Sample Horse Expense Calculator
Probably the most important thing to consider when you are thinking about adopting a horse is the on-going cost of that horse. It is a common saying that buying a horse is the cheapest part, and that is true. Horses are an on-going expense and unlike a car, when a horse needs something, it needs it right now. You cannot put off the expenses of a horse until it is more convenient and you cannot just put a horse in the garage and not worry about it until you want to.
The cost of keeping a horse can vary widely depending on your situation and area. The most expensive care item is usually the board and feed of the horse, but even this can vary. For example, if you live in a city and need to board at a boarding barn you will probably pay $500 a month on just the basic upkeep of the horse. This is very expensive, but it also includes the convenience and security of having someone else on hand to care for your horse and to advise you on its needs. There are often very enjoyable facilities such as an indoor arena, instructors, wash racks etc and usually a community of other boarders.
Perhaps though, you have your own property and are already setup for a horse or are able to find pasture board for your horse (pasture board usually runs $100-250). Excellent! Now your main cost is probably going to be feed. You may be able to support your horses on pasture for part of the year, but when the grass is not good you will need to provide hay and possibly grain. An average Appaloosa will usually eat 1-2 bales of quality hay a week.
Other necessary expenses include a farrier every 6-8 weeks, yearly or bi-yearly vet expenses (and that is assuming your horse doesn't get hurt or need a vet out for other reasons), wormer every two months, and any necessary tack.