What does it cost to run an equine retirement farm and care for the horses? This is a question that Jason and I are asked frequently both by owners and by people interested in running an equine retirement facility. (To see a list of our services and rates click
). Below is a list of some of the costs that must be factored in:
1. Cost of land: we allow approximately 2 acres/horse
2. Fencing and cross-fencing(we recently paid $7/foot for some additional 4-board wood fencing) plus gates and ongoing maintenance (the horses don't write the checks so at times they chew them, scratch on them, kick them, lean on them, etc. We are sure they would be more respectful if they were paying the bill!)
5. Equipment to maintain farm: tractor, bushhog, manure spreader, chain harrow etc. plus costs to operate, insure and maintain the equipment
6. Cost of building barns/sheds (extra charges will be incurred for site preparation, concrete aisles, gravel in sheds, water & electricity, indoor washracks) plus ongoing maintenance and insurance
7. Cost of storage for hay, tractors and other equipment
8. Troughs, hay feeders, buckets, hoses, brushes, shampoos, grooming supplies, etc.
9. Monthly hay bill: Our area (southeast) is currently experiencing a major hay crisis along with many other parts of the country, and hay prices have more than doubled in the last 12 months. It is also predicted that fewer hay fields will be planted as farmers are responding to the rising corn prices (for ethanol) and planting more corn.
10. Monthly grain bill: Feed prices are expected to continue to rise due to higher diesel costs and due to higher cash grain prices for ethanol.
11. Property Taxes
12. Commericial Liability Insurance
13. Salary for caretakers: preparing and feeding hay, grain and supplements; blanketing; maintaining pastures; clean/rebed stalls; repair fences; groom horses; scrub buckets and troughs; hold for vet & farrier; order supplies and pick up hay/feed; monthly billing and accounting work; updating owners and communicating with clients
14. Monthly utility bills
15. Costs for truck and trailer (needed for transport and for emergencies)
16. Cost to maintain emergency medicines and supplies and to replace outdated items (some meds are not cheap!)
17. Farrier costs (included in all of our board packages)
18. Costs for annual vaccinations (included in all of our board packages)
19. Costs for de-worming (included in all of our board packages)
20. Marketing and advertising costs (we have to be able to let you know we are here!)
To learn more about our board packages and rates click