Boarding advice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-09-2011, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 21
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Boarding advice

I have a 5 stall backyard barn that my husband is renovating for me. I want to board horses as a little extra income and so I can bring my baby home and he won't be alone. I have tried to post on and craigslist, but havent gotten any bites. I am at a loss what to charge and was wondering if anyone might be able to help me figure that out as well as give me some advice on where and how to advertise.

Thank you.
hillcrestfarm is offline  
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-09-2011, 09:53 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Medazzaland
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What kind of boarding do you want to offer? Full, partial, or co-op? Be sure to figure in all expenses for feed, electricity, water, shavings, hay, and definitely your time for care and repairs.
Puddintat is offline  
post #3 of 8 Old 04-09-2011, 10:04 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Wisconsin, USA
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For price - I would call around to the other boarding facilities around and see what they are charging. I have seen board prices anywhere from $750 to $200 a month in the same area for full care. Do you have an indoor or outdoor arena? Access to trails? I would say that those would up the price. What type of tack room and grooming area do you have? Compare what you are planning on offering to barns in your area and what they offer.

Craigslist and the horse for sale sites (, etc) are good online resources. I would go to all the local tack stores and hang up a flyer. Almost every tack store has an area for that kind of thing. You can also put up flyers in the feed store. Talk to your horse vet and farrier and let them know you are looking for boarders.

Good luck!
livestoride is offline  
post #4 of 8 Old 04-09-2011, 10:07 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ontario
Posts: 993
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As far as what to charge, that greatly depends on your area, prices vary drastically around the world, and from state to state.
Why don't you start by making some calls to barns in your area, asking what they charge?
I currently pay $250 Cdn/month where I board. Full care, a stall when required by weather, blanketing as per needed. No arena.
Skipsfirstspike is offline  
post #5 of 8 Old 04-09-2011, 11:03 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: North Texas
Posts: 1,214
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When figuring out what to charge consider your worst case variable costs (feed, shavings, hay, electricity,fuel, barn supplies and maitenance) and your fixed costs (mortgage, insurance, tractor payment ect..) and divide it by how many stalls you plan to rent. That would be the minimum you should charge. Don't forget to factor in the advil in your budget! You'll need it ALOT... aka horse chews down your stall, owner decides to feed horse 30 apples and then colics at 3am. :oD Good luck!

~ Starline Stables ~
starlinestables is offline  
post #6 of 8 Old 04-10-2011, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 21
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Thank you everyone for the advice. We are on 23 acres of land, 1/2 mile off the main road in a really quiet location. We have a large open pipe line directly in front of our house that runs from Western Mass all the way into Providence RI, the trails are unlimited off of it. We do have an outdoor riding ring. No indoor. I don't mind offering rough, full or co-op. I am open. THe stalls are 10x10 matted. I have 2 large turnout paddocks. We have a tack room/grain room. The problem in my area I have been finding is that the range of board is so far between even if a small thing differs from my place. I appreciate the advice.

Thank you!
hillcrestfarm is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 04-10-2011, 09:50 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: US
Posts: 238
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Where in Mass are you? I'm about a half hour north of Boston and around my area you could probably charge around $400 or $500 a month for full board, but if you're more out west than I would think closer to $400
zurmdahl is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 04-10-2011, 11:04 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,289
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I would strongly advise against doing co-op, even with as small a barn as you have, unless you rented the entire barn to one individual. With a co-op barn it's impossible to avoid intrapersonal conflicts and boarder drama, and you'll end up refereeing disputes about who took the last flake of hay and whose turn it is to do stalls. In deciding what you want to offer, bear in mind that the lowest level of service has the lowest potential profit margin and the highest level of service has the highest level.

Starline's advice about estimating your fixed and variable cost and basing your price on that was excellent. If it's difficult to find land to ride on or access to trails in your area, your setup is going to be instantly attractive to folks that want to trail ride.
maura is offline  

boarding , small barn , stalls

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