How Much To Feed A Horse Per Month? (Perfect answer)

  • How Much Does Horse Feed Cost Per Month? 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.

How much is it to feed a horse 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 to feed a horse per week?

They often only require a small amount per day – around 1 to 1.5 pounds for the average 1,000-pound horse. If a 50-pound bag of balancer costs you $35 you may only spend $0.70 per day, $4.90 a week, or $19.60 a month.

How much should you feed a horse everyday?

A horse should eat one to two percent of their body weight in roughage every day. Horses who spend much of their time in stalls aren’t doing much grazing, but their natural feeding patterns can be replicated by keeping hay in front of them for most of the day.

How much should I pay for horse feed?

Prices Vary My research has indicated Horse Sitters are charging anywhere between $10 a horse to $100 per day for one or two horses. As you can see that is quite a large range of prices and may also reflect the level of care offered.

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).

Can a horse live off just grass?

Horses can survive on grass, because that is what they were born to do in the wild, but wild horses only live about 10 years. Horses, if in work, need lots of vitamins and minerals that grass alone can’t give them. Many horse owners will feed them hay, and grain and a salt block to give them those nutritions.

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.

Is it OK to feed a horse once a day?

Generally, most horses do well grazing on high-quality grass pastures and hay and don’t need grain. However, feeding a horse once a day is acceptable if done correctly. If you feed your horse once a day, make sure that they can’t finish their food in less than 12 to 14 hours.

How many bales of hay should a horse have a day?

A horse can eat anywhere from 15-25 pounds of hay a day, which generally equates to a half of a 45/50-pound square bale of hay per day (~15-30 bales per month).

How many quarts of grain should I feed my horse?

But back to horse feed. The ‘standard’ horse sized food scoop can hold 3 quarts, which is APPROXIMATELY 3 lbs of food. But again, this varies. If you have a kitchen scale, use this to weigh out one full scoop.

How much does it cost to pay someone to take care of 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.

How do horse stables make money?

Make Money Boarding Horses

  1. Know local ordinances. Many states all across the country stipulate a ratio of acreage per horse for equine facilities.
  2. Determine your goals.
  3. Figure out prices.
  4. Assess insurance coverage.
  5. Create a boarding contract.
  6. Evaluate your facility.
  7. Plan pasture management.
  8. Organize manure disposal.

How do horses sit?

Horses don’t sit down; they sit up. Horses can’t bend their rear legs and sit on the ground; it’s anatomically impossible. However, some owners teach horses to sit. They do this by backing their animals up and having them rest their hind end on a sturdy object.

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.

  • 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.
  • The weight of small square bales might vary, but the grass bales are typically between 40 and 50 pounds each.
  • That’s a bit more than 12 bales every month on average.
  • 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.
  • As you can see, the cost of feeding a horse is highly dependent on your geographic location.
  • She’s a 28-year-old mare that weighs around 1,000 pounds at the time of this writing.
  • Oh, and we’re based in North Carolina as well.
  • She consumes around $5 per day in hay, or $140 per month.
  • I just have to buy hay from November to March, which is about half the year.
  • However, this does not cover the costs of pasture upkeep and maintenance.
  • 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Finally, the amount of money you spend on feed will be determined by the quantity of additional calories your horse requires.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.


When it comes to horse nutrition, water is sometimes disregarded, although it is quite important. Horses require a lot of water, especially when it’s hot outside or when they’re consuming a lot of dry grass and feed. A horse that is simply relaxing in a pleasant pasture may only require 6 gallons of water per day, but a mare who is nursing a foal may require 20 gallons. Drinking water for your horse should be maintained cold and clean to encourage him to drink. In order to keep the water from freezing and to encourage your horse to drink more, you may need to heat it slightly in the winter.

Image courtesy of Canva Calculating the cost of water can be a challenging task.

For example, if I were to live in a nearby city and use city water, the meter would cost around $4 and one unit would cost approximately $2.17.

