Miniature horses appeal to many potential owners for various reasons, not just because they are adorable! Miniature horses come with their fair share of costs, and you must ensure you have enough space and resources to accommodate them.
So, if you want a complete breakdown before you commit, we are here to help. Here are the cost categories and what you can expect to pay upfront, and after that, when you have a miniature horse—or two. Adopting a miniature horse can cost you around $250-$700, and buying one from a breeder will cost approximately $1,000-$2,000.
Bringing Home a New Miniature Horse: One-Time Costs
When you bring home your miniature horse, you can expect to pay more upfront than you will for several years following purchase, preventing all goes well. You have to consider the purchase of the horse itself and any supplies and preparations you need to make beforehand.
Rarely, but not impossibly, you might come across a miniature horse for free. Many circumstances can prevent original owners from caring for their pets. So, you might get lucky if you run across a person just wanting to rehome their mini.
If you get a horse for free, plan ahead for vet care if there are no records. This way, you can see what other expenses may incur—along with needed supplies.
Adoption is a really great option for potential miniature horse owners. The cost varies greatly depending on the breed, age, health issues, and other factors.
If you adopt a mini horse, prices can vary based on a variety of factors as well, including supplies that come along with the sale. With adoption, you can save a lot of money due to vet care being completed beforehand.
Because miniature horses are so popular, it’s easy to find rescue organizations. So be sure to check around your general area.
Buying from a breeder can be significantly more expensive but can be worth it. You can select a well-bred miniature horse that is the color, pattern, and temperament you seek.
Always ensure that the breeder you select is reputable with a history of healthy offspring. If you consider a cost too low, that can be a red flag of poor living conditions or overall care.
If you want to get really intricate with your miniature horse purchase, some rare sought-after varieties can be upwards of $200,000. That’s more than most people’s houses!
Initial Setup and Supplies
Prepping space for your miniature horse can be expensive and time-consuming. There is quite a lot to figure out in terms of what housing you want, how large the fence space will be, and whether you’re going to hire help or do it yourself.
It depends on your budget and the expectation of each product. You can buy many supplies secondhand from other horse owners, online marketplaces, and outlet shops. Or you can elect to buy all of these products brand new.
Miniature horses require a lot less space than full-sized cousins, totaling roughly 1/4 of an acre per mini horse. When it comes to fencing and shelter, things can get pricey. However, if you already have a structure on your property, you’re already one step ahead.
Getting your outdoor set up complete before bringing them home is absolutely crucial. So, it should be the first place you focus before even picking out your mini.
List of Miniature Horse Care Supplies and Costs
How Much Does a Miniature Horse Cost Per Month?
One miniature horse has its costs. But the truth is, you should really have more than one. These social creatures rely on the companionship from other minis—and other farm animals.
So, if you will have two or three horses, you have to consider all factors and multiply costs as needed.
Regarding your miniature horse’s overall health, there are several categories to consider. Some miniature horses require very little vet care, being healthy and robust. Others might have a few problems along the way, incurring larger expenses.
The type of food you buy and the amount of care procedures you elect to do yourself speak volumes. Some people prefer to have hired help on hand to perform general care such as hoof cleaning, grooming, and simple medical care.
Other people prefer to do it all themselves, cutting out a huge chunk of the cost. So here are some generalized numbers. Keep in mind that it will be on the lower end of the spectrum if you are well-versed and know how to do most of this on your own.
Miniature horses might be much smaller than their full-size cousins, but they still require bountiful daily meals. The ultimate cost will depend on the type of feed you’re buying and how many horses you have.
Luckily, like most farm animals, these horses love to graze and will reap most of their nutritional reward from outdoor living. But to create a well-balanced diet, you still need to supplement them daily with grain and hay.
Miniature horses will require faithful grooming to stay in the best shape. You can do this yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Costs for having someone do it for you can vary.
Medications and Vet Visits
Often, miniature horses are healthy little troopers. But occasionally, they might need to see the vet more often or take certain medications due to health issues. So, you might spend no money in this category—but prices can climb quickly based on their conditions.
