What Is Horse Boarding? (Solution)

Boarding (horses) (also known as a livery yard, livery stable, or boarding stable), is a stable where horse owners pay a weekly or monthly fee to keep their horse.

Why do you board a horse?

Boarding can allow new riders and owners to develop a relationship with their horse while learning about proper horse care before they take it home, or while they prepare their at-home area for the arrival of their new friend.

What does horse boarding typically include?

Full board for horses typically includes feeding, grooming, pasture access, cleaning your horse’s stall, and exercise it. Facilities that offer full board will also take care of your horse’s vet visits and farrier appointments; however, the charges are on top of your regular boarding fees.

Is it profitable to board horses?

Whether you rent out a few stalls or an entire barn, boarding horses can be a profitable business when done correctly. You’ll be able to turn your passion for horses into either a supplemental or full-time income.

What are the different types of horse boarding?

There are three main types of boarding options – self-care, partial and full-boarding. As you can imagine, self-care involves most of the job being looked after by the boarder himself. The horse’s space is provided; however, the boarder is responsible for providing bedding, feed and tending to daily care routines.

How many acres does a horse need?

In general, professionals recommend two acres for the first horse and an additional acre for each additional horse (e.g., five acres for four horses). And, of course, more land is always better depending on the foraging quality of your particular property (70% vegetative cover is recommended).

What are my rights as a horse boarder?

Essentially, the boarding facility has the right to refuse to allow a client’s horses to leave until the bill for those horses is fully paid. Below are the steps a lienholder must take to be able to sell the horses to satisfy debts: Sue the debtor for the past due amount.

Should I board a horse?

Before buying your first horse, you should decide where he will live and who will be responsible for his care. If you don’t own a horse property, boarding is probably your only option, unless you have friends or family who live on a farm and wouldn’t mind having an extra horse around.

Is it cheaper to board a horse?

Depending on where you live, board can cost as much as a monthly mortgage payment. In the northeastern United States where land is at a premium, board at a full-service barn runs from about $300 to $2,000 a month. If you live in a more rural area, though, board may be as inexpensive as $200 a month.

What are paddocks used for?

Paddocks* (corrals) refer to small, non-irrigated, non-grazable holding pens or exercise lots, often adjacent to horse stalls. They are used as a place to hold horses rather than as a source of pasture feed. Paddocks may appear as bare, dry lots because of heavy usage.

What is rough board?

Rough: Rough board is typically when you rent a stall and/or paddock, but supply everything needed for your horse. The boarder would be responsible for turning in and out, along with filling water, cleaning the stall and paddock. You may be lucky enough to find a situation where the farm will turnout and feed for you.

What is pasture board?

Pasture board means your horse is living out on pasture 24/7, usually with a herd. They have shelter, food, and water. Some facilities only offer hay to pasture boarders. Others only offer self care pasture boarding. Some offer full care pasture boarding with all the same amenities as stall boarding.

Is it hard to board horses?

Whether you own or lease your horse, you likely spend the majority of your free time at the barn. A positive boarding experience can make riding even more enjoyable! Unfortunately, however, finding a great boarding barn can often feel quite a challenge.

How do you become a horse boarder?

Make Money Boarding Horses

  1. Know local ordinances. Many states all across the country stipulate a ratio of acreage per horse for equine facilities.
  2. Determine your goals.
  3. Figure out prices.
  4. Assess insurance coverage.
  5. Create a boarding contract.
  6. Evaluate your facility.
  7. Plan pasture management.
  8. Organize manure disposal.

How much does it cost to build a horse boarding facility?

Depending on the features of your horse stall barn, a simple project can cost $30,000 or up to $150,000 for a large commercial project. When you decide on building a barn for your horses, reach out to several companies to find the most experienced builders for the safety of your horses and your long term enjoyment.

A Look at What Different Types of Horse Boarding Stables Can Offer

There are several different sorts of boarding arrangements available, each tailored to the specific requirements of the owner and horse. Here’s a short rundown of the many types of board available at various boarding stables.

Full Board

Full board will include all of the basics for the horse, as well as a stall with access to pasture on a daily basis. Rather of having to see their horses on a daily basis, full boarders have their stalls cleaned and fed as well as herding their horses into/out of the pasture by barn personnel. Individuals who have a demanding schedule and can afford to have someone else care for their horse on a full-time basis may find this arrangement to be a perfect solution. In addition to instruction, access to dedicated riding places such as an arena, and equipment use, full board may also include lodging.

The boarding contract should detail all of the services that will be offered as well as any additional fees that will be charged.


Another alternative is to only board a portion of the time. The use of your horse is shared with another individual in exchange for lower boarding charges in this circumstance. Example: If full board is $600/month, part-board may be $300/month, but someone else gets to ride the horse three times a week, or utilize him for lessons, or anything else he or she want. In accordance with the contract arrangements, another user may or may not bring his or her own equipment, and so on. They may or may not be accountable for services such as farrier and veterinarian services, depending on the circumstances.

Those who choose to offer their horses for part-board might expect to get a lower rate for board, but will forfeit time spent with the horses in exchange.

Pasture Board

Pasture board can be a very cost-effective option. The horse will be able to live outside all year with access to feed, water, and a run-in shelter. If the horse requires blanketing in cold weather, the owner or manager may be required to charge an additional fee for the time it takes to put the blanket on and take it off depending on the weather. Horses may not get individual daily attention, but the stable staff will be keeping an eye on them. Those who ride only occasionally, or whose horses dislike being stabled, may benefit from this arrangement, as may those who suffer from recurrent airway disease (RAD), a chronic allergic condition commonly known as heaves.

Self-Care Board

In the case of a self-care board, the facilities will be given; the rest will be up to the owner’s discretion. The owner will be need to provide their own feed and bedding. Feeding, turnout, and mucking out will be the duty of the proprietor. They will be responsible for making arrangements for and being there when veterinarians or farriers are required. This arrangement can be successful if a group of individuals can work along successfully, or if the stable is located in close proximity to the home of the worker.

