How Much Is My Horse Worth?

There are many factors that can help to determine the value of your horse, but the exact procedure is, until today, not available.

Some factors influencing value of the horse are its age, height, sex, color, temperament, breeding, health status, location, reason for sale, and its intended job and performance records.

One of the factors is also how you do the marketing of your horse, that too helps with the process of evaluating your horse’s worth.

Today, many owners have an agreement with an insurance company that can issue you a policy based on the “agreed value” of the horse (you and the insurance company agree on the value of your horse). Or, if your policy is not so good, on the “fair market value”, that is, if something happens and your horse dies, you will receive an amount based on the market price at the time the horse died.

Table Of Contents

How do you determine a horse’s value?

Determining a value of a horse is quite often a very challenging task.

If you have bought a horse not long ago, or if a professional has sold you a horse, the sale price is usually an authentic impression of the horse’s value and shows the recent opinion of the market. After taking that into consideration, you may also add the cost of transport. The transportation fees could go from 2000-8000 U.S. dollars, depending on from where the horse is being shipped.

However, if your horse was not acquired from a recent sale, there are many factors that go into deciding its value. It starts with the sale price, but can assume a higher value if there are, for example, show, training and/or breeding records that you own.

A good way of determining a horse’s value is finding a selling agent familiar with the breed and the possible disciplines the horse can participate in, since there are many variables to consider during this process.

How much is a trained horse worth?

The more trained the horse is, the more expensive it is.

The buyer’s wishes are of course one of the most important things when it comes to the price of a trained horse.

For example, the price range for an all-rounder (a horse that can do everything from dressage to cross-country to sponsorship rides, but won’t be a superstar) is very wide. You can buy a 16.1h Irish Sport Horse for $8,000 or a nine-year-old Schoolmaster for $5,000.

Prices for dressage horses, whether they are rescue horses, top horses or continental Warmbloods, vary widely. An amateur who wants a safe horse for competition up to the elementary level can pay anywhere from $6,000 to tens of thousands of dollars for a fine show horse. You will probably have to pay around $5,500 for a promising young dressage horse and over $10,000 for a top Oldenburg horse. For solid, well-trained, light, competitive BE100 show jumper horses, you should expect to pay around $15,000.

What makes a horse expensive?

The monetary value of a horse is decided by many factors.

Age – horses in their prime (7 to 12 years old) are generally worth more because there is less demand for older or younger horses.

Size, sex, color – the size of a horse affects its value. Stallions are more often preferred to mares, horses over 16h are more valuable than horses fewer than 15h, and bays are preferred to gray horses.

Temperament – the more sensitive, attractive and “light on his feet” the higher the value of the horse.

Breed – a horse that is well-bred and has famous siblings has a higher value.

Expected work/performance history – The greater the demand for a particular type of horse, the higher its value. Therefore, the title you give your horse in the ad should indicate a job in which the horse will excel, such as hunter, dressage star, all-rounder, etc.

Health – Horses often suffer from some sort of illness, whether it is a physical illness or behavioral issues. It is best to be open and honest about these topics.

Location is very important when selling horses. Sometimes it really makes sense to move a horse to a stable in an easily accessible location to reach more buyers.

No matter how much your horse is worth – $500 or $15,000 – if the ad is not well written, accompanied by good quality photos and videos, presented to the right audience, it is unlikely that your horse will sell for the price you want.

Which is the most expensive horse breed?

The world’s most expensive breed today are, on all accounts, Thoroughbreds.

For example, one of the horses belonging to this breed has been sold for $70 million. Thoroughbreds are racehorses, and there is no other breed that can successfully take them from their throne, at least, not when it comes to this discipline.

The second breed, when it comes to price, is Dutch Warmblood, and these horses are bred for jumping and dressage. They are known for their elegance, good temperament and are known to quite often win the competitions they are in.

If we consider all the recent sales and then the history, there are more or less, 19 expensive breeds today, starting with Thoroughbreds as the most expensive:

  • Thoroughbred
  • Dutch Warmblood
  • Selle Francais
  • Standardbred
  • Friesian
  • Hanovarian
  • Oldenburg
  • Arabian
  • Holsteiner
  • Andalusian
  • Gypsy Vanner
  • Quarter Horse
  • Morgan
  • Mustang
  • Appaloosa
  • American Paint
  • Tennessee Walker
  • Clydesdale
  • Lipizzaner

What is the cheapest horse breed?

The rescue horses are currently the cheapest breed that could be bought, followed by wild mustangs, quarter horses, off-the-track thoroughbreds and Arabians.

The price for the rescue horses is usually only the adoption fee, and generally they cannot be resold.

