Do you have a pasture boarding business?
I am considering staring a small pasture only boarding business...if you run one I would appreciate any information about starting one, prices etc...any help or suggestions would be great! Thanks in advance!
I dont have a business myself, but my boys are boarded at a pasture only barn.. a few suggestions from the boarder side.. you will want to have at least a few stalls in case a horse is injured or needs to be separated from the rest for some reason. You will also want someplace for boarders to store any grain etc they want to feed their horses. And decide if you are wanting to separate mares and geldings or toss em all in together.
How much land, and how are your fences, and how many horses will be the limit.
Will you provide hay? What about water? Is there shelter, and how much?
Keep in mind that every time a different horses comes in, that there will be a battle as they readjust, and that means you have to have a place to separate them first.
And do you have a place to store tack or for people to ride?
I had been with the woman I had horses pastured with for right at 4 years. Safe place had been made for Kola, so he could stay out of sun, and off grass. Thought it would be fine. He had small area to go out in at night, when sun is down.
Woman's mom talked her into "training" a horse for 10 days. 10 lousy days. Horse got there, was put into Kola's secure spot, which meant he had to stay in stall, not good on his knee. So opened up another area for him to be able to at least move around in.
New horse came Thursday night. Other 6 horses got through 3 gates, (supposedly) and came after Kola, running him through cattle chute, and knocking huge gate off hinges too. He didn't have one area on him that wasn't bitten, cut, scratched, sore, marked up, or wasn't swollen, plus he had huge puncture wound where a bolt had gone into his point of shoulder.
I moved them ALL the next day. Kola was taken that day, Sunday to my vet, and stayed there 5 days. I went and got the others on Monday, and my round pen, and things. Still have to get hay and dog kennel but will. Just been too hot to try to get those.
But she lost board for 3 horses, due to a 10 day horse. Kola should not have lost his area, as I had been told it was made for his use.
That can make or break someone boarding with you.
Thank You! All this informtion is so helpful! I hope Kola is doing ok now!
You will want to have someplace for people to keep trailers too... at least here by me, most people store their horse trailers on the property they board at...
I would recommend running mares and geldings separate. You can have larger groups of horses, the herds are more low key, I've never had a horse injury out in the pasture, less buddy sour horses... There is no down side. You might loose a potential boarder "they're always been together.... they luuuv each other...." you don't want those ones anyway. I do not grain the herd. Too dangerous. I do provide salt and a loose mineral/vitamin blend. I do have 12 x12 panel pens up in the loafing shed area that horses can be grained in but it's up to the owner to provide the feed. Hay is provided as part of the board fee. Some places will keep track of how many days hay is provided and charge for each day. Too much work for me. Also helps protect the pastures by being in control of the hay. You need an area where you can lock the horses up off of the pastures in bad rains, if they're overgrazed... I have a common area where the sheds, pens, hay feeders and water are that the pastures connect to (2 pastures per group).
Boarders who want pasture board tend to be less demanding but they still want somewhere to store their stuff, a roundpen or arena even if you're catering to trail riders, trailer parking (you can charge extra for that), a shed, running water (heated tanks in the winter if applicable). I would never have a community tack room. Build individual tack boxes that they can lock up. Only allow them one box per horse and all their stuff must fit in there. That's one reason people love having horse trailers just to store all their extra tack and feed. If you don't grain, than you need to have somewhere for them to store their feed. No garbage cans! They take up too much room and are just an eyesore. If your tack boxes are big enough just make them keep it in there. I've seen nice stackable plastic bins (like big dog food bins) that can hold 100# of feed. They're probably $100 each but well worth it just to reduce clutter.
Other things to think of: Where are you going to store your hay? You need a quarentine area (stall or pen) both for new horses and injury. It's also nice to have if you need to keep a horse up for the vet or farrier. Is zoning a concern? What about neighbors? Manure disposal? Do you have enough land to just spread it or will you have to stockpile it? Will you need to be able to mow pastures (tractor, bush hog) Electricity? Winter blankets yes/no place to store them on warm days, on/off... The more things you can think of and have a game plan before the situation comes up with a boarder, the easier it will be.
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