Should you decide to proceed there are a few things that come to mind that NOONE should start boarding horses without: a BOARDING CONTRACT, Riding/handling waivers, EXPERIENCE with caring for horses, an excellent relationship with a vet who can mentor you on various issues, and good intuition (if you think someone is going to be a poor fit for your vision of your farm, you are probably correct).
Drive around and look at other farms in the area: if you are near a city area but not quite "out there" in the country, there is a great liklihood that there are lots of city-folk with horses who would love to have them closer to home! If you are closer to a rural area where the acreage requirements for horse ownership/on property maintenance are low ask yourself what you have to offer that would draw people from keeping their horse at their own home, and it might make boarders hard to come by. Be ready to deal with people who think that because they pay you they bought stock in your farm (as opposed to paying for the equivalent of an "apartment" for their horse, exceptional care of the physical needs of the horses you board, and/or whatever other services you wish to provide). It is a good idea to have WHAT EXACTLY boarders are paying for listed in your contract. This is important for the instances when they decide to do whatever the heck they want and let their horse loose to wander in your backyard where your children and dogs play, where the horse could get into the road or just plain run away and you can say "Um - excuse me, that is not allowed" - they will likely pull the "It's my horse and I don't mind card" and you can point to your contract and say "Look, this is a safety issue on MY property..." and hopefully quiet the situation calmly. <<--- yes, this HAS happened to us, and the lady actually forgot she "turned her horse loose" and drove home with the horse free to roam wherever - luckily we saw the horse before it wandered out the back property gate and lost itself somewhere (or worse yet, got smacked by a car). I guess the bottom line is: how good are your customer service/complaint handling skills?
You need to have equine horse farm liability insurance.
Don't get me wrong - there are TONS of benefits to boarding horses (otherwise we wouldn't do it), but those are just some VERY HUGE things to consider that you may not think too much about right now...
Oh... there is a good book by Mary Ashby that you can likely find at your local TSC. Your local farm supply or book store should have a few books for you to look through and see which has the best readability (your own personal taste) and seems most like what you are seeking.
Last edited by leonalee; 08-05-2010 at 11:02 AM.