Wild mustangs require intensive training and patient riders, as they should be tamed first. Usually their price is only the adoption fee, going as low as $25.

Thoroughbreds are known as the most expensive breed today, but, there are thoroughbreds that do not meet the expectations of a great race career. These horses could be bought for a really low price, however, that does not mean that they will not be great horses. That solely depends on how much the buyer knows about this breed and their abilities and limitations.

Quarter horses are one of the most popular horses in America. Because of this reason, their price is lower in the USA than in some other countries. There are great horses that could be bought under $1000.

Arabians could be really expensive, but, they are usually bred for endurance, they are widely available, on the smaller side, and sometimes they are not so docile and easy to train. Considering all these reasons, there are Arabians that could be sold for a more budget-friendly price.

How much is the cheapest horse?

The cheapest horse could be bought for a price that goes under $25.

The rescue horses, as one of the cheapest breed today, could be bought for a really low price, that is to say, their “purchase price” is usually their adoption fee.

But, the buyer must be aware that these horses sometimes need complex care and highly experienced riders, as they need to be retrained and rehabilitated. They usually could not be resold.

On the other side, Arabians, some thoroughbreds, quarter horses and wild mustangs may be available for under $1000. However, it would be prudent that the potential buyer is aware of the good and the not so good traits of the breed he/she is buying. Buying a horse is a great responsibility, and it does not end with the purchase. Unrelated to their market price, all horses should be taken care of and trained to the best of their abilities.

How much can you sell a horse for?

There is no official horse website or service where you can see the sale prices of other horses similar to yours.

Selling a horse is not easy, so when deciding on a value for your horse, you should not depend on how much you will need to buy another horse. For many owners selling horses is not something they do very often. Thus, preparing an advertisement and setting a realistic price can be very difficult. Although parting with a horse is often a very emotional decision, owners should try to describe their horse objectively when writing an ad. The ad should explain what are his strengths, what work is he particularly good at, what experience does he have, what is his temperament, how is he bred, what are his special qualities.

An equine appraiser is also a possible source of information and advice. A horse appraiser is not a usual profession in the world of horses, like trainers or veterinarians are. However, a horse owner can find a qualified appraiser through local organizations, horse magazines, horse websites, word of mouth or the American Association of Horse Appraisers.

Is a horse more expensive than a car?

Buying and owning a car is a lot less expensive than buying and owing a horse.

There are many differences between the two, but the most important one is that a horse is a living thing, while a car is not.

The sale price of a horse is often less than that of a car, but the sale price is only the beginning when it comes to horses. It is possible to buy, maintain, fuel, repair, insure and operate a car for less money than buying and maintaining a horse.

Here are some of the estimated costs that vary by location and level of service:

– Feed and board – the horse needs a stall with feed (grain and hay), grooming services, a resting area and a place to ride. On the other hand, you can park your car in the driveway – you do not need a garage.

– Farrier services – horse needs a manicure every 6 weeks – clippers only, no horseshoes, plus vet bills – vaccinations every 6 months, dental exam and scrotal cleaning. The car should be serviced but usually once a year.

– Saddles and tack – riding a horse requires at least one saddle, which you will probably change every couple of years. The car usually has everything needed to ride immediately.

This is the basic scenario, where nothing dramatic happens. However, cars can have brake problems, engine problems and flat tires. Horses can limp, tear tendons, have wolf tooth problems, get sick, be insulin resistant, requiring a visit to the vet with a visit fee each time, plus the cost of x-rays, ultrasounds, and medications.

Do you have to be rich to own a horse?

For buying and owning a horse, you don’t have to be rich, but you do need a steady income.

You need to be able to buy feed and grain, pay the dentist and farrier, and have extra money saved to pay for unexpected veterinary bills. Horses are not cheap, so make sure you can afford to look for them and that your budget and income is adequate for the size of the horse.

For the average horse, the total cost of keeping a horse is more than the cost of buying one. If you talk to professionals, they will tell you that the cost of keeping an expensive horse is very similar to keeping a cheap horse. The initial capital needed to buy a horse may be the biggest financial expense needed at once. The initial capital required to buy a horse may be the largest financial outlay you will have at the beginning. However, the cost of caring for, training, and equipping a horse far exceeds the initial cost of a regular horse.

How much do horses cost a year?

Annually, costs for owning a horse are approximately $3,876, showed by a survey made on the University of Maine.

Responses to the University of Maine survey on horse ownership revealed that the average annual cost of owning a horse is $3,876 per horse, with an average cost of $2,419. This puts the average monthly cost between $200 and $325, which is about the same or a bit more than the cost of a car.