The disadvantage is that, as with having horses in the backyard, owners will be responsible for ensuring that the horses are properly cared for on a daily basis.

Other Arrangements

If you volunteer to help with mucking out or perform other services for the stable, some stables may offer a reduced charge for your services. The horse could be suitable for lessons or trail rides, for example. If you get into any arrangements of this nature, be certain that they are clearly mentioned in the boarding contract. Be prepared to pay the whole fee for the board if the other party does not fulfill their obligations under the agreement. Conserve a record of the work you perform and when it is completed so that the stableowner/manager may be confident that they are receiving fair value for the lowered board.

If the horse becomes sick or requires particular treatment, don’t make the mistake of assuming that it can be ignored for lengthy periods of time or that it is the stable owner’s responsibility.

What is horse boarding?

Horse boarding is similar to renting out a room for your horse. Horse boarding is a convenient option for those who do not have the space or financial means to build and maintain a stable on their property themselves. An individual horse can be housed in a barn with other horses while still receiving the attention they require. Owners are welcome to come and see their horse for riding, grooming, training, and other activities. Horse boarding services can vary in quality and cost depending on the firm providing the service.

  • There are two types of boarding: partial-service boarding and full-service boarding.
  • Horse boarding can involve a variety of services such as grooming, riding and training, medicine administration, and more for an additional price.
  • Examples include direct access to riding paths, round-the-clock supervision, and a veterinarian who is nearby or linked with the facility.
  • Read evaluations, and make sensible hiring decisions at all times.
  • Prior to anything else, make sure it appears to be an area where your horse will be comfortable in between your visits.

4 Different Horse Boarding Options

Many horse owners opt to board their horses instead of riding them. This might be due to a lack of available land or a barn, a desire to take use of the resources of a boarding barn, or an unwillingness to finish the daily care of a horse. These facilities may be fantastic locations to meet up with other riders and take lessons from trainers, as well as providing amenities such as wash cubicles and indoor arenas.

If you have made the decision to board your horse, it is a good idea to look into a few of the horse boarding choices that are accessible to you.

Self-care Board

This is for the horse owner who prefers to be hands-on. A stall and/or pasture for their horse are provided, but that is all they receive in exchange. They are responsible for providing everyday care. This will cover the purchase of hay, bedding, feed, and any other items that may be required. These horse owners will need to make arrangements to be present for the farrier and veterinarian appointments. While this alternative requires somewhat more effort, the monthly price will be lower and you will be able to assure that your horse receives the care you desire.

Partial Board

The horse owner and stable manager can decide on the ideal arrangement for their horses, but often half board or semi board includes a stall, pasture, hay, bedding, and food for their horses. The horse owner would be responsible for the horse’s daily upkeep, which would include feeding and stall cleaning, among other things. In other circumstances, the owner is just responsible for cleaning the stall; the stable manager is in charge of feeding and turning out the animals. Lastly, another alternative is for the horse owner to give hay and feed while the manager takes care of the horses.

Pasture Board

This is an excellent choice for individuals on a tight budget or when a stall is not absolutely essential. Horse owners are supplied with a turnout area that includes a run in. It is common for them to feed their horse grain outside and supply hay when necessary. The stable manager is in charge of the horse’s care and provision of supplies.

Full Care

Full-service contracts are ideal for people who have a demanding schedule. Hay, food, and bedding are all provided for your horse. His treatment will be conducted on your behalf. This method may be more expensive, but it will demand far less of your time. Many stables will only provide complete care. It is critical to carefully read the boarding contract and understand what it includes. Grooming, blanketing, and other ancillary services may be requested by certain horse owners. Depending on your budget and availability, you may select an option that is the most suitable for you and your horse’s needs.

Before making a selection, visit a few barns and make sure you understand the responsibilities that will be placed on you.

Horse Boarding Guide: Types, Costs & FAQs

It has finally come to the point when you can afford to purchase your own horse. Great! Horse ownership, on the other hand, entails an enormous amount of responsibility, and it should not be undertaken on the spur of the moment. When you tell your family and friends about your intentions, you could hear something like “But where is the horse going to live?” This is something you should thoroughly evaluate and assess all of the advantages and disadvantages before making a decision. If you do not have access to your own land, a boarding facility may be your best alternative unless you are really lucky.

According to the location, the type of boarding you pick, the amenities available and services supplied by each facility, the fees might vary.

However, with careful planning, it is easy to keep inside your financial constraints. You will find some helpful hints and suggestions in our guide for selecting the best horse boarding plan for you and your horse.

The Costs Of Boarding A Horse

In order to accurately estimate the expenses of boarding a horse, you must carefully analyze all of the factors that influence those prices. Make a list of your preferences and requirements for your ideal facility, and consider ways to reduce expenses where possible.


The location of a boarding stable will have a significant impact on the price that you may anticipate to spend for it. One that is located in a city will be significantly more expensive than one that is located in the countryside. Additionally, you should think about how far you are willing to travel from home, since the expense of petrol will increase your monthly outlay of funds. Aside from that, if you intend to compete with your horse, you will want your ideal barn to be located in close proximity to competition grounds.


Another element that can influence the amount of monthly board your horse will get is the sort of facilities that are available. The following are the fundamental amenities provided by the majority of boarding stables:

  • Stalls, turnout, an outdoor riding arena, show jumps, a tack room, a feed room, a horse bathing facility, trails, and trailer parking are all available.

Some stables may additionally feature the following amenities:

  • Indoor riding arena, round pen, horse walker, horse solarium, on-site trainer/instructor, and a variety of other amenities.

A horse’s board will be less expensive in general if there are fewer amenities available for your horse to use. Look for a stable that meets your requirements in terms of hobbies, finances, and necessities. For example, if you wish to compete with your horse in showjumping, you’ll need a riding arena that has a set of show jumps to do so.

