How Much Is It To Feed A Horse? (Solution found)

Food. A healthy 1,100-pound horse will eat feed and hay costing from $100 to more than $250 per month on average, although horses let out to graze on grass will eat less hay.

  • Horses should consume about 1.5 – 2.5% of their bodyweight per day according to their condition and workload, so to find out how much you need to feed your horse the first step is to calculate your horse’s bodyweight. There are a number of ways in which you can do this including using a weigh tape or a horse weigher.

How much it cost to feed a horse?

Forage, which is vital to a horse’s health, can range from $4 a bale to over $19 a bale. With so many factors it can be a struggle to generalize how much a person can expect to pay. A horse that costs $730 a year to feed in one place can cost almost $3,000 a year in another place.

How much does it cost to have a horse per year?

Responses to a horse-ownership survey from the University of Maine found that the average annual cost of horse ownership is $3,876 per horse, while the median cost is $2,419. That puts the average monthly expense anywhere from $200 to $325 – on par with a car payment.

How much does horse feed cost monthly?

Most horse owners spend about $60 to $100 per month on hay, salt and supplements – and some spend much more, particularly if they feed grain. Maintaining your horse’s hooves adds even more to the cost of a horse.

How much does it cost monthly to keep a horse?

Caring for a horse can cost anywhere between $200 to $325 per month – an annual average of $3,876, according to finance consulting site Money Crashers. Some of these costs include: Grain/feed. Hay.

How many acres does a horse need?

In general, professionals recommend two acres for the first horse and an additional acre for each additional horse (e.g., five acres for four horses). And, of course, more land is always better depending on the foraging quality of your particular property (70% vegetative cover is recommended).

Is owning a horse worth it?

Owning a horse is both rewarding and challenging. Horse owners must be knowledgable, responsible, and have enough time in their schedules to take care of the daily needs of their horse. When done properly, owning a horse is a fun and therapeutic experience that greatly improves your life.

How can I afford a horse?

How to Afford a Horse – Save Money on Horse Ownership

  1. Buy the Best Quality Hay you can Find.
  2. Reduce your boarding expenses.
  3. Check your Supplements.
  4. Buy in Bulk Whenever Possible.
  5. Provide Care and Maintenance for your Horse.
  6. Reduce your Training or Lesson Costs.
  7. Buy Used when Possible.
  8. Repair Instead of Buying New.

How much do horses eat a day?

Measure feed accurately and feed consistently The average thousand-pound horse who relies on hay for all their forage typically eats fifteen to twenty pounds of hay per day. Most hay is dispensed in flakes; however, the amount of hay in a flake can vary greatly, depending on the size of the flake and the kind of hay.

How much does a bag of horse feed cost?

Strategy® Professional Formula GX horse feed, priced at $17 per bag, $0.34/lb., fed at 4.8 pounds per day costs $1.63 per day to feed.

How long does a horse live?

Feeding Guidelines When feeding the horse, there are three general guidelines one should follow. Feeds should be fed at least twice a day. Feeds should be fed in equally divided amounts. Feeds should be fed near to or at the same time each day and at even intervals throughout the day.

Sticker shock: How much does it cost to feed a horse?

If you’ve spent any amount of time around horses, you’re probably aware that they are quite fond of food and like eating. They spend the most of their time on pasture, nibbling away — anything from 16 to 20 hours every day, on average. If they get stuck, they’ll always be ready to get a bite to eat when the opportunity presents itself. Because feed consumption must be maintained at a near-constant level in order to maintain a healthy horse digestive system, the initial cost of equine ownership can be quite a shock when you first begin.

Forage, which is essential to a horse’s health, may cost anywhere from $4 a bale to more than $19 a bale depending on the quality.

For example, a horse that costs $730 per year to feed in one location may cost over $3,000 per year to feed in another.

Average Monthly Cost to Feed a Horse

Hay is one of the most significant components of your horse’s nutritional intake. It might be tempting to offer more grain in an effort to reduce hay consumption, but a horse really need a lot of long-stem forage in order to be healthy and content. There are many different types of grass and legume available on the market, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The price of hay is completely dependent on where you reside and from whom you get it. Although it is possible to purchase bales of hay for as little $5 a bale in areas where the crop is frequently grown, traveling to areas where hay must be trucked in can result in a $19 price tag for the same bale.

  1. For those of you who are having trouble determining how much hay you should feed your horse, there is an easy rule of thumb you can use to figure it out quickly and easily.
  2. The weight of small square bales might vary, but the grass bales are typically between 40 and 50 pounds each.
  3. That’s a bit more than 12 bales every month on average.
  4. For example, if you can obtain great, horse-quality feed for $5 a bale, you’ll be spending about $60 a month; but, if you have to pay $19 a bale, you’ll be spending $228 a month.
  5. As you can see, the cost of feeding a horse is highly dependent on your geographic location.
  6. She’s a 28-year-old mare that weighs around 1,000 pounds at the time of this writing.
  7. Oh, and we’re based in North Carolina as well.
  8. She consumes around $5 per day in hay, or $140 per month.
  9. I just have to buy hay from November to March, which is about half the year.
  10. However, this does not cover the costs of pasture upkeep and maintenance.
  11. Because of this, if you don’t maintain your pasture, it will rapidly become overrun with weeds, resulting in a significant reduction in the quantity of nutrients available to your horses.

