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EventerOP
Oct. 16, 2009, 06:50 PM
Im in the process of looking for a second event horse. I board my mare at a barn right now for $600 a month. My parents sent me on a mission to figure out how much it would be if I had two horses at my own farm.
So I guess the question is, for all of you who keep your horses at home, or at your own farm. . . how much do you pay for them a month? Basically in hay,grain, shavings, etc.
Would it be cheaper then $1200 a month? I sure think so.
Also, I live i CT. . . so if there is anyone who lives in new england that knows closer to how much suff like hay, shavings cost that would be great!

Any ideas/thoughts would be great!

blaster
Oct. 16, 2009, 07:04 PM
The math isn't going to support your position to home board. But it is a visa commercial "satisfaction is priceless". I pay way more in capital improvements, than you would ever spend on boarding. I figure I could have boarded him for 40+ years.

Consider the expenses I had over the last 5 years alone--replace 2000 ft of fencing (well over $10K), refurb the ring footing was $15K, the tractor for all the barn chores another big bill, and the list goes on and on....

Philliab
Oct. 16, 2009, 07:05 PM
Well I don't know the prices in CT, but it will probably come out cheaper for you to have your horses at home. But the money is not the big difference between boarding and having your horses at your house, it's TIME. When you take care of your horses at home, stalls have to be done, horses fed, hay and feed bought, fences fixed, etc. Since I've had my horses at home my riding time has gone way, way down, because there are always horse care things that must come first. I'm sure you'll get some other great advice, but that's the big difference that most people don't think about. And beside the time, will you have access to the types of facilities you need to successfully train your horses to the level you want to compete? And it can get kind of lonely to ride alone and sometimes hard to motivate yourself. :winkgrin:

Just a couple things to think abut before you take the plunge. Sorry I'm no help with the numbers, but if you visit your local feed store, you should be able to get a good feel of what you'll spend in hay, feed, and shavings a month.

But on the other hand (since I feel like I'm sounding really negative and am not trying to by any means) if you asked me if I would ever go back to boarding, my answer would be NO WAY! I love knowing exactly what is going on with my horse at all times; it has made me a much better horseperson. And for me, it's a trade I'm very willing to make.

Good luck in your new endeavor!

qhwpmare
Oct. 16, 2009, 07:06 PM
I live in New England. My monthly expenses for 1 horse are:14 bales of hay at $6.00 each= $84.00 100lbs Blue Seal sport formula $23.00 7 bags of shavings at 5.50 each=$38.50. Total per month is about $145.00. I bed nice and am generous with hay.

mybeau1999
Oct. 16, 2009, 07:09 PM
For 2 horses here are my expenses (roughly):

Grain: 8 bags @ $13.00 = $104.00
Hay: about a bale a day @ $4.00 a bale = $112.00
Supplements: 2 bags @ $10.25 = $20.50
Bedding: anywhere from 8-12 bags a month @ $6.25 = $50.00-$75.00
Farrier: $95.00 shoes every 6 weeks and a $40.00 trim every 12
Vet: Probably divides out to be about $50.00 a month

Mine comes out to $496.50. And that's with the 12 bags of sawdust, shoes and a trim - so some months it's cheaper. Considering board was $425.00 per horse, we're saving quite a bit with them at home:D

EventerOP
Oct. 16, 2009, 07:11 PM
Thanks everyone for your thoughts/advice!

Philliab, you brought up another HUGE reason why Im debating this, because I love knowing exactly whats going on with my own horses and I want to make sure they get exactly what they need and when, etc.

Thanks!

Petstorejunkie
Oct. 16, 2009, 08:51 PM
If purchasing i've discovered it will cost about the same to either board or keep them on your own farm. Things like fencing, tractors, ... uh fencing really do add up.
I just recently went through the buying comparison for a horse farm versus a house of equal awesomeness with no land, and board my horse. They were smack dab the same. I opted to board because of the fantabulous barn i found with a great community and amazing ammenities.
Now if you can find a great farm with great fencing in place, you may be able to sway those numbers, i was not so lucky in my searches.

That all being said i currently RENT a horse farm and it's TONS cheaper. I found a farm for rent with a 4 bedroom house, a 5 stall barn and 6 fenced acres of decent pasture. If you take out how much it would cost for me to board my horse, i'm paying literally $450 in rent! So to RENT a horse farm, if you shop you can get VERY economical.
I have no clue what these other folks have for pasture but if i fed my horses (worked heavily 6 days a week) that much food they'd roll down the hill and founder. I go through 2.5 bags of feed a month per horse, 4 bales of alfxhay, and 2 bags of shavings (but my guys are housebroken). My horses only come in their stalls to eat and nap (about 2hrs a day) or when it's scary weather.
It cost me under $200 to keep 2 horses on my own property in my care, and they are working athletes.

**i've had a few folks PM me wanting to know what I feed. I figured it easier to include it here.
Seminole Show and Sport 12% protein 12% fat less than 15% starch
Here's a pic of what 2.5 bags of feed gets you (ignore me)
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2589/3967288528_d41b0b6848_b.jpg

EventerOP
Oct. 16, 2009, 08:54 PM
wow thats awesome! Thank for the advice!

