To Save on Gas, I'm Buying a Horse

Well, not really. But if I did, what would it cost? Assume I have an acceptable barn and whatnot, so I wouldn’t have to pay a stabling fee.

How much would the horse itself cost? I’m not looking for a potential Kentucky Derby winner here, just a plain ole… you know, horse. How much does it cost to feed one of the beasts? And how long do they live?

I used to know all that stuff, but I’ve forgotten most of it, so I’ll just stick with the one answer I’m pretty sure I can still get right.

25 years is a decent life expectancy for a horse.

You don’t want a horse, except as a pet. I say that without any fear of being wrong. If you are not using your auto it just sits there. The horse has to be fed and watered and the stable cleaned out every fucking day whether or not you use it. Maybe you will be able to get your teenage son or daughter to do this for you.

No it doesn’t - it eats up car loan payments, tax, insurance, space (even if it’s your own garage, it’s space you could be using for something else), etc., and its value depreciates constantly. If you’re paying just $300 a month for loan payment and insurance, that’s enough money to hire someone at miniumum wage to work 2 hours a day on your horse. I’m not advocating this, I’m just saying cost of car ownership is greater than most of us realize.

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 . :smiley:

Price depends on where you buy it, what breed you want, and the economy. When money is tight, horses are cheap, like any other luxury.
What you’ll need to have a horse: A barn or other place to keep it out of bad weather. Feed in the winter, and maybe summer, if you don’t have enough grass land to feed it. I can’t remember how many acres is minimum, but its more than a cow.
Someone has to ride it, brush it and feed it every day. It will need foot care and shoes every 6 months or so. Farriers are rare, and get paid top dollar.
Horses aren’t as sturdy as you might think. They can’t throw up, so if they get any kind of intestinal problem, they can easily die.
Personally, I’d love to exchange my car for a horse, but you can’t take them on main roads in most places. A five mile ride can take an hour or more, depending on terrain. Most horse breeds don’t have great stamina, they can’t run for long distances. So, most travel is at a walk. Granted, they walk faster than you can, but not that much.

I wish you luck. :cool:

Or, what he (she?) said. PapSett, I agree they are worth it. Mine was a 3 year old Am. Saddlebred that had been abused. She and a 5 year old Morgan stallion were on the way to the rendering plant. A friend and I bought the two for $400.00. I loved that horse…

What kind of straw are you paying $4/bale for?? Round here, except for drought years, straw’s worth practically nothing.

I got my two horses free, adopted from a horse rescue organization. But they’re old and I probably couldn’t put many miles on them if I needed them for transport.

Other than that, I’d agree with PapSett’s prices. Mine don’t get shoes because they never leave the pasture, but they do get trimmed every 6-8 weeks, cost $20 per horse. I typically pay $4/bale for good quality hay and $13/50# bag for feed. They don’t cost anywhere near a typical car payment and insurance, but they’re not cheap. But like PapSett said, worth every cent (scent? both!).

All true but that’s just the cost of being alive and kicking. A horse might not cost as much but …

You can’t drive the horse on a cross country vacation so someone has to be paid to take care of it while you are gone.

When you want to spend a day away from home you either can’t because the chores have to be done or you have to pay someone to do them.

When you go to the dentist where do you tie up your horse? And many cities have ordnances against leaving horse manure laying around.

A horse is a thorought impractical means of day-to-day transportation.

Well … admittedly , I have never bought straw in quantity , and it is most likely cheaper that way . As I said , I always bedded my horses in shavings , supplied by the boarding stable . But when I have bought a stray bale of hay here & there in the winter to spread in the yard to keep the dogs out of the mud , it’s been between $3 - $4 a bale . That’s all I’m sayin’ . :wink:

BTW … PapSett is a ‘she’ . :stuck_out_tongue:


Also on the side of impracticality: most cars allow you to carry passengers and bulky objects. It’s hard or impossible to do the same on a horse.

Well, you can get a surrey with or without a fringe on top. This would work in parts of northeast Iowa, southeast Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and several other places.

Keeping in mind I work for the industry that supplanted the horse, well, there’s a reason (lots of reason$) that the automobile replaced the horse. And it wasn’t so that you could live in the suburbs.

Much, much more than you budget for. :slight_smile:

My gf has three horses. She loves them and wouldn’t want to get rid of them, however they are pretty expensive to keep. The land that she keeps fenced (the fence that is constantly needing maintenance) could generate income if it were not used for pasture. One of her horses has chronic obstuctive pulmonary disease. His medication runs around $200 a month (Wholesale from me).

We were once debating the cost/value of a horse versus car. She emailed me a pic of a horrible car wreck with fatalities. I emailed her back a head and shoulders pic of Christopher Reeves.

While you don’t need a driver’s license to ride a horse, you can be arrested for riding while intoxicated.