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Horse Boarding: A Detailed Guide-Costs, and What to Expect

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Luckily we have a nice place to keep and ride our horses, but, unfortunately, many people do not have space or means to keep their horses at home, so they board them elsewhere. With this in mind, I decided that it would be helpful to put together an informative guide answering common questions such as how much does horse boarding costs?

Generally, boarding a horse costs between 5 and 25 dollars per day; however, the prices vary based on factors such as the services provided and where the facility is located. Full boarding in an urban area costs a lot more than pasture boarding in rural areas.

Below is a chart that breaks down what you can expect to pay per month to board your horse:

Type of BoardingMonthly CostsWhat You Get
Full Care Boarding$750.00The facility provides everything your horse needs
Partial-board care$375.00You provide hay and feed, and staff feeds your horses
Pasture board$250.00Pasture, freshwater, and monitoring, hay if needed
Self-care board$150.00Access to a stall. You are responsible for all care.

Horse boarding is a growing industry. Whether you are looking to board your horse at a facility or just want some information on how the process works, this article provides all the details you need. I cover everything from what facilities offer to what you can do to save money and more.

Picture of horses boarded in a barn.


How much does it cost to board a horse?

Depending on the horse’s specific needs, horse boarding can cost anywhere from $150 to $750 per month. The facility, care, and location will all factor into the price of boarding.

In addition, horse owners will need to consider the cost of food, hay, and bedding. Most horse boarding facilities will include these costs in the monthly fee, but some may charge them separately.

Owners should also be prepared to pay for routine medical care, such as vaccinations and dental checkups. For those looking for a more comprehensive care package, some horse boarding facilities offer full-service packages that can include everything from daily grooming to specialized training.

Prices for these services can vary widely, so it is important to shop around and compare options before making a final decision. Horses are not just animals; they’re a part of the family. They are also incredibly expensive to care for and feed.

Some horse boarding facilities may offer discounts for long-term boarding and other options like self-care, training/riding lessons, stall cleaning services, etc.

Typically, the cost of boarding horses depends on the location and services you request. For full boarding, which includes feeding, stall mucking, and pasture turnout, you can expect to pay $15 to $25 per day. If you self-care or pasture board, you can reduce the cost to $5 per day.

There are other ways to keep your cost down as well. Working or volunteering in exchange for your horse’s board is one way that many people cut costs. If you are willing to work hard enough, you can even get free boarding by helping out with chores like cleaning stalls or riding other people’s horses.

Picture of a thoroughbred stallion.

What can I expect when I board my horse?

When you board your horse at a full care facility, you can expect him to be well-cared for in a safe and clean environment. He will have plenty of hay and fresh water, and his stall will be cleaned daily.

Your horse will also be exercised regularly, either by being turned out in a paddock or by being ridden by an experienced staff member. In addition, they will keep a close eye on your horse’s health and notify you immediately if we notice any changes.

By boarding your horse at a high-quality facility, you should be able to rest assured that he will receive the best possible care.

The type of services your horse receives depends on what level of boarding you choose: full care, partial care, or pasture turn-out. You can also board your horse and take full responsibility for its upkeep. I cover more about what services are provided in the following sections.

Horses are costly animals. Owning a horse can be an emotional and financial commitment that needs to be carefully thought through before taking on the responsibility of owning one.

Many people don’t realize how much it costs or what you get when you board a horse, but one thing is certain your horse needs to be fed, groomed, and cared for. But you have options on how you want these responsibilities carried out.

Picture of a shedrow barn with good ventilation.

Types of horse boarding

When it comes to horse boarding, there are a few different options to choose from. The most popular type of horse boarding is full board, which includes feed and hay, as well as stall cleaning and turnout.

This is the most expensive option but also the most convenient. For those who want a more hands-on approach, partial board is a good option. This includes feed and hay, but the owner is responsible for stall cleaning and turnout.

Finally, there is a self-board, which is the cheapest option but requires the most work from the owner. With self-board, the owner provides all the food and hay, as well as cleans the stall and turns out the horse.

Regardless of which type of horse boarding you choose, make sure to do your research to find the best option for you and your horse. For example, some people prefer to board their horses on a private farm, where they have exclusive access to a specific pasture and stable.

Other horse owners choose to lease or share boarding space at public boarding facilities, which offer a range of boarding amenities and services. Some boarding facilities provide additional services like riding lessons, training programs, or boarding options specifically designed for young or retired horses.

Ultimately, the choice of boarding facility depends on each rider’s individual needs and preferences. Whether you are looking for full-time boarding with plenty of personalized attention or more affordable shared boarding that can accommodate your busy schedule, there is bound to be a boarding option that fits your needs.

The “overview” below provides insight into the options that boarding facilities may offer for each type:

Picture of our horse in a barn

Full board for horses

If you are a busy person with an even busier schedule, a full board may be the best way to go. Your horse will have all of its needs taken care of without you having to visit him every day.

Full board for horses typically includes feeding, grooming, pasture access, cleaning your horse’s stall, and exercising it. Facilities that offer full board will also take care of your horse’s vet visits and farrier appointments; however, these charges are on top of your regular boarding fees.