LauraKY
Oct. 16, 2009, 09:01 PM
Do you currently have fenced pasture and a run-in or barn? If you have to spend the money to put fencing and shelter in, boarding is less expensive. If you already have facilities, then your own backyard will be a lot less expensive. Don't forget to figure in expenses like water troughs, heated buckets, stall mats, tack room hangers and all the other accoutrement that goes along with having a horse on your own property, electric, water bill, etc. MyBeau's numbers sound about right for Kentucky. A lot depends on if your horses are easy keepers...we have two that get a handful of grain along with their vitamins and two that get 8 lbs. of grain plus a high fat supplement and others in between. Obviously the easy keeper is a BO's dream. Same thing with the bedding. Do your horses trash their stalls or do they keep a neat stall? Your bedding costs could be on the low or high side.

Hay costs vary from summer to winter. In summer we feed less than two flakes per day per horse. In the winter, we average 1/2 bale per horse per day. Of course, that's without the drought we had two summers in a row!

SLW
Oct. 16, 2009, 09:33 PM
To some of the replies, a tractor has resale value, it is not like buying a car. Property w/ improvements for horses has resale value and you go basic or high dollar with those improvements. It is not the same lost money as paying board for a horse.

I pay $4 for a bale of hay and feed one bale a day year round. My beet pulp and grains run $70 a month and shavings are nil. I go through maybe a couple bags a month so $120 for the year. And this is for 3 riding horses and 2 miniatures.

To the OP as an eventer you'll have to decide how much facility you need to ride at home. I just foxhunt so the gravel roads and row crops fields in my neighborhood are all I need to keep my horses fit.

AKB
Oct. 16, 2009, 10:05 PM
We feed 1 bale of hay per day per horse ($6.50) plus $1.50 per day of grain. We leave the barn open so they can come and go, so we don't need to put down shavings. That adds up to $240 per month per horse.

The big expenses were putting in the barn and fencing. Having a tractor for the past 5 years has been a big labor saver, but also an additional cost. We also spent money initially on rubber mats for the stalls, waterers, heated buckets, fans, a feed container and other miscellaneous supplies.

EventerOP
Oct. 16, 2009, 10:19 PM
Thanks everyone!

On the property its a 10 stall barn . . . in great condition. Its all set up inside, everything from the floor mats to the clips for your buckets are all set up. There isnt any pastures, so I would have to put up fencing, but the barn is all set. Im not sure what type of fencing I woud put up exactly but that would need to be done.

My mare is a pretty easy keeper and doesnt require a ton of grain and is pretty clean in her stall

LittleblackMorgan
Oct. 16, 2009, 10:37 PM
$620 per month, 1 semi rough, 1 full board.

deltawave
Oct. 16, 2009, 10:42 PM
It's so variable from place to place, but FWIW here is a rundown on my 2-horse operation:

Hay: I pay roughly $2000/year for the year's worth of hay, delivered.
Grain: minimal--I'll buy 100 pounds of ration balancer and 40 pounds of rice bran about every 10-11 weeks, so roughly $400/year for grain
Farrier: $100 every six weeks during "shoes on" season (one of mine is shod, the other bare) and $70 every six weeks during the winter when all shoes are off.
Vet: about $250/year/horse for shots, teeth, coggins, routine stuff.
Vitamins, etc: minimal--maybe $100-150 per year
Bedding: a big expense, and I keep mine outside all the time so I don't use nearly the bedding I would if I kept the horses is more--they only have access to stalls at night but like to pee and poop in there. At about $7 per bag, using on average 3 bags/week, that's $1000/year.

So if I add all that up, and put it in an average monthly format, it's around $200/month/horse--very close to what everyone else is saying. :) This, of course, does not include startup and maintenance costs, fencing, ground prep, seeding/fertilizing pastures, improvements, automatic waterer, tractor, implements, etc. etc. This list of expenses dwarfs the cost of the consumables.

I'm lucky in that I can ride in my big pasture, a field close to the house, or my sacrifice (dirt) paddock, but only during good weather--no indoor arena here; I have to trailer out or board during the bad weather in order to keep riding.

Petstorejunkie
Oct. 16, 2009, 11:47 PM
Thanks everyone!

On the property its a 10 stall barn . . . in great condition. Its all set up inside, everything from the floor mats to the clips for your buckets are all set up. There isnt any pastures, so I would have to put up fencing, but the barn is all set. Im not sure what type of fencing I woud put up exactly but that would need to be done.

My mare is a pretty easy keeper and doesnt require a ton of grain and is pretty clean in her stall
Check out RAMM fencing. It costs less than 3 board fencing, is way safer, you can install it yourself and it lasts longer.

i am the queen of frugal, if you need help with number crunching, pm me... i've been through all this recently

MistyBlue
Oct. 17, 2009, 06:39 AM
I'm in CT...I can give you a full breakdown of my horse's monthly care (I have two at home) after my second cup of coffee and morning barn chores. If I tried right now, it wouldn't make any sense. :winkgrin:
However since I do track this stuff I can tell you it costs me $450 per month for both horses and that does include farrier care, bedding, grain, hay, hay cubes, dengi.

equineartworks
Oct. 17, 2009, 07:01 AM
Three horse live out 24/7 with run-in's, the ponies are stalled at night.

