boarding v. backyard - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 01-25-2010, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Tennessee
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Question boarding v. backyard

What are some of the pros and cons of boarding your horse v/s keeping him at home?

Does the price of boarding (roughly 250-350 for most of the places I've looked at) exceed the cost of caring for the horse at home?

I like the idea of having more experienced people around to help me out and offer advice (since this will be my first independent adult horse owning experience), as well the chance to meet other horsey people in my area. At the same time, it would be convenient to have my horse close by, and I've worked enough summers in barns to have the basics of horse care down.

What other factors should I consider?
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post #2 of 22 Old 01-25-2010, 11:26 AM
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I just moved 3 horses home last July. Board was $425 a month/ea. So besides the initial start up costs, it is waaaaaaaay cheaper to keep them home... probably about $600 a month for everything except shows. I could keep one horse for $150 a month.

-They're close. That equals peace of mind to me.
-I know them better than ever before, quick to tell when someone's not quite right.
-Don't have any nosy boarders in my business.
-Developed better relationships with my vet and farrier, I can count on them to be there whenever anything is wrong.
-I can give my horses the care/nutrition they need, rather than what the boarding barn is willling to feed.
-I can assure they have hay in front of them all day long.

-No horse person, with more experience than I have, is close by to "consult" with. But remember, advice from a vet over the phone is free :)
-No real ring to ride in (will have one in the future though).
-Have to trailer out for lessons.
-They turned the winter field into a dirt (mud) paddock in 2 months.
-Pretty tied down to the place, feed 2x a day. Hard to go on vacation.
And worst of all, getting up early on saturdays when it's freezing cold and raining in January to go feed, when all I want to do is snuggle in bed all day

At home is a much better setup for us, hope that helps!

Mom to 3 bays: Beau, Daisy & Cavalina

Last edited by My Beau; 01-25-2010 at 11:29 AM.
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post #3 of 22 Old 01-25-2010, 12:07 PM
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I prefer them at home. I will say that on occasion when it's really cold or dark outside I dread going out to feed. Once I get out there I enjoy it but the thought of going out into the cold to muck stalls and feed horses sometimes just makes me sad. On Saturdays I can't sleep in which is actually a good thing because by the time the horses are fed and watered you are awake and end up not wasting your day.

My mom is next door and can feed for me if I go out of town or work late at night. My brother can also provide back up help.

I have a network of friends and my trainer that I can call if I have an emergency or a concern. My vet is really good about phone questions as well. I would never be able to afford more then one horse if I had to pay board. I'm also one of those people that worry all the time so when I did board I worried like crazy if I didn't get out to check on the one horse I had at the time daily.

I copied My Beaus cons
-No real ring to ride in (will have one in the future though).
-Have to trailer out for lessons.
-They turned the winter field into a dirt (mud) paddock in 2 months.
-Pretty tied down to the place, feed 2x a day. Hard to go on vacation.
And worst of all, getting up early on saturdays when it's freezing cold and raining in January to go feed, when all I want to do is snuggle in bed all day

But I do like it better with them at home.

"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
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post #4 of 22 Old 01-25-2010, 01:45 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Californian
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So i have done both (but the backyard boarding was at a friends house) ...

I think that it depends on what you want out of it.. if you want to just have your horses close and have them as pets/pleasure then having them at home is great. But if you want to have a trainer that is easily accessible or be able to hop on and ride in an arena at any time then a barn is probably your best bet. BUT all barns are not the same

I have boarded at a few different placed and it took me a little while to find the place I am at now and LOVE (only wish they had a covered arena)...

I don't mind cleaning stalls and feeding but not having an arena is what killed me the most.

SO if you have a nice set up at home go for it (as long as you are ok feeding and cleaning all the time haha ) but if you want to have the feeding to take a vacation or go out of town for the weekend that is hard to do when you have your ponies at home.

Hope this all made sense

:: Karley ::
Tucker WB/TB- 11 yr
Speedy QH/TB- 22 yr
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post #5 of 22 Old 01-25-2010, 11:41 PM
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I have honestly never boarded a horse but I would prefer it.

At home, you have them close. You can ride whenever. Unless you have no arena or no land. Then you have to haul. Boarding, if the place has at least an outdoor arena, would be better in my opinion. Sure, you know the care your horse is getting at home, but what if something happens and you don't know until hours later? Your horse gets fed and taken care of and if it looks like something is wrong, there's always someone there. And if you want to ride, you just drive there on your own and you don't need to haul.

With boarding, there's no buying, loading and unloading of hay, no stalls to clean or buckets to fill, no worrying about whether or not your horse got fed. I personally see backyarding your horse as a waste of time unless you own a whole herd and make money off of your herd through lessons. But if its one or two horses, I definetely suggest boarding.

gogirl46 - We are lipstick and cleats, we are concrete and grace.
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post #6 of 22 Old 01-26-2010, 12:21 AM
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When I first bought my horse I boarded him for about 6 months and then brought him home.

Pros of being at home
No driving, ride whevenr you want. I could only ride between 12-2 on weekends because of lessons. During summer this was way too hot to ride.
Control over feed. When I boarded, the hay they provided was bad quality and my horse kept colicing so I bought my own chaff to use. It was expensive and I asked people not to use it because I had payed for it, yet a whole bag would be gone in one day. I also had to be careful what I left out there, otherwise people would use it (I'm fine with that) and then wreck it/break it/leave it really dirty.

When boarding I didn't have to clean stalls, feed or rug. Having them at home is a lot more time consuming.
I couldn't ride for 4 months due to injuries so it was really hard to find someone to ride my horses and they barely got any work in that time. If they were boarded it wouldve been easier to get someone to excersice them.
I feel like I'm less motivated at home. When I was boarding, there was always people watching you ride, so my horse was kept very clean and I always worked hard to improve my riding.
I had constant lessons when I was boarding compared to at home.
Depending on the people, you can really learn a lot from their advice.
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-26-2010, 12:26 AM
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
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I love having my horses my horses at home. I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to feeding and general horse care :) (at least I admit it!!)

Having said that I do board out once in while when i want to get someone ready for an early show and need use of places with more facilities than I have.

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post #8 of 22 Old 01-26-2010, 06:21 AM
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If I had to board my horses.I think I would sell them first. I have had mine in the back yard for over 30yrs. It has way more benefits than boarding any day. I agree with most everyone. I love to hear them nicker at me in the morning even though it's 4am. They know that on weekends they get fed late by 7am. They become more attached to you and you can read them alot better when you see them all the time. I love the fact that I can go out at anytime, whistle and they come running. The only time I hate having horse's is in the winter...but a few months of agony is worth the lifetime of memories. I have plenty of critter sitters if I go out of town but I usually take atleast one horse with me. Most of all thier the greatest mental therapy you could ever have....The only time I really don't like my horses is when they see the rig hooked up and they haul azz to the back of the pasture and stand there and look at you like "you talkin to me"?

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post #9 of 22 Old 01-26-2010, 07:03 AM
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With just a few differences, Mingiz said it best for me.

The only problem is that you can't take a spontaneous weekend away. Everything must be planned and arranged. The bitter rain/cold or blazing sun makes going out to feed a dreaded thing (but I have it down to 15 minuets if everyone cooperates).

I've been taking care of horses for 26 of my 30 years of ownership and watching them out a window playing in the pasture never gets old.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

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post #10 of 22 Old 01-26-2010, 10:04 AM
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I absolutely hate boarding. I am like Renexarabs, a control freak. When I boarded, I did most things myelf. I really don't like other people handling my horses. I like them at home, I can have them out 24/7 if I want and don't have to worry weather or not they were fed the right amount. Plus I don't have to drive anywhere, if I just want to wander out and look at my horse or pet him, I can. Going away on trips is a problem, we have to find a "sitter". I usually worry the whole time I am gone as things aren't done quite the way I like them It is a lost cheaper to keep them here, I figured it costs me about $70-80 a month to keep my paint and $80-100 for the TB (not including shoes and vet). Can't board for that price around here.
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