Hello and welcome! If you are reading this then you must be curious to know how much a horse or pony costs to buy. This is a great question and varies according to country or state if you are located in the United States. Most casual riders can expect to pay well below $10k for a horse. Beginner riders looking for a horse should be looking for a sound horse at a reasonable price. Economic downturns play a role and less people are buying horses right now, which in turn drives prices lower.

Anyone who owns a horse will tell you that the initial purchase is only the beginning of what it really costs to own a horse. So how much does a horse cost? If you are thinking of purchasing one of these amazing creatures then read on to find out more.

Initial Cost

The initial cost of a horse for a first-time buyer is most likely anywhere between $1,500 to $3,000. You may be able to find a gem for less than this, but having that amount will give you the greatest number of choices. You should be able to find an excellent horse or pony in the price ranger who is sound and quiet and ready to be ridden. Ponies will cost the same if not more so do not judge them by their size. They make a great first time choice for children who are getting into riding because of their smaller stature. Ponies make a great first choice for adults as well and you are closer to the ground 🙂

Horses $10k and above should be not be considered for first time buyers in our opinion. These are horses of high quality blood lines and training and often used by very experienced riders in shows.

Lifetime Cost

Most horse owners spend about $50 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. Whether or not you plan to shoe your horse, you’ll need to have a farrier check and trim his hooves every two months or so. This usually costs around $25 or $30. Add in shoeing, and you could pay $80 to $100 every two months.

Routine medical care is an additional cost of owning a horse and includes vaccinations, and annual teeth cleaning. For a healthy horse, this can cost as little as $$200 to 300 a year. You must also prepare yourself for the possibility that your horse will get sick and much larger vet bills.

Read our ultimate horse guide for beginners to get a feel for what it takes to really own a horse.

white horse near green leaves
Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

Things To Consider

There are probably many people or own and ride horses in your area. Some of them may have horses that they are willing to give away for free. Often times these horses are very young or old and even though they are “free”, there can be challenges in owning them. You need to consider if a young horse is ready to be ridden if you are new to horseback riding. Additional training and cost may be needed before they can be ridden.

Older horses may end up having injuries or ailments that cost money for vet bills, shoeing, etc. At the same time though, you can find diamonds in the rough where you find a sound older horse who has plenty of life left and that you got for a good deal.

You need weigh all of these factors when looking for a steal. “Freebies” may end up costing more in the long run. Talk to your equestrian friends or ask around town to speak with people who may have horses for sale or willing to lease you a horse. Often times they have a horse they just don’t ride and willing to find it a good home.

All that said, we hope you do purchase or lease a horse or pony and join us the wonderful world of horseback riding. Don’t forget to read our trail riding safety tips as well. Also read our review in regards to online training which can supplement your knowledge in your free time. We also have equipment reviews to explore. Welcome to the equine life!