Tips for Successful Horse Boarding

How to Be a Great Boarder

Once you've found a stable that you want to board your horse at you'll want to make sure you're the type of boarder the owner is glad to have in their barn. Here are some tips for pain and drama free horse boarding.

  • 01 of 10

    Read and Understand Your Contract

    Teen Girl Caring for Horse in a Stable
    Girl with horse. Image Credit: Getty Images

    When you are boarding the stable owner should have you sign a contract. This contract should outline things like:

     

    • Where your horse will be kept.

       

    • How your horse is fed.

       

    • What expenses you are responsible for like extra charges for blanketing, exercise, medical care.

       

    • How are emergencies to be handled.

       

    • What facilities and amenities you may use.

       

    • Vaccinations required.

       

    • Hours of operation.

       

    • Safety rules.

    Avoid word-of-mouth contracts. Make sure that the barn owner has your up-to-date contact information...MORE including home and place of work (or wherever else you spend a lot of time) in case of emergency.

  • 02 of 10

    Pay Your Bills on Time

    Money
    Money. Image Credit: Getty Images

    It would be difficult for you to budget if you never knew when your paycheck was coming. Stable owners count on board being paid promptly so they can buy hay, bedding and other necessities for your (and other's) horses. Most stables I know of don't make huge amounts of money on boarders. Having to pay interest on overdue feed, veterinarian, or other bills cuts into an already small profit or important supplies might not be bought.

  • 03 of 10

    Address Problems Promptly and Courteously

    Couple beside horse and dog holding saddle.
    Good communications helps things go smoothly when you board your horse. Image Credit:Hero Images /Getty Images

    If you feel there is a problem with how your horse is being looked after or with another boarder talk to the stable owner/manager. Don't let little resentments build up and don't resort to leaving nasty notes on the message board for all to see. A little communication can prevent unfortunate disagreements and misunderstandings.

  • 04 of 10

    Never a Borrower or Lender Be

    Various types of horse feeds and supplements.
    Avoid confusion by never borrowing anything. At least not without permission. Image Credit: Spiritartist /Getty Images
    Don't use any equipment or feed without permission. Likewise, mark all your equipment with your name so if something does go astray there's no question as to whom it belongs.
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Clean Up After Yourself

    stable aisle
    Stable Aisle. Image: Lidingo - WikiMedia

    Sweep alleys after grooming, clean up manure from arena and rings, put away trotting poles, barrels or jumps. Stow your equipment neatly so that no one trips over dangling reins or lead ropes. Leave lights on or off as you found them unless you are told otherwise. Make sure doors are opened or closed as instructed. Be sure you turn the water taps off and put away hoses or buckets when you're done with them. Try to leave the stable in the same condition or better when you leave.

  • 06 of 10

    Be Courteous to All

    riderswalkingthroughfieldlg.jpg
    Courtesy is always important. Image Credit:Thinkstock /Getty Images

    Everyone I know owns a horse to have fun with and to relax. There's nothing worse than having to deal with a know-it-all, someone else's bad mood or manners when you've come to enjoy your horse. You may not agree with the way someone rides or handles their horse. But as long as there is not obvious cruelty it isn't your place to comment. Offer help or advice only if it is asked for. If you feel there's a real problem speak to the barn owner/manager. Treat any stable help with...MORE courtesy and be sure to thank them if they provide extra help. Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself.

  • 07 of 10

    Be Prepared to Provide Extra Care or Be Willing to Pay for It

    Horse wearing green winter blanket.
    Be prepared to pay extra for extra handling. Image Credit: K. Blocksdorf

    If your horse needs the attentions of a farrier, veterinarian or other equine practitioner be there (on time) yourself to handle your horse or be willing to pay someone else to do it. Don't assume that the stable owner/manager will automatically look after these things. How any extra care will be handled should be outlined in your boarding contract.

  • 08 of 10

    Don't Handle Other People's Horses without Permission

    Woman leading young horse.
    When it comes to other people's horses, hands off, unless you're asked to help. Image Credit:Mary Turner/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Handling other's horses or ponies includes moving them to another stall or paddock, removing or putting on blankets, grooming, feeding, petting or treats. There may be a good reason why a horse can't have treats, extra feed or isn't wearing a blanket even though yours is. Get permission from the stable/manager or horse owner before making any changes.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Don't Be a Pest

    cellphone
    Cellphone. Image: K. Blocksdord
    Most stable owners I know are busy people and don't have a lot of time to spend on the phone assuring their boarders that their horses are okay. There may be an occasional time when you might have to call with a question, but don't call every day, several times a day to get updates on your horse.

    If the barn owner needs to call you however, make sure that you've provided your correct contact information and return calls promptly. Chances are if a stable owner or manager is trying to...MORE contact you it is about something important.

  • 10 of 10

    If It Isn't Working Move Out

    Loading horse onto ramp trailer.
    If things aren't working, it may be time to find another stable. Image Credit:Hedda Gjerpen/E+ /Getty Images
    If you feel your horse is not receiving adequate care or the environment in the stable isn't right you don't have to explain to anyone why you are moving. Just give notice as required by your contract and move on. It's best not to leave with a big drama or sour grapes - you never know when you might have to come back.