Owning a boarding stable?
So, if you read my other thread, my dream could come through owning a boarding facility! It is 10 acres, has 30 stalls in 4 barns, 100 by 200 indoor arena, 66 by 180 outdoor dressage arena, roundpen, and about 20 outdoor turnout pens, $750,000. The thing is... Now that I have the chance I am just not sure.. I have calculated the price, and for $400 having 20 horses and a couple $200 partial care boarders it would cover the costs of mortgage and such and still provide a couple thousand. I am just worried that I am not going to get that many boarders and it won't cover the costs, etc., etc... I leave at 7:45 am and get back at about 3:45 pm, and would probably wake up at about 6:00 am. There is two houses, so I was thinking I could have a horsey worker live there and work off their rent by cleaning stalls, feeding, etc., and I would pay them about $800 a month and having a boarder or two work off some board cleaning stalls. Well, first of all, do you think this is a good idea? This stable has been on the market for years, and so it is either buy it and live with any mistakes or not buy it and torture myself for not buying it... Also, do you think I could find some more boarders? There is probably about 13 there right now, and I believe most are self care... And if I charged $180 a month per horse with 20 self care people I would be loosing about $500 a month with the mortage and utility expenses, and I don't think I want to have a self care stable, with 19 horses whinnying while one horse is being fed, and people asking me last minute to feed, etc. How much do you think it would cost to maintain the facilities? I have a tractor and ATV, but would have to buy a groomer for the arena. I really want to do this, but once this happens there is no turning back. I have one horse, and I would do lots of work after I get home cleaning stalls and feeding and such.. The more I think about this the more more iffy I get.. Do you think this is worth it?
Personally, I would think so.
You say there are already boarders, so I'm assuming the property isn't in ill repair? As for the second home... Having a live-in "foreman," so to speak, is always a good idea. I know plenty of people who would work for no money; just a place to stay, maybe a place for their own horse, too. To add, with that there will always be someone on the property to watch over the horses.
As for the boarding fee... My boss has an indoor arena (not sure what size), 10 stalls (8 have turn-outs attached), heated tack & sitting rooms, hot/cold water... $225/mo.
My cousin also boards; I don't know exactly what his amenities are but he's located (literally) across the street from Middlefork State Park's equestrian riding branch; full board with a stall is $185/mo.
BUT, be prepared for a lot of stress. Some boarders may not be satisfied and will complain. There is a likely chance of drama between boarders. Repairs when something is broken. There's also the chance of "stolen" property between boarders/trespassers.
What state are you in? This property sounds like a gem!
always be ready for the bad days If to may border leave or new ones do not come in or the person who dose the work gets sick or leave in my area I have seen to many barn go under because they were not read just a world I would go for it that is my dream
I don't want to be negative, but here are some hard thoughts....
Not sure what state you are in?.. but by the $400. pricing, you're not in a drought "$ hay area" at that price. 10 acres for 30 horse turn-out? How much is acreage in your area? Have you figured the cost of building a new facility? That would let you know if it is over-priced. What is the appraisal?
What is the median price in your area for full care? What % vacancy rate do they have? (10% is normal) Do your figures by that price.
I would never have another job from 8-4 and expect to be successful...
Your business will depend on your "hired help doing their job?" Finding good help takes time, even when your there with them. I have also found that it is better to "rent your 2nd house" to another "horse person" on premise, then use those $ to pay for your hired help. If you have to "fire them" it is fewer problems, than having to go through evection...and you won't be there to protect your facility. (because of your other job)
1 man (7-4) should easily be able to feed & clean & turn-out, blanket 25 stalls. I am not sure what other services you will provide? and if you could do that, after 4:00? or have the funds for another part-time (day off for full time man) Weed eating, repair, composting. You ought to know by forums, that "trade-outs" for work, rarely work-out.
Since the facility is known as self care, it will take some time to turn it around. Keep your self care separate from the full care barn. Self care barns always smell from lack of cleaning, & boarders fighting over stolen feed. You might figure/change it to partial care... you clean, and feed with their feed. That might make the transition easier to full care.
$750K. why risk it? Your keeping your other job... so your just adding to your work load and a huge $ risk. Your basically going to be a absentee owner. That's a lot of $ depending on a hired hand... The economy is #%@. Are you sure you want the extra work? I also think you need to double check your figures..unless your putting down a lot more $ than 25%.
I have 50 stalls (full care) and 20 pasture horses, 120 acres. Banks don't care how many horses you have in your barn, or the price of hay & feed, as long as you make your payment.... I'm here 24/7, can't remember a vacation... riding my horse is a luxury, and only with my cell phone close at hand! It's a full time job.
( I love my TR3 arena groomer, best buy)
I do wish you the best, but be smart, don't let your heart rush into it...:D
Well, I am thinking I am not going to buy the place, but thanks for all this advice!
30 stalls on 10 acres is a lot to me. I can not see how the pasture will support 30 horses (assuming you fill them all). However, I'm big on not over grazing fields.
There would only be one or two acres of pasture, so the turnout would be dry lots. And, I wouldn't have 30 horses, probably 20 or so.
And natisha, thats a really good idea, they have been trying to get rid of it for years, I might look into that..
Just a thought from someone who has only ever been a lowly boarder, but I've been around a few barns...
The owner of one of the barns I kept my horse at got a full time office job to make ends meet a little easier, as she wasn't making enough off the livery to do so. It seemed to me that full time other job + livery yard did not work very well, at least in this instance. The level of stress at this place wasn't low. She'd come home, tired from work, and find that a horse had escaped, say, and had torn down a fence that needed repairing. That sort of thing. Then instead of relaxing, she'd have to fix a fecking fence. Repair work was slow to get done, logistics got really cocked up on occasion and horses wouldn't get fed when they were supposed to, and she was far less approachable than she had been before she got the other job. You'd need to ask her about something and after a long day in the office, moany liveries were the last people she wanted to deal with. I sure didn't didn't envy her and I would have been equally as grumpy, if not more so, in her situation.
After that, I decided that it will never again keep my horse on a livery yard (on full livery) where there isn't an owner or manager on site who's full time job is to run that yard. So if you're thinking of doing both, you need to rethink it or accept that you will probably have to hire a full or almost-full time barn manager.
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