Miniature horses cost as much annually to own as full-sized horses (1)

How Much Do Miniature Horses Cost to Buy, Raise? Full Guide


Miniature horses are known to be less expensive than your average Quarterhorse, right? While a miniature horse may cost considerably less to buy and care for, there are numerous expenses you must be prepared for.

How much do miniature horses cost? Miniature horses cost between $500-$1,300 to buy. One miniature horse costs around $158.77-$256.59 to care for on a monthly basis, or $1,898-$3,077.5 per year. You’ll want to set aside an extra “cushion” for emergencies, such as unexpected vet visits. 

While those numbers may shock you, there are many variables that play into it. Work a miniature horse into your budget before you buy one. 

Here is a breakdown of the costs involved with miniature horses – including ten ways to save money!

Cost of Buying a Miniature Horse

Most miniature horses cost between $500-$1,300 upfront. Factors such as bloodlines, training, age, sex, color, location, health, and other factors influence the price. Let’s explore these in a bit more depth.

Cost of a Horse to Buy, Own in 2022-10 Cheap Horse Breeds


Location affects how much you can expect to pay for miniature horses. In general, horses cost more in regions with a high cost of living coupled with a high average salary, near major show circuits, and close to major cities.

It can also vary on a national scale. Take Canada, for example. Horses are usually less expensive in the Maritimes than they are in British Columbia or Alberta, regardless of training, color, and other factors. For miniature horses, this can be a difference of $2,000-$15,000 or more.

It’s similar in the USA, too. Hawaii is one of the most expensive states to buy a horse in, while they are usually cheaper in Alabama. If you purchase a horse out-of-state, you may pay less upfront – but the cost will quickly catch up with transportation.

Cost of a Miniature Horse Around the USA

Horses West Coast Midwest Northeast Southern
Mares $1,900 $2,530 $1,900 $2,500
Geldings $2,750 $2,200 $1,500 $1,400
Stallions $2,000 $2,600 $2,700 $1,900
Colts $4,200 $2,000 $900 $1,500
Fillies $4,400 $3,000 $1,000 $2,000
Pet Quality $600 $3,300 $500 $800
Show Quality $25,000 $1,230 $6,500 $3,300

*These numbers are averages based on research. Actual prices may vary


Broodmares and stallions with impeccable bloodlines cost substantially more than run-of-the-mill horses. Sometimes these types of miniature horses sell for a number as high as $50,000! Even geldings with a great pedigree are more expensive. 

This isn’t an area most beginners to the world of horses need to be concerned with. Usually only breeders value a pristine bloodline.


Unfortunately, many people assume that miniature horses don’t need training because of their smaller size. Don’t make this mistake! 

Miniature horses still require basic groundwork training, including walking on a halter, lunging, and ground manners. This is true for both farm minis and top-show miniature horses. 

Specially trained miniature horses will often be more expensive than green horses. If you want to compete in a particular miniature horse discipline, you’ll either need a trained horse or a trainer. Both options cost more.


Colts and fillies are more expensive upfront than a fifteen-year-old miniature horse. Remember that different ages come with their own costs. Colts usually need to be gelded, which can cost around $400. Young horses should have training, which may mean hiring a trainer. On the other hand, older horses have special care requirements that may cost more.


Pinto, buckskin, palomini, roans, and other “special” colors will raise the price. Miniature horses with an appaloosa pattern are both more difficult to find and considerably more expensive. Likewise, miniature horses with a perfect conformation are likely to cost more. 

This often has to do with the show ring. Horses with flashy movement and fancy colors are highly prized and win more ribbons.


Geldings are popular for many reasons, including cost. Mares and stallions are more expensive than most geldings, unless another factor comes into play, such as show records, bloodlines, etc. You can pay anywhere from $50-$500 less for a gelding than an average mare, and $500-$5,000 less for a stallion. Colts are cheaper than fillies, as well. 


Most “free” horses have hidden expenses later on. Often these things come as a surprise to the new owner, like a health condition the seller didn’t know about or chose to cover up. This happens so frequently in the horse world it’s disgusting. 

Healthy, robust miniature horses will cost more than an ill horse or a horse with a chronic condition. 

Make sure you have a reliable, trustworthy vet give an examination prior to buying the horse. If the seller isn’t hiding anything, they should be open to this – it’s a major red flag if they balk at having a veterinarian come.

Tip: The best miniature horse for a beginner is a gelding or mare around 8-15 years of age. While miniature stallions are easier to handle than large breed stallions, they can still be a bit too much for beginners to handle. That goes for young horses, as well, who have boundless energy and training needs you may not be able to meet. 

How Much Mini Horses Cost to Care For

The upfront purchase price is far from the only cost involved with miniature horses. Don’t forget about the recurring costs of care. This includes feed, hay, veterinary care, housing supplies, and more. 

Hiccup our miniature horses nibbling at treats (1)

Hiccup nibbling at treats

The Cost of a Miniature Horse’s Diet: Feed, Hay, and Supplements

Many miniature horses subsist on only a little grain. Don’t feed your mini oats. Our horses are fed a balanced ration of fat and fiber pellets, which 

Feed costs anywhere from $10-$35 for a 40lb bag. For one mini, this will last you at least one month. 

Miniature horses consume roughly 1.5% of their body weight in food, which mainly consists of hay or grass. 

Square bales of hay cost between $3.00-$15.00 each. On average, you’ll spend between $123-$615 per year on square hay bales to feed one miniature horse. 

To be more precise, follow these simple calculations:

  1. Multiply 1.5% by your horse’s weight to reach the amount of hay your horse consumes daily. 
  2. Take the average weight of each bale (most are somewhere between 25-50lbs) and divide that by the amount your horse eats. This gives you the number of days one bale will last. 
  3. Next, divide 365 by the number you reached in #2 to get the number of square bales you’ll need in one year.
  4. Finally, multiply that number by the cost of each bale. This gives you the yearly cost of hay.

For example: a 200lb miniature horse consumes 3lbs of hay daily. If each square bale weighs 30lbs, then we divide 30 by 3. That means that one bale lasts this mini 10 days. Once we divide 365 by 10, we reach the number of bales he needs per year: 37. If each bale costs $5.00, then it costs $185 per yearly to feed this miniature horse.

What do round bales of hay cost? Round bales cost $30-$100. One miniature horse will take three months to consume a 600lb round bale, which averages out to $120-$400 per year on hay. 

Sometimes during a hard year with little yield and high demand, the price increases, so keep that in mind. 

Hay and feed don’t always provide horses with all the vitamins and minerals they require to stay healthy, so supplements are recommended. Supplements cost from $20-$175 per container. 

Cost of Housing Your Miniature Horse

Most boarding facilities will not accept miniature horses. This is primarily due to the fact that miniature horses have different needs than other horses. They must be carefully monitored on pasture, require different fencing to accommodate their small size, and need other adjustments. 

That said, there are some boarding facilities that specifically target pony and miniature horse owners. These stables will be more challenging to locate, if there are any in your area at all. On average, boarding costs $100-$800 per month for a miniature horse. 

There are also different types of boarding. Full board is the most expensive option but has the most benefits. Partial board is cheaper, but requires the same amount of work as if you kept your horse on your own property. 

Prefer to keep your mini at home? You can spend as little as $50 or as much as $2,000 on housing. The important thing is to ensure your miniature horse has shelter from the elements and safety from predators. 

A simple walk-in shelter with four walls is often the least expensive route. A family friend built her miniature horse’s stall into an existing shed. We constructed a small barn to accommodate our horses. Each option has its own expenses. 

You’ll also need to build some form of a fence. Wooden boards and an electric fence are common options with their own set of costs and pros and cons. Make sure your horse can’t escape. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and they’ll find a weak spot. 

Calculate the cost per square footage, and compare prices to make sure you have the best deal. Remember, one miniature horse still needs space to run and play. Three can comfortably fit on one acre. 

Although the initial cost of building a fence and stable can become astronomical depending on what you use, you’ll still save money compared to boarding. 

