Hmmm… I am speaking in general trms here , but I’ll give it a shot .
Hay should cost anywhere from $2.50 - $5.00 a bale , depending on your area and the quality of hay , not to mention the time of year . A riding horse woud probably go thru 2 - 3 bales a week . 50 lbs. of grain, I want to say , maybe $8 a bag , I fed my horses a coffee can of grain twice a day (mixed Pureina Horse Chow and sweet feed 50/50) , don’t remember how long 50 lbs lasted , it would be safe to say a bag a week . You’ll need straw or shavings to bed the stalls with , straw is about $4 a bale , you’d need 2 - 3 bales to bed a stall well . I prefer shavings , but not sure how much they cost because the stable always provided them .
There are many other on-going expenses . Horse shoes avery 6 weeks . Paste worming every other month , Vet exams at LEAST once a year for vacinations , teeth floating , sheath cleaning (on a gelding , or God forbid , a stallion) , tube worming . Expect the yearly call to be in excess of $300 . Then there is the chance of an emergency call - horses are born with a death wish , and will regularly try to commit suicide by running thru a fence , getting kicked by a pasturemate , overeating and foundering or colicing …horses will find a way to cause an extra vet bill !
Still interested ? To buy a sound , unregistered (grade) horse , expect to pay a minimum of $800 - $1000 , but that will vary with age , sex , training, and even color of horse . A popular color like pinto or palomino may well cost more than a comon chestnut or bay . An older , settled horse age 8 to 16 is a good bet , usually they have been around enough to see a lot and be more unflappable . Important if you are an ineperienced rider or are planning to let the kids share the horse . If you decide you want a registered horse . then all bets are off . You can still get a papered horse of some breeds for that low-end price , but the sky’s the limit t=for the high end . I’m not just talking about Thoroughbred race horses , which , for the most part , make poor riding horses , but any of the breeds : Quarter Horses , Appaloosas , Arabians , Morgans , Paints , Am. Saddlebreds , Andalusians , Friesians , Tennessee Walkers , Pasos … there are horses for all tastes and price ranges .
Oh , then there is that little matter of tack & supplies . Saddles , bridles , saddle pad , stable blankets , brushes , hoof picks , halters , lead ropes , combs , fly spray , shampoo , tack box , and all the other stuff . Figure at least $1000 , depending on what lind of saddle you choose … some saddles can cost twice that alone .
But let me tell ya from past experience … they are worth every filthy , stinking cent .