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The services supplied are determined by the type of board you select, and the cost of those services is reflected in the pricing. Example: Full board includes your horse’s basic care and upkeep, which will be an additional expense on top of your usual monthly costs if you want to board your horse. The most popular types of boards accessible to horse owners are described in further detail in the next section. Photograph courtesy of Jari Hindstroem / Shutterstock.com Other options available at certain stables include the option of having lessons or training services included in the monthly rental fee.

Everything that is included in your horse’s board should be spelled out in a written agreement called a contract.

Types of Horse Boarding

Depending on the type of board you select, the services supplied may vary, which will be reflected in the fee you are charged. Example: Full board includes your horse’s basic care and upkeep, which will be an additional expense on top of your usual monthly costs if you want to go that route. Horse owners can choose from a variety of boards, which will be discussed more fully in the next section: Shutterstock.com photo by Jari Hindstroem The option of having lessons or training services included in the monthly fee is also available at certain stables.

It’s important to have a contract in place that details everything that is included in your horse’s board.

Full Board

A complete board arrangement is one in which the barn staff is responsible for all of the daily tasks, such as mucking out, feeding, watering, turnout, and blanketing when necessary. Your horse’s feed, bedding, and hay will all be given as part of the package. Riders on horses / Shutterstock.com Regular farrier and veterinarian appointments are scheduled, as well as the use of amenities like as riding arenas, trails, and a tack room. This form of board is commonly used for training purposes. Some boarding stables provide exercise, training, and lessons as part of the boarding cost, while others charge an additional fee for these services.

However, depending on where you live, the cost might be significantly greater.

It might cost as much as $2000 to $3000 to board a horse for the entire year in some urban regions. While the cost of boarding may appear prohibitive at first glance, this alternative is ideal for horse owners who have demanding schedules and are unable to visit their horses on a regular basis.

Part Board

It doesn’t matter whether we like it or not, horse ownership is a costly pastime. If you’re on a limited budget, part-time boarding may be the best option for your family. In many circumstances, a portion board will be less expensive than a whole board by around 50%. Your horse’s part-boarding arrangements will vary from barn to barn depending on where he is kept. Some facilities may care after your horse in the mornings while you are in charge of the evening duties. This is something to consider.

There are several options for this, including a sharer or someone who rides your horse on lessons or trail rides.

Self-Care/D.I.Y. Board

If you are on a tight budget and have the time, self-care boarding is the most cost-effective and convenient alternative. You will still have access to all of the barn’s facilities if you choose this form of board. You will, however, be responsible for the daily care of your horse and will be expected to do all mucking out, feeding, turnout, and blanketing duties. Monthly membership fees for self-care boards range between $100 and $200 on average. Keep in mind that you will be responsible for arranging your own feed, bedding, and hay, as well as being there for veterinarian and farrier appointments.

While it is undoubtedly more effort, you will have the opportunity to spend more time with your horse and develop a stronger relationship with them.

Having a positive relationship with your fellow boarders may be really beneficial in these instances.

Here’s a nice video that explains the advantages and disadvantages of both full-boarding and self-boarding your horse:

Pasture Board

Pasture boarding is a service that allows you to pay for your horse to be able to roam freely all year. It is frequently the most affordable sort of board and provides many of the features of a complete board at a fraction of the cost of a full board. In most cases, pasture boarding your horse costs between $100 and $400 per month on an average basis. In addition to providing your horse with feed, water, and a run-in shelter, pasture boarding facilities also provide veterinary care. Your horse’s daily requirements will also be attended to by staff on the site, who will also keep an eye out for injuries and indicators of ill health.

For the first time in his life, your horse is constantly moving, which is beneficial to his circulation and digestive system.

Photo courtesy of PJ Photography through Shutterstock.com Full-time pasture living is not only natural for horses, but it also helps to keep them from becoming bored.

A terrific budget-friendly alternative for horse owners who are unable to ride every day, pasture boarding is an excellent choice. However, your horse must be physically strong and healthy in order to withstand the conditions, and it is recommended that you keep a close eye on their condition.

Retirement Board

Retired horse boarding and training establishments have grown increasingly popular in recent years. These facilities are dedicated to the care of older horses or horses who have lost their ability to move permanently as a result of an injury or sickness. This sort of board is a fantastic option for owners who want to guarantee that their retired horses receive the finest possible care while they are retired. Due to the fact that all of your horse’s requirements are met, the fees are often in the $300-$600 area.

Your horse will be able to graze in the company of other horses and will have plenty of space to run around.

Retirement boards are similar to full-board facilities, but they also include additional specialized services for older horses and donkeys.

Knowing that your cherished horse will be in capable care when the time comes is a significant advantage of retirement boards for horse owners.

Training Board

Training boards are great for horse owners whose horses require more training but who do not have the necessary knowledge or skills to do it. The majority of these institutions have a large number of expert trainers on staff. Some trainers may specialize in introducing young horses under saddle, while others may specialize in working with problem horses or in a certain discipline, such as dressage. Given that your horse will be staying on full board and participating in regular training sessions, this sort of boarding is often the most expensive.

Trainers with greater expertise and a good reputation will demand more money, as you might imagine.

In fact, the cost of a training board will end up being less expensive in the long term than the alternative.

Always bear in mind that many training facilities have minimum stay requirements before agreeing to sending your horse to them.

Choosing The Right Facility

When selecting a boarding facility for your horse, make sure to thoroughly consider all of your alternatives. Consider the greatest distance you are willing to go, your financial situation, and the amount of time you have available to spend with your horse. In the end, these are the most important considerations that will affect your decision on the stable and kind of board to choose. Image courtesy of Artazum / Shutterstock.com Then, once you’ve settled on the fundamentals, check up and study boarding facilities in your neighborhood.

A list of questions you’d want to ask the business owner and his or her personnel is a smart idea before you attend.

Consulting with them can alert you to any potential red flags and assist you in making the best option. You may also consider asking around on the internet, for example, in forums or Facebook groups.

