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Erichy 03-11-2013 02:42 PM

First time poster with insurance question
I apologize if this isn't the appropriate section but I didn't see a business section. Great forum here! My name is Eric and my question is what does it cost for a horse biz with an indoor,14 stalls with boarders, lessons, training, kids riding, breeding etc. on 20 acres. I don't know much about horses but my wife is very involved in the horse community but never the business side of things. We are thinking about buying the property where we board. They use it as a hobby farm so no info from them. I'm thinking 175 per month per horse and they charge 450 per month. I have read the board is a break even game and the money is from the rest. Any input at all would be appreciated, I'm sure there are many expenses I am not thinking of. Thank you in advance.

maura 03-11-2013 03:09 PM

Not sure what your question is?

Is it the cost of a liability policy for a facility like the one you've described?

Or is it how much to charge for board?

wetrain17 03-11-2013 03:13 PM

It really depends on what area you live in. I'm willing to bet that if board was 450/month and you want to charge 175/month, you'll end up deep in the red. Hay/grain/insurance/eletric, it all adds up. Unless you have a lot of horses on either pasture board or self care, 175/month won't cover full care board.

Erichy 03-11-2013 04:18 PM

I wasn't too clear now that I read it. I meant it costs 175 per horse to keep them and we would charge 450 per month as they do now. My question was on top of normal home owners insurance how much would the additional insurance to cover the horse operation cost

Cacowgirl 03-11-2013 04:36 PM

A lot depends on your location. Sounds like a full-service barn-are you & your wife going to be the main workers or will you be hiring someone? Would you be keeping on the trainer already there? What sort of breeding is being done? Will the horses in that program be included in the deal? Is that something you are knowledgeable in? Have you ever run a business before? There will be a lot of laws on workers-taxes-liability issues, etc. Hopefully someone that has done this, or is doing it will chime in. One thought leads to 10 others in my head .....

Ray MacDonald 03-11-2013 04:46 PM

Owning and running a stable is A LOT harder than any other business....
You might want to really gather your facts about everything such as...
Who will clean the barn?
Who will manage the barn?
Who will give lessons?
Do you know where to get good quality hay?
Good quality feed?
Have multiple vets that will come to your barn for emergency?
Do you know how to do first aid on a horse?
Do you know how to judge if a horse is sick?
Do you know how to take TPR and VITALS (or your Barn Manager must know)
Do you know how to deal with manuer?
How to dispose of it?
Do you have the financial means to buy the property?
Why is it being sold in the first place?
Do you know how to deal with barn drama?
Do you know good farriers?
Did you price out the cost of feed, bedding, hay, water, new equipment
Do you know where to get legal contracts for boarding and lessons?

And sooo much more!!

I would also skip the breeding idea as you loose way to much money doing so...

Erichy 03-11-2013 05:17 PM

Thank you for the replies, this is exactly what I was looking for. Here's the info so far.
The property is a friends
The barn cleaner is a friend that stays and cleans for free board
Wife will be the barn manager
The trainer is a friend that will stay with the barn
The trainer will give the lessons
The hay connection is passed on from the previous owners
There is a vet that comes short notice when we have a problem so I assume he will be the vet
My wife knows how to do the first aid and how to tell if they are sick and I'll learn as fast as I can,(our friend the trainer can help with this)
Manure spreader and tractor are ready to go
My wife and I both work and can afford the house, she is an MBA and I own a small business on the side already
The reason the place is for sale is the couple spends 1/2 the year in FL now and needs to downsize, the daughter never took an interest in horses
No idea how to deal with barn drama
Figured 175 per month for feed hay etc. with the help of the trainer
No idea where to get contracts for boarding and lessons

That's the run down so far. Is 1000 per year on top of home owners about right for insurance?

tbcrazy 03-11-2013 05:24 PM

I would get a quote from an agency for insurance.... Property, liability, and to cover boarders is pricey... Old barn owner paid upwards of $5000 a year (which wasn't unreasonable) and that didn't involve workers comp for the employees!

maura 03-11-2013 05:57 PM

I would recommend at least 2 million in liabillity. When I ran a 20 horse operation with 30 weekly lesson students, I had 1 million in liability, and that was 15 - 20 years ago. Talking to an agent about your business plan is an excellent idea. If you're going to have schooling shows, outside instructors, clinics, people hauling in or other things that increase your exposure you may need more coverage.

Do also consider requiring your boarders to cover their horses with a basic full mortality piolicy and keep it in force. It is cheap peace mind for you, and will likely lower the rate of your liability policy.

And yes, depending on your area, boarding is usually a break even or losing proposition, with the money being made in lessons, training, hauling, coaching at shows, clipping etc.

Something else to consider - if you have people working in exchange for rent or board or whatever, they are still employees and will still need to be covered under Worker's Comp. You can't have someone working around horses and farm equipment not covered by Worker's Comp, and no reputable agent will write any kind of liability policy it that is your situation.

tbcrazy 03-11-2013 06:01 PM

^^ exactly what Maura said! I carry insurance on my horses, and whenever I've boarded the barn owners sure appreciate it.

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