How Much Does a Mustang Horse Cost? (Price & Upkeep Guide)

How much does a mustang horse cost?

Mustangs are wild horses and an icon of the United States West and many efforts are being made to provide sanctuary for them as they are being run off their native lands.

Here, I will discuss how much mustang horses cost, the factors that determine their price, and where to buy mustangs.

How Much Do Mustang Horses Cost to Buy/Purchase?

mustang horse walking in the mountain

Mustangs are coveted for their trainability and beauty. There are many people that aspire to train mustangs to be riding horses and companions, but how much do mustang horses cost?

What Is The Average Price of a Mustang Horse?

The average cost of a mustang is anywhere from $125 to $5000 for untrained horses or those with full training and proven ability.

Untrained horses will be available for as little as $25 if you adopt them from the Bureau of Land Management.

Here is a video that explains more about this breed of horse.

What Factors Determine Mustang Horse Price?

Mustang horse price varies greatly compared to other breeds.  Here are the factors that determine mustang horse cost.

1. Bloodlines or Breeding 

Mustangs are a mix of different breeds due to stray horses from many backgrounds joining the herds

As a result, mustangs will not have a pure pedigree like average domesticated horses. There are 6 different mustang horse types or wild horses, and they are all priced differently.

The strains of semi-wild and wild mustang horses are Kiger mustangs, Spanish mustangs, Colonial Spanish mustang, Cerbat mustang, Pryor mountain mustang, and Chincoteague pony. (1)

The purer the bloodlines, the more expensive. But it is hard to prove in this breed.

2. Age 

Unfortunately, horse owners with competitive ambitions tend to choose younger horses over senior ones because they have more potential in their eyes.

Younger mustang horses will be priced higher than senior horses because of this. A mustang horse experiences their prime years at anywhere from 7-10 years of age.

The prime years are when horses are the fittest for work. Horses that are younger do not have fully developed bone structure and muscles, and older horses are prone to arthritis and other health issues.

If you want a trusty trail companion, those in their late teens or twenties will be a perfect match for you.

Mustangs that are five or younger will generally be less expensive because they do not have experience or training.

3. Color 

group of mustang horses running

Mustangs come in every color, but there are common and most rare horse colors for the breed. The more rare a mustang’s color is, the higher it will be priced.

Rare coat colors for mustangs include pinto, palomino, blue roan, strawberry roan, and any color that includes appaloosa coloring, pearl, and black. 

If you do manage to purchase a blue roan mustang, here is s list of fitting blue roan horse names.

4. Conformation

A horse’s conformation is its body structure and shape. The physique a horse has determines its fitness and what type of work it can do. (2)

For example, if a horse has a weak back and topline, it will only be able to handle light riding or being a companion horse.

On the other hand, if the topline and back are strong, they are fit and will be well suited for competitive dressage, barrel racing, or other active riding disciplines

Conformation also determines how far a horse will be able to go in the competition.

The ideal conformation for a mustang is a refined head, 14-15 hands tall, straight legs and well-set hocks, a v-shaped face with a wide forehead and small muzzle, small ears, large eyes,  arched neck, small and strong backs, and a narrow chest.

A horse that more closely matches these characteristics will sell for higher than those that do not.

CHECK: Different Horses for Different Courses

5. Size 

brown and white mustang horse

Mustangs are smaller than the average horse with a height of 14-15 hands. Since they are smaller, mustangs need less food.

These factors mean that the cost of care for mustangs is lower than the average horse cost.

6. Training

The amount of training a horse has influenced their price because the trainers working with them have put a lot of time and resources into them, especially if they work with a feral horse.

A mustang is a feral horse for adoption by the Bureau of Land Management. As a result, they are wild and require different training techniques than other types of horses.  They can be purchased for $100 or less.

The more professional training a mustang has, the more its price will increase. If you commit to training them yourself, you can save yourself money. But only take this on if you have extensive horse experience.

Extreme Mustang Makeover is a program to encourage the adoption and training of wild horses. This is one equestrian’s journey with her horse.

7. Show Record 

Many horse owners accumulate a string of horses for the sole purpose of competing or using them to improve their breeding program bloodlines.

When a horse has a proven show record, it means that they have all of the qualities necessary to be successful. Buyers will see this horse’s potential and be willing to pay more for a chance to own them.

Mustangs are extremely smart and want to please their rider. They also have the physique and ability to compete in both Western and  English riding disciplines. Making it a truly versatile horse.

If they  perform well in shows, Mustangs can sell for as much as $13-14,000 

8. Behavior 

Few riders want a rambunctious horse.

Thus, horses with calm demeanors will sell for higher than those that are fierier. This is because horses with the best behavior have had a lot of training.

