What are the In's and Out's of running a boarding stable? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 10-31-2012, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Talking What are the In's and Out's of running a boarding stable?

-For starters I am only 16, but this is a future dream of mine and I've already been researching the passed year and a half about the In's and Out's of owning a boarding stable.
-I graduate high school January of 2014 and from there plan on going to a 2-year college for buisness and marketing so I have a good feel and way to handle owning my own buisness (boarding stable). Since the only college in the state that offers Equine studies is 5 hours away and with my horse and everything else I cannot afford to move that far for 4 years.
-I plan on saving money from now until I reach about $100,000-$200,000 to start the boarding stable with.
-After college I plan on moving to somewhere around the area of Mauston, WI. Which is where my parents have hunting land and plan on moving to when they retire. Land up there is HIGHLY reasonable in price. I've found multiple properties of 40 acres priced between $30,000-$60,000
- I've already got my barn drawn up and approximated on how much I will be charging for board and how many paddocks, dry lots, and pastures I will have.
- Facilities I plan on are a 26 stalled boarders barn with 3 groom stalls, 1 hot/cold wash stall, roomy tack room so everyone can have a tack locker, feed room, hay loft, lounge/viewing area, and a connected indoor arena. A outdoor arena, round pen, 3 large pastures/fields enough to hold 20 horses with room to spare, 8 roomy privite paddocks(outdoor board option #1) 6 paddocks able to hold 6 horses with room to spare, 4 dry lots able to hold 10 horses with room to spare, 2 storage pole barns, a 5 stall private barn (for my horses & any "future" family horses) with a connected dry lot. This is only what I've come up with in my head, once I see the property and if available room will deffiantly add more pastures and paddocks. For more grazing rotation purposes. I plan on having all this on 30-40 acres of land as well as my custom designed home which I've already got drawn out. (I have a hobby of drawning floor plans of homes and stables since I was 6 and now with a program of my own and after taking classes in school I have drawn out and designed my dream home and barn.)(Many say I may be 16 but I am wise beyond my years)

I am looking for Insurance info, Liability info, Average yearly Costs, writing up a business plan, etc.
As well as any other information or comments you can supply me with so I can make this dream into a reality.

Thank you,
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-31-2012, 07:24 PM
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your going to need to win the lottery:) just joking, I need to win the lottery.
Sounds like a plan, I wish :):)
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-31-2012, 08:49 PM
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Is there a significant urban or suburban population that is affluent enough to make a boarding operation viable in Mauston, WI? The fact that land is cheap suggests to me that there is not an affluent suburban/urban population in the area. And if people are in a rural community, does it not make more sense to simply keep their horses at home rather than boarding them? I don't mean to burst your bubble, but its something that would need to be seriously considered. I too hope to have a boarding operation (I'm 17), and it always pains me to think of how much land costs in a place where a boarding barn is a viable business...
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-31-2012, 09:05 PM
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You will need a thick skin, every own thinks they know how to take care of horses, right or wrong they know, I have been a manager of barns for some years now and every time an owner tells me what I am doing wrong I have to say thank you for your help that is why I now manager private barns only some owner tell the vet what to do also

ride a draft and see the world differently
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post #5 of 15 Old 11-02-2012, 10:30 AM
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In my opnion you should start with a smaller number of horses you accept. your ultimate plan is huge that is a considerable start up cost. im just guessing but your going to need at least a $500,000 startup lone witch means you'll need around $30,000 down payment. and then their is about 2 years before you'll start to make a profit. You will be lucky to break even for the first few years. I suggest you start with a smaller operation first make some money and then expand. You have to get your name out there and keep it a good one. One little slip up and your off the map. It could be something as small as a roof on a barn falling from a bad winter storm that could ruin you.
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post #6 of 15 Old 11-02-2012, 03:54 PM
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Sounds like you have a good idea! I've just got a few things to consider:
1. As was said - is there enough of a population (and is it affluent enough) to support your business?
2. Work in customer service for a few years - if you can't handle it, don't get into horse boarding. Horse owners (whether they have actual experience caring for their horses outside of a boarding environment or not) tend to think they know everything, and what they know is what is best for their horse. That is simply not true in all (most) cases, and you have to come up with tactful ways of dealing with these types of situations or you will end up with a. (at worst) sick or dead horses, b. loss of clients, and/or c. a bad reputation. Or all three...
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-02-2012, 10:34 PM
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Check out this place......it's too far away from me.....but I wish I could board here.....Prairie Mountain Ranch - Welcome
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post #8 of 15 Old 11-03-2012, 03:49 PM
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- set out a very defined/clear payment policy (accept credit cards if needed) and what happens if (WHEN) person does not pay. get it approved by a lawyer

- is 40 acres enough for 26 horses plus the house, barn, arenas? i would suggest finding more than 40 so you can do larger acerage turn out for the "retired" horse that still needs a home and so you have plenty of hay ground and ground to spread manure

a lot cheaper tomake your own hay than rely on others to make it an you buy. feed prices fluxuate, charge a bit less and tell owners to supply feed & suppliments

plan on more ground! i don't know how many horse farms i pass tha have to put out hay 365 because they have too many horses and not enough grass even though it looks like they should on paper.
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-03-2012, 09:13 PM
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I agree with tim you should always plan on 3-5 ac per horse when I look at average I think 30 acres that's 6-10 horse's I could potentially keep there
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-03-2012, 09:28 PM
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Since you will be taking business and marketing, the first thing you'll need to do when you graduate is come up with a feasibility study. In that you have to look at the size of the population, number of boarding barns, costs of absolutely everything you can think of and adding 20% to that. Cost of building vs leasing a large barn and how many acres you will need just for the facility plus outdoor pens, arena, etc. The problem with your courses is they don't teach you as to how much BS you have to put up with and that you have to run a no-nonsense tight ship. It doesn't teach you about the headaches of late payers and the divas who complain. You need to look into boarding contracts. And that's just the beginning.
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