Let’s look at what goes into the price of a horse, and what it costs to bring them along.
When I breed a horse, there is the cost of buying the mare, maintaining the mare when not in foal, while in foal, and after foaling. So minimum, this is 18 months of mare care. There is the stud fee, and associated Veterinary fees. Then the foal has to be fed, and the feet need done, etc. etc. Multiply that by the age of the horse. Is the foal just a weanling? Maybe a yearling? How about when I keep the foal, start it, and get a small record on it. You are talking 4 years minimal. Of feed, care, vet, insurance, showing, training, etc. etc. etc. What has it cost you for a year for the horse that you just had?
It is easy to spend 5k getting a mare in foal. A good sire starts at $1500 Euro for fresh semen, you can pay double that for frozen on a good sire. Then there are the vet costs. Believe me when I say, I paid the vet $3500 each for two mares neither one took. Then the costs of the mare care pre-, during, post-foaling. Say another $200 a month. You have another $3600 from insemination, to weaning. If you are lucky, you got the mare back in foal quick if not there is boarding at the Vet’s. If not….multiply multiply multiply.
All of those expenses are easy to see. RIGHT. Easy. But what about the costs that are not as easy to see. So let’s discuss those. You know that bright green pasture, with the beautiful white rail fence you saw the mare frolicking in? Did you know the costs to keep it that way? Boards snap all on a regular basis. The costs per acre to weed/fertilize would surprise you. Dragging the pasture to keep the worms down, pests down, takes fuel. Cutting the grass, to keep it appealing for the horses to eat, and appealing for the consumer to look at…fuel, maintenance of farm equipment, purchase of said equipment. TIME. Bringing the foal/mare in for feeding, time, labor. The barn: shavings, electric, labor to keep it clean, boards that they kick and break, repairs repairs repairs. Even the water hose usually gets replaced every few months which adds to the tally.
Then there is the time commitment and energy expanded on this horse. I don’t show a horse that looks like crap. They have to be kept clean, labor, they have to have baths, shampoos, towels that need to be washed. Clipper blades. Show Sheen. And that list can go on and on and on.
Then there is training. I do not have a live-in trainer, and thereby have to hire a trainer. I do not get a break. I pay the same that you would for a trainer. Want a show record. There is that can of worms. You must go to shows. Entry fees are not cheap. The trailer, the truck, a groom. Stalls. Shavings at shows. It all adds up.
When you are figuring out a budget on a horse, realize, we all would like to have a perfect horse, for 10k, and go our merry way. So that 25k that I am asking for the horse that I bred, trained, raised, and developed a show record on….more than likely, I am making nothing for it, and just trying to pay some bills, survive to do this another year, and make you happy. This is my hobby.
So hopefully you understand that what I’m asking is not unreasonable.