In our last article we discussed building your facility before you buy. Today lets talk about boarding your horse, when you are not in a position to build.
Boarding your horse can be a great option for you if you do not have a facility or the space to build one. There are many types of boarding options to choose from, and just as many cost structures. Below are just a few to look into for you and your horse.
Horse facilities that offer full board can be a great option. Many of
these facilities provide an arena (sometimes indoor or covered) in
addition to full care for your horse. If you are looking at full
boarding, be sure to ask for a detailed list outlining what is included
in the board and what will be an additional charge. Typically, full
board includes daily feed, hay (and/or alfalfa), stall and paddock care,
daily turnout, daily checks on the horses for health, and full daily
care of your horse. Options that are sometimes provided at an extra
charge are exercise routines, special feed needs such as supplements,
grooming, and blanketing in the winter months. In addition to your cost
for board will usually be vet and farrier needs. Full board is a great
option if you have limited time to spend with your horse.
Full Board With Partial Care
This option is excellent if you have time to spend with and care for
your horse, but do not have space or facilities. Most partial board
facilities allow you to feed and care for your horse as you would at
your own home, while providing a portion of the care to fit your
schedule. This option usually provides some savings for you depending
on how much of the care you take on yourself.
The pasture board option is great for horses which do not need to be
stalled. Horse which are pasture boarded are usually kept in a pasture
setting with shelter provided, and many times with a buddy horse. It is
usually about half the costs as full board, yet provides excellent care
for your horse. This is another great option if you do not have room
for a horse at your home. If you are looking into this, be sure to
check the pasture area well and ask if the partial care option may apply
if your schedule allows. Typically, pasture board includes daily feed,
hay (and/or alfalfa), daily checks on the horses for health. Options
that are sometimes provided at an extra charge are exercise routines,
special feed needs such as supplements, grooming, and blanketing in the
winter months. In addition to your cost for board will usually be vet
and farrier needs.
Questions to ask:
- How much turn out time do horses have at this facility?
- How many acres are available for riding out?
- Are guests riders welcome?
- Is there a farrier schedule, and is there room for additional horses on the schedule?
- Does your boarding rate include space for tack storage?
- What is the feed routine and what feed/hay is used at this facility?
- How often do the rates increase?
- What is the schedule for stall cleaning and maintenance?
- What are the rules of the facility for boarders?
- Are riding lessons an option?
Boarding your horse is a great option if you are unable to keep your
horse at your home. The key to being successful as a boarder is to ask
any question that comes to mind and be upfront with what your needs and
expectations are of the facility. When you are visiting or viewing the
facility, talk to some of the other customers to get feed back on
management and overall feel of the care provided.
For more detailed information I have writen a book which is available now.