Rounded to make my early morning math easier...

grain for all five: $102.00 (13 pounds per day at $13 per bag)
hay for all five: $225.00 ($3 per bale, around 2.5 bales a day)
Supplements: $ 30.00
Farrier $120.00 (8 visits a year at 35 per visit)
Shavings (pony) $ 60.00

So mine are under $600 for 5 horses. $107.40 per horse. Actually the ponies are like...I dunno...$25 a month they are so cheap to keep. :lol:

Other expenses like a truck, tractor, and all of that is so subjective that I don't know how to include it really. A truck can be a brand new $60k Suburban, or my very old, dependable and sturdy Chevy that cost me $1600. A tractor can be a $30k Kubota or our Super-C that costs us $500 at the auction. Some people think nothing of dropping $20k to fence a 200 ft paddock. You can fence the same paddock for less than a $100 with good tape and wood posts. Vet care as well....I don't know many boarding situations that include vet care so there is no sense in adding it.

But to add in other things

Fencing/run-in $420.00 (5k averaged over 12 months)
Truck $135.00 (1600 averaged over 12 months)
Tractor $ 42.00 )$500 averaged over 12 months)

So you are adding another $600 a month for a year and then the expenses are just your upkeep. I average maybe $50-75 a month.

So I run WAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY under $1200 a month for 2 horses lol!

Uncle Fester
Oct. 17, 2009, 07:34 AM
I boarded for 5 years before buying my own farm and I find I ride more now than before. I guess it depends how much travelling you have to do to get to your barn but I found I would ride 1-2 days per week when I boarded. Now I ride 4-5 days per week.

Another consideraton if you have them at home is that you could board other peoples horses yourself and further defray costs. My farm came with an 8 stall barn, I have 4 horses of my own and board 4. The boarders are great, its fun having them around to ride with and they chip in to help when I need to travel.emergencies etc.

S1969
Oct. 17, 2009, 07:40 AM
I agree with all the responses above, and am right about in the middle of their expenses....somewhere between $125-$150/horse per month if averaged out across the year. (More in hay in winter, zero in hay in summer because of pasture, etc.)

Also agree about the entire issue that your main expenses of a home farm are not really the monthy horsekeeping expenses, but the facility improvements. Which, unlike hay & grain, don't disappear and can become an asset. But, sometimes cannot be anticipated so you do have to have enough in your savings account to cover for unexpected disasters (tree down on fencing, etc.)

A 10-stall barn?? You definitely could consider a boarder or two (or 8). ;) I own one and board one; the boarder covers all my basic "horsekeeping" costs, or I can (and currently do) exchange board for work so we can travel when we choose.

Personally, I love having the horses at home; but it's a lifestyle, not just a hobby.

MistyBlue
Oct. 17, 2009, 08:17 AM
OKay, have had the second cup of coffee and horse chores are done. I'm a little more coherent now. (just a little ;))
For a breakdown of monthly costs for two horses for me in CT, it does come to $450 per month for both or $225 each per month. That includes my average vet and farrier...does not include any "extra" vet of farrier costs.
Also in CT, it's not common to have much in grazing, if any grass pasture it's usually not enough to keep a horse fed for the summer months on grass alone since due to weather conditions and normal soil types it's common to have to pull your horses off the grass due to it being muddy or whatever. Open grassy acreage in CT is excessively expensive and when we do have it it needs to be high dry ground with good drainage if we don't want to have to rotate horses off of it often. Due to type of grass and rate of growth it takes on average about 2 acres per horse of *good* pasture to graze them 24/7 in growing months.
So it's rather typical to start out with a little grass and only have limited use of it for short periods...feeding extra hay is pretty much a must.

Sooo, here's a breakdown of my costs, haying them daily to offset lack of grazing:

Bedding: 8 bags of woody pet per month @ $7 per bag, one bag per week per stall, horses in at night = $56
Hay: 1 bale per day, 25# per horse per day with no grazing on average year round. Average cost of hay from a grower is $5 per bale for timothy/orchard grass = $150 for 30 bales.
(if you purchase hay from a feed store, average bale cost is between $7-$11 per bale so find a grower and use them)
Grain: 2 50# bags per month, Blue Seal Strider @ $12 per bag = $24
Cubes: I feed a mush every night of soaked cubes and dengi as a snack/extra water. Not so much for extra nutrition as for a treat. Ontario Dehy 50# bag, $17 per bag, 2 per month = $32
Dengi : Same as above...Totally Timothy chopped hay, $17 per bag, 2 per month = $32
Farrier: every 6 weeks, front shoes on one horse, just trims on the other. $145 per visit is $100 for shod horse and $45 for trims, breaks down to $100 per month.
Vet: normal wellness exam and vaccines annually comes to $600 per year or $50 per month.