If this occurs, you may find yourself having to purchase hay throughout the year, despite the fact that you have a pasture. Keep the following in mind:

  • Horses who have access to pasture for grazing will require less hay. [source: USDA] It is possible that pelleted feeds will minimize the amount of hay required by your horse
  • Nevertheless, bear in mind that your horse need a lot of fiber throughout the day to keep her gut content. Some horses have unusual nutritional requirements and may require specific types of hay, or maybe no hay at all, depending on their condition. Horses are living longer and better lives thanks to the wonders of contemporary nutrition, despite the fact that they are suffering from medical issues.

Feed / Grain

Feed orgrain is regularly offered to horses to supplement their nutritional needs by providing extra calories and nutrients, depending on the circumstances. While many horses under mild labor may get by just well on hay and/or pasture, other horses benefit greatly from, and in some cases require, the additional nourishment provided by a bag. Lactating mares, in particular, burn up a lot of calories and may struggle to consume enough to maintain their physical condition, which is especially true while pregnancy or nursing.

  • A supplementary feed may also be required for growing foals and horses that are engaged in more hard labor in order for them to acquire the necessary calories and nutrients to keep their bodies in good condition.
  • Complete diets, which contain all of the forage that a horse need yet are packaged in a handy pellet form, are available from several manufacturers.
  • While you should avoid overfeeding your horse at any age, a full feed can assist you in keeping your senior horse in excellent health as they age.
  • These horses can stand there all day and night eating high-quality hay and yet be in poor condition, necessitating the need for an additional boost to keep their physical condition up.
  • Finally, the amount of money you spend on feed will be determined by the quantity of additional calories your horse requires.
  • Other folks, on the other hand, are pushing the limits of how much concentration a horse can safely take in order to keep them from appearing like a skeletal structure.
  • Balancing agents are supplements that provide a certain quantity of vitamins and minerals.

Assuming you pay $35 on a 50-pound bag of balancer, you will only spend $0.70 a day, $4.90 a week, or $19.60 per month on balancer.

Feed balancers may be found on Amazon.

Consider the case of my mare.

It costs around $25 for a 50-pound bag of her feed, which is a little more expensive than some of the other brands.

Yes, it only costs approximately $3 each day, which is about the same as the cost of a small latte at a coffee shop.

It all adds up, though, and $3 a day equates to almost $21 a week, or $84 a month. She costs me $224 a month to feed, when you include in the hay throughout the winter. Keep the following in mind:

  • Always read and follow the instructions on the feeding tube. Any feed modifications must be implemented gradually to avoid gastrointestinal distress. Not all horses “need” grain, therefore don’t feel obligated to feed it if their calorie and nutritional requirements are being satisfied by forage, or by forage and a balancer in combination with forage. Consult your veterinarian or the agricultural extension office for assistance if you are in question.


There is a craze right now for supplementing both humans and animals, and you’ll be hard pushed to find someone who does not supplement their horse’s diet with a little bit extra. There are dozens of different horse supplements available on the market, each designed for a specific purpose. Some are believed to enhance hoof health, while others are said to be relaxing. Some are said to protect the joints, while others are said to ease digestion and assist with respiratory difficulties. Equithrive, a supplement for joint health, is one of the most popular supplements available.

  • When you first start looking into supplements, it might be a bit intimidating because there are so many different kinds available.
  • The good news is that your horse may not require a supplement in most cases.
  • Image courtesy of Canva Regardless of whether you wish to enhance their hoof health, their skin and coat, or whatever other motive you have, there are supplements available to help you.
  • Some supplements may simply cost pennies a day to feed (I’ve seen many that are only $0.40 a day), while others may be prohibitively costly (such as the $5 a day supplement mentioned above).
  • I have it on a subscription, which lowers the total cost, so it only costs roughly $3.71 per day on average for me.
  • Putting it all together at this point, For one horse, I’m paying $328 per month (during the winter).
  • Keep the following in mind:
  • Supplements are not all created equal, and they are not adequately regulated. Carry out your research and purchase from trusted providers
  • Supplements are little additions to your horse’s diet when they are deficient in a particular area. It is far more vital to ensure that they are provided with high-quality fodder and a suitable concentrate
  • Always connect with your veterinarian if you have any health concerns or difficulties with your animals. Despite the fact that a supplement may be exactly what you’re looking for, make careful to screen out any medical concerns if your horse’s behavior has suddenly changed.


Supplements are not all created equal, and the industry is not effectively regulated in the United States. Research and purchase from trustworthy suppliers; supplements are little additions to your horse’s diet when they are deficient in a particular nutritional component. In terms of health issues or worries, it is far more vital to ensure that they receive high-quality forage and a suitable concentrate. Always speak with your veterinarian when you have questions or concerns. In the event that your horse’s condition has suddenly deteriorated, while a supplement may be the solution, make careful to rule out any medical difficulties.

  • It is possible for a horse to suffer from impaction colic if they do not drink enough water. Maintain the cleanliness of your water troughs and buckets since old, stagnant water is disgusting, and your horse is well aware of this. (Would you want to have a sip of it? In order to encourage a horse to drink more water, salt blocks or electrolytes might be provided.

How to Feed a Horse on a Budget

No matter what your circumstances are, you don’t want to overpay for your horse’s hay or feed. If you’re on a tight budget, pastureing your horse as much as possible is the most cost-effective option. A well-maintained pasture may provide a significant portion of your horse’s nutritional needs, if not the entire amount. If you board, you might want to consider pasture-board, which provides you with a round bale whenever you need it. Boarding in general can help you save money on feed since large barns can buy hay in bulk and save you money on feed.