Frequently Asked Questions

Additional services available while boarding your horse at a full board facility include grooming, trimming, mane pulling, exercising, training, lessons, and a parking spot for your horse trailer. You will also have to pay extra for any supplements that your horse may require. Depending on the sort of facility you choose, some of these extras may already be included in the cost of your horse’s board and boarding fees. Always read the boarding agreement thoroughly before signing it and consulting with the management if you have any issues.

What details are in a horse boarding agreement?

Boarding agreements are legally binding contracts that you must sign when you commit to boarding with an organization. It should clearly define what is included in your horse’s board as well as the restrictions that you must adhere to while staying at the stables. A horse boarding agreement should have the following information: the name and contact information of the owner and horse, the needed vaccinations, the services offered, the boarding fees and the due date, the notice period, liabilities, and the terms and conditions of the agreement itself.

If you then fail to adhere to the terms of the agreement, the facility owner or management may request that you search for another barn.

What additional costs must I pay for my horse?

Aside from the boarding charge, additional expenses associated with horse ownership include the cost of veterinarian and farrier visits. The veterinarian should come out at least once a year to assess your horse’s health and provide immunizations to keep him healthy. A farrier visit every 6-8 weeks is recommended as your horse will require trimming or shoeing at some point during the year. Horses are unpredictable creatures, and unanticipated occurrences can occur at any point in their lives.

You should constantly insure your horse in order to avoid financial difficulties.

How much does it cost to board a horse overnight?

It will cost extra per night to keep a horse overnight at a show or event compared to your usual boarding fee. Prices vary widely depending on the event, but you should anticipate to spend between $30 and $50 per horse on the average. However, boarding for high-profile events will be substantially more expensive than at other events. When you board your horse overnight, you will have access to a stable, bedding, hay, a tack room, and a parking place for your trailer, among other amenities.

How do you keep a horse cheap?

While keeping a horse will always be a costly endeavor, there are methods to reduce the costs associated with the endeavor. By opting for self-care or pasture board, you may keep your horse on a tight budget. Making a few days a week of your horse available for loan can also assist with the expenses. Some boarding facilities may be willing to lower your boarding charge in exchange for helping out with duties. You may also save money by merely purchasing the bare minimum of tack and equipment required for your horse.

Apples and carrots will suffice in this situation.

Eventually, this will become prohibitively costly, and you will have blankets for every weather situation under the sun.

While there are some ways to keep a horse on the cheap, you should avoid compromising on quality. There is no such thing as saving money on insurance, veterinary and farrier appointments, or any other fees associated with your horse’s well-being. Photograph by ILiyan / Shutterstock.com

What should I look for when boarding a horse?

When boarding a horse, seek for the following characteristics: happy and healthy horses, clean stalls with lots of room, high-quality feed and hay, well-maintained paddocks, and a friendly and welcoming environment. Avoid rushing through the process of finding a boarding facility and refusing to accept anything less than the best. If you do your homework, you will be able to locate a solution that fits your budget. Make certain that the stable’s services and amenities fulfill the requirements of both you and your horse before boarding there.

Is it cheaper to board a horse or keep it?

Both boarding a horse and keeping a horse at home have advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of having a horse at home is that you have complete control over every part of their daily existence. Vacations, on the other hand, will be more difficult to arrange. Whether it is more cost-effective to board a horse or keep it at home is dependent on your circumstances. If you don’t have your own property and amenities, boarding a horse is clearly a more cost-effective option. Horses are expensive, but if you have adequate grazing space on your property, you may cut the expense of owning one down to a minimum.

If you don’t have a friend or family member you can rely on to look after your horse while you’re away, it may be difficult and expensive to locate someone who is educated about horses.

Some will even have their own hayfields, which will be a significant cost savings in comparison to others.

Is boarding a horse worth it?

For the majority of first-time horse owners, the expense of boarding a horse is well worth it. You will not only have access to a variety of facilities and services, but you will also be able to benefit from the expertise of more experienced owners. When you consult with other boarders or staff members before calling the vet, you can often save money on your vet bills. It’s likely that your fellow horse owners have dealt with the issue you’re experiencing and can advise you on the best course of action.

Horse Boarding: A Detailed Guide-Costs, and What to Expect

Any links on this page that direct you to things on Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a compensation. Thank you in advance for your assistance — I much appreciate it! We are lucky in that we have a beautiful setting in which to maintain and ride our horses. Unfortunately, many individuals do not have the room or financial resources to keep their horses at home, and so they board them somewhere else. In light of this, I determined that it would be beneficial to compile an instructive guide that would address often asked topics such as how much does horse boarding cost.

Full boarding in an urban setting is far more expensive than pasture boarding in a rural setting.

Whether you are wanting to board your horse at a facility or simply want more information on how the process works, this article will supply you with all of the information you require.

We’ll cover everything from what facilities have to offer to what you can do to save money and everything in between!

How much does it cost to board a horse?

Horses are more than simply animals; they are considered members of the family. They are also extremely expensive to care for and feed due to their large size. So, what does it cost to board a horse come to mind? The solution isn’t as simple as it appears. Boarding fees vary from location to location, but are normally from $150 to $750 per month, with rates in or near cities being significantly higher. Some companies may provide discounts for long-term boarding as well as additional services like as self-care, training/riding lessons, stall cleaning services, and other similar services to their customers.

If you want full boarding, which covers everything from feeding to stall mucking to pasture turnout, plan to spend $15 to $25 per day.

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There are a variety of alternative methods for keeping your costs down.

If you are prepared to put in the effort, you may even be able to receive free boarding by assisting with activities such as cleaning stables or riding other people’s horses!

What can I expect when I board my horse?

An equine boarding facility is a location where horse owners may leave their horses while they are away, knowing that they will be well taken care of. Feeding, cleaning, and grooming services are provided by a skilled crew to ensure that the animals never go without these essential services. The sort of services your horse receives is determined by the degree of boarding you choose: full care, half care, or pasture turn-out (or a combination of these). Additionally, you may board your horse and assume all responsibility for its maintenance.