(748 gallons). Taken as a whole, the 280 gallons every 28 days costs around $0.80, not counting the cost of the meter. The cost of drinking water for a single horse will be essentially non-existent in either case. Keep the following in mind:

  • 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.

  1. While it may cost you somewhat more money up front, it will ultimately save you money in the long run.
  2. Many feed retailers will also give you a discount if you purchase a whole pallet of feed.
  3. When it comes to sticking to a budget, planning ahead is really beneficial since you may be on the lookout for bargains.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!).
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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.

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. Find out more about the many varieties of hay available.

What supplements does my horse need?

The hay horses eat must be of high quality. Given that they have a higher sensitivity than other cattle, not all hay is healthy for them. Ensure that the hay you pick is clean and smells pleasant, and that it is devoid of pollutants like as mildew, dust, weeds, and other foreign matter. Even if the types of hay vary, the majority of horse hay is grass, such as orchard and timothy, in composition. Where you live will determine whether or whether you utilize coastal, Kentucky bluegrass, or fescue.

Find out more about the many varieties of hay available to you here.

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)

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.

Before you can start grazing your horses, you’ll need around two acres of decent pasture each horse. 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.

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.

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.


Alfalfa is a high-protein legume that may be used to boost the diet of horses that require it. It is also a good source of fiber. Alfalfa treats on sometimes for a healthy adult horse are not a major concern, but should not be utilized on a regular basis unless your horse is in desperate need of them. Alfalfa supplements may be necessary for foals who are not getting enough milk, horses that need to gain weight, or horses who are suffering from Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS). Alfalfa supplements would not be a smart choice for horses that are overweight or insulin-resistant, for example.

Joint Supplements

The usefulness of joint supplements in horses has been the subject of conflicting studies. For the most part, joint supplements that contain glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and hyaluronic acid are the most popular, and there is some evidence that they can help to reduce inflammation in the joints while also encouraging cartilage growth, which are all beneficial for a horse suffering from chronic joint pain. It is recommended to speak with your veterinarian before administering a joint supplement to ensure that it is necessary.

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.

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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.

You should be aware that feeding your hose may be divided into monthly expenses, but that forage like as hay should be purchased and kept throughout the growing season to minimize mildew and other difficulties.

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).


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. This is done in order to securely supply your horse with the nutrition he need. – 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).

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.

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

Are you considering purchasing or adopting a horse? When making this life-altering choice, it is crucial to consider the financial implications of keeping and feeding the animal because it is a lifelong commitment. And, as is frequently said, it is not the horse that is pricey, but the rider. It’s what happens after that counts. Furthermore, establishing the typical cost of feeding a horse is difficult due to the fact that it varies depending on the place and season. However, in this post, we will present you with a costing guide to assist you in gaining an understanding of the true cost of feeding a horse.

According to a poll of 82 horse owners, horses’ hay and grain intake may cost you roughly $1,214 in only nine months, and pasture care might cost you an additional $1,405 each year on average.

If you’re interested in learning more about the costs of feeding a horse before making the commitment to adopt one, follow along as we go over them one by one.

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.

Let’s get into it and look at a quick breakdown of all of the anticipated expenses of horse food in the table below.

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 growth of cartilage, which is beneficial for horses who suffer from chronic joint pain.

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

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.

How Much Does It Cost To Feed a Horse?

Additionally, a slow-feeding mechanism can be incorporated. While saving money is a good thing, teaching the horse to eat less will be much better. In the event that you have land where your horse can access the pasture and graze, it would be better for you to reside and settle down since it may help you save money while maintaining the horse’s nutritional needs. In general, buying in bulk saves money on a product, just as it does on any other product. In order to prevent the hay from being spoiled, you must ensure that the huge quantity is properly kept and protected from the elements.

Alternatively, you may drive out to the hayfield and collect the hay directly from the field if you have the means to do so, which would save money.

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

The average horse will consume anything from $1.50 to $6 worth of food every day, depending on the size of your horse and the type of feed that you feed him. According to the Back in the Saddle Project, weather has a minor impact on the amount of food that is consumed. Horses are fed more in the winter to keep them warm, and they eat less in the summer because they are not as active. Also mentioned is the fact that horses require a specific amount of food, which varies based on their size and breed.

  1. If we put this into figures, it is estimated that the same horse consumes 27.5 pounds of hay every day on average.
  2. If you purchase it from the feed shop, it will cost you an additional $2.
  3. Horses also require grain, which may range in price from $12 to $22 per 50-pound bag on average, depending on the quality and quantity.
  4. For example, daily feed for a horse in the Northern California area will cost between $4 and $8 a day, depending on whether the horse is fed hay or grain.
  5. In one lively discussion topic, several active users discuss the expense of feeding their horses, and their estimates vary widely based on location, type of horse, size, and whether the horse is kept in pasture or not.

If the average cost each day is between $1.50 and $6, the average monthly cost will be between $45 and $180 per month, depending on the time of year.

Factors that affect the price

The expense of feeding your horse is directly proportional to the amount of work you assign to him. Because thoroughbreds are known to require a greater volume of food than easy keepers due to their weight, which is always bigger when compared to easy keepers, the breed plays an important role. The location where you grow your horse also has an impact on the price of hay and feed. Hay prices may fluctuate significantly and are influenced by a variety of variables, including weather. If you have a pasture or land where your horse is free to roam, your feed expenditures will most likely be cheaper than if you do not.

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Horse feed overview

Horse feed will consist of a blend of hay and grains, as well as some extra fillers for things like the horse’s coat and other nutritional needs. One item that you could find in horse feed is beet pulp, which is the dried pulp that is left over after sugar beets are processed to make sugar for human use. This is frequently utilized to exert pressure on the horse’s back. Other components that may be found in horse feed include soy hulls and oat hulls, which are the outer shells of the soy bean and the oat kernel, respectively, and are derived from the soy bean and the oat kernel.

What are the extra costs?

Most horse owners agree that veterinary appointments make for a significant portion of their overall costs for their horses. According to the information provided above, certain feeds will be more expensive than others. Feed delivery fees may be charged in addition to local pick-up fees if you must have the feed delivered rather than picked up locally. In the range of $20 to $40 for a six-month supply of minerals, or around $0.15 to $0.25 per day, is reasonable. Essentially, this is the same principle as a multivitamin for people; it offers the important vitamins and minerals that you may not be getting from your regular diet.

If you put your horse to work doing hard labor on a regular basis, you will almost certainly have to spend a lot more for his feed.

How can I save money?

You may be able to save money by asking about for the cheapest but highest-quality hay and harvesting hay from a field yourself, rather than purchasing it. If you have access to a grazing area, you can save money on hay and other feed expenses. Notice Regarding Advertising: This material may include referral links. For more information, please see ourdisclosure policy.

Average Reported Cost:$100

If you shop about for the cheapest but highest-quality hay and collect hay from the field yourself, you may be able to reduce your expenses.

If you have access to a grazing area, you may save money on hay and other feed expenses significantly. Notice Regarding Advertising: This material may contain affiliate links. For additional information, please see our disclosure policy.

The costs associated with horse ownership.

Is it a dream of yours (or your child’s) to own and care for a horse? Equine ownership might be quite expensive, but if you have decided to purchase one, then congrats! Nothing compares to the satisfaction of having your own horse that you can love and care for. The costs of horse ownership are broken out in the table below on a yearly basis. When it was possible, I utilized the mean or the middle of the range of values.