Tip: Don’t keep your miniature horse tied out for long periods of time! They can easily get tangled up in the rope, and shouldn’t be out on grass for more than a few hours at a time, after being incrementally built up to it. Tie them out carefully for short amounts of time to graze on grass, preferably while supervised. 

How Much Tack and Supplies Cost for a Miniature Horse

Your miniature horse needs a halter and a lead rope at minimum. Sometimes these are included with horses, but you should still include the costs in your budget in case they aren’t. Miniature horse halters cost $50-$75. Lead ropes normally cost between $12-$25. 

Grooming supplies are essential for any mini. You can often purchase a complete set of grooming supplies for around $30-$50. Fly spray costs $15-$25, and mane detangler costs $10-$25.

Do you live in an area with constant downpours and harsh winters? Then you may need to purchase a rain sheet and blanket for the winter. These cost roughly $75-$200 each

Not all horses need blankets, especially horses bred to withstand cold temperatures. They do, after all, have winter coats specifically designed to keep them warm in the cold. Miniature horses are generally very hardy and rarely require a blanket. Your vet can give you a better evaluation based on the individual horse.

If you plan to do any special work with your mini, then you’ll need extra tack. My mini horse, Hiccup, is trained to pull a cart, for example, so there are associated costs like the cart itself, a harness, and reins. 

If you’re a beginner to horses, then you need a trainer to work with your horse, or purchase an already trained horse. Both options will cost you more.

Some miniature horses (and ponies) are trained to carry small children who weigh under 70lbs. This requires a saddle and bridle, as well as riding boots and a helmet for your child. Work this into your budget. Always ensure the miniature horse is physically capable of being ridden by a child!

What is the Ideal Horse Riding Weight: By Breed      

Miniature horses cost about $800 to buy on average (1)

Many miniature horses like Hiccup enjoy the snow!

Miniature Horse Healthcare Expenses

Miniature horses should be provided with regular healthcare. This includes examinations, vaccines, and dental work. You can purchase insurance to help you cover veterinary expenses. Check around to see what insurance rates different companies offer – and what they cover! 

Your miniature horse should have an annual exam by an equine vet. This costs around $100 on average. It’s a good idea to locate and familiarize yourself with equine veterinarians in your area before you get a horse. 

Horses younger than ten years old should have their teeth floated every six months. After ten, this can be done once a year. Dental work costs between $100-$200 per session.  

All miniature horses should be dewormed every six months. Each dewormer costs about $10-$30, so you can expect to spend around $20-$60 per year. 

For a simple trim every six to eight weeks, most farriers charge anywhere from $35-$75 per equine. That averages out to $455-$487.5 per year. 

Most miniature horses aren’t shod and are perfectly healthy barefoot. Discuss your individual horse’s needs with your farrier. Show horses, for example, might do better with shoes than without. Here’s a helpful guide!

There are also some other alternative equine therapies cropping up all over, such as acupressure, acupuncture, and chiropractic care. We have used massage therapy for two of our horses with great results. Evaluate what your horse needs and check prices!

Aside from these costs, it’s a smart idea to build an emergency fund in case the unthinkable happens and your horse needs urgent care. Try setting a savings goal and put aside a little each month to build this “cushion.”

Miniature horses need much of the same maintenance as regular horses (1)

My pony Shiloh after rolling

Miniature Horse Expense Chart

Miniature Horse Expenses

Yearly Cost

Feed $120-$360
Hay $123-$615
Shavings $780
Dewormer $20-$60
Farrier $455-$487.5
Vaccinations $100-$300
Vet Exams $100
Dental $100-$200
Supplements $100-$175

Miniature Horses Need Companionship – Here Are the Costs 

Miniature horses cannot be kept alone, which means checking your budget to include a companion animal. A lot of careful planning should also go into selecting a companion animal, even if it seems like a simple decision. 

The best companion for a miniature horse is a second mini or a small pony. Try to avoid keeping miniature horses with large equines. If you plan on getting two miniature horses, simply take the costs outlined in this article and double them. 

Donkeys, especially mini donkeys, can get along well with miniature horses, too. You can buy a donkey for $100-$1,000. Learn the costs involved with keeping a donkey.

Alpacas can also serve as effective companions, but ideally alpacas prefer to be with their own species. While alpacas can cost quite a bit upfront ($500-$1,200), their upkeep is usually inexpensive. 

Are you considering goats? They’re common pasture companions for mini horses because they’re inexpensive and easy to care for. You can normally find goats for $100-$200. Make sure your goats aren’t horned, and choose wethers or does over bucks. 

We’ve learned to keep our goats separate from our miniature horses – Hiccup, to be precise. Hiccup is bossy, demanding, and has no patience for goats when there’s hay in sight. Our goats are now accommodated in an adjacent pen to avoid potential injuries. 

Try to match personality and size. If you know your mini horse has a temper, getting another small equine as a companion is better. 

Sheep are usually docile, but rams are too aggressive and dangerous to share a space with horses of any kind. Ewes are more ideal, and cost around $200-$250. 

Best Horse Pasture Companions: Avoid Loneliness Caused Issues

10 Ways to Save Money Keeping Miniature Horses

It’s always smart to reduce any expenses you have, including those associated with keeping miniature horses.This is especially true with the inflated cost of living in many areas. 

There are lots of ways you can save money when you have miniature horses – without compromising their care and health. Here are ten!

1. Compare Prices From Farriers

Are there multiple farriers in your area? Check their prices to see if there’s a difference. Often, with a few different professionals in one region, you’ll find more discounts and better prices to snag new clients and retain loyal clients.

Some farriers will also offer a discount on miniature horses in comparison to their regular price aimed at large breeds, but not all do. 

2. Compare local equine vets and their prices

How to Care for Horse Hooves: Hoof Health Makes Horse Health

3. Trim Your Horse’s Hooves Yourself

Trimming a miniature horse’s hooves is much easier than a larger breed. Many farriers will even teach you how to do it correctly and avoid mistakes! There are also courses online you can take. 

Learning to trim your horse’s hooves can exponentially reduce your yearly expenses. You’ll still need to purchase proper tools and equipment, so budget for these. Remember not to skimp on quality! You don’t need a professional set, but aim for mid-range equipment. You’ll break even within the first year, which is a great investment.

Here’s a great guide to get you started! 

4. Purchase Insurance

Even with the best of care, accidents and emergencies still happen. What will you do in the face of an urgent surgery or procedure, such as for colic, a break, or something else? You can purchase insurance in advance to cover emergencies so you aren’t scrambling to find the money. You may never need it, but it’s useful to have just in case. 

This is also why a backup emergency fund is wise to start building! 

5. Better Quality Hay = Less Expenses

This may sound counterintuitive. After all, high quality hay is more difficult to come by, and, by extension, more expensive than low quality hay. However, higher quality hay actually provides for your horse’s nutritional needs, so your horse doesn’t need to consume as much. It’s an example of “less is more.”

Save more money on hay with these tips:

  • Cut out the middleman such as a farmer’s co-op and purchase hay directly from the farmer
  • Stock your barn early in August or September with enough hay to last the winter 
  • Plan out how exactly much hay you’ll need for the entire year (see above calculations)
  • Use a slow feeder/hay net so your horse’s hay lasts longer throughout the day 

Hay Types For Horses: Know The Best Nutrition & High Quality

6. Compost or Sell Horse Manure

Have a garden? Miniature horses produce around 35 lbs of prime manure every day that provides valuable nutrients for gardens to thrive – and thrive they will! Horse manure is better than MiracleGro. Remember to let it age before applying so you don’t burn your plants. There’s also a lot of nitrogen in that stuff.

If you don’t have a garden or you have an excess of manure, you can also bag it and sell it to gardeners. This can become a nifty source of income. 

7. Provide Your Horse With Full Turnout

Full or partial turnout reduces the need to purchase bags of shavings to cover the stall floors with. Keeping miniature horses on a dry lot rather than pasture is better. 

Many horse owners allow their horses with 24/7 turnout and provide a walk-in stall so the horse can freely come and go as needed. If you do this, ensure your miniature horse has protection from predators at night!

All of our horses spend the day outside in their paddocks and return to their stalls at night for their own safety and our peace of mind. 

