I love back yard boarding. I am not one who likes to be at a barn and this works out great for me. I rent the 20 acres, the barn and the converted chicken house with a pasture next to it for my daughter's minis. It is not pretty but it is perfect for me. My horses are the only ones on the farm and I love that. Just like having my own place, I just don't have to own a tractor and keep the drive free from snow :)
I hope this one works out for you and you and your friend have found the perfect spot!