If you're planning to purchase a horse, you probably already know how much you're willing and able to spend. But the purchase price is just one part of the cost of a horse. In fact, the cost of owning a horse can range dramatically depending on the breed, age and disposition of your horse, where you live, where you plan to keep the horse and what type of work you plan to do with your new friend. Before you buy a horse, know what you have in your monthly budget.

Do your research to determine you have enough financial resources to own a horse. Your local 4-H Cooperative extension can offer some valuable insight, and point you in the right direction. The easiest way to keep the cost of a horse low is to board him on your own property. However, if you live in an urban area or don’t have the facilities to properly board and pasture a horse, you'll need to find a stable in the area that can keep him. Southern Maryland is home to hundreds of farms, many with horses. Boarding a horse can cost anywhere from $100 up to $500 a month depending on the boarding environment (pasture or stable).

If you plan to keep your horse on your own land, you’ll also need to consider whether the property is adequately equipped. First, you should check with your County zoning and planning office to determine if there are any restrictions for having horses. In Charles County, you must have 3 acres for the first horse and an acre per horse after that. You will also want to ensure you have the proper space for a barn, or someplace for the horse to stay in colder weather.

Most horse owners spend about $60 to $100 per month on hay, salt and supplements – and some spend much more, particularly if they feed grain. Maintaining your horse's hooves adds even more to the cost of a horse. Whether or not you plan to shoe your horse, you'll need to have a farrier check and trim his hooves every two months or so. This usually costs around $25 or $30. Add in shoeing, and you could pay $80 to $100 every two months. Routine medical care is an additional cost of owning a horse and includes vaccinations, de-worming and annual teeth cleaning. For a healthy horse, this can cost as little as $300 a year. However, if your horse gets injured or ill, you could pay hundreds or even thousands for a one-time treatment. Although you can't predict such expenses, prepare yourself for the possibility before you buy a horse.

If you are searching for horse property to purchase, DeHanas Real Estate Services can help. Call 301-870-1717 to begin your search.

Click here for a list of all available horse property for sale in Southern Maryland.