If you have a horse on your own property, you have general maintenance costs, meaning you have to make sure everything is well maintained and in working order. This category includes stall, barn or shelter maintenance, equipment and fence maintenance, and trailer maintenance. If the owner keeps the horse in an enclosed barn, you must also take care of the bedding.

If you have to board the horse elsewhere, the cost will increase. The cost of boarding a horse can range from $100 per month in a pasture without indoor stalls to more than $1,000 per month in stables with stalls, individual runs, arenas and other facilities near urban areas. You’ll also pay for additional fees such as vet and farrier fees, feed or special care such as blankets and bandages, and fly masks. Monthly care is cheaper at do-it-yourself centers, but you must take care of your horse every day, bringing your own feed and bedding.

What is the average cost of a horse?

The average cost of having a horse will be very different depending on your location, the horse’s location after the purchase, the horse’s breed, and so on.

The list can include horses that can be found for free, and horses that cost over $100,000, and sometimes much more for an elite show. However, most amateur riders can find a sound, well-bred horse for under $5,000.

The pedigree, or, specifically, the breeding status, will also affect the price of a horse. Specially bred horses, such as those that are faster, can be more expensive than those that do not share the same genetic line.

Just as the type of horse and the reason for buying it varies considerably, so does the cost. Costs can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. The University of Maine calculated that the usual cost of a horse used for regular recreation is around $3,000.

How much does it cost to raise a horse?

The minimum cost to maintain a horse per day is $5.01 per day or $1,828.65 per year.

Apart from the known purchase costs, there are also additional costs closely connected to the process of taking care of a horse.

For example, there is a cost for transport after the purchase, and also transportation costs it if you need to move the horse from its location to other places, such as shows or races.

Then there is the cost for boarding. Boarding facilities range from full service to you cleaning and maintaining the horse’s stalls by yourself. If you use your horse for recreation, some facilities have riding arenas that you can use.

You may receive a tax break if you own the land your horse grazes on, or taxes break because your horse is considered a pet. When looking at costs, you should check what is covered by institutions and what your responsibility is. You could spare some money by doing more for your horse. For example, if you have a stable where you can board your horse, you will save thousands of dollars in boarding fees. You can also save money by buying the lowest quality hay and taking it from the field, learning to trim your own hooves and buying your own vaccines, which is usually not recommended.

How much does it cost to stable a horse?

Stable fees vary greatly depending on the stable the horse owner wants to use.

If you don’t have land at home to keep your horse, you will need to rent a pasture or find a stable to put the horse in.

If you board your horse in a field/pasture, but expect no exercise, feeding or other luxuries, you will probably pay up to $100 per month. However, with conveniences like food, water, bedding and regular exercise you need to count on a higher price. According to a Rutgers University presentation, the average monthly boarding fee is $260, but some facilities charge up to $600.

Farmers usually have fields to rent for horses, which are usually the cheapest. However, there are usually very few facilities, and horse owners are responsible for maintaining the fields and cleaning them. Most horse owners choose to board their horses at a stable, which often has a variety of facilities, such as exercise areas, training grounds, mud hills, jumps, etc. There are also workers who maintain the fields. If the owner wants to keep the horse in a livery stable, there are some costs that need to be considered. On average, they are:

Item Horse on grass livery Horse on DIY stabled livery Horse on full livery
Livery $1,440-$1,800 $2,170-2,890 $7,230-10,840
Hay, straw and shavings $190-300 $1,450-2,170 Normally included in livery fee
Feed $160-330 $360-720 Normally included in livery fee
Vet’s fees $100 $100 $100
Insurance $330-670 $330-670 $330-670
Farrier $310-1,065 $310-1,065 $310-1,065
Dentist $70-100 $70-100 $70-100
Worming $55-145 $55-145 $55-145
Extras $1390 $1,390 $1,390
Total $4,065-5,045 $6,235-9,260 $9,480-14,320

How much does it cost to loan a horse?

Loaning out a horse is free of charge, namely, there is not a fee of any sort to pay if you loan a horse.

At the beginning, we have to differentiate between “loaning” and “renting” out a horse. If you rent a horse, there would, probably, be a fee to pay, but, if you are talking about loaning out a horse, that is a different story.

Loan can be a “full” loan, where the person borrowing the horse for a period of time is taking care of the said horse as if it were her own. That consist of paying for all that the horse needs.

The other type of loan is a “part” loan. In this type of agreement, both the loaner and the person who loans the horse are sharing the costs of keeping the horse, including feeding, insurance, stabling, etc. How much is the person paying depends on how much time is the said person having the horse.