  • While it may cost you somewhat more money up front, it will ultimately save you money in the long run.
  • Many feed retailers will also give you a discount if you purchase a whole pallet of feed.
  • When it comes to sticking to a budget, planning ahead is really beneficial since you may be on the lookout for bargains.
  • When your feed expense is getting out of hand, you might try to find a less expensive variety of hay and supplement it with a supplement to make up for the nutritional difference.
  • Check it for mold, weeds, and other pollutants, because vet expenses from substandard hay may be quite expensive, and this can put a strain on your financial situation.
  • You should also avoid attempting to save money by reducing the amount of hay available to your horses, since this can result in ulcers and behavioral difficulties.

Saving money isn’t worth your horse suffering from colic or beginning to chew on wood or even a crib to save money. You’ll be better off increasing your hay budget and deducting money from other areas of your budget, such as the 50 saddle pads a month you anticipate to purchase (ha!).

Frequently Asked Questions

Every day, a horse’s forage intake should be around 1.5-2 percent of his or her body weight. If you choose to feed a concentrate, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and alter the quantities as needed to keep the animal in excellent health. Always remember to weigh feed and hay rather than relying on volume or “flakes” to determine the amount needed. Find out more about the food that horses consume.

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Which hay is best for horses?

Horses require hay that is of high quality. Given that they have a higher sensitivity than other animals, not all hay is suitable for them. Hay that is clean and smells good should be chosen over hay that is contaminated with mildew, dust, weeds, and other impurities. Although the kinds of hay vary, the majority of horse hay is grass, such as orchard or timothy. Depending on where you reside, you may also utilize coastal, Kentucky bluegrass, or fescue as your turf. Depending on your horse’s nutritional requirements, you may also choose to give a legume hay such as alfalfa or clover.

What supplements does my horse need?

It is possible that your horse will require supplements. A high-quality, well-balanced diet is sufficient for the majority of horses; but, if they are deficient in particular minerals, you may need to supplement their diet. A supplement to improve your horse’s mood or stress reaction, support joint health as a result of their physical activity, or support their skin and immunological response as a result of being sensitive to insect bites are all options you might explore.

Parting Thoughts

Horses may be either inexpensive or costly to feed, depending on where you live and the specific requirements of your horse. If you are just thinking about getting a horse and are wondering how much you would have to spend on feeding it, this may be an unpleasant experience. It is, nevertheless, one of the most crucial factors to consider when considering whether or not you can afford a horse, because adequate nutrition is the foundation for health and happiness in general. In order to narrow down the expense of feeding a horse, you should speak with other horse owners in your immediate vicinity.

  1. If you’re thinking about boarding, make a few phone calls to different facilities to get an idea of what you may anticipate to pay for boarding.
  2. It is advisable to set aside money for emergencies or to start with a low budget in order to account for these unanticipated costs.
  3. P.S.
  4. Go to the following address:
  • Horse Hay Frequently Asked Questions: List of Types of Hay, What Hay is the Best, and so on. In this article, we will discuss Winter Hay 101: How Much to Feed Your Horse (And Why)
  • The Horse Hay Nets and Bags: A Beginner’s Guide
  • What Horses Eat (And Why They Eat It)
  • What Horses Eat (And Why They Eat It)
  • Do Horses Consume Meat? A Fact or a Fiction
  • Calculate the average cost of a horse in your area (state by state)

How Much Does It Cost to Feed a Horse? – Horsyland

List of horse hay FAQs, including types of hay, what type of hay is best, and other information. In this article, you will learn how to feed your horse winter hay and why you should do so. The Horse Hay NetsBags: A Beginner’s Guide What Horses Eat (And Why They Eat It); What Horses Eat (And Why They Eat It); What Horses Eat (And Why They Eat It). Do Horses Consume Meat? A Fact or a Fiction Calculate the average cost of a horse in your state;

The Rule of Feeding a Horse

Those who are unfamiliar with horses may believe that horses are inexpensive because they are considered to be vegetarians, thus their moniker “hay burner,” and that this is the case. After all, grass may be found anywhere and is completely free. Julie Wilson of Turner Wilson Equine Consulting LLC, on the other hand, claims that most mature horses ingest at least 1.5-2 percent of their body weight per day when grazing on grass or hay. As a result, a horse weighing 1,000 pounds may ingest 2.7 tons of manure every year on average.

Additionally, pregnant mares, developing foals, and horses with metabolic syndrome, geriatric disorders, or damaged teeth have particular requirements, which means they incur higher nutritional expenditures.

Horse Feeds and Their Estimated Cost

Hay A horse’s diet is incomplete without the inclusion of hay, which is referred to as the “Swiss Army Knife” of the horse world. It may be used to supplement your horse’s diet since it contains fiber and low-calorie elements that your horse cannot obtain from greens. Hay is divided into two categories: grass and legumes; however, the majority of horse hay is a combination of the two. However, like with any other meal, it must be consumed in moderation. It is recommended that you feed green hay to older horses and horses that have a lower workload since it has low-calorie nutrients that can help to keep your animal partner satisfied.

  • Grass and legumes are among the most nutritious foods available.
  • Yes, not all green is synonymous with “good.” Legumes such of clover, which provide natural protein, must be consumed in moderation since a diet heavy in protein can result in nutritional poisoning, which can create serious difficulties for your horse.
  • GrainsFeeding your horse with grains is dependent on its nutritional requirements as well as the climate in which it lives.
  • When it comes to younger foals, hay feeding is typically adequate since it contains fiber, which aids in the retention of their internal heat.
  • However, it would be preferable to contact with a veterinarian before making a final choice on this matter.
  • A high-protein legume that also happens to be a rich source of calcium, Alfalfa hay can help satisfy the nutritional demands of foals that are not getting enough milk, nursing horses, and horses that are suffering from Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS).
  • It should only be administered on an as-needed basis since it surpasses the nutritional needs of horses at some periods, and it is not recommended for overweight or insulin-resistant horses.
  • Supplements for the joints There has been a great deal of study into the usefulness of joint supplements in horses.
  • It also aids in the formation of cartilage, which is useful for horses that suffer from chronic joint discomfort.