These are never ending costs so I can use those as my baseline per month of horse care and they come out to just about $450 for the two horses. With the hay you may have to add a tad more in winter to keep them warm or a little extra here and there on days they're inside to keep them busy. So I do buy 25 bales every 3 weeks just to have an extra cushion amount, but on average I feed a bale per day. Bedding costs can bounce around depending on how often your horses are in, how messy they are in the stalls, whether you have mats or not and what type of bedding you use. I use Woody Pet in 10x12 matted stalls with horses in all night. I personally find I use less bedding added because the pellets don't need stripping out and can maintain a nice thick dry bed if cleaned right without adding often. I keep my stalls rather deep. Shavings can run between $5-$8 per bag here, sawdust can be cheap and it's lovely to use *if* you can find a sawmill who has extra. (around $20 per truckload, you load it up) Straw isn't any cheaper than hay around here, so figure $5 per bale.

You will have upkeep costs like fence repair, replacing buckets and forks, etc. These can run all over the place...you might have a year when you don't spend a dime on it and a year where every time you turn around something needs repairing or replacing. Also, the type of products you use can determine how often they need repair. I use Ramm fence...only repairs I ever have to do is yank my posts back upright again and repack around them. The Ramm fence is pretty much repair free...and cost effective to buy too. However having me and my husband install the posts was not our best idea, LOL! So had we used a pro to put the posts in we'd have zero repairs on it instead of my drunken looking leaning posts. :lol: (but we're not handy, many handy folks do just fine putting in their own fence)

Hope this helps...if you give your area (or pm it) some of us in CT can give you the names of hay suppliers and feed stores to use and their average prices.

manyspots
Oct. 17, 2009, 09:10 AM
I took the plunge a year ago to build a small barn and bring my gelding home. I also brought home his buddy who happens to belong to my best friend. We were boarding at the same barn and spending $365 a month for no frills board. This included 24/7 turnout in a run-in situation, hay, grain, and mucking.

I did spend $12000 to build a barn (which included everything to bring them home-equipment, fencing, etc.).

My monthly costs for my horse are:

Hay: $4/day per horse (year round, no grazing yet): $120
Grain: TC Senior @ $16 bag (about 60 lbs. a month): $20
Beet Pulp: $13/50 lbs (about 75 lbs. a month): $19
Supplements (Multivitamin, Source, U-Gard): $30
Pellet Bedding (24/7 turnout, stall lightly bedded): $24

TOTAL PER MONTH: $213.00

This does not include my electric bill (fans in summer, heated bucket in winter, electric fence and year round lighting for paddock) which averages $40 a month. I also buy misc. barn supplies on a regular basis. We are saving money by NOT doing Smartpaks and prepackaging 9 days of supps at a time in Gladware containers. I bargain shop for supplements. I also bought a years worth of hay for two horses so my cost was down there. Keeping them out 24/7 reduces bedding cost to nothing 6 months of the year when I encourage them to pee outside :lol:.

I bought the Horseguard fencing for the horses and spent about $600 for supplies. Best decision ever there. Good looking and both boys fully respect it.

The tradeoff for the work is the control I have over diet and misc. decisions. I LOVE having my guy home, even when it is -17!!!! I had horses at home my whole life but was forced to board for 8 years while getting a career and home established. Buying property and building the barn was the best thing I have ever done.

On a side note, I "make" about $70 a month from having a boarder. :lol:
It's like my consolation prize for feeding in the early cold morning hours. She does do barn work three days a week for reduced board and covers all of her gelding's expenses. Not a money maker, but helps me out and gives my gelding a friend.

coloredhorse
Oct. 17, 2009, 09:14 AM
Another thing to consider: Do you already own this farm on which your current and theoretical second horse will reside? If not, factor in the difference in that mortgage versus your current home. Also, look into insurance costs. If you have horses at home, it's wise to have a specific liability policy to cover horse-related mishaps that could damage others' property or injure visitors or neighbors.

For myself, having moved from a high-dollar area to a low-dollar one, I am keeping two horses at home for less than half of what it cost to rent a self-care situation for them. The farm mortgage is less than the old single-family-home mortgage, and certainly less than that payment plus the monthly rent on stalls/pasture for the horses. I save on gas because I don't have to travel to care for them daily. Repair/maintenance costs are about the same. Insurance is a little higher because I purchased a bigger policy for the property compared to the personal liability policy I had while renting someone else's property. Feed and material goods cost about the same. (Note: Feed/bedding costs may well be MORE for a small farm owner versus boarding because of the boarding barn's ability to buy in bulk, based on my experience operating a boarding facility.)

But that is my individual experience in my specific circumstances; your results may differ.

tabula rashah
Oct. 17, 2009, 10:31 AM
I have 5 horses at home all 24/7 turnout but no grass

Hay: $180/ month for free choice (round bales)
Grain, Supplements, Alfalfa Cubes: $160/ month

No bedding costs-

but I also pay a huge mortgage, maintain a truck and trailer, make improvements on the property, etc.

