Saturday 30 December 2017

Year End Horse Costs

Stephanie over at Hand Gallop has done a couple of these posts, including this recent one, and Karen at Bakersfield Dressage also shared her spending from 2016 so credit to them for the idea. I've been keeping pretty meticulous records of all my financials since 2012 anyways so figured I would share some of my horse costs as well.

I feel like I need to have some sort of disclaimer or defense here about why I spend so much on horses, but if you are reading this blog then you probably already know how deep this passion goes and how expensive it can be. Horses cost a lot of money, there's no denying that, but they fill in as exercise, entertainment, social life and addiction all in one, and I'm not about to cut this important part of my life out.

How much did it cost for me to keep a horse and ride in 2017?

Short answer:  $10,849.98cad (all prices here are listed in Canadian Dollars) (and yes, that is exact to the cent ;-) )

Long answer:

Here's my breakdown:


Stable Board - this should be fairly self explanatory and is the biggest category by far, as expected. Board for me is outdoor board for Kachina in a pen with shelter and automatic waterer, good quality hay, use of facilities which include a round pen, outdoor and indoor arenas, and tack room. It also includes an extra $30/month for storing my horse trailer at the barn. In the summer Kachina goes out into the pasture but my board rate is the same so this is a very consistent cost throughout the months and added up to $4828.

Farrier/Vet - I'm lucky that Kachina is barefoot and is relatively healthy (knock on all the wood!!!) so for 2017 this category included 7 trims, and 2 vet appointments (the first one was our regular spring visit for floating and vaccinations, the second was in December to check for not-quite-rightness) for a total of $653.

Riding Lessons/Shows - I kind of wish that I had lessons and shows split up, but I started tracking it this way in 2012 and it's tough to change it now. In 2017 for $2575 I went to 3 shows plus a charity trail ride, and attended 4 clinics and 11 other lessons. This category also included the costs of all my annual memberships (a total of $185). For the past 3 years I have essentially signed up for every clinic I could because they were so few and far between. I love that (slightly) more options are becoming available in my area, but now I need to start being smarter about where I spend my money to get maximum benefit.

Horse Event Organizing - this was a new category I created this year to keep track of all the money flowing in and out of my account related to organizing my dressage show. I've also been tracking costs for the Sandra clinics I coordinate under this heading as well. I can definitively say that I am not making any money from all the work I put into making these events happen, but it does allow me to get relatively good "bang for my buck" for events that I participate in myself (and reduces my travel!). In 2017 I spent a net total of $493 of my own money on the show plus 4 clinics with Sandra.

Horse Misc. - this includes everything else. It includes any new breeches, tack or saddle pads I buy, but it also includes supplements, flyspray, treats, etc. Trailer maintenance and improvements are also included, and a significant chunk of my miscellaneous spending in 2017 was spent on replacing tires. My last set lasted me 11+ years so I really can't complain. On the other hand, I really need to stop buying girths and saddle pads!

Overall I'm pretty content with my horse related costs for 2017. It's a lot of money when you add it all up, but none of the numbers shocked me and it's pretty on par with my 6 year average. Compared to other years I spent more on lessons and shows, but less on tack and vet bills so I can live with that.


  1. Mine was pretty darn close to 12k - I budgeted 1k a month and have only $140 in the acct right now. Love your breakdown!

    1. Budgeting 1k a month sounds smart and realistic. I'm not that sensible, I always end up thinking I will spend less and then when a tack purchase or show comes along I end up pulling it from vacation fund or something :-P

  2. Hmm I'm a little afraid to see what I spent on horses this year. I did buy the horse which was probably the largest 1 chunk investment.

  3. I always cringe a little bit when I add up all my equestrian expenses...