Starting a Boarding Facility... Questions
There is a possibility my family and I will be moving from our two acre property.... to a 40 acre property! The area we would be moving to isn't as plentiful in jobs as our current area and I really don't think I could find one easily (I'm only 17). I'm used to working and really need an income. So the thought of boarding horses came to me. It would be something I would enjoy, have knowledge about (although I'm certainly no expert) and we'd have plenty of land so could easily house a few horses in addition to my own. I'm worried about the legal side of things though. I'm assuming insurance may be required? I wouldn't want to get in a legal battle if a horse or rider got injured. Also, I don't know how my parents would feel about someone having access to our property at all times. Is it generally acceptable to have "barn hours" (like maybe 8am-9pm)? What kinds of "rules" should be put into place? Such as not allowing people to bring their dogs (I've seen that problem before), etc. Anyone with any advice or experience running a boarding facility please let me know what you think. Any tidbits of info are great!
1) get liability insurance. Boarders will sue.
2)specify feed amounts and types.
3)who cleans, supplys shaving if their are stalls,
4) if pasture you will be responsible for the weeds that could be toxic
5)if you are just doing pasture board only, make sure you have enough room per horse for forage .
6) be prepared for drama.
7) tack sheds ? you going to have everyone share ? be prepared for fights and thefts it happens.
8) Is there area to ride? hemets required? wash area ?
there are many many other things to consider.
when will be board due ? what happens if someone does not pay board ? you gonna take them to court ? auction the horse ? put a lien in the contract find out what is legal in your state.
@stevenson Thanks, those are all things I need to think about. This is just an idea I'm tossing around. I'm not positive were moving or that my parents would even allow me to board horses, but I'm gathering information so I know more about what I could be getting into. :-)
Also from what I hear, it is actually very difficult to make any money boarding, because of the high prices of grain/hay etc...and you'll need a large amount of money to start with to install places to tie horses, fences, sheds, potentially plant grass, get rid of bad weeds, etc. And that's just for pasture board. You'll have to figure out rotation schedules for pastures, how many you can take on, what to do with a b or c happens, etc.
Not saying not to try, but boarding is a stressful and full time operation.
Yes, we were thinking of taking a portion of the ground and making hay, which would help greatly with expenses. Also, I don't expect to make a lot of money, but do want to at least pay for my horses' care and hopefully some extra. We've got a tractor, bushhog, etc. so we do have some equipment. We have to put up a fence and such anyway because of my animals (and the many more we will be acquiring). I was thinking of maybe only boarding about 4 horses.
Legally, your parents would be the barn owners and you'd be a worker. You are a minor. People would sue them, not you.
If they are up for it, and have taken the advice given here, then give it a try.
My dad actually brought the topic of boarding up on his own earlier today. My parents don't know much about horses so I'd be doing the care but yes, they'd be legally responsible. I guess we'll just have to talk it over and see what happens.
I came to this forum because I too am considering doing boarding and I'm doing my research. All of our insurance policies are with State Farm. I called my agent to inquire about additional insurance costs associated with boarding. He checked with the underwriter. The underwriter said that if we board horses they'll cancel our policy. Wow! Anyone know of insurance companies that are horse boarding friendly?
Another thing to consider about boarding. Not sure in your all's jurisdictions, but where I am - Ho Co Maryland - I'm told that horse boarding counts as agricultural use, which means we can get a huge break on our property taxes.
Thing to also consider is where are boarders going to go to bathroom? Do you have one in barn, or are they going to have to use house? Do you want people in house?
And can they bring a friend, smoke, drink alcohol? Bring friend out to ride, if they happen to have 2 horses? Children?
Lots to think about.
And 40 acres will get eaten down pretty quickly with even 6 horses on it too.
Depends on what type of grazing there is there now, and how well you maintain it.
With all the factors to consider, I doubt you'll do more than break even with the place, let alone make a small income off it.
Insurance for the whole ordeal will be the trickiest, and it will fall on your parents shoulders. Four owners of four horses can bring in a lot of drama. You'll have to think about a place for riding, tack storage, wash rack area, etc. And it's a lot of work- are you going to hs still? It will be difficult to finish all your studies and barn chores.
Just food for thought.
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