Serigraph
Oct. 17, 2009, 10:44 AM
Roughly 400-500 a month. One moderate-hard keeper and one easy-moderate (in winter) keeper. I just now am starting to feed hay and have not had to since early spring so my costs went way down. They'll increase in the winter with hay.

My biggest expense is shoes. Both are shod all the way around and one has heart bars up front.

It'd be pretty cheap if they could go barefoot!

EventerOP
Oct. 17, 2009, 02:29 PM
Thanks everyone so much for the advice and personl experiencs!

bap
Oct. 17, 2009, 02:31 PM
If it's a good time in life for you to make the investment in a property, it is certainly the best time for you as a buyer. We have two horses on our farm. I would say, even with needing to get shelters (no barn yet,) and electrabraid fencing from Ramm (very pleased with them and product), we make a great savings as compared to boarding two. But I think Philliab makes a critical point about the non-dollar investment required. The work doesn't end. For me, though, having our horses is all about our relationship; we want to be their caretakers, I like to open my back door in the morning say good morning and get a whinny back. I think it's important to factor in all the inconveniences that will come up, like being sick as a dog and like it or not have to go out sloppy, bone chilling rain or not, can't randomly take trips or spontaniously stay later than feeding time, etc. if you do make the investment, try to have an extra savings cushion for things, that are not anticipated, that will pop up
For us, buying the farm didn't come a day too soon, thank God everyday! :-)
Best Wishes!

EventerOP
Oct. 17, 2009, 07:36 PM
Thanks!

2boys
Oct. 18, 2009, 09:02 AM
You guys really are a frugal bunch. I should REALLY take lessons from you.:sadsmile:

knightrider
Oct. 18, 2009, 09:07 AM
My horses are not at home, but I do pay for all their expenses including feed and shavings...

2 bags of grain/mo at $14/bag - $28
1 bale of hay (but only during the winter) @ $4/bale - $120 mo for 6 mos.
1/2 bale of hay/day during summer/spring =$60/mo
2 bag of shavings per week @ $5/bag = $40

with hay averaging $90/mo - I'm spending $158/mo for the two...I do pay a small stall fee to the farm so since we are talking about having horses at your own farm I did not include that...

While I do agree that the tractors, fencing, etc are costly, reality is that many people need a small tractor for a property as small as an acre or two....it is an asset and the improvements to the property are capital improvements adding value to the real estate...so yes, that is expensive, but I consider that part of the home ownership costs....just like adding a detached garage or a nice patio...it adds value to the home which you most likely will sell one day...

The time is a bigger factor and if you aren't used to taking care of horses then you may not like it....I've had self care or managed my own boarding stable the majority of my life so to me, having only 2 or 3 to care for is easy....

Guilherme
Oct. 18, 2009, 09:41 AM
Direct costs to maintain a barefoot horse in E. TN will run about $100/head/mo. for minimum care, no work (i.e., a "pasture ornament"). To this you must add the cost of land, fencing, taxes, etc.

If you are going to do work under saddle then your costs go up some (additional feed, hoof care, linement, vet. care, etc.). Say maybe $75/mo. on top of the $100 already spent. This does not include the cost of tack. Nor is there any factor for trailer and tow vehicle.

This also does not account for "surcharges" that an owner in really remote area might have to pay for vets, farriers, etc. making "house calls."

Note that this is minimum care. If the owner wants to add extras they must be accounted for.

It also does not consider "horse-sitting" if the owner is out of town or otherwise unavailable to provide minimum daily husbandry.

A major factor will be the kind of terrain available. I've got almost two miles of creeks on my place, so I've got lots of places that I can set up as a paddock and not worry about daily water. I've also got some very good pastures that border those creeks, meaning that for several months per year I don't have to feed hay. If an owner does not have these advantages the daily labor involved rises sharply, as does the need for and cost of "horse-sitting."

Needless to say the requirements of the horse have a direct and immediate impact on costs. A young, healthy horse on pasture will be much cheaper to maintain than an aging horse that requires daily suppliment, medication, rugging, etc. These needs will also affect "horse-sitting" costs.

Taking on boarders can increase revenue but will also increase costs. Boarding is a "commercial" enterprise and will require different (and more costly) insurance on land, vehicles, etc. In some places a business license will be needed (more costs). But if the arrangement is correctly managed the need for "horse-sitting" will decline. Maybe it will all balance out, maybe not.

There's an old joke with the punchline "if you have to ask 'how much?' then you can't afford it." It actually does have some truth when discussing the costs of equine husbandry. The wise owner always keeps a realistic "J" factor in their budgets as horses do get injured, ill, etc.

The "bottom line" is that horses are not cheap no matter where you keep them. As long as the owner has the assets to properly care for them then it's OK. But, as noted in another post, the duties of the owner don't change with a change in economic circumstance.

G.

LauraKY
Oct. 18, 2009, 03:23 PM
Forgot to mention manure removal. Depending on where you live, you can spread it (manure spreaders are not cheap), compost it (need a tractor or a very strong back), cold compost it and advertise on craigslist for "organic free compost, you load & haul, that's pretty much what we do) or have it hauled away. A lot of urban/suburbarn areas have pretty stringent rules on manure disposal and storage so it really depends on whether you live in a rural area and what the local laws are.