Horses are high-priced animals.

Many individuals are unaware of how much it costs or what you receive when you board a horse, but one thing is certain: your horse will need to be fed, groomed, and cared for at some point during the day.

Types of horse boarding

Many commercial stables provide a variety of boarding options for horses of various breeds. The following “overview” gives insight into the possibilities that boarding facilities may provide for each type of boarding facility: Video of the barn and training facility where racing horses are kept may be seen here.

Full board for horses

In the event that you are a busy individual with an even busier schedule, full board may be the most convenient option. Your horse will be able to access all of his requirements without you having to see him on a daily basis, and the barn staff will be able to care for him while he is in their care. Feeding, grooming, pasture access, cleaning your horse’s stall, and exercising your horse are all included in full board services for horses. Those facilities that provide complete board will also take care of your horse’s veterinary and farrier appointments; however, the prices for these services are in addition to the standard boarding rates.

In addition, some facilities provide grooming services for your horse when it returns to its regular pasture or home. In addition to these amenities, a full board may include veterinarian care and farrier services.

Pasture Board

The pasture board is responsible for the cost of keeping your horse in a pasture without access to a barn. Although the horses are allowed to free-range and have plenty of space to wander and graze, they may not always get all of their requirements, such as being groomed or ridden, because most owners handle these responsibilities themselves. It has been my pleasure to pasture board horses for racehorse owners who wanted to give their animals time away from the track to heal from injury or simply because they needed a break.

It’s also the most affordable alternative for horse boarding.


It’s similar to leasing a horse in that it allows individuals to save money on horse care. Partial boarding is a fantastic alternative for people who want to save money on horse care. A portion of the boarding expenses is paid by a person who want to ride your horse on a regular basis. The horse owner receives some respite from their boarding expense in exchange for granting access to another individual to ride their horse on their property. It is beneficial to everyone when a person participates in a part-board arrangement since it allows them to enjoy horses without purchasing one themselves.

In principle, part-board appears to be a fantastic idea, but I can see some potential drawbacks.

A bad rider will wreak havoc on your horse, so be selective about who you choose to ride with.

Self-care board

Self-care horse boarding is a fantastic alternative for those who want to have a more intimate relationship with their horses but do not have the space or resources to maintain a horse on their property or in a stable or barn. Additionally, it saves money on boarding fees. Please keep in mind that if you are considering self-care for your horse, you need carefully assess how much time and effort you are willing to devote to caring for your horse. In addition, consider how much engagement in day-to-day management you are willing or able to have in the future.

  1. If you want someone to help you with things like exercising your horse, brushing them out, and cleaning their hooves, they must be experienced with horse care.
  2. You are also responsible for scheduling veterinarian and farrier visits.
  3. Providing a group of individuals who are willing to work together and cycle taking care of each other’s horses can make this form of boarding successful.
  4. In the horse racing industry, self-boarding is regular practice.

If the horses are not properly cared for, the barn owner will evict the horses or contact animal welfare to take care of the problem.

Private arrangement for horse board

Horse boarding may be a significant financial commitment, but it does not have to be so. To find the most cost-effective way to lower your horse boarding expenses, you must consider all of the possibilities accessible to you. It is possible for you to save money on your horse boarding bills by offering a variety of services and by entering into any form of agreement that is mutually beneficial to both you and the facility owner. You may be able to have your boarding charges reduced by assisting with stall cleaning, riding lessons, or horse exercise.

Is boarding horses profitable?

Boarding horses may be a lucrative business, but factors such as location and facility type can make a significant difference in profit margins. Other than boarding horses, most facilities generate additional revenue by selling hay, bedding, and feed to their customers and by providing services such as riding lessons to their customers. The horse boarding industry may be an excellent alternative if you’re searching for a fresh and interesting investment opportunity to consider. The consistent income stream provided by the monthly fees paid by horses is an appealing element of this market, which continues to develop at an exponential rate.

Still, if the economy remains stable and people continue to enjoy riding with their friends, this business has the potential to be quite profitable.


If you keep your horse at home rather than boarding it, it will be less expensive. Additionally, having your horse at home allows you to spend more time with your animal; but, if you have limited room or just do not have the time, boarding may be a viable option.

Should I board my horse?

If you don’t have the time or resources to care for a horse, don’t have a proper area to store it, or don’t have a horse trailer to transport it to training, you should consider boarding your horse. Horses are a significant responsibility that require constant care and attention. Feeding, providing fresh water, cleaning their stalls on a regular basis, and checking their health are all important aspects of proper care. If you have a hectic schedule, these chores might be difficult; the solution is to delegate.

Should I Start a Boarding Operation?

Prior to making the decision to operate a boarding stable, you must complete a substantial amount of research. Photograph courtesy of iStock/Nicholas McComber Starting a boarding stable should be a rather straightforward endeavor, shouldn’t it? I have lots of stables and pastures to work with, as well as a good arena and some trails. Several of my friends, as well as friends of friends, have inquired as to whether I would be interested in boarding their horses. So, what do you do now? The Amazon Affiliate program, through which certain links in articles are included, generates revenue to help support this brand.

Starting a boarding company can be a viable alternative for having excess stalls and space, but it should not be undertaken without careful consideration and preparation.

When it comes to running a boarding company, there are a plethora of obligations to consider.

And, in this day and age of environmental consciousness, who could forget the additional manure?

Step 1: Market Demand

When it comes to boarding horses, the “build it and they will come” concept does not work as effectively as it could. The very first thing you should do before handling any other aspects of your start-up is evaluate whether or not there is enough business to sustain your operations. Start by compiling a list of all of the boarding facilities in your market’s geographical area. Include information about their area of expertise. For example, are they geared at youngsters or adults, displaying or leisure riding, or a particular breed of horse or animal?