Insurance for your miniature horse is completely elective and up to the owner. Currently, there is slim picking regarding insurance for miniature horses. The ASPCA is one of the only companies offering coverage, so check out their rates.
The monthly premium prices that you will pay depend greatly on the types of coverage you pick. In the future, horse owners will likely have more options available. So, keep an eye out and remember that you can always change your mind later if a better option becomes available to you.
In the meantime, having insurance for your horse is a huge relief regarding financial expenses. Any horse owner knows that that care can be costly. So having that added layer of protection gives horse owners peace of mind knowing they can care for their animals despite their current situation.
Of course, you will only dream of owning a miniature horse if you have to clean up after them. Just like any other animal, these pets require daily maintenance. You’ll have to clean out stalls to make sure that they have a dry, hygienic living environment.
While this requires manual labor, you also have to pay to replace whatever bedding you choose. Some options are cheaper than others, particularly if you have the materials on your farm.
Other folks will have to purchase environmental maintenance supplies at a store. So the total cost will vary depending on your particular situation.
Your mini horse might not need toys like a cat or dog, but they definitely could use some entertainment!
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Miniature Horse
As you can see, owning a miniature horse doesn’t have to be a very expensive commitment. But it would be best if you didn’t cut corners either. Some people pay on the very low end of the spectrum while others pay even higher than the figures we’ve mentioned.
Overall, it’s going to come down to what your specific horse needs and the types of products and services you elect for your horse.
Additional Costs to Factor In
So, on top of all the costs we mentioned, there are others to consider as well. Here are a few categories that you might never need—but some people certainly will.
For professional training, you can expect to spend in the ballpark of $400. Some folks are very skilled at training their own minis. However, novice owners might need a little help.
The good thing is, it’s a one-time cost, and you have a fully functional, mannerly, well-trained horse for life. Plus, it takes a lot of the headache out of it for you as well. You have to focus a lot less on potentially difficult training techniques that you need to familiarize yourself with.
Boarding horses can get rather pricey. On average, you’re looking at $300–$400 per month for full-time boarding. So, if you have to spend any time away from home—or you plan to keep the horse elsewhere and not at your home—it’s something to consider.
This number can fluctuate drastically depending on where you live, the place you choose, and whether it’s full or partial care.
If you plan on taking your horse off the farm, you will need a way to get them from A to B. You can buy small travelers that are suitable for hauling up to two horses at a time. You can buy these used or brand new, depending on your preference.
They are great to have on hand if you plan to do any shows, 4-H projects, fairs, or vet visits.
Owning a Miniature Horse on a Budget
If you worry about fitting in all the costs associated with owning a mini horse into your budget, there are ways to save. So, here are a few tips to save a few dollars and keep care within your budget.
You should never cut corners if it reduces your ability to care for the horse. So, if you find general care isn’t in your means, it’s best to wait for a more suitable financial time in the future.
Saving Money on Miniature Horse Care
One of the most immediate ways to save money on miniature horse costs is to buy all supplies secondhand. You can get some very nice items for very low prices if you know where to look. You can look online at marketplaces, ask your veterinarian for recommendations, or search locally to find what you need. You can even sometimes get shelters and fencing at very low prices; you simply need a way to haul it.
Do It Yourself
The more you learn to do on your own with your miniature horses the more money you will save. At first, you might not be so well versed or comfortable with certain care, but over time you can learn at your own pace. This can significantly reduce a lot of the financial burden.
Whether you’re buying feed, supplements, or other things your horses might need, it sometimes saves to buy locally. Get to know your feed store farmers, be bold, and ask for prices on various items. Supporting small businesses is a way to help your local community and save a few dollars along the way.
So, now you know that this isn’t going to be a cheap expenditure, but it will be worth it. If a miniature horse is in your budget, remember you should always have more than one. They require same-species friendship and thrive best in pairs or more.
Featured Image Credit: Peter is Shaw 1991, Shutterstock