I figure about $10,000 per year for horse expenses: board at a very modest stable (full care but no indoor, no hot water, nothing fancy): $6K, vet & dentist bills, including the occasional farm call but nothing major $1K, insurance $600, farrier (trims only) $400, lessons $1000-$1500. Then there are always extras, like new tack, or a replacement blanket, etc that push me over $10k more often than not. And now I'm looking at trailers.
You'll notice that there's nothing there for showing either, but I do spend moeny each year traveling to Hunter's Rest in VA for foxhunting
A friend and I were just having a similar conversation.
At the end of the day, if you want to save money, you shouldn't own a horse. Period.
But if you want to enjoy a horse, you must spend money.
You can always say, "Oh, I don't want to spend money on a show barn... on an indoor... or a stall... or shoes... on this that or the other" and eventually you will be saving so many pennies you don't even own a horse. And with that logic, you can save every penny every day, and live in a crappy studio and eat Ramen 3x/day and never go on vacation. And your wallet will be thick. And the quality of your life will be much less so.
Could I be SIGNIFICANTLY more responsible with my money? Oh, yes I could!! Yes, yes yes yes yes I could!!! But I'd rather be loving my life and have a thin wallet.
I spend about $10-12K a year for one horse. Full care barn. Nice but no indoor. Horse has shoes all the way around and rim pads up front. He is older so Vet bills are higher (injections on top of vaccs, dental, etc). Plus he gets mag therapy every month along w/ PPCJ (higher priced supplement but really helps him).
I don't show or clinic anymore. Though I could do a local show here and there if I wanted. I just started taking lessons again after a break of over a year and will plan on taking them weekly as time/weather permits.
When I was going to a few shows a year, I was spending closer to $12-15k.
I work full time and have a decent job. Thankfully I have my hubby who also works full time in a VERY good job. If I didn't have him, I would probably not be able to afford my horse since 1/2 of my take home salary alone goes towards him.
It really does depend on where you live, how much you make and if you purchase a horse, what their needs are. Would love if my guy could go barefoot but he can't. Would love if he didn't need as much "maintenance" but he does. So that is a bit of a factor also.
My order of importance is horse's care and well being. Lessons and shows come last. I'm fine with just puttering around on him.
upon what you want to do and how experienced you are.
I am a legal secretary (long-term so higher salary than just entering the workforce). I have ONE horse. I board. I've ridden most of my life, so while I LIKE the idea of having a trainer, I cannot afford it, so I make do with my own experience and lessons. If I encounter a major problem, I will take my horse to a trainer for a brief period, a couple of weeks, a month. So.
Board: $565/mo. Includes extra hay and trailer parking.
Extra Feed and Supplements: $80/mo. (hot horse, gets no grain)
Trims (horse is barefoot): $40/six weeks
Lessons: 2 or 3 a month (all I can affored): $110 - $165
Misc: Incidental expenses $50
During the show season, one dressage show a month - usually runs me under $200. (Recognized, but local, one day, two classes, no more than 2 hours from where I board.)
and hope you don't need the vet!
So....I think $40K annually would be borderline, but I'm in California and things here and on the east coast tend to be more expensive. I think that income might work in less expensive areas of the country. If you must have full training, that's another story and yes, in that case I would think you'd need to earn more annually.
My husband and I make about $55k combined, and I would feel comfortable owning a horse. I may not be able to show, but I could keep one horse well taken care of, at least. I don't think people need to make 100K+ to be able to own a horse. You just need to keep your expectations realistic. I would love to show, but I'd be grateful just to be able to ride and enjoy my own horse. I'm waiting on ownership not because of financial but other reasons.
I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo
I'm struggling with this right now. I have a horse and think I might need to half lease or sell due to the costs of ownership
My problem is I bought before the housing crisis a small 5 acre piece of land with a house but no barn or fencing. Therefore I need to board AND pay huge house payment. Was doing ok till DH decided he Had to have a New truck. Enter a $900/month payment for that on top of $1800 house and $520 board. I drive a 21 year old car and we don't go out to eat but we are still having trouble making it on $75K a year.
