Before you purchase your initial horse, you should understand how much it is going to cost in monthly expenses to maintain it. You will come to know that the initial expense of purchasing your potential star is just the beginning of your financial layout. You need to familiarize yourself with the expenses involved and be able to budget for them for your operation to be successful. A very good point to keep in mind is that it costs as much to feed and train a $10,000 horse as a $100,000 horse. You will have a better chance of success with a higher initial investment and your expenses will be the same.
Training day rates include all the feed, staffing, equipment and housing that it takes to train your horse. It usually also includes the Workman’s Comp for the stable staff, but that may be itemized separately and the rates vary from state to state. Items not included in your day rate would be veterinary care, farrier, transportation, insurance (for your horse), taxes and any special items your horse may need.
$50-$150 per horse per day, depending on locale, the purses and the trainer popularity.
$40-$70 per day. A good half way place between the track and the farm and like trainer rates depends on location and the facility. Top of the line facilities will be as high as racetrack rates. Good place to get your 2yr olds breezing prior to going to the track where there is more activity and a nice place for older horses to have a slower less stressful environment.
$25-$55 per horse per day. A good place to get your 2-yr-old started and save some money. Some farms even have large enough tracks to do some breezing. Also a good place for your older horse coming off a layup period, again to save some money.
The actual cost per day can vary greatly depending on how much your trainer uses the veterinarian on a day to day bases and how healthy and lameness free your horse stays. A very important question to ask any potential trainer you may be interviewing, is “what is your average monthly vet bill per horse in your barn.” You will find it can vary from a few hundred dollars per month into the thousands per month. Be very clear ahead of time what to expect in regards to this issue. For some thoughts on this please read Dr. Rick Arthur’s comments on the subject of controlling high vet bills.
Broodmares are boarded for $15-$40 per day depending on local and if they are in the pasture full time or need stall care. Broodmares usually have very little veterinary expenses, other than de-worming and vaccinations, except during the breeding season. Foaling fees are $200-$400. Getting the mares pregnant again there will be numerous palpations ($20-30 ea), and ultrasounds ($60-75) to check for pregnancy and or twins. If your mare does not easily become pregnant, there could also be expenses for drugs to get her to cycle, or treat infections. Additionally if there are any complications post foaling, your mare could require surgery. Mares are trimmed about every 5 weeks ($30-$45).
There is either no charge for un-weaned foals or a minimum charge of $3-$5 per day until weaned. Once weaning takes place the board rate goes up to the yearling rate of $15-$40 per day where it stays until breaking. Breaking rates for yearlings usually run $40-60 per day.
- Foals, if they are born healthy, and stay that way, and have correct legs, should only have de-worming and vaccination expenses, however, that is rarely the case. An early foal that requires neo-natal hospitalization can rack up enormous expenses. Foals in the first 8 months of their lives are very susceptible to infectious diseases. Pneumonia and other respiratory diseases are common. Antibiotic treatments can run in the hundreds of dollars and hospitalization is not uncommon.
- If your foal is born incorrect, surgery, casting, special shoes and other measures may be necessary to force its legs to correctly align. This expense can be small or run into hundreds of dollars depending on the degree of the angular deformity. If your foal’s legs remain incorrect despite your efforts to correct them, its future as a racehorse/sale prospect can be severely compromised.