paint for horse jumps ($82.00)
  • Home Depot run ($41.63) this was for sand paper, paint brushes, and caulking so I could update the jumps with the paint.
a gate in a pasture

This could have been more expensive. But I decided to keep my metal corral panels and update them with paint versus spending an extra $300.00 for the wood it would have cost to make new paddock panels. So all in for my horse property costs, I spent $667.17 this month for the privilege of having my horses at home. Hmmmm….boarding a horse doesn’t seem so bad as I write this.

And The Extra Expenses

And because there are always expected, and unexpected expenses related to having horses, I also have the farrier coming today ($110.00) This is for just a trim of both the boys hooves. They have great feet, and thankfully can go barefoot.

muddy horse hooves

I haven’t had any vet visits for the month, but I would like to get the vet out to float their teeth. That will probably be in August though.

So my horse maintenance cost is relatively light this month with just the farrier at $110.00.

Total Cost For 2 Horses At Home

So when I add up all that I have spent on my horses for the month, it comes to a grand total of $1,430.29. Holy cow that’s a lot of money! But honestly, my typical monthly expenditure is probably more around $650.00. Because I’m not re-doing my paddocks every month, or even buying supplements each month either. I will find a few things though when I shop online either at Jeffers Equine, or Riding Warehouse. This was the first time I have ever bought anything from Horse Loverz, so we will see how that goes. I’m still waiting to get my order that I placed over 2 weeks ago. I think I have been spoiled by Riding Warehouse’s 2 day shipping. So anything that takes longer to get to me seems unreasonable, in my opinion.

How I Offset The Cost Of Horse Ownership

Yes, that is a lot of money to spend on my hobby. But there are things I do in order to support my horse obsession. For example, I knew the expense of the barn projects and horse jumps was coming up. I planned for it. So I cleaned out my tack room and found tack and other things that I didn’t use or need and sold them on eBay.

a small tack room

I also have my blog, and my YouTube channel. And while it doesn’t pay enough to support being my full time job, it does give me a little extra month every month which helps to offset the cost of my horse habit.

horse grooming kit

I made enough through eBay sales, affiliate programs and YouTube to totally wipe out what I spent for the month of June, on my horses. How cool is that?

homemade horse jumps

And if I really wanted to make some money, I could sell the jumps I just updated. But I think I will use the freshly painted jumps for a while before I sell them. I mean, all of the work it took to make them, and then not even use them? No, I will keep them, for awhile anyway.

home made horse jump

That is until I find something else bright and shiny that I must have….


Lisa
Lisa

I am horse crazy and love DIY projects, and finding great deals on everything horse related. When I have a new idea, or find a great deal I love sharing this information with you.

    8 replies to "The Costs Of Keeping Horses At Home"

    • Lori

      GREAT READ!

      I also track my monthly ‘basic’ expenses in a similar way because I just moved my horses to home vs. boarding earlier this year. It does add up quick but the mental reward is worth it to me…..and everyone spends somewhere, just a matter of where you put your $$$ in my book.

      I live in Indiana for cost reference & we have 3 horses (2 are mine & 1 is my BFs) ~ he usually covers his feed & contributes as he can to the hay & bedding expenses; he also pays rent which helps towards bills for our place.

      Thank you for sharing & will check out the horse podcast for sure! 🙂

      Grain = 1 bag/wk @ $16/ea = $70/month
      Hay = 7 bales/wk @ $6/ea = $182/month (varies some)
      Supplements = $30/month
      Bedding = 3 bags/wk @ $5/ea = $65/month
      Stall Fresh = 1 bag/wk @ $10/ea = $43/month
      Farrier = $170/month
      Total monthly cost = $560

      • Lisa

        Hi Lori,
        Wow, hay at $6.00 a bale? That is AWESOME! Right now the hay I buy is the small (60 lb.) bales and they run $13.00 to $15.00 a bale! Occasionally we will buy one of the big 1000 lb. bales, because it’s less expensive, but we can’t store more than 1 bale in my little barn, so the logistics of stocking up on hay isn’t really an option.
        Thank you so much for sharing your costs! I like seeing what other horse owners are doing across the country 🙂

        • Lori

          WOW! That is fairly expensive hay for my area. What area are you in? I can get hay usually for $3-$6/square bale, depending on whether grass, mix or pure alfalfa & time of year, etc. Around $5/bale is probably the most common price. Cash only obviously. 🙂

          Yes I love seeing what others are up against too. We can only fit squares myself & our max to store @ any one time is ~250 so we buy several times per year. I have several hay buyers I use. I would rather use 1 but most growers are smaller these days so forces us consumers to use varies sellers.

          How many horses are you feeding? We have 3 total. Thank you!

    • SHELLEY

      Wow that’s a lot to spend monthly. My farrier is only $45 a head x 2 horses $90. I spend $10.50 on a square bale and $8.99 on cheap brand sweet feed per week. I never buy fancy supplements either and mine have beautiful coats. I don’t buy any kind of bedding for their stalls as they are on turn out and only go inside during bad storms and aren’t in for long.

      • Lori

        Yes, my farrier runs $120/each horse for trim & full set of shoes (resets are the same cost). She’s top notch & yes it’s a little pricey but we really appreciate her & her skills. She was able to get my senior horse from lame to totally sound & even doing better than she was a year ago. The last appt. the horse actually needed her frog on her front left trimmed! Which hasn’t happened in quite some time.

        What area are you in? Wondering because of the hay price you’re paying. That is quite high for my area. I’m in Indiana. I have several hay buyers I use. Prices range from $3-$6/square bale on average depending on if it’s grass, mix or pure alfalfa & time of year, etc.

        Thank you for commenting! Great discussion….. 🙂

    • Lynda

      I remember having those awesome hay prices when I lived in the midwest. It was sticker shock when I came back to Colorado and had to spend 13-15 bucks a bale! I have 3 horses so it gets expensive fast. I am lucky in that I have pastures and they are turned out all day most of the year and are in at night so its really only a nightly hay feeding in the summer. That helps a lot. I spend about the same on feed as you all do and the supplements that I give are Horse Shine and Horse shoer’s Secret so not to bad. Still a lot of money when you think about it but worth every penny in my opinion! Lisa, you should do a blog on vet bills since we both know what I’m dealing with right now!

      • Lisa

        I think I jinxed the both of us (especially you, sorry bout that) because I said “well I haven’t had to have the vet out in a while now! 🙂 🙂 🙂 sorry, my bad!

    • Lynda McNeil

      lol Its not your fault are horses are crazy! If I can just get Teddy back to mostly normal I will be happy. I wasnt expecting vet bills like this but its worth it.

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