As a para-dressage rider, I need a really steady horse. The right horse for me is usually priced in the high five figures.

All of the features described above influence the price of mustangs. An important thing to note is that each factor is combined together to determine the final cost of the horse.

Where Can You Buy a Mustang Horse?

3 mustang horses in the mountain

You can adopt or purchase a mustang from the Bureau of Land Management or through an installment program from a reputable seller. If you have wanted a mustang for a while, take the leap and explore your options.

BLM Adoption Program

The Bureau of Land Management is the leading organization involved in managing mustang horses through their adoption program. (3)

If you want to help and give a mustang a proper and loving home, you can adopt or buy a mustang from the BLM. If you adopt a mustang with no training, they will give you a $1000 stipend for training as an adoption incentive.

At mustang adoption events, there is a starting price for each horse. Once the starting price is announced, the attendees take turns bidding and naming their price for the mustang.

The attendee with the highest bid wins and gets to take the mustang home.

Buying Mustang Horse On Installment

Some equine industry professionals offer a program to buy a mustang horse on installment when you cannot pay their whole price upfront.

The key is to find a reputable seller. Installments can be paid yearly, monthly, weekly, biweekly, or in other increments. 

The seller will give you the registration papers for your horse when the installments have all been paid.

What Are the Monthly Upkeep Expenses of Mustang Horses?

As horse owners know, buying a horse is the least expensive part of horse ownership. After you buy them, you must make sure they are well taken care of.

The monthly upkeep costs for mustangs include the following.

Estimated Cost
Boarding $150 to $1000 a month
Feed$1200-3000 a year
Vet$180 a year – checkups and vaccinations
$1000 – medical emergencies
Farrier$700 a year
Deworming$150-$200 a year
  • Boarding – $150 to $1000 a month depending on the type of board. A pasture board is less expensive than a stable board.
  • Feed – since mustangs are small horses, they need less feed. Expect to pay $1200-3000 a year on feed or about $100-250 a month.
  • Vet – all horses need regular vet care to stay healthy. Expect to pay at least $180 a year for regular checkups and vaccinations, or $15 a month. You will also want to have at least $1000 saved for medical emergencies 
  • Farrier – horses need regular hoof care so that they can move properly and be sound. Expect to pay around $700 a year for all necessary hoof care, or $58 a month
  • Deworming – It is necessary to monitor and deworm your horse by using wormers and fecal egg counts. This will cost around $150-$200 a year.

These are the main expenses for proper mustang upkeep. The cost will increase if you want to invest in horse insurance, training, or other services.

Did you know that in the wild Mustangs live in groups, find out what a large group of horses is called.

FAQs 

How fast can a mustang horse run?

At top speed, mustang horses can run 30 miles per hour.

How much does a mustang horse weigh?

Most mustangs weigh 800 pounds.

How long do mustang horses live?

Mustangs live to 25 – 30 years old typically, but they can stay alive and well into their 40s with proper care.

Are mustang horses good for beginners?

Unless the mustang you are looking to buy is already trained, they are not recommended for beginners.

Conclusion

How much does a mustang horse cost? The answer to this question varies between $25-5,000 depending on age, training, show record, bloodlines, conformation, color, size, and behavior.

When you make a connection with a mustang, you will gain a partner for life.

brown mustang horse running

What do you think of Mustang horses? Let us know below!

References 

  • 1. Kiger Mustang [Internet]. International Museum of the Horse. [cited 2022 Jun 5]. Available from: http://imh.org/exhibits/past/breeds-of-the-world/north-america/kiger-mustang/
  • 2. Conformation of the horse [Internet]. Umn.edu. 2018. Available from: https://extension.umn.edu/horse-care-and-management/conformation-horse
  • 3. Programs: Wild Horse and Burro: Adoptions and Sales | Bureau of Land Management [Internet]. www.blm.gov. Available from: https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/adoptions-and-sales
Bryanna Tanase
Bryanna Tanase

Bryanna is a 23-year-old Florida-based Grade 1 Para-dressage rider based in Florida and she has been riding for 5 years. Horses are her passion and her ultimate goal is to be selected for the US Para-Equestrian Team and represent the US at the Paralympics. She rides at Quantum Leap Farm and Emerald M Therapeutic Riding Center and her equine partners are Shane, an American Paint Horse, and Cappy a Welsh x Thoroughbred. When she is not helping at the barn, riding, or training, she is learning about horses, writing articles about them, and using her social media platforms to raise awareness for therapeutic riding and para-equestrianism, shares her journey, and advocates for greater inclusion of para-equestrian in the media and equestrian sport at large.
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