New horse boarding facility advice - The Horse Forum
 15Likes
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-11-2019, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 1
• Horses: 0
Question New horse boarding facility advice

Hi there! We are looking at buying a property in central Ohio that has an older block barn with 24 stalls, although it needs quite an overhaul. We are looking at beginning a horse boarding operation at this facility once we get it fixed up and operational. There is approximately 5 acres worth of pasture that we are contemplating dividing into 5 different pastures. We need to overhaul the pastures and reseed this fall. Would this amount of space be adequate for 24 (max) horses at one time. I would like to have the horses out about 8 hours per day if the weather is good. Any information will be helpful!

Thanks!
nnason86 is offline  
Old 09-12-2019, 02:32 AM
Showing
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: OK
Posts: 13,550
• Horses: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by nnason86 View Post
Hi there! We are looking at buying a property in central Ohio that has an older block barn with 24 stalls, although it needs quite an overhaul. We are looking at beginning a horse boarding operation at this facility once we get it fixed up and operational. There is approximately 5 acres worth of pasture that we are contemplating dividing into 5 different pastures. We need to overhaul the pastures and reseed this fall. Would this amount of space be adequate for 24 (max) horses at one time. I would like to have the horses out about 8 hours per day if the weather is good. Any information will be helpful!

Thanks!
The short answer is NO. 5 acres of pasture is good for a MAX of 5 horses, preferably less. Yes, I know that many places figure 4 horses/acre so TECHNICALLY you could have 20 horses on the property, but that's just way too many for that amount of pasture. You'd never have any grass after the first few months. You would need to plan on feeding hay year round, NOT a cheap proposition.

You don't say how much experience you have with horses, but it doesn't sound like much. There's a lot of blood, sweat, tears and money to goes into creating a successful boarding operation. 24 stalls and 5 acres sounds like a recipe for failure in the first year or 2.

Dreamcatcher Arabians is offline  
Old 09-12-2019, 06:18 AM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 9,724
• Horses: 0
NO....
24 horses on 5 acres with turnout 8 hours a day = sand lot turnouts.
You want to do 5 horses per acre....no, just no.
Even in a t/o on dirt I would not put that many horses in such close confines....just no.

Will 24 horses on 5 one acre paddocks for 8 hours a day work...no.
To many horses for the amount of land is what you have.
5 horses to me is a absolute maximum for the entire space if you want any chance of having a blade of grass growing more than 3" high = nearly un-grazeable in blade height for a horse.
Horses are very picky eaters so although you have acreage, nearly half of it they won't graze on...

What you are looking at sounds more a boarding barn where horses were stalled all day, ridden daily and only a select few had t/o about 1 hour if that.
...
Foxhunter likes this.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....

Last edited by horselovinguy; 09-12-2019 at 06:24 AM.
horselovinguy is offline  
Old 09-12-2019, 06:50 AM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
Posts: 13,627
• Horses: 3
You can have 24 horses, however there will be no grazing. If you want turn out, you are going to have to build 24 paddocks with some sort of shelter in case of rain and to get out of the sun. Also, with having 24 boarders, you will most likely need an indoor arena and an outdoor arena otherwise where are they going to ride? Also factor in storage for hay and feed of 24 horses and tack and parking and public washroom facilities.
ClearDonkey and ACinATX like this.

I am not here to promote anythingNo, that's not true, I am here to promote everything equestrian and everyone enjoying horses!
waresbear is online now  
Old 09-12-2019, 07:18 AM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: CenTex
Posts: 1,193
• Horses: 0
No way is that enough land for 24 horses. As @waresbear said, you'd have to build a bunch of tiny paddocks. And then, because the horses spend so much time in them, you'd have to do something about the mud that's going to form after they eat all the grass and it rains in the bare dirt. You could lay down gravel or sand, which would be expensive, and then every few years it will start to sink back into the ground and you'll have to lay down more.

Yes, you will have to build arenas, an indoor and outdoor. Indoor arenas are crazy expensive to build. And that will most likely cut down on your pasture space.

If you wanted to have that many horses, and had them out eight hours a day, that's three times a day you'd have to move them in and out. Plus all the time you spend cleaning their stables. As a comparison, a place near where I live has 50 stalls and 23 acres, and it feels super crowded. They give their horses about two hours of turnout a day, and there is NO grass out there, just dirt lots. Also they have at least three employees there at all times to move the horses, feed, clean up after them, fix things that the horses break, etc. So that's another big expense.

And yes, you will have to feed 100% hay, year round. Ideally you would figure out how much you need for the year, then buy it in summer / fall when it's harvested. Do you have a place to store that much hay? For year round feeding, a rough guess would be maybe one - two tons of hay per horse. You can buy it as you go, but then expect to pay about twice as much.

With all these expenses, you'd have to charge a lot. If I were paying a lot, I'd expect a lot. Not just the indoor and outdoor arena, but a private tack storage area, nice washrack with hot and cold water, nice restroom facilities, etc. So there's more money you'd have to invest. And I can't speak for others, but me personally, if I'm paying a lot for boarding, I want to see lush green pastures.

Running a horse facility when you don't have a lot of experience with horses is absolutely a recipe for disaster. Most of the horse boarding places I know about barely break even. I would strongly advise against it.
ACinATX is offline  
Old 09-12-2019, 10:41 AM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 9,724
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
And yes, you will have to feed 100% hay, year round. Ideally you would figure out how much you need for the year, then buy it in summer / fall when it's harvested. Do you have a place to store that much hay? For year round feeding, a rough guess would be maybe one - two tons of hay per horse. You can buy it as you go, but then expect to pay about twice as much.
Yes you'll need to feed hay year round as that many horses on so small a acreage will get no nutritional benefit scrounging for a mouthful.

