You ***need*** a fire safety plan and protocol(as in, no open flames near the hay) for your students and boarders. Map out a fire exit and regularly plan fire drills, requiring all people using your facilities to attend a drill and learn your protocols. In the case of liability this can be a life-saver. Same with any possible natural disasters in your geographical location. Make sure you map out a drill for handling your equine clients that's as careful as is your human drill. Especially if your stalls only have one entrance - and that entrance is inside the building, with no back doors that open to penned runs.
If you have the funding, invest in a fire-safety sprinkler system; those overhead sprinklers that set off at the sense of smoke. Be sure you find some that are resistant to dust.
Invest in extra helmets, boots, chaps, crops, spurs, etc (in various sizes), that you can use for lesson students who forget any of the items listed. I can't tell you how many times I had to lend someone my helmet because their parents didn't read the barn requirements. Invest in decent tack for each of your lesson horses. One barn I've heard of ran into serious issues using recycled saddles for their several different lesson horses; another had custom-fit tack made for each horse they used in their lesson program. The tack room was neatly organized with each horse's tack plainly laid out. Find yourself a happy medium.
Adequate grain/feed containers, preferably rodent proof.
Plenty of trot poles/standards/big scary decorations/traffic cones.
Plenty of school provided halters for your horses.
Baling twine, scissors, and handy-man tools for various situations.
A good sit-down session with a lawyer to discuss everything YOU need to know before opening a place that puts you in serious liability, especially when such liabilities involve horses.
Something to drag your arenas with.
Adequate and easily found lighting in case of a power outage (a shelf full of flashlights should do.)
Grooming kits that you can provide for your horses.
A clear, concise website that highlights all of your rules of conduct at your stables, which should advertise either your location or indicate that contacting you is the only way to find your location. (Can be considered really sketchy though, doing it like this.) From the sounds of it, you want a business that runs on word-of-mouth rather than flashy signs.
A list of rules of conduct that you should teach your clients.
That one really b****y mare that pins her ears at everyone and everything for every reason that doesn't make sense..must be a stereotypical pony or horse, female in gender required. Can be any color you desire; must be a b****.
:P If I think of anything else useful I'll let you know.
The path is different for you and me, but the journey begins in the heart.
Last edited by NeryLibra; 10-21-2013 at 08:24 PM.