New to Boarding Horses
 
 

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New to Boarding Horses

This is a discussion on New to Boarding Horses within the Horse Boarding forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • How much to charge for horse boarding
  • Income from horse boarding

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    01-31-2012, 09:04 PM
  #1
Foal
Smile New to Boarding Horses

Hello!

My fiance and I just bought a house in VT that came with a 3 stall barn, riding ring, paddock, and garage with hayloft. We have never boarded horses before and think it could be a nice way to use the grounds, the barns, and a little extra income.

We are hoping to do partial-boarding, I think that's what it is called, where we feed water them and let them out, but we do not provide food equipment etc. Is that the right definition? I guess what I want to know is how do we do this?! What is the proper level we need in order to ensure the horses are ok and safe? Do we need insurance?

Any guidance or wisdom much appreciated.

Cheers,
Erikka
     
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    01-31-2012, 09:59 PM
  #2
Foal
Hi Akkire,

Welcome aboard the horse world.
You will find, there is MUCH more to boarding (even if it is a "do it yourself" barn), than just a beautiful romantic notion of horses on the property.

First and foremost: I don't know whether you or your husband have any horse experience. Having horses on your property, you should definitely learn about them before you start boarding:
- Recognize emergency signs, when a horse gets severely sick and needs a vet instantaneously
- Know how to handle it, if a horse breaks through the fence and runs lose
-... just to name a few examples.

If you have never handled horses before, you may find yourself facing a situation you may not have expected.

We have a many people on here, who are boarders and offer boarding - each one can probably offer valuable advice.

You definitely need insurance!
Talk to your insurance company about "Care Custody Control" - CCC. They don't come cheap.

In addition: make sure you get a boarding contract. Never, ever board without a contract!

Barn Plans and Horse Facility Planning Information - StableWise

Has a lot of wisdoms, blanco contracts, and advice.

That's just what I have at this moment for very basic advice, from someone who has spent some time working at boarding barns and listening to the drama around ;) Quite frankly, I have never seen a boarding barn without Drama...
Some have more of it, some less... but it's always there ;)

That being said: don't come too fast to a conclusion/decision. Listen around first, maybe visit one or the other boarding facility to get some advice there.

Good Luck with your new life and congratulations on the purchase :)

Z.
Susan Crumrine, Corporal and rob like this.
     
    02-01-2012, 08:37 AM
  #3
Foal
Thumbs up Thanks Little Z!

From looking around online and in the forum, and I'm reading alot of what you said. The house we bought is actually in a mini "horse country" so I'm going to go visit with them and feel out if they board or what they do.

I've been around horses, I took riding lessons with them, so the handle/care of them wouldn't be new. Definitely need to learn about illness and that kind of care, never done that one. I think this is the one part that scares me, thinking if I don't catch something that a horse could be seriously in trouble and then what!

Thanks for your advice, and that link. I'm checking it out and will report back with more questions.

Cheers,
Erikka
     
    02-06-2012, 02:23 PM
  #4
Weanling
Just an FYI, types of boarding

Full care
This should mean all care. Board facility provides feed (hay at least, sometimes grain, and minerals) and feeds it. They clean stalls, turn in and out. It can also include fly masks on and off as well as blankets. It usually does not include holding for farrier or vet, but mine does. A good full care facility should mean you show up and ride.

Partial care
This is usually the above, but the horse owner provides all feed.

Self care
Stable does nothing, other than allow the horse to be on the property. Horse owner provides feed, feeds, turns in and out, blankets, etc.


At lower levels of care, sometimes the stable owner will offer to do some of the work for an additional charge. Feed breakfast, blanket, etc.

Some barns include everything, some do only the absolute minimum.

The stable I am at here is what is included in the full care:

Horses fed three to four times a day, owner provided supplements fed, turn in and out, water changed daily, blankets on and off, fly masks on and off.

Oddly enough, minerals are not provided??? So I have to buy my own salt block, yet she bought my two year old a stall toy to keep her busy at night.

We have almost no drama at this stable. All drama people are asked to leave. It makes for a fun relaxing time every time we go out.
     
    02-06-2012, 04:08 PM
  #5
Foal
Talking define

Hi there Yadlim!

Thanks for the break down, that makes it a LOT clearer for me. What does your full boarding charge you? And do prices vary according to region or are they pretty standard?

Little Z - Consulted that other website and have ordered some books for research!

Cheers,
Erikka
     
    02-06-2012, 04:32 PM
  #6
Foal
I think they vary according to region. I am full board and I pay 350 in Michigan but I have seen people comment that they pay 600 and up for full board. Pasture board at my barn is 250. That is pretty standard in my area.