The cost of these supplements varies based on the quantity purchased and the brand used. It is advised that you consult your horse’s veterinarian before administering a joint supplement for horses to ensure that it is essential.

Annual Cost to Feed a Horse

As previously discussed, the cost of feeding a horse varies depending on your location and the time of year. A bale of hay is typically priced between $5 and $10 per square bale. If you choose to grain feed your four-legged pet and supplement their diet with supplements according on their nutritional requirements, you should expect to incur additional money. 82 horse owners participated in a survey conducted by the University of Maine, resulting in a total of 470 horses and an average of 6 horses per owner, each of which weighs 1100 lbs.

Even after accounting for the average cost of pasture care ($194) and other costs, the annual cost might reach $1,405 to $2,000 depending on the pasture type and other factors considered.

Money-Saving Tips on Horse Feed

You should be aware that maintaining and feeding a horse can be quite expensive, but don’t be discouraged. Here are some suggestions to assist you in lowering your expenses a little.

  • You may also use a slow-feeding method to your advantage. Not only will it save you money, but it will also aid in the training of the horse to avoid overeating. In the event that you have land where your horse can access the pasture and graze, it would be preferable for you to reside and settle down because it may help you save money while not jeopardizing the horse’s nutritional needs. When purchasing a product in bulk, you may often save money compared to purchasing it in smaller quantities. You must, however, make certain that the enormous quantity of hay will be properly kept and protected from the elements in order to avoid it being ruined. In the event that you have friends who also own horses, you may be able to divide the large order to save money. It is also possible to save some money by driving out to the hayfield and collecting the hay directly from the field provided you have the resources to do so. If the farmers will not be responsible for handling and delivering it for you, they may be ready to reduce the price.

Cost to Feed a Horse: A Complete Guide to Feeding Your Horse

In the event that you inquire as to the expense of feeding my daughter’s pony, she will respond enthusiastically: “Thirteen dollars!” she exclaims triumphantly. Wouldn’t it be lovely if it were the case? So, how much does it cost to feed a horse on a regular basis? In actuality, the tiny bugger is far more expensive than the stated price. Clyde’s expenses included hay, feed, grazing area maintenance, salt licks, and nutritional supplements, which totaled around $160 or more each month. According to a research conducted by the University of Maine, horse owners spend an average of $1,214 per year on hay and feed for their animals.

Just because he’s small doesn’t imply that he’s inexpensive.

But for their children, who had grown to love and rely on him.

Cost to Feed a Horse: The Rules of Feeding

Horses are omnivores, which means that they consume both vegetables and meat in their diet. horses can and do consume meat, even though they primarily consume a plant-based diet for the majority of their nutritional needs. A horse will eat practically anything that is put in front of it. While it is not recommended to feed your horse a hot dog on occasion, if you do, he or she will consume the hot dog. This is merely due to the fact that it was handed to them. Small mammals are said to be a favorite meal for wild horses and the occasional tame horse, according to reports.

Horses graze on grass or hay for most of the day, consuming 1.5-2 percent of their body weight every day.

For many horse owners, especially during the winter months, it is preferable to supplement their horses’ grazing with grains. It provides them with some more nutrients so that they can generate heat to resist the cold weather one to two times each day, depending on the temperature.

Lush/Plush Greens and Legumes

When it comes to feeding your horse, the color green does not always imply “healthy” or “excellent.” In moderation, lush/plush green grass is preferable. Again, moderation is the key with legumes such as clover, which provide green, natural protein. Nutrient poisoning, particularly when a high-protein diet is used, can cause major difficulties for your horse’s health. It is possible that horses will suffer from laminitis if they have too much access to green grass, and that colic will develop if the grass is not well digested.

Cost to Feed a Horse, Hay

Hay is known as the “Swiss Army Knife” of the horse world because of its versatility. When properly prepared, it may be used as feed or as bedding in a pinch, and it provides nourishment that your horse cannot obtain from greenery alone. Fiber and other low-calorie nutrients may be found in the hay, which can also be fed all year round due to its ability to be fed all year. Hay is available in a number of various forms. It is possible to get mixed hay in a combination of legumes and grass hay.

If you have an adult horse or one who has a lower workload, grass hay is a fantastic alternative since it gives your horse with a low-calorie diet that is still satisfying to your four-legged companion.

Cost to Feed a Horse, Grains

Grain feeding is essentially a case-by-case decision that most horse owners make based on their horse’s nutritional requirements. The dietary requirements of young foals and fillies are considerably different from those of a retired or older horse. Horses who are overweight will have significantly different requirements than horses who struggle to maintain their weight. You may or may not choose to give grains to your horse, depending on his or her specific requirements. You will also discover that many horse owners make seasonal graining decisions that are influenced by the climate in which their horses dwell.

A high fiber content in hay is generally adequate to keep a young horse’s internal heater working, and this is especially true for young horses.

Cost to Feed a Horse: Equine Supplements

It is possible that your horse is suffering from a nutritional deficit, depending on his or her health.

Adding supplements to a horse’s diet is a decision that should be taken with the advice of your veterinarian. If you and your veterinarian determine that a supplement is essential, the following is an overview of the most often used supplements and the reasons for their usage.


