Boarding a friend's horse..... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-26-2012, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Boarding a friend's horse.....

My 14 yr old daughter has a friend who has been riding for a couple years. She does not own her own horse, she rides her lesson horse. My daughter wants to know if we would be willing board a horse for her friend. Apparently her parents are at a point where they are willing to buy a horse for her, but they do not have a place for a horse at their home. They do live outside of town and they have a small barn on a couple acres, but no place for a horse. They would need a place to board. There is boarding at the place she takes lesson's, but it is a little too pricey for them, although I know the boarding place to be reasonable.

So, my husband and I are open to boarding for her, because we would like to help her out (we know the family and they are responsible people), but I am not sure how all the particulars would work out. I would guess we would ask them to buy all their own feed/hay and come probably a couple times a week for cleaning (and I would assume riding). We live about 10 minutes from their house, so that shouldn't be too hard.

Facility wise we have 4 stalls, with only 2 being used. We have a huge barn, tack around and indoor shower area. Grazing would probably be my biggest concern. We have two pastures that are 1.25 acres a piece. We have our two horses on it and a fair steer (just until August). We have probably 3 more acres of pasture that we have considered using te temporary fencing on. We dont mind supplementing some. Also, we are getting ready to built a house (this coming fall). Once we build, we will have pretty much the same facilities, but more fenced in acres (probably 5), plus 60 plus acres to ride on. So we could certainly still board her horse, but there will be some transitioning.

So, what do u guys think? We would want to charge? I want to be helpful to their family and be cheaper for them, but we feel their should be a fee for using our pasture and the daily care......

Thanks guys,

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post #2 of 17 Old 04-26-2012, 09:03 AM
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I wouldn't look at it as helping them out. I would look at it as helping your daughter out. My parents boarded two of my friends horses for me, and I had the best experiance of my life with them, sure there were arguments and big ones, but my parents always kept out of everything. My friends and I fed every day and took care of most everything with me doing the lions share, since I lived on premisis. I still count those friends as my dearest today, and we still ride together every Sunday.

I Thank my mom all the time for that gift.

This photo is of my mom, her neice, myself and my two dearest friends riding last summer, everyone of us kept their horses at mom's house as we were growing up.
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post #3 of 17 Old 04-26-2012, 12:25 PM
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i would first sit down with the two girls and the parents and discuss the responisbilty of owning is different then just going for lessons.

so this is what i would do.
sit down with the kiddo's and make sure they both understand that yes this is for them to have fun but they need to be responsible. they would be in charge of feeding, cleaning, grooming, helping to unload the feed, or store hay, they are to muck there own stalls, i would even so much as say they would need to help repair fencing if the horses took it down.

as for cost. i would only charge for forage when there is little pasture to eat with a small fee for your assistance / stall and pasture. since i use square bales - so i would calculate basis how much one horse generally eats in one day (2.5 bales) and then times the amount of days in a month= the amount of hay needed for that month times 12 for the year= the general amount of hay needed to last the year... then with that number times it by the average cost of square bale which will give you the amount you will spend in hay for a year then divide by 12 to get the amount you should charge eash month...
but remember that is basis on supplementing hay throughout the year (12 months) if you know the amount of months you think will need to start supplementing then use that number instead.

i would also have a liability waiver encase horse or child is hurt on your property you are not liable.

i would make it clear that they are to provide there own food, tack, blankets etc and not to use yours. i would also see if they wanted to use the same feed as you so that you and other parents can correspond a feed run together to help both parties out, also find out if they want to use your vet, if so do they want to have the horse on the same schedule as yours to save on farm visit calls for the shots etc (farm call should be split 25/75 and each owner pays for there horse) as for farrier see if they want to use yours aswell and have them on the same schedule if not make sure it is clear they will have to be available to meet with them for the appointment.
the children must be there everyday to atleast feed there animals if not work them and clean up the barn area, etc. if possible for her to get there in the morning maybe both kids can rotate days so someone can sleep in alittle before school everyother day.

