As a horse trainer with over 50 years of experience, I’ve seen it all when it comes to owning horses. Recently, my horse shoer and I had a conversation that brought to light an issue affecting the entire industry: the cost of owning a horse. In this article, I want to share with you some of the challenges and realities of horse ownership, as well as some tips on how to manage the costs.

cost of owning a horse by Al Ragusin

The High Cost of Horse Ownership

As my shoer pointed out, the cost of owning a horse is high and getting higher. From feed and shoeing to vet bills and grooming supplies, the expenses quickly add up. It’s easy for the cost of ownership to override the reason why people buy horses in the first place: to enjoy the pleasure of nature and spending quality time with their families.

Many people are selling their horses and getting out of the industry, and once they’re out, they may not return. It’s a sad reality that affects us all, from trail riders to those in different disciplines.

The Importance of Finding the Right Trainer

One of the challenges of owning a horse is finding the right trainer. With so many articles, videos, and trainers out there, it can be overwhelming to know who to turn to for guidance. I recently had a visitor to my ranch who had collected four horse training videos from different trainers, but found nothing useful in understanding his horse.

That’s why it’s important to find a trainer who is experienced, knowledgeable, and honest. Look for someone with a wall full of certificates and years of experience doing this as their full-time job. While you may pay more per hour for an experienced trainer, it will result in less money over time, and you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your horse is in good hands.

Managing Costs

cost of owning a horse

While horse ownership can be expensive, there are ways to manage the costs. One tip is to invest in quality equipment that will last for years. For example, a well-fitting Aussie saddle and collection reins can be purchased for under $500 and will provide a safer and more comfortable riding experience for you and your horse.

It’s also important to prioritize your expenses. While grooming supplies and cleaning supplies are important, they may not be as important as feed and vet bills. Make sure to budget accordingly and focus on the essentials.

Managing the cost of owning a horse is crucial for both horse owners and the industry as a whole. From feed to veterinary care to equipment and facilities, expenses can add up quickly.

To keep costs manageable, it’s important to prioritize and budget for necessary expenses while minimizing unnecessary ones. This might include looking for deals on feed and supplies, DIYing certain tasks, or finding ways to share costs with others.

Building a community of fellow horse owners can be a great way to network and collaborate on cost-saving strategies. By managing costs effectively, horse owners can enjoy the many benefits of horse ownership without breaking the bank.

Deworming Your Horse

Another issue that has been on my mind is the effectiveness of dewormers. In the past, I used a dewormer called Direx that was highly effective at removing worms from horses. However, it was taken off the market and replaced with less effective alternatives.

If you’re concerned about deworming your horse, talk to your vet and ask questions. It’s important to stay informed and make sure you’re using a product that works.

In Conclusion

Owning a horse can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to be aware of the costs and challenges that come with it. By finding the right trainer, prioritizing expenses, and investing in quality equipment, you can make horse ownership a more manageable experience.

Remember, the cost of owning a horse may be high, but the rewards are even higher. Enjoying the pleasure of nature and spending quality time with your family is priceless.