What is the company’s reputation?

Will you fill a void in the market so that you may grab enough market share to make it?

Step 2: Zoning

Stables are generally considered to be a permissible use if you live in a rural or agricultural environment. It is recommended that you examine your local zoning laws ahead of time to ensure that you are in compliance with the rules and regulations. If you are not, you will need to obtain the necessary approvals in order to proceed. Remember that you are now increasing traffic in your community, and if you do not address the issue, your neighbors may file a complaint with the town or county officials.

Step 3: Facilities

The living quarters of the horses, riding and exercise opportunities, and rider comfort are all factors to consider. Many states have regulations that specify how many months of shelter are necessary, as well as the specifics of what that shelter must include. To put it another way, a “shelter” might be anything from a run-in shed to a stall in a barn or even a stall that opens into a paddock area. Whatever option you choose, be sure the structure is in excellent condition and that any damaged boards, projecting nails, or other horse dangers have been removed.

Step 4: Horse Management

Will the horses be put out individually or in a group? In the event that the horses do ride together, how will they get along and what will you do if they don’t get along are both important questions to consider. Will you pair mares and geldings together? Fenestration is a major problem regardless of the situation, because you want to keep them all contained and may wish to separate some of them. In addition, while your horse may be able to obey a single strand of electric fence, many a Houdini horse has managed to elude more complex systems.

  • The majority of commercial stables take pleasure in having someone on the premises 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to keep an eye on their horses.
  • What will you serve as a meal to your new boarders?
  • This will prevent the horse from becoming stressed.
  • In the event that you are unable to have a year’s supply on hand, you will want to look into delivery possibilities.
  • When contemplating whether or not to accept boarders, don’t forget about other aspects of horse care.
  • Depending on the situation, boarding customers may also have their own veterinarian, farrier, and other supplemental care providers; are your facilities set up in a way that allows these professionals to have a comfortable working environment when their services are required?

This includes having enough light, a flat surface, and protection from the weather. Will there be someone there to assist them if they require assistance with the horse if this is required?

Step 5: Accommodations for the Horse Owner

Are you providing full board, pasture board, or a combination of the two options? What are the hours of operation and days of operation that you will be providing? Will you make sure that the horse owner has access to her horse at all times? Is there sufficient parking that will not interfere with the horse operation? In what location will they store their equipment and horse supplies? Is this a safe place to be? What are you going to do about a boarder that never shows up? What do you do when you have a guest that never seems to leave?

  • There is a spot for them to put their trailers, do you have one?
  • Do you have access to hiking or biking trails?
  • What is your policy in the event that a boarder damages equipment?
  • Do you provide lights for night riding and for riding during the low daylight seasons?

Step 6: Risk Management

Aboarding contract will be required in order to protect oneself. Lay out in writing what you are offering, for how much money, what authority you will have over the boarded horse, the level of care required, how you will collect if the boarder becomes delinquent in payments, why a boarder can be asked to leave, and what facilities and equipment are included in boarding. If you have any questions, please contact us. In addition, you need get a written release of liability. Both documents aid in the clarification of obligations and processes, and it would be preferable if they were produced by your attorney.

  1. Deal with them now, before they become a terrible reality.
  2. Then get down with your insurance company and have a heart-to-heart.
  3. Insurance difficulties are a major source of anxiety.
  4. What happens if the horse owner is injured?
  5. What happens if a boarder’s horse gets harmed by another horse while on the property?
  6. Make sure to take your time and properly research each of the issues listed above.
  7. ) Since 1995, Lisa Derby Oden has provided business development and marketing consulting services to the horse industry.

Oden is the author of the booksGrowing Your Horse Business andBang for Your Buck: Making $ense of Marketing for Your Horse Business, among other works of literature. She may be reached by phone at 603-878-1694, via email at [email protected], or by visiting her website.)

Two Perspectives

Filling a specific market niche— Cassie Schuster is on the move. In south Texas, Wellness Ranch is a small, family-oriented boarding facility that provides a wholesome, non-toxic environment for horses that are recovering from injury, retiring, or just want to “just be a horse.” According to Schuster, “we simply intended to be a little mom and pop operation with no more than four horses at a given time.” My services were constantly in demand at other barns until we created our own facility in 2008 that included a treatment stall as well as three ordinary stalls, office space, and living accommodations, where I once remained for a month to care for two critically ill horses.

I began out with a full-blown holistic approach, but rapidly found that people didn’t grasp the phrases, the value, or the rationale behind it.

Upon purchasing a peaceful, nature-filled property in July 2010, we transformed it into a one-of-a-kind equine wellness facility, which includes a teaching/therapy barn for foaling or QT boarding; another barn with four stalls; pastures with run-in sheds/lights/automatic water systems; and pasture boarding (for horses).

In addition to consultations, dietary assistance, body care sessions, and plenty of one-on-one attention, I give the following services: We now have seven horses on the property, with room for an additional five.” Laura Kelland-May is the owner and operator of Thistle Ridge Equestrian Services in Ontario, Canada, where she has developed a specialty as a consequence of her years of expertise.

  1. Because I board horses for those who ride with me, anybody who boards here is obligated to participate in my instruction program.
  2. One of my boarders would come out once a week and ride her horse for two to three hours, which she would bring back to me.
  3. Also, she invited several of her friends to come to the stable and ride with her.
  4. None of these things were true about her.
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Boarding Horses on Your Hobby Farm

Do you have any spare stalls? Consider boarding horses as a small business opportunity that might help you make some more revenue. While large-scale horse boarding operations are typically located on the outskirts of metropolitan areas where a large customer base is guaranteed, horse-savvy entrepreneurs can operate profitable boarding operations anywhere in the country if they think small, think quality, and, perhaps, think specialize. According to the 2002 USDA Census of Agriculture, there were 5.2 million horses in the United States on January 1, 2003, according to the Census of Agriculture.

