Do you want to own a horse? Here is what you need to know.

Have you always dreamed of owning your own horse? Horse ownership may be more cost-effective and attainable than expected. Let’s break down the expenses of owning a horse:

*The average cost of a low-end horse is $2,500.00-5,000.00, with an increasing number of sales barns now offering financing. Another option would be to look for horses that are available for adoption with nominal fees throughout the state.

*There are a number of stables across Massachusetts offering all-inclusive board at low rates. Boarding takes a lot of the responsibility of feeding and stall cleaning away from a backyard horse owner. For example, Dream Catcher Farm located in Templeton offers full board for $400.00/month. This includes the proper amount of feed for your horse, watering, bedding, and stall cleaning. They also have access to miles of trails and an indoor riding arena. Another farm located in Phillipston offers identical services for $375.00/month. Bobby’s ranch in Westford offers pasture board for $450.00/month meaning there is no stall for your horse they just live outside. They also offer an indoor arena and trails. With increasing costs of hay, grain, and shavings it is more cost effective to board your horse. Hay is now $850.00 per bale. One bale will last about 1-2 days, depending on the needs of your horse.

*You will also have farrier expenses every 8 weeks. Average costs for the services provided by a farrier are: trimming $45.00 if your horse can go barefoot, that would be your expense. Front shoes with a trim cost $100.00 and all four shoes are $160.00.
*Horses that eat grass also need to be wormed and that cost is between $10.00-$15.00. This is done every 3 months. Some veterinarians are now saying that horses are getting immune to the repeated use of wormers so check with your vet. It may be the horse just gets a fecal worm count to determine what wormer is needed.

*Spring shots cost around $172.00 which is less money than what most people pay for a dog or cat.

*Horses have teeth that constantly grow and because they do, they need teeth floating. The fee for the equine dentist is $85.00/year.

*Necessary supplies such as horse tack, brushes, blankets, etc can be purchased at local tack stores or online.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the cost of owning a horse. Your actual costs may vary, the figures that I listed are based on my personal experience.
Justine Fairbanks-Morrison

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