How Much Does It Cost To Buy a Horse in the US?

How Much Does It Cost To Buy a Horse?

How much does it cost to buy a horse? The expense of purchasing a horse, not only in the US but worldwide, too, extends beyond only the purchase price itself. In the US horse market, numerous factors can affect the purchasing price. We have outlined a few elements that impact horse prices in our article below.

Produced in partnership with the World Animal Foundation.

Factors affecting horse cost on purchase

Given below is a list of all the factors that may affect the costs of buying a horse in the US.


The breed/lineage of a horse, most often the result of selective breeding to induce desirable characteristics, largely determines the cost of a horse. So, don’t start swooning merely over the horse’s looks and fancy strides.


Admire its beauty; it’s irresistible for horse lovers. But, before owning a horse, make sure it’s a healthy horse with reliable and required traits. If you’re an avid lover of animals and want to learn more about different breeds, World Animal Foundation is your one-stop for all kinds of animal queries!


Even if you’re a horse rookie, it’s obvious that the younger and older horses can take longer to sell, thus comparatively lower in price. However, the younger well-bred horses, from weaning, can also come with a hefty price tag. The well-trained horses between the ages of 5 and 18 will certainly have a higher market value due to their training under saddle.


The cost of the horse skyrockets based on the amount of training and experience and the unending attention it requires. In fact, it’s one of the major horse cost-determining factors.


Whatever you are shopping for, a striking color will always catch the eye and sell more quickly. Unfortunately, even the horses aren’t safe from the shackles of beauty standards.

The horses with fascinating patterns, eye-catching colors, and great bodies have greater cost value.

Coat colour can affect the price of a horse
Coat colour can affect the price of a horse.

Body weight/height

Depending on the breed, location, and purpose for which they are desired, a horse’s optimal height and weight may differ. So does the cost accordingly.


The cost of the horse might be significantly increased or decreased depending on factors such as where and how you want your horse delivered or where you live.

For example, if you are getting an international breed, the plane cost can be double the price of the horse, ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.


The horse breeder is a brand in itself. So, where you get your horse from also affects the cost. Buying a horse with an Act of Goods Pact and Liability insurance automatically increases the horse’s value.

 Cost of Owning a Horse

Owning a horse is an entirely different experience than owning any other livestock. It depends on the following things.


The cost of horse feed and hay depends upon the breed, weight, height, and amount of activity your horse does. On average, you can expect to pay monthly feeding bills between 100$ and 250$.

However, don’t buy in bulk if you wish to save on horse feed bills. Get hay by weight and forage nutritive value. The annual feeding cost would be about $3,650 for hay and up to $1,500 for grain.

Horse Care

The good news is that Horse grooming supplies don’t cost thousands. The expenses fall between 10$ and 25$, or they could go up to 50$.

Although grooming itself can be a bit challenging, horse lovers usually tend to love it. It may be therapeutic, but it also demands commitment. If you hire a professional groomer, that might be an additional cost.

Home Boarding

There’s no better option than having a home boarding barn to care for your horse babies. It’s a dream of all horse owners and cottage-core aesthetic fans. On average, it might cost you around 350$-400$, or 400$-450$ per month. It can fluctuate if you want to spoil your lovely horse with a lavish lifestyle than more horses.

Although, think very carefully before taking this decision. Can you handle the physical, emotional, and, most importantly, financial responsibility? Nonetheless, self-care is the best option to minimize the budget.

Commercial boarding

In the case of commercial boarding, several acres are involved with different types of services. The annual cost of boarding typically ranges from $3,000 to $12,000, depending on the location and services provided. For example, services like pasture board, stall cleaning, and full care boarding barn can cost individually.

You can expect to pay thousands of dollars if it’s an urban area.

Boarding a horse can cost a lot of money.
Boarding a horse can cost a lot of money.


