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 cost?

In general, boarding a horse cost between 5 and 25 dollars per day; 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.

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. We’ll 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?

Horses are not just animals; they’re a part of the family. They are also incredibly expensive to care for and feed. So how much does it cost to board a horse? The answer isn’t straightforward.

Boarding rates vary from place to place but typically range between $150-$750 per month, but it can be much higher in or near cities. Some businesses 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. 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 willing to work hard enough, you can even get free boarding by helping out with chores like cleaning stalls or riding other peoples horses!

What can I expect when I board my horse?

An equine boarding facility is a place where horse owners can trust their horses to be cared for while they are away. A professional staff provides feeding, cleaning, and grooming services so that the animals never go without these necessities.

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.

Types of horse boarding

There are different types of boardings available at many commercial stables. The “overview” below provides insight into the options that boarding facilities may offer for each type:

Here is a video of a barn and training facility where racehorses are boarded.

Where Do Racehorses Train?? (TOUR)

Full board for horses

If you are a busy person with an even busier schedule, full board may be the best way to go. Your horse will have access to all of his needs without you needing to visit him every day, and staff at the barn can care for him while he is there.

Full board for horses typically includes feeding, grooming, pasture access, cleaning your horse’s stall, and exercise it. Facilities that offer full board will also take care of your horse’s vet visits and farrier appointments; however, the 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 goes back home; some facilities offer this service as well. Full board may also include things like veterinary care and farrier services.

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 getting 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.

Part-Board

Partial 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 your horse.

The horse owner gets some relief from their boarding bill, and in return, 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.

Part-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.

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 out with feeding and caring 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 your horse, brushing them out, and cleaning their feet.

When your self-board a horse, you are responsible for providing everything your horse needs, including filling their 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 every aspect of 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.

Picture of a racehorse at a private training facility.

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 a costly investment, but it does not have to be. If you are looking to reduce your horse boarding costs, it is essential to explore all of the options available.

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

Some stables may discount your boarding costs if your 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!

Is boarding horses profitable?

Boarding horses can be a profitable business, but factors such as location and type of facility can make a huge difference in profit margins. 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.

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

If there is an economic recession, then recreational businesses typically take a big hit. Still, if times stay steady and people continue to enjoy riding with friends, this business can really pay off well.

FAQ

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

It’s cheaper to keep your horse at home than paying to board it. 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, 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.
Proper care includes feeding, providing fresh water, cleaning their stalls regularly, and monitoring their health. These tasks can be challenging if you have a busy schedule, the solution? Boarding your horse at an equine facility!

Miles Henry

I love animals! Especially horses, I've been around them most of my life but I am always learning more and enjoy sharing with others. I have bought, sold, and broke racehorse yearlings. I have raised some winning horses and had some that didn't make it as racehorses, so we trained them in other disciplines. Miles Henry

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