  • A total of 725,000 horses are used in the racing industry.
  • Surprisingly, a significant percentage of these animals are housed in boarding facilities.
  • It was estimated that 31,000 of those horses were boarded in boarding stables, at a cost of $42.1 million to their owners, based on data from the 2002 Pennsylvania Equine Impact Study (PEIS).
  • Approximately 87,100 horses, ponies, mules, and donkeys were housed at boarding and training facilities in Maryland during the 2002 Maryland Equine Census, according to the Maryland Equine Census.

It’s a well-known truth that Americans adore horses. Many of us consider horse ownership to be a necessary luxury, and for those who do not have access to land, this means boarding their horses.

What it Takes to Be a Boarding Stable Owner

An unusual type of individual is required to run a horse-boarding operation. He (or she) must be an experienced horseperson, or be willing to learn how to be one, in order to be considered. Horses are complicated creatures, and their owners are famously picky when it comes to caring for them. When a customer entrusts her prized steed to someone else, she wants that person to handle the horse appropriately, to diagnose disease and suffering accurately, to give him a balanced diet, and to generally care for the horse in the same manner that she would do herself.

  1. He is responsible for marketing his services and ensuring that his customers are happy.
  2. Playing the role of a peacekeeper might be the most difficult aspect of the job (as said by someone who has been there and knows).
  3. They must also have the financial acumen to run their stable in a professional and efficient manner.
  4. If it is not possible, workers or family members should be allowed to step in to fill the void.

More Than One Way to Board a Horse

So you want to board horses. what kind of services do you plan to provide? Unless you’re located within 20 miles of a very rich metro region, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to attract enough customers to make a large-scale operation truly profitable. Keeping things modest and adding value through amenities such as an indoor arena, on-site riding trails, or near access to public bridle routes or horse camping sites is the key to success. You’ll be able to keep your stalls well stocked as a result of this.

You won’t have to worry about providing different storage rooms for each client’s feed and bedding, or about whether a particular horse has been dewormed.

Part-board clients provide feed and bedding at other stables, with daily tasks including as feeding, stall cleaning, and turnout being handled by the stable owner or an employee.

You could be able to give more feed, or the customer might be able to provide it; this is something you’ll want to state out in your contract. Small-scale enterprises, on the other hand, do best when they cater to a certain customer. Photograph courtesy of the Chesapeake Bay Program on Flickr

Consider providing board and services for:

Consider boarding lay-ups if you’re a patient and caring experienced horseperson who has a lot of free time to dedicate to your horse-related company. In contrast to racehorses, anybody with an injured or chronically ill equine and insufficient time to care for its requirements may be prepared to pay for your time and skills if you are willing to accept payment for your services. You could be responsible for hosing or icing a bent tendon, hand walking a lame pony, treating an ulcerated eye, changing bandages, and providing medications, in addition to your typical full-board responsibilities The location of your facility must be within easy driving distance of an exceptional horse veterinarian as well as an expert farrier, due to the unique requirements of your boarders.

Caring for Older Horses

The question is, what should horse lovers do when their beloved old horse has grown too ill to breed or ride any longer? If you want to keep him in luxury at a cheaper cost than boarding him at his current quarters, they will put him out to pasture for a few hours each day. It is probable that you will be able to do so since expensive to develop and maintain amenities such as indoor arenas and on-site groomed trails aren’t required at elder care facilities, thus you will be able to do so. Older boarders require spacious stalls or field shelters, high-quality pasture, concentrates formulated specifically for older horses, and soft, high-quality hay to keep them comfortable.

In the country, elder care facilities are generally run by farmers.

Boarding Broodmares and Young Stock

Boarding broodmares is another service that may be provided from a remote location if you have a good veterinarian on hand. You might full-board broodmares all year or provide a seasonal foaling service, when mares come in a few months before giving birth and leave as soon as their foals are able to walk on their own. In addition, you will give better pasture and stall access or field shelter access to each boarder throughout her stay, and you will monitor her pregnancy and foaling. You may also choose to imprint her newborn foal, which may be available for an extra price.

Considering that the majority of your boarders will be pricey Thoroughbred or Standardbred mares with important prospective racing foals, high-ticket liability insurance and extremely safe stalls, turnout enclosures, and pastures are essential.

Clients who board broodmares are frequently looking for facilities to house maturing young animals as well. The majority of the horses will be weanlings and yearlings in training that are worth a lot of money, therefore the same requirements apply.

Boarding Stallions

Adult stallions are boarded at a limited number of conventional facilities. In the event that you’re a seasoned horse handler who lives in a horse-rich area and enjoys dealing with stallions, you could want to explore starting a stallion station out of your barn. A strong facility, secure accommodations for mares (many of them will have new foals by their sides), and access to an equine practitioner who is experienced in horse artificial insemination are all required. These services are in extremely high demand in some areas, particularly in urban areas.

Boarding Specialty Horses

Developed by German veterinarian Dr. Hiltrud Strasser, who thinks that the lives of domestic horses should be similar to those of their wild predecessors, Natural Boarding is an approach to horse care that has gained widespread acceptance. Dr. Strasser highlights the dangers of what she refers to as Conventional Boarding vs Natural Boarding in her book A Lifetime of Soundness. Dr. Strasser has a large following in the United States, and Natural Boarding is becoming increasingly popular. If you enjoy speciality boarding, this may be the perfect game for you.

In herds, if possible, but if that is not possible, they require frequent physical contact with other horses, such as a pasture buddy or access to other horses over nearby fences.

They must be fed with grass, hay, and minerals on a free-choice basis, and feeding must take place at ground level.

Horse Motels

Despite the fact that horse motels (overnight accommodations for horses) are rarely successful as stand-alone businesses, they can be a valuable source of additional revenue to supplement your regular boarding income. Horse motel facilities, on the other hand, must be kept separate from regular boarding facilities in order to protect your regular boarders from incoming disease. Another option is to open a bed and breakfast for horse travelers and their mounts.