Tack refers to the equipment like saddle pads, stirrups, bridles, halters, reins, bits, lead rope, and harnesses you need to ride a domesticated horse.

The quality of the tack and where you get it from might affect the tack cost, ranging from 80$ to 1000$.


Shoeing horse hooves and trimming are essential to add to hooves’ durability, stamina, and protection. It is super essential for weight-carrying domesticated horses and trail horses. And, of course, you can’t take your horse to a Nike store and get a pair, actually two pairs. You need a farrier, skilled hooves shoeing professional.

On average, you would need about 5 to 6 farrier services annually. A trim costs 30$, while the shoeing costs $90 to $150. So, the annual fee you will have to pay for your horse’s farrier services will be around $450 to $750.


Riding lessons from a renowned and reputable trainer is the best way to go. You can’t do it on your own. It’s just like our unfair education system. The private lessons are more expensive. The trainer can charge you from 50$ to 100$ per hour, which equals $2,800 a year.


Treating your horse like a king/queen is a must for horse owners. And no, we aren’t talking about a queen-sized bed with memory foam. Horse bedding is different from that. The cost of bedding varies with the type of material, with straw being the cheapest and most traditional.

If you use pine shavings or wood pellets for bedding, a bag costs 5$. And if you were to buy four bags per week, the price could be $20 per week and nearly $1000 a year.


The equipment you will require is not only limited to tack. You need proper riding clothing, boots, and other supplements, costing you around 500$ to 5000$.

When choosing horse gear, it’s important to ensure that it fits your horse perfectly. Factors such as durability, breathability, and flexibility are a must to consider before buying saddle pads. Many trustworthy brands provide high-quality gear that lasts and ensures your horse’s comfort. It’s crucial to focus on the longevity of the gear rather than its price, as investing in something cheap may end up costing you more in the long run. If you’re looking for gear like half-lined wool saddle pads, you can visit this collection or search for horse gear retailers near you and check the quality before ordering online. This will help you make informed decisions and get the best value for your money.

Health Expenses and Insurance

Before buying a horse, you need to make sure it’s healthy to cut down on health care costs. However, this won’t affect your routine vet bills.

The annual health expenses of your horse can cost you between 200$ and 500$. It includes the necessary annual vaccination, deworming of your horse, and teeth floating.

Additionally, you would need an equine fly spray of 18$-25$ to keep the annoying bugs from biting the pretty horse.

Dental care

To ensure your horse’s dental and oral hygiene, teeth floating in horses is widely suggested by equestrian experts. Teeth floating significantly reduces the chances of your horse cutting and lacerating their mouths, smoothing the sharp edges.

Depending on your location and vet rate per hour, you can expect to pay between 80$-200$.


Being a horse owner, consider the insurance of your horse as important as your own. In your horse’s case, make sure to get mortality insurance. Mortality insurance covers the expense if your horse dies due to illness, theft, or injury. Make sure to get it renewed each year.

Medical insurance, on the other hand, covers medical expenses due to illness or injury.

How Much Does a Horse Cost Overall?

If we combine purchase, feeding, training, equipment, boarding, and vet costs altogether, it costs up to 11,000$ to 14,000$. And by that, we don’t mean this is the exact figure you should expect to pay. It can fluctuate lower or higher.

The life of a horse owner is certainly not easy. So, make a choice wisely.


Being an animal owner is so much fun, but to be a horse owner is destined to break the bank. Whether you are searching for a horse for sale in the UK, or USA, the expense starts as soon as you find your perfect horse. It would be fair to say that the biggest expense isn’t the purchase price itself but the maintenance and commitment that comes with being a horse owner.

But ask yourself these questions. Are you genuinely passionate about your equestrian journey? Do you have a stable source of income to pay the cost of several thousand dollars? Are you ready to take responsibility?

If yes, we hope our article helped to inform you how much it costs to own a horse.


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Author: Suzanne Ashton Founder, Everything Horse Ba Hons Marketing Management email:

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