It is possible that your horse is suffering from a nutritional deficit, depending on his or her health. Adding supplements to a horse’s diet is a decision that should be taken with the guidance of your veterinarian. If you and your veterinarian determine that a supplement is essential, the following is a list of the most often used supplements and the reasons for their use:

Joint Supplements

It is possible that your horse is suffering from a nutritional deficit, depending on his or her health. Adding supplements to a horse’s diet is a decision that should be taken with the assistance of your veterinarian. If you and your veterinarian determine that a supplement is essential, the following is a summary of the most often used supplements and the reasons for their usage.

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Probiotics and Your Horse

With so much information on gut health available to us-probiotics in our yogurt, weight loss pills, and endless study on their beneficial effects on the human gut-flora-tempting it’s to wonder if your horse might benefit from them as well. The inside of your horse’s stomach is a highly delicate area. Horses die from gastrointestinal illness, which is the leading cause of death in the industry. According to research, some probiotic supplements may not reveal all of the ingredients they contain and, as a result, may be detrimental to your horse.

Listed below is a recent research done by Alexa C B Johnson and Heidi A Rossow on the effects of two probiotic supplements on the hindgut health of horses, as well as the results of that study.

Average Monthly Cost To Feed a Horse

The cost of feeding your horse varies significantly depending on where you live. A bale of hay can cost anywhere from $5 to $10 per square bale, depending on the quality. If you decide to grain feed your animals, you may incur additional costs. In a similar vein, depending on your horse’s nutritional requirements, a supplement may or may not be necessary. According to the University of Maine’s survey of 82 horse owners who collectively owned a total of 470 horses, an owner with an average number of 6 horses weighing 1100 lbs at 1.5 lbs per cwt per day for 9 months (with the remaining 3 months spent on pasture) will spend $1, 214 in hay and grain over the course of the year.

The cost of feed is heavily dependant on the number of horses you possess as well as the nutritional requirements of those horses.

average numbers

To give you an idea of how expenses might fluctuate, consider the following scenario: you, as a landowner, have decided to purchase your hay in the late spring and keep it throughout the year. The advantage of doing so is that you will know what elements the hay has been exposed to as well as how it has been stored in advance. Many owners prefer to do this in order to reduce the number of difficulties with the feed. Not included in the figures from the University of Maine survey are not just the expenses of storing the feed, but also the price of transporting the hay to your horse if you are not growing your own hay.

There is also the time it will take you to pick up the hay, which is a time-consuming process (no, the wagon is not always filled by the farmer).

The time and physical work it will take you to store the hay, which is not taken into consideration by the University of Maine research, is also not taken into consideration because the farmer will almost certainly not dump the hay into your storage facility.


Alternatively, another owner may get their hay from a well-known farmer, who would provide it to them in large round bales placed in a roundbale feeder every two weeks throughout the year. This proprietor is satisfied with the manner in which the farmer stores his or her hay. Consequently, they do not feel the need to have it on hand. Our second owner, on the other hand, is responsible for some of the same expenditures as our first owner, including those associated with bringing hay to our horse.

  • One team may consist of young, healthy horses, whereas the other team may consist of an elderly team or horses with health issues.
  • More information regarding the UMaine survey may be found at: Overall, the cost of feeding your horse will be strongly influenced by the type of horse you have.
  • The health of your horse will determine a large portion of the expenditures involved with feed.
  • It is also important to factor in the time you will spend managing your feed supply.


-When your horse is of average age and in good health, you’ll find yourself at the sweet spot for feed prices. Feed expenses are a major consideration when considering whether or not to acquire a horse. You will want to stay away from young horses that are still developing, as well as elderly horses who may be suffering from health issues. Keep in mind that time takes its toll on each and every one of us. The choice to acquire a horse should be accompanied by a clear awareness of the situation.

It is critical to understand how to determine the dietary requirements of your horse.

– Supplements may be required in some cases and should always be addressed with your veterinarian prior to beginning use of them.


Overall yearly costs are determined by the type of horse, its weight, and the location in which you reside. A hefty horse that is being fed for labor will consume more calories than a light horse that is being fed for pleasure. In accordance with the Department of Animal Sciences website at the University of Kentucky, horses consume around 1-1.5 percent of their body weight each day.

For example, a 1,000lb horse consumes around 10-15 pounds of food each day on average. A 1000-pound horse will consume around $6 per day (at a rate of $0.10 per pound). Keeping the same 1,000lb horse would cost between $360 and 540 dollars each year.

How much does it cost to feed a horse per day?

The overall cost may vary depending on the sort of horse you choose, how much it weighs, and where you reside. According to the Department of Animal Sciences webpage at the University of Kentucky, horses consume around 1-1.5 percent of their body weight on a daily basis. A 1000-pound horse would use 10-15 pounds of feed per day, which at $0.10 a pound would cost approximately $6 per day. Keeping the same 1,000lb horse would cost between $360 and 540 dollars each year.

How long does a 50 lb bag of horse feed last?

For a riding horse, a 50lb bag of hay would normally last a week or two. A 1,000lb draft-type horse would require 2-3 bags of hay per year on average. It would last around one month.

Learn the True Cost of a Horse –

If you’re thinking about purchasing horses, you’ve probably already determined how much money you’re willing and able to spend on a new equine friend. However, the purchase price is only a portion of the total cost of owning a horse. Horse ownership may be quite expensive, depending on the breed, age, and disposition of your horse, as well as your location, where you intend to keep the horse, and what sort of job you intend to undertake with the horse. Before purchasing a horse, it’s crucial to consider all of the expenses that will be connected with your new companion.

Do you require assistance in formulating your thoughts?

