Whether you are a horse enthusiast or want to buy a baby horse for races and competitions, you must wonder, “How much do baby horses cost?”. The short answer is not much. However, the buying costs aren’t enough, so you’ll need to consider many more things before settling on a breed.
We’ve already researched the field and selected everything you need to know about baby horses, horse price, horse breeding, and cheap horse breeds.
What Constitutes as a Baby Horse?
If you’re planning to buy a baby horse, you’re probably wondering what baby horses are or, more precisely, up until what age horses are still considered baby horses.
First, let us tell you that people often call baby horses foals, as you may frequently stumble upon this term while doing your research (that is if you’ll need to do it after reading this article!). People refer to horses as foals up until they reach one year old. From one year to two years old, it is a yearling – this means it is not fully mature physically.
Horses are foals and yearlings until they’re two years old because they lack physical maturity. However, you’ll need to treat it as a baby until it’s approximately four years old. This is the time when your horse requires the most attention. You’ll have to make sure to schedule all veterinary checkups, buy the necessary training equipment, and provide basic training.
How Much Do Baby Horses Cost?
If you’ve decided to buy a baby horse, we should move to the next question. Specifically, how much do baby horses cost?
Aside from the costs you’ll have to bear for its house, health, food, and grooming (which we’ll discuss further), you’ll need approximately $1,000 to $5,000 to buy a baby horse.
Unfortunately, we can’t share an accurate cost of a horse because it depends on what horse breed you want to buy. For example, the Clydesdale horse may cost up to around $250,000! However, baby horses for sale are definitely cheaper than mature, trained horses.
How to Pick a Baby Horse
First of all, you should decide on the breed. If you’re a beginner, you can go for an American Quarter Horse, a Kentucky Mountain Horse, or a Cleveland Bay. They are calm, intelligent, and easy to train.
However, don’t forget that it’s much more challenging to train a baby horse than a mature horse. So even if you choose a calm breed, you should be very patient and persistent with your training. If you’re unsure how to do this, we recommend asking for advice from a professional trainer.
What do you want a horse for? Is it just to train and ride it? Is it for farm work? Is it for trail riding? Is it for horse racing? The answers to these questions are crucial in choosing a horse breed because they’ve all historically adapted to perform different tasks.
Here’s a list of horses and their preferred activities:
- General English riding – Versatile warm-blooded horses such as the Cleveland Bay, Morgan, Andalusian, and Belgian Warmblood horses
- General Western riding – Traditional cowboy breeds such as the American Quarter, Mustang, or Appaloosa horses
- Fast riding – Energetic hot-blooded breeds such as the Arabian, Marwari, or Thoroughbred horses
- Pleasure riding – Saddle breeds such as the American Saddlebred horse or Tennessee Walking Horse
- Racing – Fast breeds such as the Arabian horse or the American Quarter Horse
- Show jumping – Sports breeds such as the Danish Warmblood, the Hanoverian, or the Belgian Warmblood horses
Buying a baby horse is quite expensive. Taking care of it is, however, much more costly! That’s why you’ll want to check its health certificate. It will tell you whether the foal has any inherited diseases. If you’re not sure about this, you can always ask a veterinarian or a horse professional to check the foal.
Where Do You Find Baby Horses for Sale?
Evidence shows that if you’re buying a baby horse from areas where few horses live, the prices will be much higher. Consider visiting other places before buying a foal from a place where the breed you’ve chosen is scarce.
Moreover, ensure the person you’re buying the baby horse from is a reputable breeder or trainer. This way, you’ll know they’re trustworthy and will give you good pieces of advice.
The Cost of Caring for a Baby Horse
We’ve already established that buying and caring for a baby horse is pretty expensive. But to what extent? Let’s find out!
First, you’ll need to decide if you want to keep your horse at home or in a public stable. Of course, if you keep your horse at home, you’ll save some money. But this means you’ll have to build a shelter, a qualitative secured safe, and have enough space for outdoor exercise. Besides this, when the horse is still young, someone will need to keep an eye on it at all times.
Moreover, you’ll have to make sure to provide your horse with a good nutritional program. Like human babies, they need all the food benefits to grow up healthy! If you choose a public stable, you’ll pay more, but you won’t have to worry about spacing, feeding, cleaning, or leaving your horse alone if you leave the house.
Whatever you choose, there will still be other costs that you won’t be able to avoid, such as grooming or health care.