I think you should also make sure you have time to take care of the horses...you are pretty tied down as far as going out of town and leaving for an entire day and into the night...I just mean your life will be restricted
     
    02-06-2012, 04:45 PM
  #7
Weanling
Prices vary from block to block around here - the Puget Sound Area of Seattle.

Full Care usually starts about $350 with an outdoor arena. For an indoor arena they start about $500 and up - PER HORSE!!! I know of three small barns within five miles of my house that have no arena, no trails, just stalls and pasture that are $550 a month per horse.

Partial Care starts about $250 - up to about $400

Self care can be as low as $150

That said, my stable is the 'back yard' of the barn manager's hubby where he runs a part time hay business. She gets her hay at wholesale prices. There is also an indoor arena and 15 stalls from when he used to be a horse trader, since the property is paid off and the facilities are already in place, she has really low running costs.

Now, it is not a pretty place. There are piles of lumber, a dead boat, fences have not been painted in what looks like decades, but it is horse safe. I pay $225 per horse, but have talked her into charging more. She was having trouble filling stalls at $225. She raised it to $250 and filled 8 stalls. My guess woudl be that she could probably keep the stalls filled at $300, but for any more than that would have to make the place a lot prettier.
     
    02-06-2012, 05:03 PM
  #8
Trained
Don't expect to make any money boarding horses - if you are breaking even, you are well ahead of most barns. Most boarding facilities make their money buying/training/selling horses, coaching, training and through sponsorship, or they are independently wealthy/have other streams of income.

IMO your best bet is to find a friend that wants to lease your land and do all care/maintenance/etc.. You need to have insurance, and also an airtight agreement on the terms of the lease, how the land and facilities are to be maintained, etc.. and be prepared to use the document in court. In general horse people are scheming cows that will try to suck you dry and take everything possible from you and no they will not feel bad. This is why I say - start with someone you know personally to be trustworthy and make sure both sides understand all the terms of the agreement and have a signed document stating that.
This is the "easy" way out that will not require you to be tied to your property.

If you DO decide to board horses and not lease the property, here is a brief list of things that are generally expected to be done:
Every day:
Feed in the morning (grain and hay)
Horses blanketed and turned out
Water hauled to the field if there are no auto waterers
Stalls cleaned thoroughly (including buckets and waterers) and re bedded
Barn swept and dusted, poop buckets dumped
Horses checked on (at least once) and fed hay/water during the day (if you are offering this)
Horses brought in to grain, hay and water and unblanketed
Night check and hay
Every week:
Water in the feild to be cleaned
Clean poop in the field
Arena to be harrowed (at least once a week)
Fences to be fixed/maintained
Twice a year:
The entire barn should be power washed and disinfected (this is legislated in some areas)
And maintenence/painting as required.

If you DO need to leave the property for vacation it is also expected that you will find suitable help to take care of the horses, not just Bill or Joe from down the road.

What I would expect from boarders:
If you are going to have barn hours, for them to obey the hours
Clean all poop out of the arena and don't let the horses pee in the arena
Clean the barn when you are done riding - it should be as they found it
Provide adequate, clean blankets in good repair for the horses
Provide all feed and medications, as required
Schedule all vet and farrier visits during barn hours and be present to hold the horse for all visits.

It's not easy, it's not fun and it is a thankless job. Most horse people are looking for what YOU can do for THEM and not the other way around. They tend to whine, moan and complain while their horses wreck your fences and they leave your facility dirty. This is why barn rules and airtight, signed documents are so important.

Good luck!

ETA: for partial care (as outlined) and in a good facility with safe fencing and 24/7 people on site I would pay $400-500 a month. With an indoor arena and provided hay the rates would be over $700 a month in this area.
     
    02-23-2012, 09:28 AM
  #9
Foal
How much does it cost the barn owner for hay, grain, bedding, etc. I am trying to estimate how much to charge per month for boarding as I am in the process of purchasing a farm. Is there a list with the average costs for the barn owner in the Harrisburg PA area. Thanks
     
    02-23-2012, 11:17 AM
  #10
Weanling
General rule of thumg, each horse will eat half its weight in hay every month - or approximately 1 1/4 bales of hay a week (assuming 100 lbs bales of good quality hay). Hard keepers, like my horse, eat twice that. Easy keepers, like my daughter's filly, eat about 1/3rd that.

In cold weather, figure about 1/2 to 1 bag of grain per horse per month. Summer it goes down to a handful or two per day - give or take.

Bedding - my boardign stable uses one bag of compressed pellets, uncompressed - with use of soem water and lots of mixing, per four or five stalls, per day.

Here, on the other side of the US in Wash state, I figured it cost me about $150 a month to feed one horse in the yard a month - but that is a hard keeper and he did not get bedding in a stall.
     

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