Boarding a horse: What to look for in a barn?

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Boarding a horse: What to look for in a barn?

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    01-17-2011, 07:05 PM
Boarding a horse: What to look for in a barn?

I am faced with this decision. I have never been around a boarding stable, I have always had a pasture at my mom's farm. We are moving 1,200 miles away from were I live now and I am taking my 7 y/o gelding. I have no idea what to look for, what to watch out for etc.

All I want is basic pasture boarding. The barn I am looking at seems very good, the price range is were I want to be and the owner has been helpful for the questions I have asked. I am nervous because I have no way of looking at this stable before I commit and move my horse there. The owner has described the fences in the field, what their care includes with pasture horses. What else do I need to know, please help.
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    01-17-2011, 07:35 PM
Green Broke
Ask if you can have pictures e-mailed.

Is there shelter?
How about food, will they provide or you and what type of food?
Are they willing to feed supplements if you need?
Do they have a blanketing service or is that up to you?

Basically, think about everything you currently do for your horse and then ask if that is included or if it's up to you. Then you can decide if the price is justified by the services offered,

Does they have current boarders you could call for a reference?

Also, keep an eye on the Farm & Garden section of the Craigslist for that area. Around here, the not-so-desirable boarding facilities are quite often outed on there. It doesn't last long before they are flagged and removed but if you see many negative things said about a particular facility, that would give me cause to be concerned.
    01-17-2011, 08:36 PM
For pasture board,

Is there a shelter so the horse can get out of the rain/wind/snow?

What's the blanketing policy? Are you on your own to change out blankets on those freak days when it's 70 in daytime but 40 at night? Most barns charge $1 a day for blanket changing.

Do they get enough hay & water. All BO's will promise the moon & the stars when you first talk to them on the phone. When you actually go see the place, look around a lot. Check to see that the horse already there have lots of water in their buckets. If it's frozen solid or empty, leave. Look that they have hay or pasture (if you're in a warm climate) to eat. Look for round well fed horses. If you see lots of ribby, skinny ones, again don't waste your time.

Personal preference is size of turnout and how many horses yours will be out with. Just make sure it's what you want for your horse.

Ask why options for grain you have. Most have a few different grains to choose from. Just make sure there's one that will suit your horse's needs and ask how much he will get each feeding.

Ask about the barn rules. Are there any restrictions you would not be happy with. Are they closed on Mondays, can you use your own trainer, do they have any policies about not riding alone, etc. Just ask a zillion question and look around a lot. If you can, talk to some current boarders.

Good luck.
    01-17-2011, 10:30 PM
Thanks everyone for the help. I have more questions I now can ask.
    01-18-2011, 12:15 AM
In addition to all of the other suggestions, I would say to make sure you feel comfortable trusting your horse with these people.

When I was looking for a place to move Abby closer to me, I found a place owned by a couple. I googled reviews of this boarding place and got a pretty even balance of "Never had a problem, etc" and "Never board here. They're terrible". So I checked it out just to see for myself. Their facility wasn't all that bad. Could have been nicer, but you could tell (and they said) that they were remodeling. The newer stalls and such were pretty nice. However, I did not feel comfortable with them. I couldn't see myself trusting them with my horse. It was just a vibe I had from them.
    01-24-2011, 12:37 PM
Also make sure you ask for a boarding contract and find out what is included in the monthly board. Contracts differ so you'll need to look at the fine print. Some places may include a stall when the weather gets really cold. If you're on pasture board make sure your horse gets blanketed as needed, enough hay and water in the cold months if you're moving to a colder climate.
Good luck!

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