What I look for is care: What kind of stalls are they kept in? Are they ensured to be safe? No nails hanging out, unlikely to get out on accident? I look at turn-out. Will my horse be able to get outside and run and play at least once a day? Is it a safe turn-out where my horse is unlikely to get caught up in fencing or in a fight with another horse? I look at whether or not the barn feeds, and if they do, what, when, and how? Regular waterings? If the barn is one with a trainer, will she exercise my horse if I can't get down and do it myself? I also look at the staff: Who is working there? What is the manager like? The trainer? The workers? Are they trustworthy? If I take a trip will they not leave my horse high-and-dry? Is there a risk of having my tack stolen?
In most boarding stables, the only thing you really have to worry about is the state of the barn. A lot of them are old, so are there loose boards and dangerous roofing?
The last thing I look at is price. For all that I'm looking for, is the price reasonable? Or is it out-the-wazoo-expensive? If I feel that the barn quality is not up to par with the price, then I continue looking until I find a suitable boarding stable.
If you're not practicing, someone, somewhere is, and when you meet him, he will win.