How to afford a horse as a teenager

Save money for horses. Saving money for a horse takes determination and many hours of hard work. Just ask my grandmother, she fell in love with horses when she was 10 years old. When she asked her father if he could own a horse, he smiled and told her that she could own a horse if she saved enough money to buy one. She looked after children for 25 cents an hour, which was the norm in the 1950s, and saved $300—enough to buy a horse! Luckily, my great-grandfather was a man of his word and took her to a few horses before they brought back a beautiful zebra mare named Gypsy.


How much does it cost to keep a horse?

Horses sell for thousands of dollars, and for most household budgets ($11,080 to $50,800 or more per year), the cost of caring for and maintaining a horse can be astronomical. As a teenager, what can you do to convince your parents that you are responsible and committed enough to buy a horse?

If you are interested in owning your own horse, work hard to save the money you need to buy a horse and learn how to care for it. To learn how to care for a horse, take an equestrian boot camp and take a riding lesson. I also recommend you apply for a stable job and join a 4-H group or pony club.

Horseback Riding Camp

If you haven’t already, spend a week in the summer at a local riding camp. At camp, you will do some important things:

  • Drive regularly.
  • Experience a steady daily chore (depending on the camp you attend).
  • Learn some very basic equestrian skills and knowledge.

When you’ve immersed yourself in the world of horses for a full week, ask the stable owner if a “city to saddle” class is available in the stable.

Horse Back Riding Classes

Before you consider buying your own horse, take a class at a local stable. You should consider working in a barn in exchange for tuition credit.

  • Make your courses more affordable.
  • Provides you with valuable experience working with horses.
  • Help connect with knowledgeable equine professionals.

Where and when to look for horses

Now that you have some knowledge and experience in horse care and riding, you may want to start looking for your own horse and its equipment. Never look for a horse alone – always ask your trainer for advice, and if you’ve been visiting a horse and are considering buying one, have your trainer guide you and interact with the horse watching with you. Your teacher’s opinion is invaluable!

  • Start by checking out horse-specific classifieds sites like
  • Ask your trainer or stable owner if they know of any horses for sale.
  • Don’t be afraid to spend hours watching horses that interest you.

Fall is the best time to buy a new horse. Horses are usually cheaper in the fall because it is more expensive to keep a horse in the winter. Horse sellers are more motivated to sell at lower prices before winter arrives.

Where to Buy Horse Equipment

Reins and other necessary gear are almost as expensive as horses! However, quality pins are important and you should never use inappropriate or unsafe pins just because they are free or cheap.

  • You can often find used tacks and tack sales from friends. Make sure it is well cared for and suitable for you and your horse.
  • Almost everything can be found on Amazon and eBay. Amazon usually has great prices, but when you buy something online, you don’t get a chance to try on a size. Your local spike store is a great resource.
  • Make sure you go in and ask questions about the product, sit in the saddle and try on the helmet. Not all spike stores offer the best prices, but they offer priceless service. Every year, Big E in Massachusetts hosts the Equine Affaire, where many vendors from all over the country compete to sell their products. I’ve found great deals on horse blankets, saddles, tacks, display clothing and anything else you can think of. It’s interesting!

Where to Keep Your Horse

The most cost-effective way to keep a horse is to keep it on your own property. However, this is not an option for most people. A horse needs two things:

  • A sturdy shelter.
  • At least an acre of fenced turnout.

Shelters and fencing alone require significant upfront costs, which is why most people keep horses in nearby stables. Prices for boards vary widely – from $250 a month to $1,200 or more.

Factors that affect the price of board:

  • Horse farms: Stables with horse farms are almost automatically a few hundred euros more expensive than surrounding stables.
  • Quality of care and reputation: Some stables are better run, others are run by people with more experience and knowledge. Your horse means a lot to you, so choose carefully who you give it to.
  • Pasture Quality: Because land is expensive, many barns have small, muddy or rocky pastures. Few barns have expansive lawns.

Depending on your location, you may have many barns to choose from, or only a few. Make sure you can care for your horses comfortably and the general atmosphere of the stable is friendly. You’ll be in the barn for a long time, so you should be able to put up with the others there!

How to Save on Board

  • Full Board/Rough Grain: Full board usually includes hay, grain, stables and full stable work (breakfast dinner, blanket changing, night inspection, manure and exercise). Thick boards are much cheaper when you separate out the barn work and in some cases provide your own hay and grain.
  • Full Turnout: Some stables may offer you the option of a full run, which means your horse lives in a paddock with a triangular shelter instead of a box. Many believe that horses should always be running at full capacity, which is a great way to drastically reduce boarding costs.

Alternatives to Owning Your Own Horse

If you are reluctant to make an initial investment in your own horse, but have some funds willing to invest in a horse that you can ride on a regular basis, you may want to rent a horse. To rent a horse, you pay the owner a fixed monthly price to ride, and you also pay for some or all of the horse.

There are multiple possibilities:

  • Full lease: A full lease usually means that you have full-time use of the horse and you pay for most or all of the horse. With a full lease, you may be able to keep the horse on your own property.
  • Half-Rent: Half-Rent, where you and the owner share the horse and its costs. They will also negotiate the day when everyone will have access to the horse.

Leasing is an affordable alternative to owning your own horse, but it can be unreliable, and in most cases, you should only plan on short-term rentals. Not only is it stressful to have to answer other people’s questions at times, but since you don’t own a horse, the owner can terminate the lease agreement at any time, and you may end up without a horse unexpectedly.