The Cost of Keeping a Horse: Board, Pasture and More

Boarding a horse on your own property is the most cost-effective method of keeping the expense of a horse low. But if you live in an urban location or if you don’t have the necessary facilities to properly board and pasture a horse, you’ll have to look for a stable in the region that will accept him. Costs associated with owning a horse vary greatly based on where you reside and the degree of service provided by your horse’s stable. Simple pasture boarding might be as little as $100 per month for a small number of animals.

If you intend to keep your horse on your own property, you’ll need to examine whether or not the property is suitably suited for the task.

You’ll also want barn space that is well-maintained, which is especially important if you live in a cold region.

The Cost of Owning a Horse: Feed, Maintenance and Healthcare Needs

Amounts spent on hay, salt, and supplements range from $60 to $100 per month for most horse owners, with some spending far more, particularly if they give grain to their horses. The cost of maintaining your horse’s hooves is an additional expense to consider when purchasing a horse. Regardless of whether you want to shoe your horse, you’ll need to have his hooves checked and trimmed by a farrier every two to three months or so. In most cases, this will cost you roughly $25 or $30. When you factor in shoeing, you may be looking at a bill of $80 to $100 every two months.

If your horse is in good health, this can cost as little as $300 each year.

If your horse becomes wounded or unwell, on the other hand, you might be forced to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a one-time treatment. Despite the fact that such fees are impossible to forecast, you should prepare yourself for the potential before purchasing a horse.

The Cost of a Horse is Worth Every Cent

You should remember that there is no alternative for having an equine friend, even if all of these prices, as well as optional charges such as equipment, riding lessons, and show entrance fees, make purchasing your first horse seem overwhelming. Despite the fact that owning a horse is not inexpensive, the benefits are substantial. As long as you’ve prepared ahead of time and are able to finance your horse, you won’t be disappointed – so go ahead and start browsing horse ads right now.

How much does it cost to feed a horse?

Image David Dickson contributed to this report. Have you ever been curious about how much it costs to feed a horse? Many individuals dream of adopting a horse, but many are hesitant to do so for fear that they would be forced to sell family antiques at yearly garage sales in order to pay the rent and feed their animals. Some people place big bets, while others place low bets. And, to make matters even more complicated, the real cost varies significantly from one location to another. According to Jen Reid, Best Friends’ equine manager, “the cost varies greatly depending on where you reside.” Among other things, a bale of hay in the vicinity of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, costs around $6.

Annual cost to feed a horse

Sasha In other words, it would pay you to conduct a little research before making the decision to adopt a child. However, for the purpose of a ballpark approximation, here’s a figure to use for people who are unfamiliar with the amount of effort required to keep food on the table for a horse. Jen believes that the annual grocery expenditure for an average healthy horse with no special needs or extra bells and whistles is around $2,000 in Kanab — or around $167 per horse per month. Consider how long a guinea pig might survive on such a diet!

Saving money on horse feed

Obviously, not everyone is interested in purchasing a horse to use as a companion animal. However, for those who are able to bear the financial burden, there are several money-saving strategies that can help to mitigate the financial burden at least a bit. The most effective and straightforward money-saving strategy is to live somewhere where your horse can graze on pasture. Now granted, this is similar to telling a buddy that the trick to being wealthy quickly is simply to win the lottery, but it is still a statement of fact.

  • To help the rest of us save money without sacrificing nutrition, there are several more solutions available.
  • There is, however, a catch to this.
  • Either purchasing a large quantity of hay on your own or joining up with a group of friends to divide a large purchase might result in huge savings.
  • In the wild, where a horse would spend a substantial amount of their day foraging for food, slow-feeders are more accurate representations of the horse’s existence.
  • Hay growers are often ready to give you a lower price if they don’t have to deal with the hassle of handling and transporting their product for you themselves.
  • All hay, however, is not created equal.
  • If you get your hay tested, on the other hand, you may figure out exactly what the hay is deficient in.

Then, rather of supplementing all of the vitamins, you can supplement simply that particular vitamin or vitamins. You may submit your hay to your local state college agricultural extension office for testing, which is a quick and easy process.

Proper horse nutrition

Speaking of hay, this brings up an excellent question concerning horses and nutrition that deserves to be addressed. When it comes to horse nutrition, there are a lot of misconceptions regarding what is considered good diet. “The most common error individuals make,” said Dr. Tara Timpson, a veterinarian at Best Friends Animal Society. “is overfeeding concentrated feed (grains) and not putting enough emphasis on forage — excellent quality hay — as the key nutritional source,” says the author. Horses might jump with joy when you offer them a bucket of grain, but that doesn’t always mean it’s the greatest thing for them.

  • Tara advises.
  • It could be beneficial to think about such luxuries as candy bars for a horse to keep in mind when planning.
  • In reality, many horses at Best Friends are unable to consume apples or carrots because they have difficulties chewing them or because they are unable to handle the sugars in them.
  • Do you remember it?

At the Sanctuary, each horse has his or her own individual dietary program, which can include anything from special food for horses who have difficulty chewing to food specifically designed for insulin-resistant horses, to specialty foods and specialty supplements for horses with additional medical problems and a variety of other requirements.

Even for those who are fortunate enough to live in an area where grazing is an option, obesity may become a serious problem in a short period of time.

Sponsor a horse for adoption.

The rules of feeding your horse

Speaking of hay, this brings up an excellent subject concerning horses and nutrition that need to be discussed more further. When it comes to horse nutrition, there are a lot of misconceptions regarding what is considered to be good nutrition. According to Best Friends veterinarian Dr. Tara Timpson, “the most common error individuals make” is to assume they know what they’re doing. When it comes to nutrient sources, “is providing too much concentrated feed (grains) and not putting enough emphasis on forage, particularly excellent quality hay” Horses can jump with joy when you offer them a bucket of feed, but that doesn’t always mean it’s the healthiest thing for them to be eating.