Plan a Successful Boarding Business

Are you still certain that you want to board horses? Good! Boarding is a crucial service and a wonderful method for horse enthusiasts to supplement their income on a part-time basis. However, in order to maximize your earning potential, make sure you complete your homework before entering the market.

  • Examine the legal ramifications. Take into account zoning regulations, business permissions, and your state’s lien rules. Don’t skip this step
  • Counties frequently restrict the number of horses you may maintain on an acre, especially on smaller, hobby farm-type holdings. Also, make sure your facilities are up to code. If you are starting from scratch or making significant renovations, boarding may not be an economically viable option. Safe fences, such as solid planks, pipes, anti-climb woven wire horse fences, or their equivalents, are essential for preventing escapes or accidents. Field shelters and stalls must be spacious and well-constructed, and any metal buildings must be lined with kick-resistant hardwood or plywood to avoid injury to horses. An isolation stall in a different building is a huge help when it comes to new horses or sick horses. Ample feed and bedding storage is required (especially if you provide “furnish your own” partial-board), as is a large amount of space. Tack lockers with lockable doors, a meeting area or lounge with a restroom, space to park vehicles and trailers, and riding facilities, whether it’s an indoor arena, an outdoor riding ring, or access to trails, are all expected by clients. Furthermore, because the average horse excretes 45 pounds of dung and 6 to 10 gallons of pee each day, there will be a lot of manure and dirty bedding to deal with on a daily basis. Inquire about the cost of general liability insurance. The majority of homeowner’s insurance policies do not protect policyholders from claims stemming from commercial operations, such as boarding businesses of any size or complexity. You’ll require two forms of liability insurance for your horse business: Commercial Equine Liability (CGL) and Care, Custody, and Control (CC&C) insurance (CCC). Both are expensive, but they are very necessary, so make sure to consider them in when determining boarding rates. Investigate your target market. Specifically, is there a pressing demand for the sort of boarding you intend to supply right now? Is there anyone else in your community that provides comparable services? Pay a visit to your potential rival and take some notes. Inquire about products and services, and get price lists and contracts. How many different types of facilities and services do they offer? What is the price? Is it possible that their barns are completely full? Specifically, what can you do to make your company’s stability and services more appealing than theirs
  • Calculate the numbers. However, even though boarding horses is an enjoyable job, you will not want to do it for no pay. For full-board, you should expect to charge anything from $200 to $800 or more per month, depending on your geographic location, your facilities, and the kind and level of services you provide. Make ensure that it is sufficient! Check out the Western Maryland ResearchEducation Center’s bulletin, “Horse Boarding Enterprise,” as well as Penn State’s “Agricultural Alternatives: Boarding Horses,” University of Florida’s “The Economic Aspects of a Small Equine Boarding Operation in North Florida,” and Ohio State’s “Horse Boarding Budget” for more information. Create a legally binding boarding agreement. Consult with an attorney to double-check it. Make confident that you’ve covered all of your bases. Customize pre-made boarding contracts or create your own from scratch, but make sure the contract has the following provisions:
  • Provides accurate horse identification as well as complete contact information for the customer. Include the client’s name, address, and any contact information. Include a full description of the horse, making note of any prior ailments and physical condition
  • Consider including pictures or a digital image printout of the horse’s appearance. When a customer cannot be contacted, obtain the names of at least two other individuals who are permitted to make choices in the client’s absence, as well as authorization to obtain veterinarian services if neither can be reached. If the horse is insured, provide the name of the insurer, their contact information, and any policy numbers that may be appropriate. It outlines in detail what is included in your costs. It doesn’t take long for a perennially skinny-Minnie animal that requires double the amount of feed to keep half as fat as the rest of your charges to devour your profits. This is also true for the client who cleans her own stalls every day, using four wheelbarrow loads of new shavings. If your clients require more feed, vitamins, or bedding above and above the minimum, the expense should be covered by them rather than by you and your company. The same may be said about services as well. Specify what basic board includes, as well as a list of optional items that clients can choose to purchase for an additional charge. Specifies the duties of the barn owner and the customer. Who deworms the horse, when does it happen, and with what method? That is the one who calls the farrier? What happens if a customer is responsible for deworming, feeding, turnout, or cleaning stalls but fails to perform her commitment as a result of her negligence? When is the board of directors due? What happens if it’s too late? Is it too late? What steps will the barn owner take in order to repay his initial outlay of capital? What options does the horse owner have if he decides to pursue legal action against the horse? When a client’s horse causes substantial damage to your facilities or another animal, who has the financial responsibility? During what hours is the barn open for business? Is it permissible for the customer to invite visitors to the barn? Her pals’ ponies, perhaps? What about her dog? What are your regulations on smoking, using alcoholic beverages on the premises, and wearing helmets? A written agreement with the new client’s horse in place before the horse arrives will help to avoid future unhappiness. Incorporates a Waiver of Liability clause. Currently, 44 states support legislation that helps horse professionals from being sued on a spurious basis. Continue reading to learn more about your state’s statutes and to obtain sample liability release forms.

Takin’ Care of Business, Every Day

To make a profit, you must advertise your goods on a continuous basis. In addition to advertising online, you may also promote your business at horse-related events such as racing meetings, exhibitions, and expos; in breed-specific or general interest horse journals; and in newspaper classifieds and Yellow Pages. Produce professional-looking business cards and fliers, and distribute them to veterinarians’ offices, tack shops, and feed stores. Wear hats and T-shirts with your company’s logo printed on them.

Make your services known to the public.

Maintain the satisfaction of your customers.

Be diplomatic in your approach.

Request input from your clients on a regular basis, and where possible, make adjustments to policies to accommodate reasonable expectations.

Boarding is not something that can be done whenever you feel like it.

Make yourself easily accessible, and ensure that your horse charges are in good health and happiness. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Then go for it; owning and operating a hobby farm horse boarding operation might prove to be the ideal country business for you.

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