Budgeting Gear Horse Care

Cost of Owning a Horse: December 2022 Expense Report

Written by Horse Rookie

How much do horses cost? Here’s my answer for December.

These reports are intended to be a tool for horse enthusiasts who are considering buying (or leasing) a horse and want a transparent look at the real cost of horse ownership.

(If you’re new to these expense reports, make sure to read the “reminders” section here for background on my finances.)

Here’s the recap of where my horse funds went for December:

  • 10% Education
  • 38% Stabling
  • 24% Health
  • 9% Gear
  • 11% Insurance
  • 6% Travel
  • 2% Fun

Remember that if you’re not exploring barter opportunities, you need to start! Sign up for our email list to get 7 ways to trade for horse expenses and lower your cash out-of-pocket burden.

Cost of Owning a Horse This Month

$280 // Education

  • $90 // Lessons (Bartered down to $0)
  • $150 // Training Rides (Jumping pony – bartered for event marketing)

If you’re taking lessons (or about to start), check out our 13 best horseback riding boots for lessons.

$570.82 // Health

  • $240 – Farrier (jumping pony + cow horse)
  • $100 – Chiro for jumping pony (bartered for marketing services)
  • $51.95 – SmartPak – EquiThrive Essential (cow horse)
  • $46.59 – SmartPak – SmartDigest Ultra (cow horse)
  • $26.97 – SmartPak – SmartDigest Ultra (mini horse)
  • $101.95 – SmartPak – SmartGI Ultra (pony)

$212.10 // Gear

  • $119 – Tipperary Helmet
  • $83.10 – Kerrits Heads Up Quilted Jacket (used account credit to become $28.13)
  • $395 – CAS Equestrian Bareback Pad
  • (-$335) – Returned OneK Helmet
  • (-$50) – Sold saddle bad on consignment

$267.50 // Insurance

  • $14.58 – Equisure Liability
  • $252.92 – Berkley Mortality & Major Medical (increased due to horse age and value increase)

$900 // Stabling

  • $525 – Cow Horse (Bartered to $0 for clinic management services)
  • $375 – Jumping Pony (Bartered down by $150 for marketing services)

$124.80 // Travel

  • $124.80 – Mileage to the barn

$50 // Fun

  • $50 – Christmas gift for my farrier


  • TOTAL (Before Adjustments) = $2,365.22
  • TOTAL (After Adjustments) = $1,326.25
  • Under-budget by $673.75

Note: I doubled my budget for 2022 now that I have two boarded horses.

Wonder how expensive horses are where you live? We break down the average horse cost in all 50 states

Remember, if you’re surprised how expensive horses are, remember that there are plenty of other ways to get your horse fix besides ownership.

Happy Trails!

P.S. If you hate buyer’s remorse too, check out our Horse Rookie Must Haves on Amazon for equestrian gear that’s worth every penny!

P.P.S. Buying your first horse? Check out 60 Questions to Ask When Buying the Horse of Your Dreams and our Beginner’s Guide to the Best Equine Insurance

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About the author

Horse Rookie

I began riding horses at age six, and I'm just as infatuated (OK, more!) with the sport decades later. My AQHA gelding exemplifies the versatility of the breed -- reined cow horse, reining, roping, ranch riding, trail, dressage, and jumping. We're also dipping our toes (hooves) into Working Equitation!