Do any of you board other people's horses on your property? Aside from dealing with the ocassional weird person can you give me a list of pros and cons? What type of facilities do you have, what is all included in your board price? I've had a couple people ask if I'd consider doing it so now I need to do some research. I know with hay prices, etc there isn't a lot of money to be made. I'd go into it with the thought of if it can cover my horses expenses than maybe I'd consider it.
I have a 100 x 200 non heated indoor. Right now no enclosed stalls, each horse would have a 15 x 15 lean to off the arena. No trails on property, 10 minutes down the road there is a county park with state land with hundreds of acres of trails. When the crops are off we have a 60 acre field to ride in. Otherwise it's basically arena riding if you don't haul to the park.
The people part of it was enough that I'll never do it again.
Plus one time we had a wood eating fool of a horse come in and within 2 months had taught all my horses to chew on wood too. Even with having vinyl fencing that horse and the subsequent damage was absolutely not worth it.
You will be chasing payments more than likely. I often include hay but some people have connections they wish to keep.
For me, the harder part was that horses are a part time thing for so many people. So their idea of proper care and mine were very different. Reminding them to get their farrier out, deworm etc.
It can be rewarding to have great boarders that you grow friendships with and are able to take care of your place while you are gone.
Take into consideration how much you really like to share your space as well. I enjoy my horses so much, alone. I don't particularly enjoy riding with others consistently or having people in my space. But there were those that I grew very close to that I was grateful to have around. Often you can see their schedules and work around them if you wish to be alone as well.
I like to always be positive, but I do agree with the responses to this post so far. I ran a successful boarding stable for over 9 years, and I hope you have the patience of Job and a truckload of forgiveness in your heart.
If you don't hate people before you start boarding, you will hate them when you are finished boarding.
It was a money-making business for me, so I viewed the people as the same stuff you might have to put up with on a job. Here's a short list of issues and things that went wrong:
Boarder 'tried' to take her horse in the middle of the night (she was moving out of state and owed 2 months back-board). I was tipped off, fortunately, and locked up her horse/stall, along with her tack. I held the horse ransom and her Mother-in-Law came and paid (at 3AM with cash).
Boarders tried to wash their dogs, cars, trucks, boats, even 'personal laundry' at the barn, using my city water. Most got angry when I asked them not to do it.
We had 3 wash racks, I got calls frequently at my 'real job' in town from boarders telling me Susie was hogging the wash rack.
I got calls at my real job from a Mother of one of the teenage boarders asking me to settle an argument between 4 of the teenagers because it was 'my barn and my job to keep peace'. (this was one of my personal favorites, LOL)
Caught boarders stealing feed, hay, supplies from others and me. Caught boarders riding each other's horses without the other horse-owner's permission.
I was lucky enough to get sued my first year in business, when a friend's child was bitten by another boarder's dog that was not allowed to be there (it jumped out of her car). Boarder broke the rules, I paid a large amount out of pocket and my insurance went up significantly.
Some boarders will want to bring most of the neighborhood kids out to ride their horse, I had to make rules to limit the amount of kids on the property with one person.
The list goes on and on, but I won't - just be aware and have a clear detailed Boarding Agreement, stating you can keep/sell their horse if they don't pay, etc.
That said, you can make money, but have a Long List of rules and boundaries to guard yourself from trauma that can arise.
I recently bought a boarding facility, but I chose to not do boarding and I have 8 extra stalls. The money would be nice, but I prefer the peace.
Runaway - 2022-11-12 9:15 AM
I don't enjoy people enough to put myself through this. Thanks for the replies.
I have owned my boarding facility for 11 years now...while it has its challenges, it sure has perks too!!
We board about 15-20 horses. Yes, some clients can be difficult and high maintenance. After this long, I can usually sniff them out pretty quick and they don't even get past the "tour" stage. I am no longer afraid to tell potential boarders that "this is not the ideal fit for you" if that is how I feel. We run a very low key barn, and we don't do high maintenance. We have not had an issue with theft, and we don't have everything under lock and key. But again, I screen people pretty good before they even bring their horses, and most of our boarders come from word of mouth. We don't often advertise publicly.
The good parts....most of our boarders are long term, with some closing on 8-10 years with us! They have become a part of our family. Everyone is willing to help out with anything, because of the environment we have created. We go on mountain trips with some of our boarders. We have social events and some nights we will just sit around in front of the barn and visit until the sun goes down. They add the extra income to allow me to have an indoor arena in my back yard (and in Alberta, that is darn nice!!!!) and for our daughter to grow up around horses, which she loves. So all in all, there are challenges, but I wouldn't shut it down anytime soon. There are way way more good days than bad days!!
Wow. I can picture all of that.
One reason I wouldn't do it is because I'd be afraid a boarder would abandon an old or unsound horse with me and then I'd be stuck with it because I would never bring it to the sale. That happened to a friend of mine.
I've been managing a large (typically we have around 60 horses) boarding facility for going on 4 years. Since I don't own it I can't speak to any financial risks, but I do know it's a profitable business. It helps that the owner is wealthy and built the facility before I was even born. We use bulk shavings from a local wood mill and buy round bales for all the outside horses. Of the dozens of horses on the property, only 10 are in stalls. The rest are in runs or the pasture. All of that saves a lot of money. Most people supply their own grain.
As far as the work goes I have one maintenance guy who lives on the property and handles all the bobcat work, miscellaneous repairs, etc. I handle all the horse care, customer service, and collecting payments for most of the year (the owner does that in the summer when they are home. They are out of state more than half the year).
Honestly people always have horror stories about running boarding facilities but I enjoy it. We have had people abandon horses or try to get away with not paying, but it happens rarely. People are generally nice but can be annoying and a little neurotic. Some have tried to steal hay but having security cameras helps. Every job I've ever had is customer service based and this is by far the best. You have to be good at handling all sorts of personalities and remaining neutral. And of course comfortable handling all kinds of horses and doing lots of physical labor. I'm at the barn easily 10 hours a day and get 15-20k steps in almost every day. It's a lot of work but I don't think I could go back to having a normal person job and hope to have my own facility in the future. Every day is an adventure and you have to be prepared for any situation be it escaped horses, medical emergencies, boarder arguments, unruly horses, etc.
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