SaddleFitterVA
Oct. 18, 2009, 07:41 PM
When I calculated it last, it was the 2007 tax year and it cost about $475 per horse. That doesn't matter if it is my horse or a boarded horse.

But, I include everything. That is interest on the portion of the mortgage that is not my house and 1/2 acre of land, the insurance that is over and above what I'd pay if I did not have a farm, and then the depreciation on the buildings (a 20 year schedule I think), the depreciation on the fence & footing, the hard costs of the wear and tear repairs, maintenance items, etc. Then, yes, I do add in the grain, hay, and bedding and incidentals.

I do not put any dollar value on my time caring for all the horses in that amount.

It is a lifestyle, and for those who suggest that the farm improvements are going to enhance the value when it sells, I say that my personal experience with home appraisals has been the exact opposite, a 40K building gets 10K in value on an appraisal, AND, most farms, horse or otherwise, that get sold, usually don't go to rural type people in more developed areas, they go to someone who wanted a huge yard.

With the current downturn in property values, if you had to sell, soon, you'd probably not make money.

I love the lifestyle and don't mind the fact that in 20 years, I've had about 4 vacations with the entire family. Some of those were long weekends.

If you want to say you'd have been spending all that money on a house anyway, then you can say you'd have about $200/month in hard costs for a rough average.

But, you have to want the lifestyle and not mind writing the checks that come in large lump sums instead of the board check. And, they are not always the planned ones.

MistyBlue
Oct. 18, 2009, 08:26 PM
It is a lifestyle, and for those who suggest that the farm improvements are going to enhance the value when it sells, I say that my personal experience with home appraisals has been the exact opposite, a 40K building gets 10K in value on an appraisal, AND, most farms, horse or otherwise, that get sold, usually don't go to rural type people in more developed areas, they go to someone who wanted a huge yard.

Very true folks...in many to most areas a horse property is not valued higher for equine improvements *unless* it's a commercial horse property being sold as such. A perfectly done professional ring and top of the line fencing isn't going to add much more than 10% of it's cost back to the property in market value because 9 out of 10 people looking at it will want the acreage for privacy, gardens or ATV riding for their kids.
A barn will add a little more value, but not the cost of building it. Most buyers will want it for extra storage, extra garage and for those purposes it's worth it to the buyers. Other buyers will want it for a studio or guest house...meaning it will need upgrades so not as much extra there. The rest will see it as something they don't care about one bit.
Only horse folks will want the equine upgrades...and they will not be the bulk of the buyers looking. Realtors and banks, etc place market value based on comparables and desirability to the masses and not to a select few.
But, if the property is going to be a professional stables...those upgrades will matter because home buyers do not look at high 6 to 7 figure acreage places for gardens and guest houses. Not if the barn is 20-40 stalls and there's an indoor too. ;) Although....there's always an exception to the rule. In 2000 I had a buyer who bought a lovely horse poperty and he had zero interest in horses. But he wanted the place that had an indoor and separate barn...for his car collection in the barn and the indoor got turned into a hangar for his cute little planes. :lol: He got a big laugh when I was invited back after he moved in...he was showing me his planes in the indoor that he had cemented over the floor and I just mock-glared at him and said, "You know you're killing me here, right?" :lol: :D :lol:

EventerOP
Oct. 19, 2009, 09:11 PM
Thanks everyone! I really appreciate everyones thoughts and personal experiences!

knightrider
Oct. 20, 2009, 08:50 AM
Slight t/j here but any improvement to a property does not net what you paid for...that goes for decks, kitchens, bathrooms, etc....kitchen and bathroom remodels will get you more bang for the buck though...And a well set up horse property in Loudoun County will sell for more than its non horse property counterpart any day...and quicker. Regardless of the market small horse properties have been selling....my research is indicative of that and it is my niche....so, while yes its true your buildings will not get as much as you paid for it, it really holds true for any capital improvement you make to your property....but it will help you sell it and the better quality/appearance, the higher your dollar will work for you and the faster it will sell.

Sparky Boy
Oct. 20, 2009, 12:26 PM
Our farm will be on the market in the next 1-3 years and I just cannot imagine anyone buying it that didn't have horses. I figure someone who works in DC and wants to have a country lifestyle will want it. God, I hope the market comes back.

Back on topic. I figure I spend about 150-200 per horse per month.

EventerOP
Oct. 20, 2009, 02:48 PM
Thanks!
Knightrider-great points! Thank you

camohn
Oct. 20, 2009, 04:19 PM
About 165 a month for hay and grain in summer plus bedding in winter; they come into stalls at night in storms or winter.....live out in run ins the other 3/4 of the year.
I did not include shoes/vet/deworming etc since those are all the same expenses you have if you board too.