Approximate Monthly Costs
If you opt for boarding, it can cost anywhere from $40 up to $2,000 monthly for expensive breeds, such as the Shire horse. Then, the health care price may range between $50 and $150 per month. The food brings another about $50 to $150 per month.
Grooming will cost around $300 and hoof maintenance another about $50 to $80. If you hire a caretaker, you’ll have to pay approximately $800 to $1,200 per month.
Moreover, training equipment will be necessary, as well as other essential items for your horse. Their price may range. If you can’t provide training, you’ll need to pay for it. This means about $200 to $1,500 more monthly.
If we were to calculate the minimum amount you’ll have to pay for all these services, you’d have to spend around $16,000 a year for your baby horse care. However, considering the prices vary depending on the horse breed, you may spend much more.
Moreover, like with humans or any other animals, additional expenses always occur, so you’ll have to put aside a sum of money just in case emergencies happen.
The Cost of Horse Breeding
If your horse has reached sexual maturity and you’re thinking about horse breeding, you should consider a few things before making a decision. However, remember that the prices we’ll list aren’t 100% accurate, as they depend on several things we’ll discuss further.
What’s the process? First, you’ll have to select a stallion and the breeding type (artificial insemination is more expensive). Then, you’ll have to pay the vet for regular checkups on the mare before and while it’s pregnant. Then, you’ll pay for the birth and postpartum care for both the mare and the foal and the vet care until the foal is four years old.
Once the foal is old enough, you’ll need to buy training equipment and provide the necessary basic training up until the horse is four years old.
Although we can’t provide you with an exact cost, as prices vary depending on what stallion and breeding you choose, as well as on what veterinary clinic will look after your mare, we can tell you it won’t cost any less than around $2,000 only to get the mare pregnant.
You may pay an additional $150 to $200 for regular checkups, nutrition for pregnant mares, vaccinations, and so on. The birth itself and the postpartum care will add some around $75 to $150 more. Up until now, you’ve already spent approximately $2,400.
Once the foal is born, you’ll have to put aside money for the things previously listed – food, grooming, training and training equipment, caretaker, and veterinary services.
What is the Cheapest Horse Breed?
The cheapest horse breed is Mustang. The starting horse price is approximately $30 for untrained horses and about $125 for trained horses.
Mustang horses are between 48 to 64 inches tall. They are courageous and intelligent, but they can be challenging to train because they’re feral horses. So if you don’t have experience in horse training, we recommend choosing a different breed.
Other cheap horse breeds include:
- Quarter Horses cost approximately $1,000. They are calm, easy to train, and excellent for pleasure rides. Quarter Horses are one of the fastest horse breeds! These horses are 56 to 68 inches (142.2 to 172.7 cm) tall and feature almost any color except for pinto. Read our article and find out How Much Does a Quarter Horse Weigh.
- Appaloosa horses may cost less than $1,000. These horses grow as tall as 56 to 64 inches (142.2 to 162.56 cm). Their most distinguishable characteristic is their spotted appearance. They are very loyal, affectionate, intelligent, but also fast runners.
- Arabian horses cost approximately $1,000. They are perfect for families with children, as they’re easy to train, intelligent, calm, loyal, and affectionate. Arabians grow as tall as 57 to 61 inches (144.78 to 154.94 cm). They have a beautiful appearance thanks to their colors that vary between bay (reddish brown to brown coloration; black on the tail, mane, lower legs, and ear edges), gray, or black.
- Thoroughbred horses cost between $1,000 and $3,000. A thoroughbred horse is suitable for fast running thanks to its hot-blooded nature. However, it is also very affectionate and intelligent. It is usually 60 inches (152.4 cm) tall but can grow to 68 inches (172.7 cm).
The Final Say
Deciding to buy a baby horse can be a major, life-changing decision! Even though caring for a horse is expensive, the experience is totally worth it if you have the means.
However, before choosing a baby horse, there are some things to consider, such as the reason you’re getting a foal, its health, and temperament, and the breeder you’re willing to buy the animal from. Moreover, buying the horse won’t suffice, as we recommend calculating some further monthly or annual expenses.
Ultimately, what we can say is that baby horses are relatively expensive. If your daughter wants one – a pony, most likely – buying a baby horse can be the perfect opportunity to teach responsibility and care for other living beings.
Naturally, you do have to make sure that you can support all the mentioned costs. Even the cheapest baby horse on the market may still require hundreds or thousands of dollars in care monthly!