The Horse Shelter
Rescuing Abused, Abandoned & Neglected Horses throughout New Mexico


821 W. San Mateo Rd. Unit A
Santa Fe, NM 87505

(505) 471-6179

(505) 214-5932 Fax

Category: Horse Care

Horse Care

Caring For Your Horse – PDF Download

Caring for Your Horse - PDF Download

Owning a horse is great for your health, your nerves, and your mood—it’s also a lot of work. Presumably you will always enjoy the work, which will be both challenging and soothing, but it will also be constant. You cannot decide to skip feeding your horse for a day.

Before you decide to adopt or buy a horse, or even consider accepting one as gift, make sure you know what is required to take proper care of an equine. The average life span of a horse is 25-30 years and there are horses that have on record lived to be 56! Not only are you making a commitment of care for a long period of time, but also a commitment to take care of all of its needs on a daily basis physically, mentally, and financially. Please consult a local veterinarian to establish specific care and feed guidelines for your horse.

The booklet was put together by Ripley’s Horse Aid Foundation and it addresses all aspects of Equine Care.

Link: Download PDF


Bringing an equine into one’s life is an exciting time and, for many, a long-time dream come true. Regardless of whether it is a donkey, burro, mule or horse they are compelling creatures; stimulating the imagination and representing personal achievement. The reasons for owning horses/equines are as varied as the breeds themselves. The one constant in today’s society is no one needs a horse as was the case in our historical past. By making the choice to have these marvelous creatures in your life, you are also making the commitment to give them the care they need for a healthy and safe life.

As soon as you become an owner, the responsibility is yours to provide a management program where they will thrive. Along with this is the daily care and the need to understand the importance of health care maintenance. A good management schedule not only removes some of the unnecessary problems that will occur but will save the owner money. Health situations beyond your control, will also become your financial responsibility.

Being prepared to address whatever comes your way is the key. Having one or two qualified farriers you can contact as needed and being familiar with veterinarians in your area that you can work with is essential. Be ready to make decisions regarding the future of your animals if there is a sudden change in your circumstances such as a loss of a job, medical problems or other situations that make it no longer feasible for you to care for them properly.

They have no choice. They have no voice. You are their future.

Horse Care

What Does It Take to Care for a Rescue Horse

What Does It Take to Care for a Rescue Horse?

Countless Hours from Volunteers, Dedicated Staff & Your Generous Support

The average yearly cost to care for one rescue horse at The Horse Shelter is approximately $3,000 and rising. 

On a typical day here at THS we house over 76+ rescue horses with a maximum capacity of 80. This cost doesn’t include our facility, maintenance and ranch equipment, like barns, shelters, paddocks, wells, fencing, tractors, ATVs, horse trailers, etc. 

It takes a lot to care for a rescue horse at The Horse Shelter, with your generous support we will continue rescuing, rehabilitating and finding forever homes for these gentle horses. 

Here is a breakdown of the basic costs for keeping and caring for a rescue horse. 

Hay for one horse costs $5.00 per day, $150 per month and $1,800 per year! This is not including supplemental feed, such as grain. We experienced a 21% increase in cost in 2021 and with the ongoing drought, rising fuel and transportation costs, are preparing for continued increases in 2022. 

  • Farrier every six to 12 weeks (depending on training status) at $45 per trim – at least $180 per year. 
  • Dentistry once or twice a year (depending on age) at $125. 
  • Annual basic core vaccinations of rabies, tetanus, equine influenza, and other routine vaccines at $95.00 per horse, some new intakes need boosters as well. 
  • Other needed items, such as mineral blocks, de-wormers, supplemental feed as grain, halters, training tools, feeders, water troughs, fly masks, fly predators, and more! 
  • Another very large expense is the ongoing cost of equipment maintenance (truck, trailer, tractor, manure spreaders, etc…) and staff to muck, water, clean troughs, socialize and train! 

Additional Expenses 

  • Feeding more expensive concentrates or supplements. 
  • Accidents and unexpected veterinarian bills 
  • A horse that requires shoes or special trimming 
  • A horse that is ill or injured. 
  • Some horse arrive at the shelter pregnant or severely emaciated and require additional veterinary care. 
  • Rapidly rising fuel prices and replacement cost for all our equipment, transportation. 
  • At the Shelter we have no pastures and must feed year around. With ongoing drought the price of feed is driven up significantly. 

Sponsor a Horse

Sponsorship Program Levels

Level 1: $50 Per Month

Level 2: $100 Per Month

Level 3: $150 Per Month – (Feed For One Horse)

Level 4: $250 Per Month – (Full Care For One Horse)

We are grateful for sponsorships at any level or for any amount you are comfortable with. You will be named as a sponsor on the horse’s webpage. Horses can be sponsored at any level. Thank you to all of our sponsors for the kindness and generosity!