Item Amount
The initial cost of buying About $5000 (one time)
Horse boarding/stable Approx. $2000 (initial cost – one time)
Stable accessories $700-$1000 (one time cost)
Stabling and feeding equipment $200 (initial cost)
Miscellaneous initial cost (Vet, horseshoeing, membership, vaccinations, transportation, etc.) $2000 – $3000
Total initial cost of horse ownership $10000 – $ 15000 (first-year cost)
Riding lessons $1000 – $1500 per year
Insurance $450/year
Feed $1500- $2000 per year
Bedding $300 per year
Healthcare (Shoeing, deworming, vaccinations, dental care) $2000 per year
Total cost of horse ownership per year $6000-$7000 (per year after the first year)

Equine care and expertise are extremely specialized since horses are such a unique species. Horses may be extremely expensive to purchase, maintain, and keep in a stable. People are finding it more difficult to buy horses as pets or as recreational sporting animals as the cost of living continues to climb. In this tutorial, I’ll assist you in breaking down the costs of horse ownership so that you can determine whether or not owning a horse is financially possible for you. I’ve also included a few amusing statistics as well as some money-saving pro advice that you might find useful.

For those of you coming from other countries, please take into consideration other resources.

In addition to the initial cost of purchasing a horse, there are several extra expenditures connected with maintaining a horse that may not be immediately apparent.

The cost to buy a horse.

I recently purchased the three-year-old filly in the photograph for $6,000. She is a thoroughbred that I discovered for sale after she had just finished last in her first race, and the owner did not want to spend any more money training her. The initial cost of purchasing a horse is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of expenses. A horse, mule, or pony can range in price from $500 to more than $50000, depending on the horse’s age, breed, gender, and pedigree, among other factors. The average cost of owning a horse for recreational purposes is around $3000 dollars.

Pro Tip: If you are seeking to save money, horse auctions are a great place to look.

A wide variety of auctions and horses are available, including American Quarter horses, Mustangs, rescue horses and Arabians, to name a few.

Fun fact: Fusaichi Pegasus was the most expensive horse ever sold when he was purchased by Coolmore Stud for a stunning $60 million immediately after winning the Kentucky Derby. He was a stud in Kentucky until he was forced to retire at the end of 2020.

The costs to feed a horse.

Horses are enormous, powerful creatures that require a great amount of food to maintain their health. A horse’s feed expenses vary widely based on the type of hay and grain used, as well on how frequently you choose to feed your horse during the day. There is also the option of alternating between feeding hay or grass and feeding grains such as oats and maize (most commercial operations use grains). If you want to keep your horse in a pasture with plenty of grass to graze on throughout the day, feeding your horse will be less expensive.

  • Hay/forage 40 lb. supply – roughly $60 – $100 per month or approximately $900 per year
  • Weight accelerator, vitamin supplements for one month – $80 – $100 (if necessary)
  • 40 lb. supply – approximately $60 – $100 per month or approximately $900 per year
  • Treats 4lb. of meat for $10-$20

The total cost of feeding an average-sized horse (weighing around 1,100 lb) each month is between $130 and $220 in food. Fun fact: An average-sized horse can easily consume 15 to 25 lb. of hay each day, which equates to around 15-30 bales of hay in a month.

The costs of boarding a horse.

For those who don’t have enough space to maintain a horse, the best thing they can do is board their horse at a stable. This provides your horse-loving pals with a middle-of-the-road solution for folks who desire a horse but don’t have the necessary space. Horse boarding can cost anywhere from $300 and $5,000 per month, depending on the services required. In order to accommodate your horse’s specific needs for special nutrition, grooming, and exercise, the price will be greater than if all that is necessary is shelter.

If you want an idea of estimated boarding fees, I propose that you call several nearby horse farm owners and horse training establishments.

Pro Tip: Simple pasture boarding is far less expensive than stable boarding.

The costs to shoe a horse.

horses are large animals whose feet require a great deal of attention, including shoeing and trimming of their hooves, to keep them in good condition. In some cases, the expense of shoeing your horse can add up quickly depending on your horse and the sort of shoeing it requires. The yearly expenses to shoe horses vary from horse to horse since the frequency with which they will be ridden or worked, the type of shoe used, and the frequency with which they must be shod all influence the costs. Equine shoes are quite necessary to the majority of horses, and their feet would ache if they were not wearing them, especially while travelling over uneven terrain.

As a result, you should anticipate to spend at least $600 on horseshoeing each year.

How much you can expect to spend on vet bills for your horse.