Paddock boarders typically provide a stall with bedding and shelter from the elements. Your horse may need to be groomed when it returns home; some facilities also offer this service. Full board may also include things like veterinary care and farrier services.

horse on the Irish plain

Pasture Board

Pasture board is paying to have your horse kept in a pasture without access to a barn. The horses can free-range and have room to roam and graze, but they don’t always get all of their needs met like being groomed or ridden; most owners take care of these chores themselves.

I’ve pasture boarded for racehorse owners wanting to give their horses time off from the track to recover from injury or because they needed a break. It’s a great option for horses that have been stall-kept for a long time because it allows them to relax and get back to feeling like a horse again. It’s also the cheapest horse boarding option.

Picture of my horse grazing.


There are two types of partial board for horses. First, you can provide all the items needed to care for your horse, such as bedding, hay, and supplements, and the people at the facility will use these to care for your horse.

Another type of particle boarding is similar to leasing a horse, and it’s an excellent option for people looking to save money on horse care. A person pays part of the boarding fees for the opportunity to ride a horse.

The horse owner gets some relief from their boarding bill and gives another person access to ride their horse. Everybody wins with a part-board arrangement because it allows a person to enjoy horses without buying one themselves; plus, it helps owners keep their horses exercising while enjoying the break from paying for all the boarding costs.

A partial board sounds great in theory, but I can imagine some pitfalls. If you’re going to do this, make sure that the person is reputable or recommended by a friend! A lousy rider will ruin your horse, so be careful who you get on board with.

Here is a YouTube video of the training facility where we board our racehorses.

Self-care board

Self-care horse boarding is an excellent option for people who want to have a more personal connection with their horses but don’t have the land or facility to keep a horse. It also saves money on boarding costs.

It’s important to note that if you consider self-care as an option for your horse, you should also carefully consider what kind of commitment you can realistically make to take care of your horse.

As well as how much involvement in day-to-day management you might be willing or able to have. You may need to find someone else to help feed and care for your horse during emergencies, holidays, or while you’re at work.

This person must be familiar with caring for horses if you want them to do things like exercise horses, brush them out and clean their feet.

When your self-board a horse, you are responsible for providing everything your horse needs, including filling its water buckets, giving them hay and ensuring proper bedding for your animal, and arranging for vet and farrier visits.

For those interested in being more involved with owning a horse, this is ideal! This type of boarding can work well if a group of people is working together and can rotate taking care of each other’s horses.

The downside is that owners are committed to caring for their animals and must bring their own feed and bedding, plus turn out their horses, muck out stalls, and arrange vets/farrier visits as needed; this can be taxing for some horse owners.

Self-boarding is common in the horse racing industry. Racehorse trainers typically rent a stall from a barn owner near where their horse is racing and provide all of the horses’ needs themselves.

If horses aren’t cared for properly, the barn owner will evict the horses or contact animal welfare.

Private arrangement for horse board

Horse boarding can be costly, but it does not have to be. If you want to reduce your horse boarding costs, it is essential to explore all available options.

You have the opportunity to save money on your horse boarding expenses by providing various services and entering any type of agreement that suits you and the facility owner.

Some stables may discount your boarding costs if you’re willing to provide services like mucking out stalls, riding lessons, or exercising horses but be sure to clarify the terms of your agreement, so there is no confusion at the end when it comes time to pay up,

Picture of a two year old in training

Is boarding horses profitable?

There is no clear answer to whether boarding horses are profitable, as this depends on a number of factors, including the boarding facility itself, local competition, and the boarding rates charged.

Generally speaking, boarding facilities that offer high-quality care for horses at reasonable prices are likely to be more successful than those with low prices or substandard facilities.

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Additionally, it is important to take into account the market for boarding services in your area – if there is a high level of competition from other boarding houses, you will likely need to offer lower rates in order to stay viable.

Ultimately, the best way to determine whether boarding horses can be profitable for you is to carefully consider all of these factors and use that information to set pricing and marketing strategies that work best for your boarding facility.

In addition to making money boarding horses, most facilities make an additional income selling hay, bedding, and feed to their customers and providing services, such as riding lessons.

Horse boarding may be perfect if you’re looking for a new and exciting investment opportunity. The steady income stream from monthly fees paid by horses is an attractive feature of this industry that just keeps growing.

Recreational businesses typically take a big hit if there is an economic recession. Still, if times stay steady and people continue to enjoy riding with friends, this business can really pay off well. I wrote a book I wrote title The Equine Business Bible, which discusses boarding horses.

Picture of a racehorse at a private training facility.


Is it cheaper to board a horse or keep it at home?

If you have enough land to keep your horse at home, it is cheaper than boarding. Plus, keeping your horse at home allows you more time with your animal, but if space is limited or you just don’t have time to care for your horse, it can make sense to board.

Should I board my horse?

You should board your horse if you don’t have time to care for one, a suitable place to keep it, or don’t have a horse trailer to haul it for training. Horses are a big responsibility, and they need care and attention.