3Spots
Oct. 21, 2009, 12:37 PM
Just a two cents that folks I know who took their horses home ended up riding less:

1. They could see their horse was okay and thus "would ride tomorrow."
2. They were afraid to ride because no one was around if they got injured
3. They didn't have other horses to compare too if one of theirs looked funny (disinterested in food, hoof shape, degree of lethargy)
4. They missed the easy friendships of a boarding barn
5. More work to find riding partners, scheduling became tighter
6. Too much trouble to haul out to clinician, ride trails, etc.

That said, everyone's plans sure sound nice!

jan

Sparky Boy
Oct. 21, 2009, 05:46 PM
Just a two cents that folks I know who took their horses home ended up riding less:

1. They could see their horse was okay and thus "would ride tomorrow."
2. They were afraid to ride because no one was around if they got injured
3. They didn't have other horses to compare too if one of theirs looked funny (disinterested in food, hoof shape, degree of lethargy)
4. They missed the easy friendships of a boarding barn
5. More work to find riding partners, scheduling became tighter
6. Too much trouble to haul out to clinician, ride trails, etc.

That said, everyone's plans sure sound nice!

jan

Regarding riding less, yeah, I'd have to agree that I ride less. I think my reasoning is different than most though. This probably sounds strange but, when boarding, I felt like I had to ride often because I was paying so much per month it was almost like I felt that I had to ride to get my money's worth. I also felt like I had to check on them often since someone else was in charge of their care. Now I know they get fabulous care :D and I do ride less but I also feel like I get more quality rides in.

I do miss the friendships I had at the barn.

mybeau1999
Oct. 21, 2009, 05:54 PM
Just a two cents that folks I know who took their horses home ended up riding less:

1. They could see their horse was okay and thus "would ride tomorrow."
2. They were afraid to ride because no one was around if they got injured
3. They didn't have other horses to compare too if one of theirs looked funny (disinterested in food, hoof shape, degree of lethargy)
4. They missed the easy friendships of a boarding barn
5. More work to find riding partners, scheduling became tighter
6. Too much trouble to haul out to clinician, ride trails, etc.

That said, everyone's plans sure sound nice!

jan

I actually rode more at home because there were no pesky boarders spouting off "advice" everytime they were in the ring with me. We had a couple of them at the boarding barn - sometimes I didn't go ride just because I knew they would be up there.

But, now I am riding less because my fall semester at college started. The time when I am home is devoted to homework, housework and horsework (but not in that order;)). I squeeze in about 3 rides a week.

Janet
Oct. 21, 2009, 08:04 PM
Some extra costs to consider

Do you already have a tractor with a bush hog? If not you may need to buy one.

How often do you go on vacation, or away overnight? For budget purposes, consider an extra $50 per day for someone to feed and muck while you are away.

Finally, you will have empty stalls. It is SO easy to acquire another and another as long as you have stalls. And then the costs really DO go up.

Root Beer
Oct. 21, 2009, 08:47 PM
....three times as much as I tell the SO. Psssst, don't tell him! By garsh, there seems to be more than two horses out there, too. Don't know how that happened, nosir. *whistles and slinks away*

But seriously, there are so many variables. Shoeing, feed, supps, bedding, vet care and clothes for the horses. In my situation, I spend about $2000.00 a year on hay, and I don't even want to think about the after-market add-ons.

Keeping horses is not for the faint of checkbook. If you're serious about it, you just find a way, or trim away expenses from some other aspect of your life. I enjoy taking care of my beasties; and that enjoyment supercedes any downsides to my income.

My horses are worth every penny I spend on them, and more.

That's what my mare tells me, anyway.

Tallyyo
Oct. 21, 2009, 08:51 PM
No matter where you live, it is always going to be cheaper to keep your horses at home, if you don't mind investing a little "sweat equity". No one can take care of them as well as you can! Just remember that you will lose much of your freedom (they need to be fed at the same time each day, at least twice a day, not to mention turnout, cleaning, etc...even when you are sick!)

EventerOP
Oct. 21, 2009, 09:12 PM
Thanks everyone

coloredhorse
Oct. 21, 2009, 09:18 PM
Just a two cents that folks I know who took their horses home ended up riding less:

I have also seen this fairly often; however, it is entirely dependent on the individuals and their particular situations. For me, there has been no change in the amount of riding I do having my own tiny farmlet, versus self-care boarding on rented property, versus full-care "normal" board, versus running my own boarding business on rented property.

If the OP is one who rides for the sake of riding, as opposed to for the social aspect of a boarding scenario or "just because I'm here" to check up on the horse, and if she can manage her time well, there is no reason to assume that riding time will automatically be reduced.

SaddleFitterVA
Oct. 21, 2009, 11:14 PM
Just a two cents that folks I know who took their horses home ended up riding less:

1. They could see their horse was okay and thus "would ride tomorrow."
2. They were afraid to ride because no one was around if they got injured
3. They didn't have other horses to compare too if one of theirs looked funny (disinterested in food, hoof shape, degree of lethargy)
4. They missed the easy friendships of a boarding barn
5. More work to find riding partners, scheduling became tighter
6. Too much trouble to haul out to clinician, ride trails, etc.