This.... "For year round feeding, a rough guess would be maybe one - two tons of hay per horse"
To me this is a large underestimate...
As a kid my parents bought hay by the ton...
For 1 horse a ton of hay lasted 2 1/2 - 3 months...he did not have access to daily lush pasture grazing.
So, every 2 1/2 - 3 months you need a ton of hay per animal... = 4 tons of hay per year per animal as a minimum amount.
Of course this is based on size how much you need to feed... = the size of the animal.
Ponies will need less, larger horses more but a good average is 20 - 25 pounds per day per head = 1/2 square bale per animal per day.

And although round rolls may sound wonderful they don't work easily when feeding hay to stalled horses. To have out in fields...not every horse should eat from round rolls as they can present health issues of various type...
Unless these are all to be "your" horses and not boarders...you will be feeding squares, possibly round rolls if they are available in your location...

A lot to think about...
For that many horses though and wanting to have several hours daily t/o with grass access, honestly you need to be thinking of a facility at least 20 acres or more...that is open fields.
No buildings or riding rings, fences separating t/o, storage, parking...just green fields in good condition and maintained seasonally and annually with a weed & feed program, seeding, mowing, aerating and good manure management practices..
It will still give you a finite amount of grass and time horses can be out on it, and we are not discussing what happens to fields in inclement weather and the extra care they then need to resume "feeding" the animals.
...
jmo...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
horselovinguy is offline  
Old 09-12-2019, 10:52 AM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 2,525
• Horses: 0
As others have said - 24 horses or even 10 horses on 5 acres will result in no grass and mud lots. If you want to eventually go into business boarding horses I strongly urge you to go to current boarding barns in your area. If you have 24 stalls are these potential boarders going to expect a trainer to come in and offer lessons? Are these boarders going to expect you to supply the farrier and hold the horses?

To be very honest there is very little money in boarding horses and a lot of work. Finding help is hard because cleaning stalls is hard work. Bedding is expensive, grain is expensive, hay is REALLY expensive. May daughter cleaned stalls for a training bard near our home she made $15 per hour cash and on average worked 6 hours per day - cleaning stalls, cleaning the arena, cleaning the turn out paddocks, brining horses in, blanketing them when needed and other odd jobs. This was CASH the owner did not claim her wages. You need to talk to your tax preparer how will you file? If this is a business you will need to declare any workers wages, can you do payroll?

There is a lot to running a boarding facility - and I don't know even half of the nitty gritty details.
loosie and AnitaAnne like this.
carshon is offline  
Old 09-12-2019, 10:57 AM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: middle of nowhere
Posts: 3,315
• Horses: 3
Last winter we went through seven tons of good hay to keep 3 horses in good shape from October to April. And they're relatively easy keepers. If you're feeding 15-20 lbs per day per horse, that's 2-3 tons a year per horse, and that doesn't take into context adding more during cold weather. You won't need that much if you have good pasture part of the year, but with more than 2 horses on your five acres, that won't happen.

24 horses x 3 tons per year=144,000 pounds of hay. That's nearly 3,000 square bales. At the relatively cheap price of $5 per bale, that's $15,000 expense in just hay alone and in some areas, hay is running $17/bale. Which you will be carrying, stacking and feeding. And that doesn't count cleaning stalls, maintenance on the property, water, upkeep, and all of the other myriad of cares your paying clients will expect, even if clients provide their own grain.

Running a boarding barn isn't a money-making proposition. Most people I know doing it are doing it only until their barn/arena is paid off so it's considered a business expense up until that point, then the boarders will be out and they'll fill it with their own horses. They're also working other jobs. Can you care properly for 24 horses while also working full-time? Will anyone want to board with you if you aren't home most of the time to recognize a lame or ill horse promptly? If you hire someone to help, that's income you won't be keeping. Now consider the HUGE cost of insurance for a commercial horse property. You'll need to add and maintain an arena. If you want the clients that expensive board will bring in, you will need a trainer and full-time, on-site staff.

Or, you could do what I would do---convert most of the stalls into double or triple size, attach a handful of runs, and use them for your own personal horses. If you want a little extra income, offer boarding for 2-3 people and that's it. Without a lot more pasture than you have, large-scale boarding is going to be off the table.
AnitaAnne and ClearDonkey like this.

Last edited by SilverMaple; 09-12-2019 at 11:05 AM.
SilverMaple is offline  
Old Yesterday, 08:07 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 6,385
• Horses: 12
1) The pastures were sold off.



2) What pasture that may have originally been utilized were not kept up and grew up over the years.



As all others have stated NO. There is a barn here that has 18 on what was 5 acres then built an indoor arena. She buys about 80 tons a year of hay. The horses aren't ridden near enough and the neighbors all complain about the stink.
loosie likes this.
QtrBel is offline  
Old Yesterday, 08:52 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
Posts: 13,627
• Horses: 3
Right, I forgot, manure disposal. You're going to have a lot of manure and waste from 24 horses, like huge mountains of it. You need space to dump & store it, and you need to arrange to have it hauled away or have a way to compost it to turn it into soil and that takes space too. If you don't, it will turn into the manure ranch.
ACinATX likes this.

I am not here to promote anythingNo, that's not true, I am here to promote everything equestrian and everyone enjoying horses!
waresbear is online now  
 

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Thread Tools



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome