Buy a horse: the maintenance fee to plan before doing it

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  • Published on Tuesday, November 14, 2017
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To own a horse is one thing. To look after him, with all the costs involved – on the very long term – is another. Between the ongoing veterinary expenses, livery -if any – and unforeseen events, you must calculate your budget. Because the horse, despite its imposing presence, his nevertheless a fragile animal, which requires careful and regular care. The main point before acquiring a horse is therefore the budgetary planning, directly related to its daily well-being. Before you commit yourself, here are some tips.

Obligatory and recommended vaccines

The vaccine against tetanus, influenza and rhino-pneumonia is important. However, only the flu vaccine is compulsory, for a simple reason: in case of outings with other horses during competitions or days out, the vaccine will stop the contagion of the disease. Recommended vaccines need to be boost that will cost you between 40 and 80 euros each time, including the vet travelling expenses. Also, before committing yourself to the expenses, it is better to consult a vet to estimate the average medical expenses of your future horse.

Worm dose, tooth problems and unexpected

A wormer must be given four times per year. It will cost between 10 and 30 euros each time. Therefore, if you add the vaccines and the worm doses, you will have to spend between 80 to 200 euros per year to keep your horse healthy. Obviously, this figure is only a minimum. Add to this the visit of the dentist, every 6 or 12 months depending of the tooth of your horse, and the farrier every 6 weeks. Also plan for the unexpected in case of specific pathologies, injuries serious or not, like tendonitis….. Again, do not commit without thinking and anticipate a budget of about 5000 euros before to buy or loan a horse because, whether at home or in livery, the health and care costs will remain unchanged. Stay realistic, think about the welfare of your animal.

Emergency case

Your horse can get inured, get colicky or lame… The price of the vet’s visit will be more expensive if this happens over a weekend. Even, insignificant things are expensive: a dressing to be renewed, a wound to be checked regularly …But it could be a more serious case, such a fracture. It will not necessarily be impossible to cure it like most people will think. Sometimes a good bandage or a cast on the broken bone and no movement will be enough. Unfortunately, if these methods are not enough, you will have to consider euthanizing your horse because it will be very difficult, if not impossible to cure him because of his size and attitude. The cost will be at least of 120 euros and the cost of the knackery is 350 euros.


The most secure solution is to take an insurance to limit some expenses in the event of problems. For example, the visit of a vet in case of colic may result in hospitalization of the animal which will cost between 1200 and 2500 euros, not including the transport costs. If an operation is necessary, it may cost up to 5000 euros. An insurance will therefore pay for the expenses. It is better to be cautious, the cost of insurance is about 30 euros per month.

Food and stable

The cost of hay and special horse food is also a budget to be considered. Some horses, depending on their activity, will need a special diet and some supplements. If you don’t have enough space at home, you also will have to pay for the livery. This can vary from single to double according to the area you live in. Calculate these essential elements into your budget.

Fees related to the competition

As a reminder, the competition rider must hold the license issued by the FFE. Then, it must take into consideration the expenses related to the competition including the commitments, the supervision, to rent a stable if you need to, the transport, the hay and the preparation and the care of the horse before the competition. Depending on the number of events per year, the level of the competition, the fees will be higher according to those. And throughout the year, the unavoidable expenses such as vet, farrier, vaccines, transport, food and unexpected.

RODI advises you

  • Colic is a big problem for owner, it is necessary to be particularly vigilant and to anticipate the veterinary expenses that will create.
  • To have a minimum of 5000 euros per year before purchasing a horse for all planned and unforeseen vet expenses, livery, food and special diet depending on the activity of your animal.
  • A horse is a fragile animal, that asks lot of vet’s care. Don’t underestimate your budget!
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