Want to buy a horse but struggling to get the money together? Buying a foal can be tempting, as they are often cheaper. But how much do baby horses cost and are they worth the gamble?
Baby horses are normally much cheaper than adult horses. This is because it is difficult to predict what a young horse will turn out like. But many people take the risk, and it pays off with a beautiful adult horse in the future. Let’s take a look at baby horses and how much they cost!
How Much Is a Baby Horse?
Buying a horse can be very expensive. If you’ve always dreamed of owning a horse, you might think it will be impossible to ever own one. But what about baby horses – is buying a foal any cheaper?
Like adult horses, the price of a foal can vary widely. A baby horse with a good pedigree can be very expensive. In 2020, the highest price paid for a foal at the Oldenburg Elite Foal Auction was nearly fifty thousand dollars!
At the other end of the scale, some foals are sold very cheaply. This is normally because they were unplanned, and the owners cannot afford to keep them. The price of foals is also lower when there are a lot of foals for sale.
You may see baby horses at the horse sales for as little as $100. And if you’re very lucky, you might even find one being given away for free! Very tempting if you’re looking to get a horse cheaply, but what are the possible problems?
The main problem is that there is no guarantee of what the foal will turn out like. If the breeding history is unknown, you might end up with a foal that grows into an unsuitable riding horse. However, you might strike lucky and end up with the perfect horse!
The other reason that buying a baby foal is not as cheap as it seems is the cost of rearing it. You won’t be able to start riding your foal until it is about 4 years old. This means you need to pay to feed and look after it for a long time before it can be ridden.
However, rearing a foal can be a fun and rewarding experience. You will build a unique bond as the foal grows, and get to train it exactly how you want.
How To Choose A Baby Horse
If you are looking into buying a foal, it is vital to do some research first. Make a list of the qualities you want in an adult horse, as this will help you to narrow down your search.
When you’ve selected some suitable foals, take a look at their breeding records. You can then do some investigations which may help you to figure out what the foal will be like as an adult.
The best place to start is with the sire of the foal. Look at the stud records for the stallion – does he produce foals which go on to become good quality horses? There is no point buying a foal intended for showjumping if the sire was a talented dressage horse!
How Much Do Baby Horses Cost To Look After?
So, you’re thinking about taking the leap into buying a foal. It is a good idea to do your research first and make sure you can afford to keep it. But how much do baby horses cost to look after?
The cost of looking after a baby horse depend on how you look after it and the facilities you have available. If you have your own barn and paddocks, with plenty of grass and hay, then your feed and stabling bills will be relatively low. The costs will be much higher if you need to rent stabling and buy in extra feed.
No matter how much you keep these costs down, there are other costs which will always arise. You will need to pay for the farrier, worming, vaccinations, and other veterinary expenses. It is normally fairly easy to find out the cost of these in your area to calculate how much your baby horse will cost to look after.
If buying a baby horse, there are some additional costs which you may need to cover. If you have never trained a horse before, you may need to pay for a trainer to break your horse to ride. Male foals, also known as colts, will need to be neutered at a veterinary clinic.
How Much Does Breeding A Horse Cost?
If you don’t want to buy a foal, you might think about breeding your own. However, don’t be tempted to think of this as getting a free horse! The cost of breeding horses is quite high, and there can be some unexpected expenses.
You might already own a suitable mare for breeding, but if not you will need to buy or lease one. The cost of a good breeding horse can be quite high, particularly if it has bred good foals in the past. You could breed from a mare which has never had a foal, but you would have no guarantee of what the foal would be like.
Another cost of breeding a horse is the stud fee, this is the fee you pay for a stallion to mate with your mare. You also have veterinary fees to pay during and after the pregnancy. Once the foal is born, you then have two mouths to feed and house – double the expense!
So, as we’ve learned, the cost of a baby horse can vary widely, but it is possible to get a bargain. However, you will need to cover the cost of feeding your foal for several years until it is old enough to be ridden. There is also no guarantee that your foal will turn into your perfect riding horse.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the cost of baby horses! Perhaps you bought your current riding horse as a foal? Or maybe you have some questions about the cost of raising a foal? Please add your comments below!