“Free” Horses: The Hidden Cost

There are many “free” horses on the market. Especially in the fall and winter months, you’ll see lots of advertisements for “free home” horses and ponies. However, if you have ambitions to ride, taking the time to market a safe, healthy horse at a reasonable price will save you time, money and heartache. A loose horse almost always has health and/or lameness issues that can be very expensive to treat.


Never buy a horse from an auction unless you or someone you trust is an experienced horse professional. While many horses are sold for cheap at auctions, this also comes with a huge risk. Unlike most private sales, where you can ride multiple times and have your horse health checked by your veterinarian before buying, auctions can be stressful for you and your horse, leaving little time for contact and decision-making.


  • Auctioneers usually know almost nothing about the horse’s history, training and personality.
  • Unfortunately, many horses are drugged and appear calmer and more cooperative than they actually are.
  • Horses that end up at auction often have inappropriate histories, or are older and have health and/or lameness issues.

The enormous cost of a lame horse is nowhere near the potential cost of an undertrained, abused, or extremely dominant horse. Feeding, kicking, biting or ramming a horse can cause you serious bodily harm.

People also ask

How can I afford a horse on a budget?

  1. Savings Tactic #1: Share the costs.
  2. Savings Tactic #2: Work Off Board.
  3. Savings Tactic #3: Don’t Make Frivolous Purchases.
  4. Savings Tactic #4: Take Care of Your Stuff.
  5. Savings Tactic #5: Take Care of Your Horse.
  6. Savings Tactic #6: Fix Your Stuff.
  7. Savings Tactic #7: Buy Used.
  8. Savings Tactic #8: Buy in Bulk and Shop Around.

What is the best age for a kid to get a horse?


The best age to buy a horse is typically between 5-16 years old, as this is when a horse will be in its prime. Typically, younger horses are not a good match for first-time owners as they generally are not experienced enough yet.

How much money should you have to own a horse?

As you can see, owning a horse can be a costly endeavor. The American Association of Equine Practitioners estimates the minimum annual cost of owning a healthy horse — not including stabling costs — to be at least $2,500. Other horse-related organizations estimate that figure to be at least $3,600.

How much does it cost to own 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 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.

Why is owning a horse so expensive?


Why Are Horses Expensive? Horses are one of the most expensive animals in society, but not just because they’re living beings. They require a lot of upkeep and often compete with other expenses for milking cows and picking corn.

What do you need to own your first horse?



  1. Saddle with girth or cinch.
  2. A saddle pad or blanket.
  3. Bridle and bit.
  4. Helmet.
  5. Stirrups and stirrup leathers.
  6. Optional: lunge line.
  7. Optional: tendon boots, bell boots, any other leg support or protection the horse may need.

Is a 16 year old horse too old to buy?

So how old is old? Most experts agree a horse can be considered geriatric when he reaches 18 to 20 years of age.

Should I buy a 15 year old horse?

When it comes to horses, ‘older’ usually means ten to fifteen years old, but many horses in their twenties are still great riding horses. If you only plan to ride recreationally once a week or so, an older horse is a perfect choice.

Is it worth leasing a horse?

If you are not doing a free lease, a yearly lease fee may be expected of you, on top of what you are already paying for board and care. If you pay a yearly lease fee for a few years, this could eventually exceed the value of the horse. Buying a horse outright might save you more money in the end!

How much is a cheap horse?


Those looking for a first-time horse will probably need to have anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 in their budget for the purchase. You may be able to find a gem for less than this, but having that amount will give you the greatest number of choices. The more you have to spend, the more choices you will have.

How much does a stallion cost?

The purchase of the horse itself is just one minor cost to worry about. Horses can live to be about 33 years old, which means that they require a much longer and more expensive commitment than other pets. … List of 4-8 Breeds and the Average Cost.


Can you keep a horse on 1 acre?

If you are attempting to figure the carrying capacity of land for a horse, then a good rule of thumb is 1-1/2 to 2 acres of open intensely managed land per horse. Two acres, if managed properly, should provide adequate forage in the form of pasture and/or hay ground. But this is highly variable depending on location.

How much are vet bills for horses?

Costs to Keep a Horse

Average CostMedian Cost
Veterinary and Medicine$485$300
Building Maintenance$1,169$200

How many acres do you need for a horse?

two acres

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).

How much is insurance on a horse?

The cost of your specific horse insurance will vary depending on the type and extent of the coverages you choose. In general, horse insurance can range from $150 to $280 per year.

How do I buy a horse?


10 tips to live by when buying a horse

  1. Know yourself. It’s important to have a realistic idea of what you intend to do with your new horse. …
  2. Only buy a horse you can trust. …
  3. Make specific requests. …
  4. Buy at home. …
  5. Look at the horse. …
  6. Swot up on his breeding. …
  7. Asses his confirmation. …
  8. Ask to see the horse in-hand and ridden.

What is the easiest horse to ride?


While no horse breed is perfect for beginning riders and owners, some breeds have attributes that make them more suitable than others. … Here are 10 of the best horse breeds for beginners.

  1. American Paint. …
  2. Morgan. …
  3. Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse. …
  4. Missouri Fox Trotter Horse. …
  5. Icelandic Horse. …
  6. Clydesdale. …
  7. Draft Crossbreeds.

How much do race horses cost?


Racehorses are very costly investments. Just purchasing one will set you back an average of $75,000, though some sell for several million and others can be purchased for just a few thousand. No matter what you paid initially, you can expect to shell out several thousand more each month for upkeep and training.

How much does it cost to buy and keep a horse?

Minimum cost per day to keep one horse is $5.01 per day or $1,828.65 per year.

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