As lots of stated, all depends on your area and what "level" of horse ownership you're looking for. Though, I will say, my pasture-ornament-horse turned out to have the most expensive vet emergency, hands down.
Which is why I say that the most expensive part of horse ownership is the vet bills. If you have any inkling to "save" your horse during an emergency, you're going to likely spend thousands. Of my three horses, I have about one $2-5k "emergency" a year. Some years it's nothing, some years it's a 5-figure emergency. If I wasn't so damn attached to those creatures, and could just pay the $500 to euthanize and dispose of them, I'd be a lot richer.
Let me borrow a phrase from the Foreign Service that I keep hearing lately...."it depends".
It depends on where you want to live, it depends on the care you want, it depends on what you want to do with your horse hobby.
When I lived in TX, I boarded 3 horses in a co op situation where I bought my own hay and did my own chores for 150/mo. Boarded in MI for anywhere from 250/horse/mo to 365 per horse per month. Also leased land in MI for just 150/mo but bought my own hay/did my own chores.
Here in NoVa, I have a temp board situation that's 250/mo but it's an hour away and it's basic...mostly turnout, no arena, etc. Some of the places closer in with more facilities are 2k/mo.
If you want to show? Whole other ball game.
But I have been able to work PT side jobs to pay for board the last few years while leaving my salary to a house payment, groceries, kids, etc.
For me, I can do one horse for about 500/mo averaged over the year. But I'm not doing much....
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
I am in Wisconsin. And the more expensive part of this state too.
I do, however, work off part of board by doing chores/feeding horses every other Saturday. Doesn't take too much time and takes off the edge after my boarding costs have doubled in the past year.
If I made the same income and lived further north in this frozen tundra, I could probably have a bigger home with acreage and probably hide a few horses at home and board out a couple.
But, to be honest, we don't have crazy spending habits for the most part. We like to eat out, but drive tiny, fuel efficient cars ($40 a week in gas for way too much commuting, IMO) and usually spend a lot of time off hiking in the state parks or going to a horse show. Or in my husband's case, finding another motorcycle off craigslist to purchase, fix, and flip for a profit.
But I guess, it would be interesting to compare average renting/mortgage costs. My mortgage with insurance, taxes (which are high and need to be adjusted), etc is under $900/month for a 3 bed/2 bath newer home.
Should also edit and say that my husband has incredible benefits through work. No copays, $3 prescriptions, access to chiro, etc. Good pension. Doesn't pay anything from his check for insurance...
So I suppose that would add quite a bit to our "value" when you factor that in.
Honestly, one horse, two sets of student loans, one mortgage, and zero car payments - it is VERY tight on well over $100,000/year. I cannot even imagine owning two horses or seriously showing the one I have.
ETA: I'm also in WI. The expensive part of the state. I really don't think I could have a horse on less than what I make now. Maybe it's the student loans? We pay about $900/mo. in student loans.
Where in the United States does $60K combined allow you to own a house AND two horses??
Well...where I live.
I make less than that and own a three bedroom home and have two horses that are boarded. I also take one lesson a week and pay about $500 a month toward student debt, with enough left over to insure two vehicles (truck and car) and put a little away each month toward purchasing rental properties which will hopefully eliminate my need for a 9-5 altogether.
As you know it does depend on where you are and as you also know there are always those unexpected extras. I actually budget those extras and last month went over because I am a crazy horse mom and was convinced my horse was favoring a leg and paid the vet to look at her and find nothing. Her field mate also found it fun to rip up her sheet so that also had to be replaced. To your question. I am a single woman, make 6 figures (low 100s) and live in central Virginia. It's great horsey world but not cheap. I pay $600/board, $80/food, $35/farrier (baby is barefoot), $275/lessons per month. I also pay $630 a year for insurance.
When I am showing (before I sold my big horse), insurance was about $900 a year. His shoes were $115 a month and showing was between $500 and $2000 a month depending on where, how much, and if it was an A show or local. On my salary I can afford to either show locally on a regular basis or do 3 or 4 A shows and less local a year. We have a super competitive local circuit so I prefer that.
Congrats on the new degree and enjoy your horse(s)!