Boarding Horses

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Horse Boarding

  2006 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

Dear Cherry:

     I'd like to start a boarding business that offers "hotel" accommodation for horses during the owners absence.

     My 5 acre property has a lovely 16 stall barn, the property is fenced and cross fenced and all the necessary equipment is here in each stall.

     I am new to the equine business having been here only 2 years. I have had several poor experiences with boarding--horses chewing my fence, nasty mares (not just dominant)colicky horses taking up much of my time, and downright spooky horses that were too much to handle. Then there's the problem with people leaving the barn a mess, poop everywhere! Poor aisle manners, helping themselves to feed, tack, whatever! I put lots of this down to my inexperience and failure to have a "plan" first, but it sure has put me off boarding on a full time basis. I love having horses (I have three of my own.)

     I'm wondering what your opinion is about starting up such a service. Your comments about my idea would be greatly appreciated.

     Thanks for your time, and by the way, I want all of your books! T


Dear T:

     Boarding requires labor, patience, and a love of not only horses, but dealing with people. I've heard the same "complaints" as you say you have had from long-time professional boarding stable owners. The chewed fences and inconsiderate people, I'm afraid, are part of the bargain.

     HOWEVER, there are many wonderful people who would appreciate a fine level of personal service. The trick is finding them, instituting a way of filtering, interviewing people.

     I would not use such a service because I have too many horses - when I am away, I have someone come here to do the chores. But a one or two horse owner looking for quality care would love to find a service like yours in their area.

     As far as resources, be sure to purchase both of Julie Fershtman's books on legal issues for horse owners. If you look her up in, you'll find the first one and the second one will be out in a few months.

     Also, see if you can take a look at the books at the end of this answer which are guides that list horse motels and bed and breakfast places for horses across US and some Canadian locations. You'll probably find good information in the books as well as a great source of contacts so you can talk to people that are already in the business you would like to develop.

     Best of luck,           


Here are the horse motel books:

Horse Lover's Vacation Guide: Lynne Johnson

U.S. Stabling Guide: The Country's Comprehensive Guide for Horse Transportation in the United States and Canada (U.S. Stabling Guide) by Lisa A. Doubleday

Nationwide Overnight Stabling Directory : Janice J. Nelson, Equine Travelers of America, Inc., PO Box 322, Arkansas City KS 67005-0322; (316) 442-8131

US Stabling Guide: James D. Balzotti, 5 Barker St, Pembroke MA 02359 (800) 829-0715

  2006 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

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