Whether you're an avid rider or just love horses, purchasing a horse can be very rewarding. However, there is a lot that goes into caring for a horse and it can be expensive. The average annual cost of owning a horse is around $3,876. Stabling costs and food make up a large portion of this number. Medical costs are also something that must be considered carefully when owning and caring for a horse. Here are three things to know about horses and their medical care before taking on the responsibilities of horse ownership.
Routine Medical Care
Just like humans, horses require routine health checkups and vaccinations. Horses require regular hoof maintenance every couple of months in order to stay healthy. Hoof trimming costs between $30 and $70 while shoeing costs between $75 and $300. Horses also require other regular medical including vaccinations, de-worming, and annual teeth cleaning. Standard veterinary care for a horse will average around $500 annually. Routine medical care can be pricey at times, however it's essential to the health of the horse. Ignoring routine medical care can also lead to higher veterinary bills down the road.
Emergency Care Is Expensive
Another thing to consider is the fact that emergency care for a sick horse can be very expensive. While routine medical care can prevent a lot of potential issues, sometimes emergencies occur. A trip to a large animal hospital may be required and can cost thousands of dollars. Correcting an uncomplicated colic can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $8,000 while treating a fracture can cost as little as $1,500 to more than $10,000 if it was a difficult break or if there are complications. The high costs of emergency care should be considered before purchasing a horse.
Insurance Is Available
While many horses go through their lives without needing expensive emergency medical care, there are no guarantees. Equine medical insurance policies are a great idea for horse owners. These policies will cover a majority of medical costs in case of an emergency. Things such as horse health and age can impact the ability to get an insurance policy. For most horses, equine medical insurance costs between $400 and $800 per year. Veterinarians will be able to provide a list of insurance companies that offer equine medical insurance.
While horse ownership can be rewarding, it can also be expensive. Medical costs in particular can run into the thousands of dollars. Horse owners should know that routine medical care is essential for keeping a horse healthy. Emergency care is also sometimes required and can cost thousands of dollars. However, equine medical insurance can help keep emergency medical costs under control.