The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 87
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2010
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    252

    Default Cost of raising a horse from in the womb

    Sooooo my mom has never allowed me to get a horse; however, I want to be a professional rider and convinced her to pay for the stud fee (~$1250) and then the foal would be mine. (The mare belongs to my trainer and is a C-line Holsteiner and agreed to give me the baby- I know we should get paperwork on this part for who is the owner, etc.)


    Board at the facility I plan to use is ~$600/month without training and I plan to do my own training (I've trained a number of horses in the past).

    About how much in farrier and vet fees would you think the foal would be before the horse is delivered, when it is, for the next three years (with and without complications).
    Additionally, how much would shows be from age 4+ (I plan for this horse to be a GP horse)

    Anyways, would it be cheaper to go on this road or just buy an already trained Low/High A/O jumper? Or even get an OTTB - don't know how many of them make it to that high of jumpers.


    Thanks and sorry this was such a long post!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2009
    Location
    Petaluma
    Posts
    207

    Default

    I would really recommend looking at the sport horse breeding section and posing this question there.
    We breed 2-5 horses a year at my farm and I have found that it is oftentimes actually cheaper right now to buy a weaning or yearling then to breed yourself...
    Beyond that, the risks involved with breeding, cost of breeding the mare, cost of caring for the mare during pregnancy, risk of a foal that is not what you want, has physical problems, or does not survive foaling are all high.
    Breeding is a very tricky business and one that you should know AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE about before deciding to do it yourself.
    www.jazcreek.com
    Specialized Equine Rehabilitation and Fitness in the Wine Country



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2010
    Location
    Atlanta, GA and New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    1,579

    Default

    I have never raised a baby, but my guess is the plan you lay out above will be very expensive in the long run.

    On a side note: I have a 13 week old puppy at home right now who is wearing me out! I can't imagine raising and training a foal/yearling, etc.
    Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2000
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    2,235

    Default

    Why not start with a youngster instead of a foal? That way you will know what you have to work with. If you cannot afford it now, you can sock away the money over the time that you would be paying board, etc.
    Proud to have two Gold Prince POAs!
    Takaupas Top Gold
    Gifts Black Gold Knight



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 16, 2011
    Posts
    151

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lori View Post
    Why not start with a youngster instead of a foal? That way you will know what you have to work with. If you cannot afford it now, you can sock away the money over the time that you would be paying board, etc.
    You would also have a WAY better platform to predict talent. Breeding is a huge gamble (All horse ownership is but breeding even more so) and if this is your one shot at a horse I would hate for you to breed for a "GP horse" and end up with a SS hunter.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Location
    The Part of TN in the Wrong Time Zone
    Posts
    1,931

    Default

    It would probably be cheaper in the long run to just get a youngster (2-4 years old). Plus then there is a bit less uncertainty with the breeding (especially at 4 years), they have a good mind already, and you don't have to go through the weaning process. Additionally, think about the time comment this involves. From your post, I'll take a guess at you being a junior. Do you plan on going to college? How do you plan on managing both high school and a young horse? Are you home schooled or do you have a very flexible schedule that will allow you to compete said horse? Once you are off your mother's bills, will you have a job to keep said horse and afford to pay for competition fees and boarding/vet/farrier/etc? How do you plan on getting said job with(out) college? Do you plan on going to college away or staying at home? There are a lot of situational questions that go along with this posed scenario.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 24, 2002
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    787

    Default

    I think the advice to save your money and buy a young prospect that is already under saddle is the best advice. You would be able to try the horse to determine if it is what you want. Too many babies end up not being what their breeder had hoped for and the cost of raising the baby to riding agent far exceeds the cost of buying a young prospect.

    I bred my mares when I went to college years ago. Out of 4 babies only one ended up being a hunter. 1 was born with fetlocks almost touching the ground - beautiful horse from the knees up.

    If you breed you will not have a riding horse for about 4 years. At $400-600 per month for board that is a lot of money for something that might not be what you want!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2003
    Location
    where there is no snow in the winter
    Posts
    645

    Default

    Well, I bred for my own years several years ago. I figure I had $25-$30K in expenses before we even put a saddle on his back at age three. Actually, it is probably more,because I lost the first foal at seven months gestation and had to start again.

    Would I do it again? Well........ looking at the figures I'd rather buy a two year old next time around. That way you can pick the color, sex, markings, etc. And youngsters have this uncanny knack for managing to get themselves into expensive trouble as they grow up.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2011
    Location
    PA/KY
    Posts
    83

    Default

    Honestly, I bought a horse inutero and took a huge gamble. Although hopefully my risk will pay off, I got very lucky with an amazing little guy. Like you, I have big dreams for my guy, but I have to face the reality that if he cannot do what I want him to do, that I will be okay with it. In your case, you could choose to sell or keep.

    That being said, I do not think I'll ever do it again. Your best bet would to be going to breeding farms and find, like hunterrider23 said, a 2-4 year old where you can assess their talent a little bit more. You can free jump them and then be able to see their jump and their potential.

