Of the 87,100 horses, ponies, mules and donkeys in Maryland, 31 percent were kept at boarding and training facilities, says the 2002 Maryland Equine Census. For many of us, keeping horses is a necessary luxury and for the landless, that means boarding their horses out.
It takes a special sort of person to manage a horse-boarding business.
He also needs considerable time to devote to the business, even if it’s a part-time venture. Unless you’re situated within 20 miles of a fairly affluent metro area, you probably can’t attract enough clients to make a large-scale venture really pay.
Barring that, employees or family members should be available to pick up the slack. The trick is to stay small and offer added value such as an indoor arena, on-site riding trails, or close proximity to public bridle paths or horse camping facilities. An advantage to one-fee-covers-everything, full-service board is that you control feeding, stall cleaning, and if you choose, routine chores such as parasite control and hoof care.
In some cases the client furnishes everything except stall space or pasture—feed, bedding and labor are her domain.
At other stables, partial-board clients furnish feed and bedding and the stable owner or an employee handles daily chores such as feeding, stall cleaning and turnout.If you're not yet ready to own a stallion, that's fine and it's good to recognize your limitations.Tip: Sort out an appropriate feeding regime before bringing your new horses to the farm.Playing peacekeeper can be the hardest part of the job (said by one who’s been there and knows).New boarding stable entrepreneurs must possess the financial wherewithal to build or renovate existing facilities; money to meet start-up costs like increased liability insurance, legal and accounting services, and advertising; and the financial acumen to operate his stable in a professional manner.Just to get your farm off the ground, you will need to determine if this is the right business for you, find an appropriate location, set up your operation, and start your breeding program.However, if you think this is something you would like to do, saddle up and learn what's involved!You needn’t provide separate storage areas for each client’s feed and bedding, nor wonder if a given horse has been dewormed.Partial-board means different things to different people.Pasture-board entails supplying the client’s horse with pasture and a place to get out of the weather.You might supply additional feed or the client will provide it; that’s the sort of thing you’ll spell out in your contract.