How Much Does a Clydesdale Horse Cost?

Written by: Staff

The Clydesdale horse, a breed belonging to the draft horse, is used to perform heavy tasks, which may include plowing and/or with farm-related tasks.  The Clydesdale is considered to be a draft horse since most have innate characteristics such as patience, a docile temperament, and the strength to perform the task presented to them.

The cost of a Clydesdale horse will depend on the quality you want, where you live and who you purchase from.

Clydesdale horse on a slightly windy day by couchmaster73, on Flickr
Clydesdale horse on a slightly windy day” (CC BY 2.0) by  couchmaster73

How much does a Clydesdale horse cost?

Plan on paying anywhere from $500 for an older horse to as much as $12,000 for a younger Clydesdale in show condition.  Most purchases, however, are going to be between $2,000 and $5,000.  A gelding, with very few defects and trained to ride, can cost about $800 to $1,800.  However, if you were to want a show-quality, well-bred, trained and a horse with a good disposition, which was already shown and won awards, then the costs can be in the $2,000 to $5,000 range.

Remember:  This is the just the beginning as the care costs, as we get into below, need to factor in.  Clydesdale horse owners say, at a minimum, you should budget $400 to $600 per month to take care of your horse and closer to $1,000+ if you plan on boarding the horse outside your property at a local barn., an online horse classified ad service, has more than 2,000 advertisements at the time of this writing from sellers across the United States.  The lowest price, a back Clydesdale stallion was listed for $350, while the highest price was $8,500 for a registered mare with a foal.  Most of the advertisements, as mentioned in our average, were about $3,000 to $5,000.

Greatest Collectibles says the average Clydesdale can cost $1,500 to $2,500 on average.

Another horse-related classified website,, had 11 results at the time of this writing, with prices ranging anywhere from $450 to $5,000.

As a fun fact, the most expensive Clydesdale ever sold was for $212,500 at an auction in 2011.

What is going to be included in the adoption fee?

If adopted from a rescue or a private breeder/seller, they should, at a minimum provide a health record, up-to-date vaccinations, deworming evidence, any show-related awards and a temperament description/report, letting you know how this horse acts around strangers and while training.  All results will vary, however, so it’s always best to ask the seller exactly what you’re getting with your adoption.

What are the extra costs?

As far as feeding goes, the average Clydesdale horse will eat about two percent of its body weight every day.  Unless fitting for a show, grain will be advised against.  One ton of hay, depending on your area, can cost about $100 to $125.  So, for example, if the horse were to weigh 2,000 pounds, it’s safe to assume the horse will need 20 pounds of hay for the day.  If the horse were to be working for an upcoming performance show, then the food intake may have to be increased.  The pay per month, as according to, will all depend upon the availability of hay, but you could spend anywhere from $100 to $500 per month for your horse.

Vet bills, similar to that of a lighter horse, needs to be factored in for both surprise and routine visits to the home.  When factoring in the annual visit, teeth cleaning and deworming process, the costs for an annual checkup should be less than $250, but much more than this if your horse were to need an emergency procedure done.

Equipment, if starting out or needs to be upgraded, needs to be factored in as well.  This can include halters, saddle blankets, bridles, harness and a show-quality tack, for instance, if you were planning on showing the horse.

Someone who answered this very question on Quora stated you will need to consider upgrading your horse trailer since most Clydesdales don’t fit comfortably.

For those who don’t have the land to support the horse, they will need to consider a boarding option, which can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000+ per month, depending on your local area, the amenities and arrangements you agree with the owner.

A farrier, at a minimum, can cost $25 to $35 per month to provide the basic care.

A full set of shoes, since they are larger than the average horse breed, can cost $200 per set, on average.

Training is absolutely necessary if you plan on showing your horse, and if you’re having a hard time, you may need to call in a professional, who, depending on who you use, can charge $50 to $75+ per hour.  Clinics may often be available, costing about $200 to $600 for a weekend training session.

Tips to know

A horse, measured from the ground to its withers, the flat spot near the end of the horse’s mane, can grow up to six feet tall.  The horse can weigh as much as 1,500 to 2,500 pounds, depending on the breed.

Most Clydesdale horses will come in a black or white color, often with white spots scattered over the body.  The hair on their legs, which they are known for, are actually feathers grown to help protect the legs.

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