We take a look at how much it costs to keep a horse in some different parts of the world… If you’re living somewhere with a high cost of living, you’ve probably dreamed about taking your horse and relocating to some remote paradise where you can keep ten horses for pennies.
There actually is quite a lot of variation in terms of horse costs worldwide, as well as some differences in the standard as part of your board, livery, stabling, or whatever you call it where you live!
Here’s a quick look at the average costs of keeping horses in a few different countries.
These are just ballpark figures, as each country has variations in their prices dependent on area, facilities, livery options, and even your type of horse.
Dreaming of a move to the Mediterranean? If it comes complete with Andalusians, we can’t blame you! If you want to keep a horse in Spain, fees might be lower than what you’d expect from a European country. Livery will normally include stable, bedding, and feed including straw or hay (more commonly straw). A lot of yards don’t offer turnout in Spain but if there is a field or paddocks available, your livery price usually includes turning out and bringing in too.
Prices vary, as always, but you could get full livery for around $300 in Spain. More rural areas
are far more affordable.
Australia usually calls their livery or board fees agistment fees. Similarly to the UK, there’s a variety of options available including Do It Yourself (DIY), part-board, and full-board.
Full board usually includes feeding at night and in the morning, grass, stabling at night and turnout during the day (with bringing in and out included), as well as changing of rugs and so on. Most full board agistment would mean that clients had use of good facilities like arenas and tack rooms too.
As the name suggests, DIY is where the owner does everything themselves.
They usually organize feed, hay, and bedding for their horses and do the bringing in, taking out, stable cleaning, feeding and so on themselves. Some places might offer outside agistment where the horse lives out.
Part board is obviously midway between these two! The exact agreement will vary from place to place but it still usually requires the owner to visit once daily and be fairly involved in the horse’s day to day upkeep.
More rural areas are far more affordable than agistment nearby city centres, and centres with premium facilities will be more expensive than places offering basic facilities.
That said, you could look to spend around 550-700 US dollars per month for full board, around $280-320 for part board.
Full board usually includes a stall, feed, bedding, and hay. This board option includes cleaning of the stall, changing water, feeding, bringing in and turning out, as well as blanketing and fly spray. In some cases, your full board might even cover things like tacking up and exercising your horse.
As you might expect, full board normally also allows you access to all of the facilities at your boarding barn including arenas, wash bays, tack rooms, and so on. With the US being so vast, it makes sense that the costs of board would vary drastically. Depending on the area you live, you could pay anywhere from $350 to $750 for full board per month.
If you wanted a self-care option where you handle barn chores and duties yourself, you could be spending anywhere from $120 to $300.
As you can see, the costs of keeping a horse in America are very hard to predict and there’s huge amounts of variation in what is available from state to state, as well as depending on the facilities available. Generally though, you will pay premium rates if you live in a major city.
In the UK, DIY livery is quite common. Full and part livery are both available at an extra cost, but are less common than DIY options. Horses might be stabled at night or might live out – this is one country where outside livery is more common than a lot of Europe. As with Australia, DIY livery usually means that the owner does all of the yard chores themselves.
Full livery is more useful for those who cannot commit to visiting the yard once or twice daily and means that the owner doesn’t need to handle daily stable chores, and part livery is midway between.
For DIY livery including a stable, you’re looking at around $160-220 per month. Of course, this requires you to supply your own feed, grass, and bedding as well as visit twice a day to do all your stable duties. For grass or field livery where the horse lives out 24/7 and the owner is responsible for all care, the average costs are slightly lower.
You would want to budget between 90 and 130 US dollars per month for basic grass livery.
Assisted DIY livery is often less understood outside of the UK, but provides some flexibility for those who want to do DIY livery with the ability to get some extra help as needed.
Essentially, this is just DIY livery with a list of extras, which are usually payable by the task. These might include cleaning the stable, turning out, feeding, grooming, and so on. This means if you can’t go down one afternoon for example, you could pay someone to bring your horse in and feed them.
Full and part livery are both available in the UK too. As with other countries, full livery normally includes everything needed for the day-to-day care of your horse and part livery means the care is split between the stableyard and the owner. The exact inclusions vary from place to place. For instance, part livery might mean that the stableyard handles mornings while the owner does afternoons or vice versa.
It could mean DIY on weekends and basic care during the week. The same goes for full livery – some yards might include exercising as part of their full livery, for instance.
If you’re looking for full livery, you would have to budget for around 750 to 1100 US dollars in the UK. Area dependent, of course!
South Africa is quite an affordable country to keep horses in.
Most stable yards offer full livery, which includes cleaning of the stables, feeding of horses three times per day, turn out and bringing in, daily grooming and hoof picking, basic wound care, and often tacking up, washing, and/or lunging services too. Feed, hay, shavings and so on are typically included in the price too, so the only extras are veterinary and farrier costs. Lessons are usually additional too and might be with an instructor of your choice, or there might be a specific instructor for that stable yard. Although prices can climb much higher in areas like Kyalami, Johannesburg (South Africa’s “horse central”), reasonable costs can still be found countrywide.
Depending on your area, you can expect to budget around 300-450 US dollars per month for stabling as outlined above.
So, where will you be moving your horse to in your equestrian paradise dreams?
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