That said, everyone's plans sure sound nice!

jan

That was my case at the old farm. But, I'd already started to address that the reason I had the horses was to ride, so when I built the new farm, I built it for a few boarders. I still ride by myself most of the time, but I have company several times a week. I also have extra horses to take care of, but it works out since I don't price my board super-high and everyone knows that in a pinch, I might call and ask for help (an early or late meeting, or a brief out of town thing).

Oh, and since 2006, at the new farm, with an outdoor, fairly all-weather arena, I've had 450 or so rides a year...I'm a geek and track it.

Sparky Boy - don't count on it being horse people buying your property. I'm in the DC metro area too and several properties come to mind that no longer have horses on them. Although, with the economy, I've noticed a few new properties with horses around me.

Sparky Boy
Oct. 22, 2009, 06:30 AM
Sparky Boy - don't count on it being horse people buying your property. I'm in the DC metro area too and several properties come to mind that no longer have horses on them. Although, with the economy, I've noticed a few new properties with horses around me.

It would make me sad to see that beautiful barn go to waste. I plan on advertising in the Equiery and COTH, among other places.

mybeau1999
Oct. 22, 2009, 08:17 AM
Sparky Boy - where is your farm?

Sparky Boy
Oct. 22, 2009, 08:44 AM
Sparky Boy - where is your farm?
45 minutes south of DC.

1Walks1Trots
Oct. 22, 2009, 09:02 AM
...but my bill for the last four months has been $10 a month and that's for treats. My horses are out 24/7 with run-ins, and don't eat any grain or hay. In fact, they are muzzled for part of the day. In the very cold or cold/rainy days, they will be stalled, which usually consists of using one bag of shavings per day ($5.00) and about a half a bale of hay ($3.00). Last year we stalled for 15 days, but we had a terrible ice storm. Worst case scenario, winter costs about $150 total for both horses. That doesn't include worming, farrier, shots, etc, but you'd have to pay that if you were boarding anyway.

I *love* having my horses at home. I love it, love it, love it. I'm with them a lot more, they know me a lot more, I "lay eyes on them" a lot more. It's easier to do things the way I want (like use trough heaters instead of breaking ice or keep the salt block in the run-in instead of outside like pasture board was). We ride about the same amount but "mess with" them a LOT more (grooming, petting, treats).

monalisa
Oct. 22, 2009, 10:37 AM
I have 3 horses boarded and will soon move them to my own property. I expect to save about $1000 a month when I move them. I have everything in place except I need to buy some jumps and a tractor. The way I see it - it is like renting vs owning. I will someday get a lot of my money back on my farm if I ever decide to sell it, same goes for the tractor, jumps, etc. It will be a lot of work doing it all myself but I love taking care of them!

gailbyrd
Oct. 22, 2009, 11:21 AM
Didn't read through the whole thread so forgive me if someone has already mentioned it, but your farrier and vet costs COULD be higher than when you board because you won't share the farm call.

That said, unless I absolutely had to because I could no longer do it, I would not want to board my horses again. Love having them around the house and knowing just what goes on with them.

mybeau1999
Oct. 22, 2009, 11:29 AM
45 minutes south of DC.

Oh, I have a friend who wants to buy a small horse place in a year or 2, but she was looking for something closer to Baltimore.

Sparky Boy
Oct. 22, 2009, 11:33 AM
Oh, I have a friend who wants to buy a small horse place in a year or 2, but she was looking for something closer to Baltimore.

Too far and I'm probably bigger than what she's looking for.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Oct. 22, 2009, 12:04 PM
...but my bill for the last four months has been $10 a month and that's for treats. My horses are out 24/7 with run-ins, and don't eat any grain or hay. In fact, they are muzzled for part of the day. In the very cold or cold/rainy days, they will be stalled, which usually consists of using one bag of shavings per day ($5.00) and about a half a bale of hay ($3.00). Last year we stalled for 15 days, but we had a terrible ice storm. Worst case scenario, winter costs about $150 total for both horses. That doesn't include worming, farrier, shots, etc, but you'd have to pay that if you were boarding anyway.

I *love* having my horses at home. I love it, love it, love it. I'm with them a lot more, they know me a lot more, I "lay eyes on them" a lot more. It's easier to do things the way I want (like use trough heaters instead of breaking ice or keep the salt block in the run-in instead of outside like pasture board was). We ride about the same amount but "mess with" them a LOT more (grooming, petting, treats).

Um, can I say I'm jealous? Of course I'm stuck with the hard keepers!

Which is kind of the point. So much of your actual monthly costs are going to depend on the horses needs. Ex. I spend over $100 a month on grain for 2 horses and $20 on alfalfa (which they get on top of the ever-present grass hay). My point is it is SO variable on the horse(s) and if they are going to have/be in stalls at all.

BEARCAT
Oct. 22, 2009, 01:29 PM
I would say $300/month for both horses at home. And that's a generous estimate. Of course, I like to keep things simple and do as much as I can myself.
I ride a lot more with the horses at home, and have a lot more interaction with them on a daily basis.

$1200/month for board for 2 horses is more than my mortgage payment ;) so I would rather put the money into my own place...