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Tara advises horse owners to concentrate on providing their horses with a high-quality hay supply rather than concentrates such as grain unless their horses are participating in high-level competition and their energy requirements cannot be fulfilled solely by forage.” Sira In addition, the allure of a tasty apple or carrot is a typical hazard.

  1. They’re normally good as an occasional treat, but they shouldn’t be offered on a regular basis.
  2. What about that monthly amount I stated before, which was based on an average healthy horse with no bells and whistles?
  3. Of course, there are lots of horses at Best Friends that require particular nutritional attention, as well as horses in other facilities.
  4. It’s important to remember that you can’t feed everyone the same thing, as Jen explains.
  5. Weight gain may be a serious concern for anybody, even those who are fortunate enough to live in an area where pasture is available.

As a result, the bottom line is that optimal nutrition for horses (like good nutrition for any other species) requires meticulous monitoring and evaluation at every stage of their lives. Pony sponsored by an adoptive family All images courtesy of Best Friends photographers

Provide plenty of roughage

Many pleasure and trail horses do not require grain; instead, they thrive on high-quality hay or pasture. If hay isn’t enough, grain can be added, but roughage should always account for the majority of a horse’s caloric intake. For horses, roughage is essential, and their digestive systems are geared to make advantage of the nutrients found in grassy stalks. Every day, a horse’s roughage intake should be one to two percent of his or her total body weight. Horses who spend the most of their time in stalls don’t have much opportunity to graze, but their normal eating habits may be recreated by placing hay in front of them for the majority of the day.

Horse feed may be purchased on

Feed grain in small amounts and often

Grass or pasture is adequate for many pleasure and trail horses, who do not require food. A horse’s calories should always be derived from roughage; but, if hay isn’t sufficient, grain can be supplemented. Equine digestion is intended to use the nutrients found in grassy stalks, which is why horses are meant to consume roughage. On a daily basis, a horse’s roughage intake should be one to two percent of his or her body weight. Equine companions that spend the majority of their time in stalls do not graze much, but their normal eating patterns may be reproduced by placing hay in front of them for the majority of their day. offers horse feed.

  • Every horse has a unique set of requirements. When determining how much food they require, take into account both their size and the amount of effort they perform. Take into consideration how much hay or pasture your horse receives: Horses who spend the most of the day grazing on good pasture require little, if any, in the way of hay. Regardless of whether they are kept indoors or outside, horses who do not receive enough turnout or are not on suitable pasture will require extra hay. During the winter or when there is a drought, hay should be used to supplement pasture grazing. It is possible to reduce or totally remove hay rations when the grass is thick and lush, depending on the amount of accessible pasture. When it comes to grain, less is always more, so start with a little quantity and increase or decrease as needed. Your horse’s nutritional requirements will be met with the appropriate combination of grass, hay, and grain. It is important to remember to alter your horse’s feeding ration if the amount of labor they are doing varies.

Cost-Effective Horse Feeding – The Horse

If you have your own horses, you’re certainly familiar with the process of purchasing hay and feed for them. Every three months, when the hayman brings four tons of Timothy, you write a check to the hayman to pay him. You go to the feed shop on the beginning of every month and buy a couple of bags of grain to keep you going until the end of the month. In addition, you must obtain your horses’ nutrients that were brought to your door on a 30-day cycle, as if by clockwork. When it comes to horses, feed is a cost that will never go away as long as you keep them.

Forage, including pasture and hay, feed (concentrates), and supplements are typically considered when considering these expenditures.

Know What Your Horse Really Needs

Several things may be done to save money on feed, according to Paul Siciliano, PhD, an equine management professor at North Carolina State University’s Department of Animal Science in Raleigh. First and foremost, though, you must evaluate your horse’s nutrient requirements. These calculations can be made with the assistance of an equine nutritionist or via the use of internet tools (typically provided by feed companies) that require you to simply enter your horse’s weight, age, and other information.

  1. Overfeeding, according to Siciliano, is prevalent and may be expensive.
  2. Given that feed companies are unable to determine the type of hay and other supplements that each horse takes, “the consequence tends to be a ration that may contain more grain than is necessary, particularly if you are giving a high-quality forage,” according to Dr.
  3. To determine whether or not you are overgraining, start by evaluating the quality and nutritional content of your feed.
  4. This may be problematic for owners whose hay supply is less consistent—for example, if they only buy a couple of bales of hay each week from the feed store—but it is possible.
  5. Although higher-quality hay may be more expensive than lower-quality hay, excellent hay is still normally less expensive than grain, unless you live in a region where very little hay is farmed or if hay crops are in limited supply as a result of drought.
  6. Johnson’s calculations.
  7. The amount of money you earn is roughly $2 to $3 every day, and you are doing a terrific job.

In a situation where the cost is $5 or $6 a day, there is likely to be some waste or overlap. Many individuals do not factor in the expense of needless supplements, and it is at this point that it may become prohibitively expensive. It’s possible that the horse will not require all of the extras.”

Good Pastures Preserve Hay

The lecture is given by Carey Williams, PhD, an extension expert in horse management at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, about how to reduce feed expenditures by improving pasture management practices. ‘After we restored our pastures here at Rutgers, we were able to save between $3,000 and $4,000 in one summer by not having to feed as much hay,’ she explains. ” “Many horse owners only have one field or pasture where they send their horses out, sometimes 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long, and there is very little grass left,” says the author.