i would also make sure to have a contract stating what your ideas are for the arrangement and such and have the others agree

good luck i hope those kiddos know how lucky they are to have you consider such an option. :)
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-26-2012, 12:30 PM
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Wouldn't do it. There are SSSOOOOOO many things that a horse owner is responsible for that interrupt our lives, and a new owner isn't going to understand your anger if they:
1) use your grooming tools and don't put them away
2) use your tack and leave it on the ground
3) come out to ride at inconvenient times
4) come out to ride when you're away, and get hurt with THEIR horse--you might even be sued
5) friend brings another friend and borrows your daughter's horse to ride
6) doesn't clean the stall
7) leaves locked rooms in your barn unlocked
We ALL do these things when we have our horses in our backyards, but it isn't a problem.
My parents wouldn't buy me a horse, so I waited until I was 27yo to get and pay for my own. I have been the primary caretaker of ALL of my horses since 1985. People I knew then stopped asking if I was serious.
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post #5 of 17 Old 04-26-2012, 12:34 PM
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I think it would be a good thing for the girls & possibly you too.
But, (always a butt) I would be very hesitant to make deals or have the boarder supply her own feed & such. Also expecting her to help with chores as part of the deal can backfire.
I would have her pay a set amount each month (prepaid) & supply the horse's feed & bedding needs myself. This will avoid any hard feeling if & when the boarder fails to do their part or she thinks she is doing too much. I've seen too many friendships turn sour due too boarding deals gone bad or preceived to be bad.
If she later wants to help out you could take some off the next month's board or consider it a favor, whichever you both chose.
Be sure you have some sort of contract written up describing exactly what is expected from both parties. Also include a release of liabilty form signed by her parents, as she is a minor.
I understand this is a friend but it is still a business deal.
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-26-2012, 12:42 PM
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I don't EVER make deals with friends anymore. I've been screwed over too many times by friends that couldn't make payments, or said they would be out to deal with their horse and never showed up.

If you decide to go through with it. You need to sit everyone down and have a long, thorough discussion on what's to be expected from the girls, and the parents...

And have them SIGN a CONTRACT! Even if they are friends, it doesn't matter! Don't ever go into a sale or business proposal without a clearly written contract that everyone agrees on, and signatures. Or chances are, you'll get screwed over somehow.

"The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with
him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too."

-Samuel Butler
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post #7 of 17 Old 04-26-2012, 05:57 PM
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Given that you have 2 horses already, I'd say go for it, BUT make sure your expectations are clearly outlined ahead of time, especially who pays for what, who cleans the stalls, feeds, etc. Require them to have liability insurance on their horse.

Since this is their first horse, they will probably rely on you for a lot of information regarding proper feeding, vet, and farrier, so it might be reasonable to charge them for hay/grain and buy it yourself, particularly if none of the horses are on a special diet, and keep him on the same vaccination/deworming/farrier schedule that your horses are on.
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-26-2012, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by CLaPorte432 View Post
I don't EVER make deals with friends anymore. I've been screwed over too many times by friends that couldn't make payments, or said they would be out to deal with their horse and never showed up.

If you decide to go through with it. You need to sit everyone down and have a long, thorough discussion on what's to be expected from the girls, and the parents...

And have them SIGN a CONTRACT! Even if they are friends, it doesn't matter! Don't ever go into a sale or business proposal without a clearly written contract that everyone agrees on, and signatures. Or chances are, you'll get screwed over somehow.
Pretty much all of the above.

And even with the signed contract I still wouldn't go into business with friends.
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post #9 of 17 Old 04-26-2012, 10:53 PM
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"So, my husband and I are open to boarding for her, because we would like to help her out" That statement gets more people into situations they don't really think about. When it works out, it's a rarity, not the norm. Corporal has pretty much summed it up as that is the norm. You have to think of it as a business and run it like a business. When money gets tight, the horse board is the last thing paid, or left unpaid. Then you are put in the position of having to approach the parents, an uncomfortable position because of the children's friendship. When board is unpaid the stress levels go on overload.
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-26-2012, 11:00 PM
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I love what Taffy shared. I think this could be a beautiful gift to your daughter. I also agree with others that you need a detailed conversation with the other family and write up a summary of that conversation or a contract. You said they are a responsible family, and that is promising.

Ask the girls to do some of the thinking too, and propose some agreements. Have them do some research too in what contracts, pricing and agreements other boarding facilities have. I am a school principal, so I love the learning opportunity this offers. Put the responsibility on the kids to lay the groundwork. They will have more buy-in for the plan and they may really surprise you!

Finally, consult your insurance agent. Be sure you include the cost of an umbrella policy, even with signed release of liability forms. It's essential! Stuff happens.

Good luck! The children really have a unique opportunity to build responsibility, great memories, and useful skills. They are lucky kids!
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