New to Boarding Horses - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 24 Old 02-23-2012, 01:30 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 2,363
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Do a google search on the internet for local boarding stables in your area, and see how much boarding is. Also, to see how much demand there is locally, look on your craigslist and search "horse boarding wanted" or "pasture wanted" etc. Also look into a commercial insurance for your stable, expensive but a must. You are also going to want liability papers signed by your boarders.

Helpful sites-
Boarding Horses on Your Hobby Farm - Hobby Farms

“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their *** and do anything to make it happen.” - Unknown
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post #12 of 24 Old 02-23-2012, 02:15 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 7,135
• Horses: 3
IMO if you board anybody else's horses your guaranteeing headaches.
They include but are not exclusive:
1) missed board payments
2) (partial care), forget to feed, don't clean stall
3) YOUR brushes, your hay/grain, horse meds, tack used without permission, maybe left out after use
4) Boarders out to ride/muck stalls, etc. at ALL hours
5) Boarder disappears, cannot be reached by phone or mail, and the horse's care becomes 100% YOURS. AND, if you sell the horse and the owner shows up later, you'll be in small claims court over it.
6) Complaints about your lack of good facilities
7) MOST IMPORTANT: Boarder gets hurt with their own horse OR claims it's YOUR horse. They sue you and you have to move. I'm NOT exaggerating this!
I used to know a boarding barn owner and ALL of these things happened to him, except he didn't lose his place. This was his primary business, plus a tack shop.
Find a part time job if you need more dough.
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post #13 of 24 Old 02-23-2012, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 6,800
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I'm not trying to be rude or anything. So please don't take offense to this, this is just my honest opinion. I would never board with someone that hasn't actually owned horses themselves. There is so much that goes into owning a horse, and even more that goes into boarding. Leasing a horse or taking lessons doesn't cut it.

What happens when you get tired of having to deal with them 9, 10, 12 months down the road? Would you just kick them off the property? Boarding horses is a JOB. Sure, lots of people love it, but those are the type of people that live, breathe and thrive on equines.

I personally think you are setting yourself up for failure and I'd hate for anyone to fail at anything in this world.

If your getting into boarding to earn some extra money, your getting into the wrong business. Most barns barely squeak by with board alone. And since your not a trainer, you can't give lessons, train horses etc. which is how a lot of barns do make their income. It's like Murphy law with horses, if something can go wrong, it will. If a horse get sick or injured while in your care, on your property, you can be sued! You have to have some pretty pricey insurance as well because horse's are a liability and especially other people's horses. Whew. You're in for a hefty premium.

Most boarding barn managers actually have a degree in animal husbandry, or equine "this and that" or small business management. And others without a degree have decades of experience under their belt.
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Last edited by CLaPorte432; 02-23-2012 at 02:27 PM.
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post #14 of 24 Old 02-23-2012, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Georgia
Posts: 2,170
• Horses: 1
Originally Posted by yadlim View Post
In cold weather, figure about 1/2 to 1 bag of grain per horse per month. Summer it goes down to a handful or two per day - give or take.
Wow this would be nice! I have a hard keeper :( he goes through about 3 bags or so a month...
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post #15 of 24 Old 02-23-2012, 02:27 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MN
Posts: 5,471
• Horses: 3
Originally Posted by CLaPorte432 View Post
Boarding horses is a JOB.
To add -

It's way more than a job - it's a huge part of your daily life. You can quit a job and walk away. When you are responsbile for the health and well being of others (daycare or animal care) events need to be preplanned and there has to be a contigency plan in place.

Boarding is also NOT about horses. It's about the horse owners. I get along with our horses just fine. It's the owners that give me headaches.
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post #16 of 24 Old 02-25-2012, 08:58 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 715
• Horses: 17
You know those days you wake up and feel like a truck hit you... you are so sick you cant move and puking your guts out everywhere? most people can call in sick to work and rest. Barn owners are still out there feeding and watering animals (while puking in the wheelbarrow as cleaning stalls) rain or shine... 5 ft snow or not you HAVE to be out there feeding horses!

