There are plenty of boons to living out in the country. Not only do you get to distance yourself from all of the hustle and bustle of a big city, but you get to have some amenities and life experiences that an urban area simply doesn’t offer. For example – if you decided to do so, you could start keeping horses! If you’ve got any kids, this would not just be a great hobby or business opportunity for you, but also a dream come true for them! After all, almost every child has asked their parents for a pony once in their lives. You find all kinds of country properties or equestrian estates on

Naturally, as with all good things, horse ownership has its downsides as well. For one – it’s not a thing you want to get into without the proper resources. There are many costs related to owning a horse property and maintaining the animals themselves. Seeing as these expenses could amount to quite a lot on an annual basis, you should learn where horse properties lose the most money and plan accordingly. Don’t worry, though – we’re here with a rundown of the basics of horse ownership finances to get you quickly up to speed!

Basic Costs

If you’ve done some exploring in terms of where horse properties lose the most money, you probably know that buying a horse isn’t a small purchase. However, this expense is basically nothing compared to how much the maintenance can cost you after that. So, make sure to explore your options before relocating to the country and buying horses. Even if you’re able to get your hands on a rescue pony for nothing more than a few hundred bucks, think of how much it will cost you over the long term.


The University of Maine (no pun intended) has done studies on the expenses related to horse ownership, and they’ve found that an average horse will cost you a little below $4,000 per year. So, if you divide that into monthly costs, you’re looking at something like $200 to $350 per month, which is definitely on par with an average car payment in the city. Take a look at your personal finances, and make sure you can actually afford that before making such a big investment.

Food Expenses

One of the most regular expenses you’ll have regarding your horses will be the one tied to their food, making it one of the most common places where horse properties lose the most money. So, how do you take this into account? Well, seeing as an average horse has some 1,100 pounds of body weight, you can imagine how much they eat. While this may depend on the breed, most of them need to eat at least 2.5% of their entire body weight every single day. And yes, that’s definitely a lot of grain to supply on a daily basis. Sure, a bag of grain or hay bales aren’t that expensive, but getting one won’t last you for too long. Food makes up something like a fourth of the entirety of horse ownership expenses, averaging at above $1,000 annually.

Farrier and Vet

When you’re looking at where horse properties lose the most money, think about farrier and veterinarian costs as well. After all, any domesticated animal needs the proper medical care – and just like cats and dogs, horses are no different in that regard. Though, obviously, taking good care of a horse will cost you far more than the expenses for any small animal. The fees for an average horse veterinarian are a couple of hundred bucks per year, for each horse. And these are only the standard tests, vaccinations, and check-ups, as well as minor injury care.

However, if your horse happens to require emergency care – as will happen at one point or another on a horse property – you’ll see those costs skyrocket. So, if you’re planning your finances for a horse property, make sure you’ve got a separate fund for emergency veterinarian situations. You want to have a couple of thousand dollars handy for this, just in case.

Property Maintenance

As you might have guessed yourself, horse properties lose money on more than just the animals themselves. After all, if you’re going to keep any horses on the property, you will need a lot of dedicated infrastructure. Meaning that there will be constant upkeep costs, to make sure everything is running according to plan.

So, you will have to spend money on repairs for stables, barns, even rudimentary shelters, as well as proper fencing and other related equipment. You will also need to transport one of your horses from time to time – which means horse trailer expenses. As you can imagine, all of these expenses stack up to quite a tidy sum; expect to spend no less than $800 on horse facility maintenance on an annual basis.

One-Time Expenses

When you make any sort of long-term investment, you need to be prepared to have quite a lot of one-time costs. Some of these will be planned for, which is why knowing where horse properties lose the most money is useful; but some will be things you’re entirely unprepared for. Remember – if you take away one thing from this article, it’s the idea that taking care of horses means having a sizable disposable income, or savings you’re not afraid of spending.


For example, you’ll have to buy shampoo, special blankets, halters, saddles, and bridles for your horses. These are mostly things you won’t be buying often, and they’re not too expensive, but depending on how many horses you plan on taking care of, they can be sizable one-time costs. These are up-front investments you need to be ready to make, even if you won’t be paying for the same things regularly.

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