What to ask/look out for when choosing a new boarding stable?
I have always boarded my mare at a family friend's farm, but I am now looking to move her somewhere closer to my house. I have never looked into new boarding stables before and now that I am, I want to make sure I choose the right one. I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas for things to ask the barn owner and things to look out for when visiting potential new barns for my mare? I am a bit paranoid because the last place I was looking into seemed very nice but my farrier later told me that the barn owners accidently killed a horse once by injected penicilin in its vein :shock:
HI. I would first go look at the stable. What I like to do is look at the horses and see how they are maintaining. That will tell me alot about how they feed them. I would ask what their feeding schedule is? They should have a consistant feeding schedule it keeps the horse on a routine and of course check out what they will be feeding your horse. A good brome hay and pellet feed is a good combo. If they feed prairie make sure the grain they feed is high protein and decent amount of fat. 12% protein, pellet grain works well for our horses. If your still not sure then your equinefeed supplier will have some answers for ya. If you have anymore questions PLEASE message me! =)
Also, make sure you have a contract that spells out everything. Knowing me, I'd seek out a boarder or two and ask them about the place.
I agree with the above, and you can also request to view the contract, price sheet, and barn rules prior to your decision. I always recommend that visitors come and view the condition of the horses and stalls. I also point out that horses should be relaxed and comfortable as stable hands enter their stalls, (that tells you a lot about the care.) Barn hours? Arena availability? Turn-out? Security?
The "social atmosphere" is also important. Your barn should be a "stress free" place, a time for fun with your horse, and a chance to socialize with friends. Try to find a barn with riders that share the same "type" of horse enjoyment.
Enjoy your new horse home!:D
Look for healthy, happy horses that want to come to you when you are walking around the property. The behavior of the horses on the property can tell you a lot about how they are being treated.
Find out what type of riding the majority of the riders do and the general age range - most adult trail riders don't want to board with a barnful of show-crazy tweens....or vice versa.
If there is something you are looking for in terms of riding or training opportunities - make sure you'll have what you need (an instructor in your discipline, lots of trails, whatever).
Good fences. Clean stalls. A living arrangement your horse can live with (enough room in pasture, not overcrowded, stalls if your horse needs them, etc).
Talk to the boarders. Talk to your vet or local tack store/feed store owners. Just ask around.
Also, about the penicillin screw up - sadly, those things do happen. I wouldn't necessarily say it was a bad barn due to the accident - but I wouldn't let the owner provide any veterinary care to my horse. Please remember that the vast majority of barn owners/managers do give shots, first aid treatment etc - but are not trained professionals in terms of veterinary medicine and should NOT be regarded as such by you unless they have some professional credentials to go with it. I don't discredit experience, but I always cringe when I see people taking a trainer or BO's advice on meds instead of calling a vet or following their vet's advice.
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