    I think it is a mistake to think that the first time you breed you're going to get a grand prix horse. NOT saying that you might not be able to, but your chances of owning one will be a lot greater if you take your time and look at a lot of youngsters and find your perfect horse rather than breeding one yourself.

    I totally get the pull- having a horse from the start and seeing it progress. But there are a lot of other options out there as well.

    Good luck!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    19,592

    Default

    How much does it cost? Your heart, your head and your sanity. This is undoubtedly one of those "If you have to ask, you can't afford it" questions. Your chances of getting hit by the GP fairy are much, much smaller than the chances of things not living up to your expectations.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2010
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Wow. You guys are awesome and this is why I loveeee these forums! Thanks so much for everyone's input and please keep the answers/opinions coming!

    A am currently in my 2nd year of college. I plan to have the baby at a full care facility while I'm in school (only 1.5hrs from the barn) and would visit it very often. But yes, that is A LOT of board before it's rideable!

    Thanks again!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Location
    The Part of TN in the Wrong Time Zone
    Posts
    1,931

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ponyjumper525 View Post
    Wow. You guys are awesome and this is why I loveeee these forums! Thanks so much for everyone's input and please keep the answers/opinions coming!

    A am currently in my 2nd year of college. I plan to have the baby at a full care facility while I'm in school (only 1.5hrs from the barn) and would visit it very often. But yes, that is A LOT of board before it's rideable!

    Thanks again!
    In that situation, a foal might actually be less work for you. While it's a HUGE HUGE gamble, with a slightly older horse, you'd probably have a harder time trying to train it and manage your last few years plus finding jobs, whereas with a foal, while you're spending those first 3 years getting on your feet, it's spending time being a horse. Make sure the barn is well versed with newborns/foals/yearlings for teaching the foundations of respect on the ground and has plenty of turnout for him.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2001
    Location
    Lima, OH
    Posts
    485

    Default

    Breeding can be an amazing experience, but please understand, it is expensive to get a horse from inception to riding age, and there are many risks and zero guarantees along the way. Six years ago, I bred a pony that showed on the line and estimate that I paid about $7500 a year, including boarding (and I was getting a great deal.) He was an extraordinary pony, but when I sold him at age three, I still didn't get my money back out of him.

    You can breed to the most incredible stallion and still end up with a horse that has limited athletic ability. With every passing year between birth and ride ability, you run the risk of pasture accidents -- and youngsters are always finding their way into trouble, especially if they are not at a farm experienced at caring for babies. My little guy had another foal bite and partially tear off his lower lip. It took two surgeries to put him back together -- and there goes another $3000. Luckily, this didn't affect his soundness, but I have vetted several babies who already had career-limiting injuries by the time they were two or three... it just happens. And then what do you do with them?

    Long story short, there are no guarantees that you are going to end up with a GP horse or even a horse you enjoy riding. Sorry to be negative - just telling it like it is.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 20, 2005
    Location
    You must never go there, Simba.
    Posts
    3,453

    Default

    You're in your second year of college, so presumably your parents are going to stop paying your bills in the near future. $600 a month in board plus lessons/training/vet/farrier/etc... is going to be a challenge to pay for unless you hit the employment lottery.

    Take it from someone 3 years out of college - don't buy a horse. In particular, don't buy a horse that won't have any resale value for 4-5 years. Paying your own bills is hard enough without having the expenses you've laid out.

    I do have a horse that I keep on the cheap while I'm attending grad school. When he landed in my lap 2 years ago, I had no intentions of owning a horse. I work two jobs to cover his expenses and mine. Between that and grad school, I get to sit on him maybe once a week. If I'm lucky. And forget about lessons and showing. I'd also like to point out that I had every intention of selling him a year ago, but he has some health...difficulties that make that impossible. I love him dearly, but life would be easier without him.

    You said that you want to be a trainer. Honestly, you're better off without your own horse. It frees up your time and money. Spend the $600 a month on lessons. Ride everything your trainer has in the barn. Ride problem horses. Volunteer to exercise anything with four legs. You become a trainer by riding everything you can and by constantly being at the barn. You can't do that if your time and money are dedicated to a weanling that you won't even be able to ride for 3 years.

    You have many, many more options and opportunities if you aren't tied down with horse ownership. You can take a working student position in Europe, you can go to more shows, ride more horses, and not be spending all of your time financing a baby.
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
    -George Morris


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2003
    Location
    West
    Posts
    1,009

    Default

    I figure that it costs me at least $10K/year. So when they are 5 years old you have around $50K into them. It's very rewarding, but it's not really cheaper. Although it is less output of money all at once. And you do know exactly what has been done with them and how they have been cared for.
    ******
    "A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."
    -H.M.E.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,721

    Default

    You also have to consider that you not only pay the stud fee but if breeding AI there is the cost of insemination. Multiple times unless you are very lucky but it could cost you an extra $200-400 on top of the stud fee if you are lucky and she catches right away.

    Also, will the mare owner require you to keep the mare insured? Will the mare stay on the owners farm? And speaking of the mare, what is her performance record and what has she produced? And get that are going GP? I'll bet not if they are willing to loan you their mare. She could be a very nice mare who will produce a 5-8k baby for you whose abilities will be unknown. So why risk it?

    What happens if the mare dies? Are you liable for anything?

    The last mare I tried to get settled was a maiden mare and we tried for 3 cycles and gave up for the year. It cost me the stud fee plus an additional ~$2000 for the cost of trying to get her in foal, so close to 4k and no foal. Not including the expense of keeping the mare which was at least at home so I was not paying board. But still a lot of money to throw away.

    You would be better off to shop with the assistance of someone comfortable and experienced evaluating babies and buy a weanling or even better yearling or two year old. In this economy there are some great deals to be had if you are shopping with someone who knows what they are doing. You might find a breeder with a weanling who would let you field board at their farm at cheap rate if you put a few thousand down and paid $400-500 a month towards the foal on a payment plan. You would probably also have to agree to carry insurance.

    I recently inquired about a weanling owned by a breeder who posts here and she offered board through the winter at her place for $150 per month. That is an amazing deal, cheaper than I could raise one here at my own barn.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2010
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    801

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
    You're in your second year of college, so presumably your parents are going to stop paying your bills in the near future. $600 a month in board plus lessons/training/vet/farrier/etc... is going to be a challenge to pay for unless you hit the employment lottery.

    Take it from someone 3 years out of college - don't buy a horse. In particular, don't buy a horse that won't have any resale value for 4-5 years. Paying your own bills is hard enough without having the expenses you've laid out.

    I do have a horse that I keep on the cheap while I'm attending grad school. When he landed in my lap 2 years ago, I had no intentions of owning a horse. I work two jobs to cover his expenses and mine. Between that and grad school, I get to sit on him maybe once a week. If I'm lucky. And forget about lessons and showing. I'd also like to point out that I had every intention of selling him a year ago, but he has some health...difficulties that make that impossible. I love him dearly, but life would be easier without him.

    You said that you want to be a trainer. Honestly, you're better off without your own horse. It frees up your time and money. Spend the $600 a month on lessons. Ride everything your trainer has in the barn. Ride problem horses. Volunteer to exercise anything with four legs. You become a trainer by riding everything you can and by constantly being at the barn. You can't do that if your time and money are dedicated to a weanling that you won't even be able to ride for 3 years.

    You have many, many more options and opportunities if you aren't tied down with horse ownership. You can take a working student position in Europe, you can go to more shows, ride more horses, and not be spending all of your time financing a baby.
    I don't necessarily agree with this. Generally, YES - buy a prospect, not an in-utero for your first horse. But buying a horse in general is fine if you can make it work.

    I bought a horse at 18, fresh out of high school. Best decision I ever made. I still have her ten years later and I truly believe owning that horse played a huge part in my professional success.

    My first two years of college I worked 35 hours a week and went to school fulltime. I was always feeling the pressure to have a job and work, work, work to pay for her. Because of that I took every paid internship, part-time job, barn job I could. If not for that pressure to support the horse I don't know if I would have hustled like I did. That hustle has paid dividends. I made connections, and gained skills I would never have had otherwise, that have led me to a good career.

    If you can handle it, and you're hungry - do it. Being hungry is important.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2010
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    252

    Default

    WHOOO keep the answers coming. I'm loving all these perspectives!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2008
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    863

    Default

    I've never had any experience raising my own up. The closest I've come is training a PMU foal for the barn I rode at as a teenager. BUT, having worked at a veterinary clinic that did a lot of neonatal ICU care, a problem in a foal can very quickly become a VERY VERY expensive problem. It's every breeder's nightmare but a foal that ends up in intensive care or isolation due to a GI infection is serious money. While it's an out there problem, be aware that there can be serious issues that can occur and they can cost a lot of money. And if it's you're considering embryo transfer and a recipient mare that adds in more money. And if you're doing AI you need to talk to your vet about their schedule and if they do a lot of repro work. You'll need to figure out their expenses for the daily ultrasounds, the AI process, etc.

    Also, you said you've trained horses before but didn't say if you had any experience breaking/backing young horses. It can be a very different experience and you may find you do need to add training expenses in to the equation.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2010
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kmwines01 View Post
    Also, you said you've trained horses before but didn't say if you had any experience breaking/backing young horses. It can be a very different experience and you may find you do need to add training expenses in to the equation.
    Sorry, to add- I have "broke" (but nicely not the crazy cowboy version) about 5 horses in my life. Big 'ol warmbloods that are now successfully on the A circuit and lesson horses



Similar Threads

  1. Cost of breeding/early raising
    By Crown Royal in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Aug. 22, 2011, 05:24 PM
  2. Cost of raising -- from weaning to 3 (updated!)
    By fordtraktor in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 44
    Last Post: May. 10, 2010, 10:37 AM
  3. Cost of breeding and raising a foal?
    By Obi in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: Jul. 7, 2009, 05:57 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •