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Real talk: What's everyone paying these days?

So, it seems like many barns these days are claiming that inflation is hitting them hard and telling customers that they have to increase prices. I mean, I get it. It’s not just happening with horses and I’m well aware with fuel and hay prices going up this year, we know it’s been harder than usual.

However, it’s a constant conversation lately about how things are getting super expensive and lots of people that I consider on the rather wealthy side are even hinting that they’re worried and potentially needing to figure out alternatives. I am sharing their concerns as I wonder if things keep going up, how sustainable it is to keep going to shows that require huge shipping bills in addition to all the general fees.

Did a few searches on here and looks like the last real discussion was dated back in 2015, so given the market is very different than 8 years and rates have increased, it’s time to resurrect this topic.

So in the interest of getting things out there, let’s talk real money. Ballpark is fine and definitely doesn’t have to give away barns or specific shows, but what is everyone paying for an month of board/training with 2 weeks of showing involved?

Ideally, sharing if it’s a regional or A-rated show and what zone/general area, since it’s varying quite drastically. It feels like this taboo topic, and this is a forum and safe space.

I had some people pose the question to me and I realized that I don’t even know what the going rates are these days and what others are spending. I know what the general board/training board rates are for a few places around me, but then it gets so blurry as to what everyone is spending for the extras and the shows, and that’s where it really adds up. My general training board is maybe 1/3 of my overall bill.

Since some of us having multiple horses, probably best to just base it on 1 horse, and if you have multiple and get a discount, that’s useful to know aIso. Trying to crowdsource to understand if the concern is valid, if we’re spending the norm or on par, or even paying extremely more or less than the general majority.

I can make it super easy and comfortable for everyone and break it out this way:

  1. Are you spending for board/training combined?
    A. $1500-2000
    B. $2100-2900
    C. $3000-$4000
    D. $4000+

  2. Combined total bill for 1 month with 2 weeks of showing included (locally-- within 2 hours of location- (including shipping, show stuff (ie daycare, splits for grooming/tack stalls, groom and trainer fees/lodging/tips, chiro, show rides, show lunging, lessons at shows, clipping, and random extras), chiro or massage (if not billed separately), and other random extras (tack use, laundry, supplements, adequan, legend, etc). Does not include entries, braiding, or outside shippers (ie big rig, not your trainer’s or personal bus), or your personal lodging if you’re too far to go back and forth.

A… Less than $5000
B. $5000-6900
C. $7000-8900
D. $9000-10,000
E. Over 10k

I understand that some people know others on here and don’t want to share that publicly, so if you’d like to share privately, I’m open to hearing it from message vs reply aIso. It just feels like we need to start understanding what is really happening and everyone is in different financial brackets and some will shrug and say, “It’s the cost of having horses”. That being said, I suspect there are others out there wondering if they’re in over their heads and if the grass isn’t greener because it’s just the flow of the current market, or if they’re paying way more than some of their peers.

  1. B.
  2. C.
    Interesting to see what others say.
  1. A
  2. C, sometimes D

I live in the Midwest
Thanks for bringing up this topic, I look forward to reading responses!

  1. B
  2. C

Zone 10, Bay Area

There are no options for me so I’ll just tell you. Pasture board is $375 and I take 2-3 lessons a month at $60/per. When I do snow it’s local/unrated and it’s less than $1000.

Zone 4- coastal Georgia

Currently I’m not doing anything because I partially herniated 2 discs. Don’t know how long I’m going to be sidelined.


I’m curious why your survey only captures the top level of showing and training board?

I’m in Virginia.

Straight board at a good facility: 650-850
Weekly lessons: 200-300 (50-75 per lesson)
One day local shows: 300-400 per show (entry fees, trailering, trainer fee)

This level of participant is also getting priced out.


Once in a time of not long ago a $100,000 income was the golden key of the passageway to affluency.

The “new” $100,000 is actually closer to $250,000 (and increasing daily)

Hyperinflation sucks


1a. 2 b do my own horse care and in Zone 9.

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B, and B. I’m in Zone 2.

Thanks, Everyone, and keep it going.

Apologies that I went higher end, as I understand that there are other levels and I did consider doing lower, but it was more about “training board” rather than straight boarding contracts .

TBH, I’m jealous of the rates of 2bayboys. That’s what I was paying probably 20 years ago and it was manageable despite my mid-high 5 figure salary. It blows my mind that it’s now 4-5x that price, but meanwhile my salary hasn’t quadrupled to keep up!

In the interest of being transparent, I’ll share mine as well:

  1. B
  2. B/C

Zone 4.

It’s definitely hyperinflation and I agree that a 100k salary solo salary or $250-300k combined salary, just doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s nice to commiserate with others that are silently hemming and hawing about this, as well.

  1. A

  2. B

I’m in Southern California

  1. Very slightly sub A (at ~$1200 - includes full board and a mix of training rides and lessons, can be less if you opt out of those)
  2. A (0 as showing is above my pay grade, but it would be in A range if I did)

Zone 7, Area IV

B and B. For one horse.
Edited to say Zone 3.

A and A when excluding all the things you mentioned (hotels, professional shipping, entries, etc). I’m in New England.

Boarding Zone 6:
Full service (including grooming/tacking up) is around $2,000 to $2,500. Zone 5 Chicago I’ve seen $2,750 but heard it goes higher.
Non-full service barns (training is added per use) are base $850 - $900 with averaged training totaling up to $1,000 - $1,200ish.
Other barns that aren’t strictly hunter-jumper competition barns are $50 - $600 base. But you have to do extra management things like scheduling and catch/hold vet/farrier and tolerate the less plush amenities that are typically found in the HJ world, etc depending on the barn.

A show from this spring that was 2 hours away was just about 4k for one week. That includes hotel, barn bill, show bill, shipping, and tip. For reference, this was for a jumper in one division paying a nomination fee.

And if only the costs stopped there but then with farrier, vet, insurance, supplies, etc. it feels like there’s no escape to the bills!


DC Metro MD - Zone 3

  1. A, but many other barns also doing rated programs in my area are solid B. I have a great program for my horses needs that keeps me in A budget and I’m very happy with that!! But, it averages more B, IME, for this areas average training packages

  2. B if the shows are “close” (ie 60-90 min), C if it’s a few states away (IE heading north to NY/VT or south to NC for 2 weeks)

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A & A, but the costs are inching higher in Zone 5.

I really don’t know what I’m going to do when my horse has to be retired. The value of a dollar just doesn’t go as far as it did even 5 years ago; I’d be hard pressed to save for another horse. I have been hustling to try to make it to the top of my industry as fast as I can, but this down market plus the hyperinflation (plus sexism), it’s been a slog. It may simply be I don’t ride anymore which is a depressing thought, but I’m not in an area that’s bustling with robust lesson programs for any equestrian discipline. You have a horse and you ride or you don’t. :woman_shrugging:

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Just want to point out that the word hyperinflation is a technical term which the US is not currently experiencing.

Carry on.

  1. A
  2. A but we don’t get any extra stalls, bring our own food and bedding (except when we’re forced to buy some), and don’t have groom service other than hiring someone to feed and clean.

Southern California


Very Low end of B for both. Large A hunter/jumper barn in Zone 9.