According to her, “work with your stocking density such that you can maintain 70% vegetative cover when grass is around 3 inches tall or higher.” “Once it has been grazed below that height, it will find it impossible to develop and recover.” There is no (energy) reserve since you have halted the root development.” There are a variety of methods for protecting pasture against overgrazing, allowing it to recover more rapidly and produce more abundantly as a result.

  • The use of electric tape fencing (two to three strands) and adjustable poles that are simply stuck in the ground allows you to split pastures into portions and graze them in a rotating fashion.
  • “This grazing method was really beneficial to us,” Williams states.
  • For example, in the middle of summer, when the grasses are dry, you might want to rotate your horses more frequently—every week or so.
  • “You don’t want them to devour every blade of grass,” says the owner.
  • In the long term, it helps you save money by lowering the amount of hay you need to purchase.

Handling Hay Costs

With concentrate feeds costing $20 to $30 a bag, Williams believes that excellent forage is the most cost-effective place to start when looking for ways to reduce expenses. The USDA reports that “many horses, even some hard-working horses, may thrive on good-quality hay alone, without grain, or with only a little amount of concentrates.” “There are instances when individuals try to save money on hay,” she explains. “The hay may cost $9 per bale in one location and $7 per bale in another, and they might opt for the cheaper hay.” If the $7 bale only weights 40 pounds and the $9 bale weighs 60 pounds, the $7 bale might not be such a fantastic deal.

According to her, purchasing it directly from the field is the most cost-effective option.

It is more expensive to purchase a few bales at a time from a local feed store since the feed store has to handle and store the bales, resulting in a higher markup on the price per bale.” In the event that you do not have the necessary storage space or horse numbers to make purchasing in bulk a viable option, try teaming up with a friend or neighbor who does.

The downside is that if you don’t have enough horses to consume round bales before they go to waste or become moldy as a result of rain, this less expensive kind of hay may not be cost effective in the long term.

As Amy Gill, PhD, an equine nutritionist in Kentucky explains, performance horses require a high-calorie forage, while easy-keepers benefit from a little overmature Timothy forage, which is less expensive since it is older.

Grains and Concentrates

Consider once more that certain horses—such as leisure or trail riders and light-worked performance horses—need no grains whatsoever, and hence do not require any food at all. “Many horses can keep their condition on pasture and/or hay, and you may just need to supplement with a balancer pellet,” Williams explains. “Concentrate meals are mostly used for pregnant or nursing mares, developing foals, hard-working athletes, and those who have difficulty maintaining their body weight,” says the author.

As Crandell points out, “saving money with concentrates can be difficult.” “If you buy the least costly sort, you’ll almost always have to feed more of it to keep the horse’s weight or performance stable, so it’ll be a false economy in the long run.” If you can feed less of a higher-quality food, it may be more cost-effective to feed more of it.” Oil is another high-priced source of energy.

Some individuals attempt to save money by feeding their animals at a rate that is lower than the suggested rate on the feed label.

“This is the desired rate in order to have a balanced diet,” explains Crandell, who keeps in mind the quality of the horses’ fodder when he makes his determination.

When you do the arithmetic, feeding one pound of the ration balancer daily along with some oats works out to be less expensive than purchasing a concentrate feed and then topping it off with a vitamin/mineral supplement.” Because the nutrients in these products are highly concentrated, easy keepers, in particular, may only only a little quantity of ration balancer every day to supplement their forage.

They can assist you in saving money on your feeding regimen and are cost-effective when a horse does not require significant volumes of concentrates.

Last But Not Least: Supplements

One of the other no-brainers when it comes to cutting costs is to conduct some soul-searching about your nutritional supplements, since these items can be the most expensive components of your diet. “When I look at horses’ diets for consulting work, I almost always discover at least one superfluous supplement,” Williams adds. “It’s virtually impossible not to find at least one unneeded supplement.” “I propose that you consult with a dietitian who can determine whether or not these are truly necessary.

Generally speaking, the more complicated something is, the more expensive it will be.” According to Gill, “a lot of the extra things that people buy as supplements are overlapping or window-dressed items that don’t contain what the horse need; they have a little bit of everything but not enough of anything to do any benefit.” According to our authorities, you should pay close attention to the supplements you use.

“Do your research to determine whether or not the horse genuinely need a certain supplement and whether or not you actually see a difference while utilizing it,” advises Crandell.

For example, if your horse gets by just fine with a pinch of salt every day, only administer electrolytes when absolutely necessary, like as during travel or during competition.” The idea is to eliminate redundant supplements from your diet.

“These contain elements that are redundant and can potentially destabilize a well-balanced eating regimen,” explains Gill. In order to save money, it’s preferable to use a product that is properly balanced for the type of horse you are feeding and avoid using any unneeded supplements.

Take-Home Message

A second no-brainer when attempting to save costs is to conduct some soul-searching regarding nutritional supplements, since these goods might be the most expensive components of a meal plan. In her consulting work, Williams claims she finds at least one unneeded supplement in every horse’s diet she examines. “When I examine a horse’s diet, I nearly always discover at least one superfluous supplement,” she adds. In order to determine whether or not these are truly necessary, I recommend consulting with a nutritionist.

Generally speaking, the more complicated something is, the more expensive it will be.

As Crandell advises, “do your research to determine whether the horse genuinely need the supplement in question or whether you notice a change when it is used.” “If you are feeding your horse appropriately, he may not require supplements at all, or at least not all of the time,” says the veterinarian.

As Gill explains, “These include elements that are similar to one another and can potentially destabilize a well-balanced feeding regimen.” In order to save money, it’s preferable to use a product that is properly balanced for the type of horse you are feeding and avoid adding extra supplements.

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