How much does/should it cost?
I'm not boarding, but I'm still wondering, for future reference
how much should it cost?
what should it provide? Food and water, field and shelter, blanket and fly mask, bug spray. What else?
should you charge them for their horses to use your blankets, halter, lead, etc? In the cost of boarding for a couple more dollars?
i am not using the farm for boarding as of now, but would like to, to get some extra dollars in andhelp pay for the cost of our pony
Easy answer? It depends on the area. The cost will depend on the services that you provide- do you provide grain and hay? Stall cleaning and turnout? Worming? Blanketing? Stall or pasture board? Do you have an arena available?
Either way, decide what you are capable of doing, figure out how much you must charge to break even (keeping in mind you must charge enough to cover feed/hay, property repair, shavings, and you time!) and compare this price to others in the area with comparable services/amenities. It does you no good if your prices are high enough to scare away potential clients, but you want to make sure that your expenses are covered at a minimum. Keeping a bunch of horses boarded grain-free on your land is much less expensive than providing full-service board with arenas and trails, but people are expecting to pay less for fewer services ;)
Consider how hands-on you want to be, how consistent you want care to be, what happens if boarders go on holiday. If your boarders are mostly working adults who can't do a lot of daily horse care or be there when vets and farriers come your service has to be different than boarders who are there daily and can/want to be very hands-on. Consider if you will reduce board in exchange for barn work. Think about whether or not you will take retirees, stallions, young horses, if you want a particular mix of geldings and mares, if you will offer individual or paired turn out or only group, if you will welcome outside trainers.
Talk to people about the kind of boarding they like and why and who your customers will be. If you have boarded, think about what you liked and what you didn't. Casual pleasure riders may have different requirements than performance riders, the culture will be different if your barn is mostly full of teenagers vs. working people vs. housewives. Some barns screen clients to create a particular atmosphere or to make sure boarders fit into the atmosphere whereas others accept anyone.
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