I had a boarder ask me once if there was anything they could do to lower their board. I said i can offer you self care (this particular boarder is VERY reliable the only reason i offered it) she said.. no.. i like my days off. I was like yeah. must be nice! Spending holidays with family and going on vacations. I cant have christmas with family 4 hours away because I have horses that need fed and taken care of twice a day. :)

Id suggest just renting out the whole barn.
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post #17 of 24 Old 02-26-2012, 11:27 AM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 290
• Horses: 1
I would definately do a contract with your boarders. I've boarded many places and I have found that the smaller no drama stable suits me well. So much better than some of the other places I've been with the, "I'm better than you" show people that either ignore you or make you feel like a spec of dirt. I'm sure you will find other people around your area that feel the same about your place and would be happy to board with you. Good luck!!
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post #18 of 24 Old 02-26-2012, 02:09 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 3,860
• Horses: 3
Horses will get about 15 feedings or so out of one 50 lb bag. Figure one bag a week, at 2 feedings a day, or little more if in heavy training, or not an easy keeper. Hay would last about 2 days at 1/2 bale a day during winter months, or when grass is not up good. Water heater will add 35 plus to your electric bill each month when water will freeze up. Not to mention water bill.

However back to the boarding issue.

I would not do this for so many reasons.

Unless you offer full services, you are likely to get the type of people that won't put much value in providing feed/hay for their horses, much less pay the boarding bill. And even with full services? Can be the same.

Too many people want a "pretty horsie" but have no clue as to what horse needs, and couldn't care less about providing those things either.

Also, with so many people of the "I can do whatever I want and who are you to tell me I can't" mindset, you could end up with people drunk/smoking on your place, or drugging, or dragging people in who have no right to be there as they aren't boarding. People also rarely correct their children nowadays, so that is another headache for you to possibly deal with.

And too, as another pointed out? You will not make any money doing this, unless 50 extra dollars a month seems like a windfall. To some people, that would be enough of course, don't know if you are one of them. I'm not.

The destructive nature of horses is astounding. To wit, trainers left with show string, (or part of it anyway) Wed night. The first night gone? One mare kicked 12 foot 2x10 board off of stall wall on one end. Two others decided to see who could eat their way into each others stall. Took out board that was inset into wall, 6 pieces, and busy working on other boards too. That was over 24 hour period.

Two weeks ago, one horse decided to take down fans that are on brackets, on top of stall walls. These walls are tall, horse are short. Very. How did horse do it? Not a clue. Cats may know but they aren't talking.

One horse last summer spent all its spare time in one day to destroying 6 feet of wall...did it too.

While there ARE good boarders out there? Most of them are not worth dealing with sadly.

I am a good boarder, I pasture board, with Kola up in smaller area due to needing his meds, and being arthritic in near fore knee. Bonanza is out in fields with her horses. Mine are only boarders there. That probably won't change.

Baby Huey is at WP barn I work for. I was told if I just provided his feed/hay, I didn't have to pay board there, but I do buy 4 extra bags of feed over and above his, because the days I don't work, they feed him of course. And I offer to pay the electric bill for heater, although there is training horse in with Baby Huey. Point is though, I take nothing for granted.

When I first approached them about boarding, I told them very plainly what I would be like as a boarder. I would not come at odd hours, such as late/early, although they are farmers/cattle people.

I also told them I would bring no one out to ride, nor with me otherwise, and I didn't smoke or drink, or do drugs. I would provide my own tack if something was needed, as well as anything else. I have stuck to that. I make sure board bill is on time, and since owners divorced, I went with the wife to her place, which is rented out right now.

As Kola's water is a frost free that runs off of their water, I pay the renter's 35 dollars a month on water bill, and if we decide to go with heater in trough next year, will pay that additional charge too.

As a contrast? Friend of mine rents 2 acres +/- for two horses she got, (disaster there) but the water comes from the funeral home, whose owner owns the pasture her horses are in. She has to fill troughs from his spigot, which is inside the funeral home garage. The place is open, unless there is funeral, 9-5 M/F. And sometimes there is no one there past 4. And no one there on weekends. Hose must be drug inside the garage, and out across parking lot in the back to fill.

Time after time, she has not been there in time to water horses. She lives less than a mile or so from place. Has kids that wander all over town. Has shack job that goes right by there.

Horses were without water several times, since she didn't get out there. She knows all of this can happen, yet still lets it.
She is a bad boarder there, can you imagine what it would be like in a more structured setting?

If you decide to go ahead with this? Find single women, of an older age, who appreciate the arrangement. Must have jobs, and vehicle, and have good sense too. Set your rules early and hard. YOU can adapt as needed, if something comes up, but make clear what time they can be there.

What about guests, either being there or riding? What if horse needs immediate care, you can't get ahold of them and vet is not willing to come unless you guarantee money?

And make sure they are decent people, not someone in one crisis after another, evictions/job changes/relationship woes...that gets old quick.

For instance, if you have family gathering planned, do you want them traipsing around. And if you have no outdoor bathroom? What then? Do they use yours? I would suggest a Porta-Potty in that case.

And can you dedicate the time to make sure they have turned off spigots? A hose left on full force can run up 300 dollars very quickly. Ask me how I know? Not a boarder. Spousal unit...said "it is muddy down there" and when asked him if hose was off? "I turned it off, must be just boggy."

No, hose was NOT off. Moron. And company trusts him with 80,000 lb truck????

By and large? Just not worth it.
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Last edited by Palomine; 02-26-2012 at 02:11 PM.
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post #19 of 24 Old 02-26-2012, 02:19 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Wellington, FL
Posts: 511
• Horses: 1
You would probably make more money renting out the barn to someone that wants to manage it themselves. Make sure you have insurance and a contract clearly outlining the responsibilities of the person leasing the property. This way you could enjoy having horses on your property but you wouldn't have the responsibility of being in charge of their care. I too would not board my horse somewhere where the owners had very little horse experience (no offence to you or your husband at all). I used to board at a really nice facility that was owned by a couple that had zero horse experience. My trainer was also the barn manager so I knew my horse was being taken care of but the owners were constantly a problem. Whenever they came down to the barn they always thought it was dirty (we blew and swept the barn aisles 3 times a day, everything always organized and neatly put away, but it is a barn, not an operating room), she wanted to charge close to $1,000 a month (that is what full board at a show barn goes for in the area, even on the cheap side, but you have a groom at your disposal that gets your horse ready/untacks for you and all that stuff), and just didn't understand why things were being run the way they were. It was very frustrating for boarders and my trainer who wanted to keep the owners happy because it was a fantastic facility, but at the same time had to look out for her clients and horses. It is a very touchy business and it would probably be best to find someone that wants to lease the property from you.
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post #20 of 24 Old 02-26-2012, 03:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 299
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I was riding at a barn where the owner had hired a barn manager who lived on the premises and another barn helper who also lived on the premises. This worked out fine until drama started from the people boarding on the property. Well, one another bad thing at this barn was that full board was charged $500 per month which did not include cleaning the paddocks. And they were large paddocks!! Bad!! Well, people started complaining and the barn manager got hurt and couldn't do the job as well. (She was also making money as an instructor) Well, to make a long story short the manager quit as did the the other worker. What a mess!! People wound up moving there horses next door to another barn because they were scared that their horses would not be taken care of. This barn is still trying to recover from all this drama. Boarders that stayed at the barn are mostly field board and take care of their own horses & also help each other out. I prefer a barn where the owner is there full time or has a barn manager there full time! So, owning & operating a Boarding Stable does have it's pitfalls. If you are going to do it best to start with a few horses and see how it goes.....and have a good contract signed by everyone including liability clauses!!
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