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.
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.
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.
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.
Here is a break down of what I have spent on feed for my horses for June, 2019
- Jill’s Feed (June 3,2019) $225.00 (This was for 10 bales of grass/alfalfa mix hay, 1 bag of Triple Crown complete feed, 1 bag of Triple Crown senior feed, a bag of horse treats.)
- Riding Warehouse (June 6, 2019) $71.90 (This was for electrolyte supplement, and Simplifly supplement)
- Horse.Com (June 8, 2019) $64.50 (Legacy Pellets)
- Big R (June 12, 2019) $92.72 (Horseshine supplement, pine shavings, and PDZ stall deodorizer)
- Jill’s Feed (June 22, 2019) $199.00 (10 bales of hay -grass alfalfa mix hay, 1 bag of Triple Crown complete feed, 1 bag of Triple Crown senior feed.)
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
That is until I find something else bright and shiny that I must have….