Written by Brad Heath
Growing up, we had plenty of land on our farm for our horses to roam. We had several pastures behind our house that were dedicated spaces for our different farm animals. I remember one day I had a new friend at school come over to my house to play and he was shocked that we had horses living on our property. He and his parents owned a horse, but their horse lived at a horse stable, so the horse didn’t live on their farm.
Honestly, I think we were both equally surprised at each other’s situation. I was used to having horses right behind the house, and having to go out and care for them daily. On the other hand, he was used to having to travel a few minutes up the road to the local horse stables to visit his family horse. When you own a horse, there is no right or wrong decision about where your horse should live. It all depends on your specific situation and what works best for both you and your horse.
The options for boarding will vary from stable to stable. However, there are typically a few standard options that most all facilities will offer.
Because my friend growing up had just moved into town and lived in a rental home at the time, his family had chosen to fully board their horse. In general, when a horse is fully boarded, owners pay a monthly fee. The full boarding package normally covers services like feeding your horse, turning them out daily, and keeping their stalls cleaned. A lot of horse stables/horse boarding facilities will also offer optional add-ons for fully boarded horses such as grooming or blanketing services. In the case of being fully boarded, the horse owner has little to do with the daily care of the horse and the stable hands do the bulk of the work, so it’s definitely the most expensive option.
In the case of self care boarding, the horse owner is responsible for taking care of their horse. The only service that the horse boarding stables will provide is the location. This is a great option for horse owners that have the time to travel daily to the horse stable and fully take care of their horse, but just don’t have anywhere on their own property to board their horse. This is the least expensive option for horse boarding.
A partial board really is the “happy-medium” between self care boarding and full boarding. What a partial board looks like varies depending on the horse stables that you choose. At some boarding facilities, this middle tier boarding package is similar to the full board; but the stable staff performs less tasks, and the horse owner has more responsibility.
In other cases, where the option is to pasture board, horses are always turned out but have access to water, shelter, and all the resources that they would need. Since the stable does take care of some of the needs of the horse with this package, it’s typically more expensive than self care boarding; but not as pricey as full boarding.
As horse owners, our horses are like family to us. If we choose to board them, we definitely don’t want to just drop them off at a random horse stable without knowing that they will be well taken care of. When it comes to choosing the right boarding facility for your horse, go through the following question checklist to help you make your decision:
What type of boarding package will best suit the needs of both my horse and myself?
Are the boarding stables located conveniently to me so that I can quickly access my horse if and when needed?
What type of amenities are important to me for my horse? (Paddock size, type of fencing, etc.)
Can I park my horse trailer at the facility?
Who will be the primary person that is in charge of taking care of my horse? What type of experience and certifications do they have?
How often are the stall areas cleaned?
What is the condition of the barn/stables? Is it well-lit, ventilated, and secure?
Are there trails or arenas nearby?
Is there an onsite area to store your tack? How is it secured?
Is your horse able to be socialized?
Is there a pest control policy in place?
Can I bring my own vet/farrier, or is there one assigned to the facility?
Another great way to make sure that you’re choosing a reputable boarding facility is to ask around in your local horse community. Chances are that if a place has a really great local reputation, it’s a solid choice. It’s also a great idea to take a tour of the place before signing any type of contract. Most places will allow you to bring your horse to visit before you make any type of commitment. You can also meet with the stable owner/manager and get all of your questions and concerns answered.
You can search by your state to find the best-rated horse boarding facility closest to you with our updated horse boarding stable directory list.
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Oak Meadow Stables - Toney, Alabama
Flying Horse Equestrian Center LLC - Palmer, Alaska
Superstition Stables Horse Boarding - Apache Junction, Arizona
Stout Stables, LLC - Fayetteville, Arkansas
Hillcrest Ranch Boarding - Los Angeles, California
Bibber Creek Stables - Golden, Colorado
Magnolia Run Equestrian Center - Willington, Connecticut
Deer Antler Equestrian Center - Clayton, Delaware
Dream Horse Equestrian Center - Eustis, Florida
GB’s Stables - Smyrna, Georgia
Koa Ridge Ranch - Pearl City, Hawaii
Laughing Horse Boarding and Horse Motel - Meridian, Idaho
Fox Chase Farms, Inc. - Maple Park, Illinois
Star Stables Indiana - Indianapolis, Indiana
Chasing Laurels - Des Moines, Iowa
Equus Curito Equine Center - Louisburg, Kansas
Steppen’ Hi Stables Inc. - Walton, Kentucky
Rocking N Ranch - Des Allemands, Louisiana
Whispering Woods Stables - Augusta, Maine
Wheaton Park Stables, Inc. - Silver Spring, Maryland
Hillside Meadows Equestrian Center - Grafton, Massachusetts
Meadowlark Equestrian Center - Plymouth, Michigan
Sunnyside Stables - Rosemount, Minnesota
Hillbrooke Stables - Pass Christian, Mississippi
Sleepy Hollow Stables LLC - Crane, Missouri
Tri-H Stables - Bozeman, Montana
Log Barn Stables - Plattsmouth, NE
Las Vegas Horse Ranch - Las Vegas, Nevada
Riley’s Farm - Epping, New Hampshire
Bleecker Street Stables - Randolph, New Jersey
Spur Stables LLC - South Valley, New Mexico
GallopNYC: Sunrise Stables - Howard Beach, New York
Horse Shadow Run - Charlotte, North Carolina
Medora Riding Stables - Medora, North Dakota
Rising Star Ranch, LLC - Pataskala, Ohio
Stoneridge Acres Stables - Edmond, Oklahoma
The Sherwood Forest Equestrian Center - Sherwood, Oregon
Black Horse Stables - Furlong, Pennsylvania
Morning Star Horse Farm - Saunderstown, Rhode Island
Hidden Creek Horse Farm, LLC - Fountain Inn, South Carolina
CK Stables - Harrisburg, South Dakota
Break N Run Farms - Ooltewah, Tennessee
Manor Equestrian Center - Manor, Texas
R Sharp Acres Horse Boarding and Riding Equestrian Heaven - Lake Point, Utah
Hemlock Hill Farm - Shelburne, Vermont
Silver Eagle Stable - Nokesville, Virginia
Red Horse Farm - Auburn, Washington
T&J Farms Horse Barn - Parkersburg, West Virginia
Windy Hill Equestrian Center, LLC - Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin
Broken Heart Stables - Gillette, Wyoming
Use a horse boarding facility that you love and don't see it on our list? Contact us so that we can add it!
On average, horse owners can expect to spend $300 - $700 a month to board their horse. This depends on which boarding package that you choose as well as the amenities provided by the facility.
Boarding your horse in a stable is simply when you pay to have your horse housed at a facility.
As far as cost efficiency, it is less expensive to keep your horse at home as opposed to boarding them. Although it may be more upfront cost if you have to do any type of work or building on your property - keeping your horse at home is not an option for everyone and boarding is a good solution for many horse owners.
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