Miniature horses have fun personalities (1)

8. Use Rotational Pastures

Pasture cuts down on the amount of hay you need to purchase, true. However, since miniature horses are particularly prone to obesity, you’ll need to be careful about how much pasture time he gets. You can regulate this with rotational pastures. 

Fence off a section of prime pasture, and keep a separate dry lot. The mini spends most of his time in the dry lot with an hour or more of time in the pasture. This also allows the grass time to recover to prevent overgrazing! Remember to adjust the amount of hay you feed your mini if she’s also grazing.

9. Buy In Bulk

You can often buy supplements, hay, and feed in bulk, saving you money over the long-term. Instead of purchasing what you need for one month, for example, try buying a three-month supply. See what works for you, your horse, and your budget. Just ensure you can store the excess where it won’t develop mold! 

10. Sign Up For Discounts

Miniature horses don’t require much tack, true. But you still should have one halter and lead rope per horse, in addition to grooming supplies. Most online tack shops offer discounts if you sign up on their email list, which helps you save money. 

Tack shops aren’t alone in this, either. You can also take advantage of your local feed store’s loyalty discounts. 

  • Buy secondhand
  • Swap gear with a friend when possible

11. Adopt a Miniature Horse

There are many reasons to adopt a horse rather than purchasing one. You’re giving the horse a second chance at a better life, supporting the organization so they can rescue more horses, and also saving money. 

You can find many amazing horses from rescues. We adopted both Shiloh and Bubbles, my pony and one of our miniature horses, from a rescue organization. Both are incredibly sweet equines. However, Bubbles has a permanent limp from an injury he sustained before he was rescued from a slaughterhouse, and I had to train Shiloh myself. 

Not all rescue horses have been abused or neglected. Horses end up in rescues for all sorts of reasons. However, many of them require extra care, such as special supplements or medication, training, and more. There are still adoption fees you should factor in. 

Are You Ready For a Horse?

Unlike some other pets, miniature horses have a long lifespan. Some have been known to live easily into their forties! In all those years, they require daily hands-on care, including feeding, constant access to clean water, grooming, and more. There are also chores such as mucking the stall and cleaning the field. 

Miniature horses may be smaller than other equines, but they aren’t for the faint-hearted. Are you in it for the long haul?

Every potential horse owner should ask herself these questions: am I ready to take on this new responsibility? Can I afford another mouth to feed? Can I provide daily care, as well as veterinary care? Are local resources such as hay readily available, or in short supply?

Ready to bring home a miniature horse? Check out this guide on evaluating a horse for purchase!


Miniature horses are intelligent and adorable – but they still weigh heavy on the purse strings. Be sure to calculate the expenses and leave a little cushion for unexpected costs. 


Remember that even though miniature horses are comparatively cheaper than large horses, they’re still a big responsibility to keep and care for.



My Favorite Equine Resources For Horses and Donkeys

This list contains affiliate products. Affiliate products do not cost more but helps to support BestFarmAnimals and our goal to provide farm animal owners with accurate and helpful information.

Squeaky Chicken Toy is hilarious to watch and the horses love it! It’s not super tough so keep it away from dogs.

Dewormer with Ivermectin: I use this for my horses and my goats. Duvet makes a great dewormer. I switch between the Ivermectin one and one like this one so the worms don’t get immune to it.

Manna Pro Apple Flavored Nuggets are a delicious smelling treat that my horses go crazy over.

Equinity Amino Acid Supplement for Horses makes a big difference for any horse that’s struggling with arthritis, hoof issues, or just generally. It’s great for older horses who can’t absorb all the nutrients in their food as well!

Manna Pro Weight Accelerator helps older horses gain weight and stay healthier! This was especially helpful when one of my older horses lost weight over the winter and helped her regain her weight over the summer!

Farnam Fly Control goes on the horse or donkey and will keep the flies off your sweet pet. It makes horses way more comfortable and will keep sores from getting infected as well.

Wound Kote protects sores and wounds. It acts as an antiseptic and helps wounds heal faster. It works on both my horses and goats.

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