How much does a horse cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a horse cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a horse cost?

$1,000 – $5,000+ average cost (horse alone)
$1,500 – $7,000 average total cost (horse + equipment)
$250 – $2,500 average cost per month

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$1,000 – $5,000+ average cost (horse alone)

$1,500 – $7,000 average total cost (horse + equipment)

$250 – $2,500 average cost per month


Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Jennifer Carlson
Written by
Jennifer Carlson
Edited by
Kristen Cramer
Fact-checked by
Tara Farmer

Average horse cost

A horse costs $1,000 to $5,000+ for the horse itself and $500 to $2,000 for equipment. After that, the cost to own a horse is $250 to $2,500 per month on average. The cost to board a horse is $100 to $1,400 per month if you don’t have a barn.

Average cost of a horse
Factor Average cost
Horse $1,000 – $5,000+
Equipment $500 – $2,000

Horse

A horse costs $1,000 to $5,000 on average, depending on their pedigree and manners. Horses from top-name farms or high-level competition stock cost $10,000 or more. The size, temperament, and price of a horse are mostly based on their breed. Common horse breeds include:

  • Andalusian

  • Appaloosa

  • Arabian

  • Clydesdale

  • Friesian

  • Morgan

  • Mustang

  • Oldenburg

  • Thoroughbred

Equipment

Tack, or necessary equipment for a first-time horse owner, costs $500 to $2,000. This typically includes blankets, a bridle, halters, lead ropes, a saddle, grooming supplies, and a first aid kit.

Get free estimates from vets near you.

Cost to own a horse

Horses need a lot of time, money, and devotion to keep them healthy and happy. The following table shows the average monthly and yearly costs associated with owning a horse:

Horse cost calculator
Factor Average cost per month Average annual cost
Hay / feed $150 – $500 $1,800 – $6,000
Boarding* $100 – $1,400 $1,200 – $16,800
Health care $50 – $400 $600 – $4,800
Grooming $50 – $200 $600 – $2,400
Total costs $250 – $2,500 $3,000 – $30,000

*Optional if you have a barn or space for them at home already

Hay / feed

Hay and horse feed costs $150 to $500 per month on average. If the horse doesn’t have access to a pasture or grass, they’ll need fresh hay and food every day. Horses eat about 0.5% of their body weight in grain or feed and 1.5% in hay every day.

You may also need to buy horse supplements or a special kind of feed based on their nutritional needs. Some older horses have worn-down teeth and can only eat softer types of feed.

Boarding

The cost to board a horse is $100 to $1,400 per month, depending on the type. Cheaper boarding areas cost less because you have to come every day to feed, clean, and exercise your horse. Pricier boarding facilities charge more because they include hay, feed, cleaning, and even training.

If you already have a barn or space for your horse or know someone who does, you’ll save a substantial amount of money per year.

Health care

Health care for a horse costs about $50 to $400 per month and may include standard physicals, vaccines, dental care, and de-worming. You should de-worm your horse twice per year. This costs $10 to $15 per tube.

Some people choose to get a veterinary exam before buying the horse. The cost of a veterinary exam for a horse ranges from $250 to $1,000 and includes blood work and diagnostics to make sure the horse doesn’t have any major health issues before you take it home.

If your horse ends up with any injuries or colic, they could need expensive surgeries to prevent serious harm or death. Experienced horse owners recommend having an emergency fund or insurance for unexpected vet fees. Horse insurance costs $15 to $60 per month.

Grooming

Grooming costs $50 to $200 per month and helps keep your horse comfortable while preventing unnecessary infections. A farrier re-shoes horses every 1 to 2 months. If you choose not to put metal shoes on your horse, they will simply trim the hooves and make sure there are no rocks or barbs in them.

Chestnut horses in a field
Chestnut horses in a field

Horse cost factors

Several factors affect the cost of a horse:

  • Pedigree: Horses with documented bloodlines or pedigrees typically cost more. However, they’re much more likely to be tame or have certain attributes you’re looking for.

  • Age & temperament: Some horses are lower-priced or even free because they’re old or have behavioral issues. If you’re prepared to spend extra money on health care or training, these horses may be a good deal.

  • Location: Some regions, like the Midwest, tend to have lower prices than affluent or highly populated areas.

  • Transportation: Unless you have your own horse trailer, shipping your horse to you will cost $1 to $3 per mile.

  • Training: Training a young or temperamental horse costs $50 to $150 per session. Pricing depends on your location and the experience level of the trainers.

  • Ponies: Ponies, or miniature horses, measure less than 4 feet tall. They cost about $1,000 to $5,000 for the animal itself and about the same as horses for their upkeep.

Horse FAQs

How long do horses live?

Horses live up to 30 years on average unless they’re sick or injured prematurely. If you’re new to horse ownership, you may want to buy a horse that’s about 10 to 15 years old and already trained.

Do horses sleep standing up?

Horses usually sleep standing up, which is an instinct that makes them less vulnerable to predators. They only require 30 to 60 minutes of REM sleep per day while lying down.

What do horses eat?

Horses eat mainly hay and grass, but adding fresh fruits and vegetables to their diet can add extra flavor and nutrients. The following table shows the foods that horses can and cannot eat:

Horse foods
Safe Not safe
Grass, hay Unpitted stone fruits
Salt Chocolate or sugary treats
Grains (oats, barley, corn) Bread or cake
Cucumbers Meat
Carrots Cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts)
Celery Potatoes
Apples Tomatoes
Pears Eggplants
Bananas Moldy or dusty hay
Grapes Bran
Oranges Onions
Melons Avocados
Pitted stone fruits (peaches, plums, apricots) Rhubarb
Berries Dairy products

What is boarding a horse?

Boarding a horse means paying for a person or facility to keep your horse if you don’t have a barn or stable for them. Boarding fees may include hay, feed, and grooming or nothing except a roof over their head.

Get free estimates from vets near you.
Horses boarded in stalls in a stable
Horses boarded in stalls in a stable

Finding & choosing a horse

Follow these steps when you’re in the process of finding a horse:

  • Look up breeders, farms, or sellers near you.

  • Read customer reviews online if applicable.

  • Make sure they have a breeding certificate and bloodline documentation if applicable.

  • Review their selection of horses and ask questions about them.

  • Ask if they sell feed or equipment.

Questions to ask a horse breeder

Asking questions like these can help you find a horse from a reputable source:

  • What is the overall cost of purchasing a horse?

  • What are the ongoing ownership costs?

  • Which breed and age would you recommend?

  • Do you only sell this horse breed?

  • Has this horse ever been sick or injured?

  • How long do horses usually live?

  • What food and supplements would you recommend?

  • What enrichment activities would you recommend?

  • Could you recommend any boarding locations nearby?

  • How much do you charge for transportation?


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