Horses are a significant financial commitment, and many people are curious about how much they may anticipate to pay in vet expenses if they get a horse. The answer is that the cost of veterinary bills vary based on the age of your horse, where you reside, the kind of care your horse requires, and your overall health status.

In general, if your horse is in good condition and simply requires regular care, you may expect to spend roughly $1,500 per year on vet costs, provided you are judicious about your spending. The following is a breakdown of the costs of veterinary care for horses:

  • Routine checkups cost $50 to $75 (depending on your state)
  • Deworming (four times a year) costs $75
  • Vaccinations cost $200 plus vet expenses
  • And deworming costs $75. Minor/non-emergency visits are subject to change. Dental checkup – $400 (for two yearly dental appointments)
  • Emergency – variable
  • Prescription – variable. The cost of insurance varies based on the value and age of your horse, but it may be as much as $500.

The total cost will range between $800 and $1500. Pro Tip: Become familiar with basic medical care to save money on vet costs.

Horse bedding and stabling costs.

Horse bedding and stabling prices might be a mystery to those who are unfamiliar with the industry. The average horse owner will spend around $1,000 per year just on bedding. Understanding all of the components that go into calculating how much money you’ll need for your stalls is critical to establishing your budget before purchasing any supplies or equipment for your stalls. This is often included in the price of your horse boarding facility. If you board your horse, you can deduct this expense from your total yearly horse ownership expenses.

If you buy four bags of wood pellets or pine shavings each week at a cost of around $5 per bag, the cost can be $20 per week or nearly $1000 per year if you buy four bags per week.

Throughout the year, some horse owners use very little bedding on their horses.

Miscellaneous Costs

Expenses associated with horse bedding and stabling might be a surprise to those who are not familiar with the industry. Just on bedding, the average horse owner will spend around $1,000 per year. Understanding all of the aspects that go into calculating how much money you’ll need for your stalls is critical to establishing your budget before purchasing any supplies or equipment for your business. This is often included in the price of your horse boarding facility’s service. If you board your horse, you can deduct this expense from your total yearly horse ownership expenses.

In the case of wood pellets or pine shavings, if you buy four bags per week and pay $5 for each bag, the cost per week can be $20 and the total cost per year can be $1000.

A small amount of bedding is used by some horse owners all year.

  • Blankets, rain sheets, and coolers range in price from $60 to $300
  • Saddles (a one-time expense) — the cost of saddles varies from area to region, but you must have it adjusted on a regular basis. It might cost between $1500 and $2000 to purchase a high-quality saddle. It is possible to spend anything from $100 and $500 on a bridle, depending on the quality. Halter and lead – $50
  • First aid kit – This is a must-have for every horse owner who wants to keep their animal safe. It should, at the at least, contain all of the necessary medications, bandages, wraps, gauze, cotton, and so on. The cost is around $150
  • Transportation is approximately $1 per mile for distances less than 1000 miles.

The total ranges from $1850 to $5000.


Horse ownership has a monthly cost that is comparable to auto payment installments, averaging roughly $500 per month depending on where you live in the country.

How much is the cheapest horse?

If you’re searching for an inexpensive horse, keep an eye out for one that’s been given away. It is now simpler than ever to locate someone who needs to sell their horse, thanks to the proliferation of social networking websites. You may get a grade or older horse for $500 to $50000, but the cheaper the horse, the more money you’d have to pay later on vet costs, training, and other expenses.

Which are the most expensive horse breeds?

The Akhal-Teke, the Friesian, the Dutch Warmblood, and the Thoroughbred are among the most costly horse breeds available.

Is it expensive to keep a horse?

Horses are a costly pastime, which is why you should budget for it in advance of getting started. Expect to make an investment of around $10,000 in the first year. In addition, the cost of annual maintenance will range between $6-7K!


Horse ownership is highly gratifying, but it also demands careful planning and budgeting. I computed the prices using national averages, my geographic location, and the use of common horse breeds. Always have a portion of your savings set up for unforeseen costs, like as unanticipated vet bills. I hope this article gave you a better understanding of the costs associated with horse ownership.

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