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  • Writer's pictureBryon Vernon

5 Basic Equine Maintenance Tips on a Budget

Can maintaining a horse be done on a budget? You might want to know, “how much does it cost to maintain a horse?” This question is asked a lot from inspiring horse owners. There are many areas of horse maintenance, so we will gallop over five topics today. The 5 main categories for discussion are Boarding, Mucking (Cleaning stalls), Health, Nutrition, and Grooming.


Do you know where your horse will reside? You might consider boarding your horse at a stable, if you do not own enough land. When boarding a horse you have options such as Full Boarding, Partial Boarding, Pasture Boarding, or Self Boarding. The most inexpensive Boarding is self-boarding. When you self-board, you have the opportunity to have a hands on experience with your horse on a daily basis. Although self-boarding is affordable, at $100 to $250.00 per month, you must remember it will also be hard work.

Mucking (Stall Maintenance)

What in the world is Mucking? Mucking is the equestrian term for cleaning out a horse’s stall. A clean stall is a fairly inexpensive way to keep your horse happy. The needed items can be found at your local Tractor Supply store for as little as $5.99 for small water and feed buckets, $19.99 for a mucking fork, $5.99 for premium shavings, and $7.99 for fly spray which is the most prized possession to a horse owner. A clean stall will result in good hygiene for the majestic animals we all love…..the horse.


A Healthy horse yields to a longer life-span, which will give you a prolonged and more enjoyable ride. The most essential health test for a horse is a Coggins test. A Coggins Test costs approximately $40.00 annually, and shows that your horse is negative for a deadly disease called Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). Trimming your horses hooves are important for correct balance that aids to their health. A good trim will cost about $30.00-$40.00. Horse shoes are non-essential and more expensive at $90.00 to $150.00 per visit every 4 to 6 weeks.


What do horses like to eat? Horses graze on grass all day. Whew, that wasn’t a tough question to answer, but because they are domesticated animals, other supplements may be necessary. You may feed your horse good quality hay during the months that green grass is not readily available. There are different forms of horse quality hay such as Alfalfa, Timothy, Bermuda and/or Orchard. Good quality hay can start at $50.00 a bale. Grain can also be bought at around $14.00 to $28.00 per bag to maintain a working horse’s weight. Always consult with your veterinarian for the proper feed and supplements for your horse. Good feed will yield a nice shine to your horse’s coat.


How do you keep your horse looking nice? If you take care of the basics of a horse, they will look stunning. I dare you to go the extra mile in grooming and buy quality shampoo ($5.23), mane detangler ($19.99), hoof pick ($.99), horse brush and comb set ($5.99). These basics will have your horse turning heads at any equestrian event you trot in to.

To learn more details on these 5 Basic Equine Maintenance Tips, ask a question and/or leave a comment below. If you would like to see these tips in action come back on Thursday as we will put these tips to use. See you then, but in the meantime, ride to inspire!!!


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