To add to the other answers, a focus on the breeding and maintenance side.
It's very difficult to make money in horses. There's a couple of ways high end breeders maximise income.
For breeding from mares, surrogate breeding schemes that utilise embryo implantation into surrogate mares, increases the number of foals born to champion mares. Champion from their breeding, or work in racing, showjumping, dressage and the like. (note not all breed associations allow surrogacy if you want to register the horse)
For stallions it's been common to sell stallions as a stud horse, whether by the old fashioned way of bringing the mare and stallion together, but also with artificial insemination, sperm is able to travel the world. (note not all breed associations allow artificial insemination if you want to register the horse)
In terms of procuring a horse in the hopes of having a winner at the track, the chances of making money are slim.
Attempting to make money out of horses is one thing I would advise 99.999999% of people from doing. Horses take great expense to upkeep. With the following:
- agistment Large variation - in the city from $80 - $250 per week where we live, cheaper in country areas. If you own your own property $$++ Fencing and shelters are uber expensive.
- hard feed required at least once daily for horses in work, in foal, feeding foal, foals, weanlings, yearlings, older horses, horses that are not "good doers" Prices vary with the weather e.g. drought, flood. One 20 kg bag of horses feed varies between $17 and $48 where I live. I currently feed approx 25 kg of hard feed per day for 7 horses.
- hay essential for any horse without unlimited good pasture. At least daily. Prices vary with the weather e.g. drought, flood. One bale of lucerne or oaten hay varies between $10 (if you can buy 650kg bales) to $25 a small bale. Each horse could eat between 1/10 to 1/2 a small bale per day depending on pasture, hard feed and needs.
- Supplements (as soils vary and sometimes feed and pasture is lacking) Approx $100 per package - one package per month
- worming between $12-40 per packet, variable timing
- vaccinations $42 per vaccine, if I vaccinate myself (not vet). Each unvaccinated horse needs 3 vaccines to begin and then boosters.
- hoof care bare foot trimmer $45 per horse, farrier $50+ per horses
- teeth care approx $100 per horse per annum or 6 months
- vet care as needed $++
- skin and coat care To detangle tails, prevent rain scald and attend to various itches $29 per spray bottle - always need various sprays
- tack (gear to handle and ride the horse) $1000s halters, lead ropes, rugs if needed, saddles, saddle cloths, grooming kits.
- Feeding bowls and storage for feed and tack Continually need to be replaced.
- Trainer, groom and rider (if the horse is an investment, likely employ a third party) Very expensive, as horses are time consuming.
Horses are strong and prone to breaking things or injuring themselves if the set up is inadequate.
An example. My mare recently foaled. The cost of the vet bills to attend to that foal (as there were complications) is $3000. I spend between $20-30,000 per annum on my horses (7 of them).
Unless you have high end expensive horses there's no money to be made. This causes shonky dealers and breeders to cut corners with the horse care. These are sentient creatures and are a responsibility, although considered a commodity, this is something that needs to change.
In Australia, our racing industry has thousands of horses each year discarded in sales, as breeders strive to make money and most of the horses fail. The RSPCA is starting to tighten industry standards to try and track and put in controls for retired race horses.