Each Friday morning, we will be sharing several facts and figures that will be helpful in seeing how you measure up business-wise with other farriers. This edition of Friday's Farrier Facts & Figures is sponsored by Markel Insurance Co. To read more from this series, click here.

Wide Variety Of Shoes

Some 81% of full-time farriers use steel shoes, 16% work with aluminum shoes, 5% use synthetic shoes and 12% forge handmade shoes.

— 2016 American Farriers Journal Farrier Benchmark Study

What Does It Cost To Own A Horse?

A recent study at Delaware Valley University indicates the equine industry has a $670 million impact on the overall economy of just ten southeastern Pennsylvania counties.

Conducted by agribusiness project director John Urbanchuk, the study determined there are 50,225 horses in the area. They are used for a wide variety of activities that include pleasure, hunter/jumper, dressage, eventing, western, racing and miscellaneous activities.

In the 10-county area, spending on horse-related goods and services accounted for 70% ($386.4 million) of total equine expenditures while wages and salaries that include paid, volunteer and exchange work for services totaled 30% ($159.8 million.) This $546.2 million works out to an average of $10,868 per horse.

The extensive data collected for this study enabled the American Farriers Journal editors to calculate the yearly costs per horse, including average footcare expenses.

The data indicates the average annual farrier cost was $270 for each horse. This figure covers all horses in the 10 county area, including retired animals and horses that are left barefoot.

By comparison, data from the 2016 American Farriers Journal Benchmark Study shows the typical full-time farrier takes in an average of $333 in yearly income for each of the 294 horses in his or her footcare practice.

What’s It Cost to Keep A Horse For a Year? *

Type Of Expenditure Yearly Cost Per Horse
Wages and salaries **  $3,180
Purchased feed $1,441
Animal purchases $1,111
Boarding expenses $   663
Capital improvements $   479
Breeding expenses $   352
Hay $   350
Veterinary, health care  $   349
Vehicles (including trailers) $   331
Farrier $   270
Competition, show expenses $   195
Tack and saddle costs $   192
Repair and maintenance $   187
Bedding  $   180
Property taxes $   176
Property insurance  $   170
Fuel and utilities $   143
Rent, lease $   131
Farm equipment $   131
Fencing $   107
Personal equipment $   106
Equine insurance $     99
Equine related clothing $     53
Accounting and legal fees $     53
Advertising and marketing $     15
Other $   127
Total yearly costs $10,868


*Average yearly costs for 50,225 horses used for pleasure, hunter/jumpers, dressage, eventing, western, racing and miscellaneous activities in 10 southeastern Pennsylvania counties.

** Includes wages, salaries, volunteer labor and labor trade outs for services.

— 2017 equine economic study conducted by Delaware Valley University