I decided I'd do the math for everyone on how much it costs to keep a horse. I just thought that this would be interesting to all of you horse people out there, and useful for those who may consider boarding horses or are just now buying your first horses.
Hay = ½ - 1 bale per day @ $3.25 - $4.00 bale = $1.63- $4.00
Grain = 5-10 pounds per day @ 50 pound grain bag being $8.99-$13.99 = $.90 - $2.80
Daily cost to feed a horse $2.53 - $6.80Monthly cost to feed a horse $75.90 - $204.00
Bedding = 5-7 bags of bedding per month @ $3.82 - $6.99 per bag (depending on availability and supplier) = $19.10 - $34.95
Monthly cost to feed and stable a horse is $95.00 - 238.95
** Note that none of this includes utilities: water, electricity, trash, gas for picking up and delivering supplies, and purchase of supplies themselves (buckets, water troughs, and other items that sometimes need replacing)
All of these costs are dependent on the needs of the horse in terms of feeding and weight. Most horses average about $100-$150 per month in terms of feed. Some horses are much higher in needs than others, but as a result I always estimate that a horse will cost me $100-$150 per month.
Using the average estimate ($125/month) this means that when I charge $275/month for board I only am receiving $5/day for care of the horses and facilities.
It takes our crew 9-10 hours of one-man labor per day to care for 26 horses, so each horse receives roughly 25 minutes of routine care a day. On top of that there is the additional care that they get in terms of inspection and love and all of the rest from me and the others; plus the additional time spent on farm, fence and other repairs.
OPINIONS AND OTHER CALCULATIONS WELCOME!